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So many viewers of this blog have been asking about the shelf-life
of helium in small tanks. Here’s a compendium of the replies so far
received. The answer seems to be that provided that the taps are kept
tightly shut up until the moment of use, never tampered with, they can
be stored for many years, until rust sets in. – Derek Humphry

Helium shelf-life observations:

1. This is not scientific: I have had an 8.9 cu ft tank for the past
6-7 years which was used for many experiments. There is still some stuff
in it.
On the other hand, the previous tank was empty after six months.
possibly due to valve not shut sufficiently tight.
———Paul Zollmann, Canada

2. Helium is an element: it can’t “break down.” -But of
course it can leak. If one could be sure that the seal
were perfect so that not a single atom could escape it
would last until the tank became rusty and developed a
hole. The atoms of helium are so tiny, though, they
can pass through the microscopic pores of a latex balloon.
— Contributor

3. I will speak only to the “shelf life” of the gas itself. I sought
out and talked, independently, to the technical chief at two different
welding/gas supply companies here in Michigan.
The answer from both was that the gas would not break down or lose
its properties.

—-Bernie Klein, Ann Arbor, Mich.
Buy ERGO books/DVD/downloads on assisted suicide and self deliverance at

4 Responses to “Self-deliverance tanks are sound if kept screwed tightly”

  1. owlwolf says:

    Helium is a very stable gas, the only problem in storage would be from a leaking tank. The valves on the type of tanks being talked about here are not of very high quality..after all the are only designed for one time use. I would think it best to replace your stored tanks at least once each year. The tanks are cheap, and better safe than sorry when the time comes to use them.

  2. woodman says:

    I wish that someone would have told me about the helium tanks construction.
    I read the box directions and was pushing down on the valve that opens the gas-way. This is the regulator. I was to gently push down on the valve but they didn’t specify that the tube coming off of the regulator was to be gently pushed down. Long story short: I screwed that piece off, bought the 4ft hose and connected it with a clamp. I lost some helium but it’s an 8.9cft tank. This should be enough. The directions on the box were too vague.

  3. Jay says:

    One Big Helium tank Cylinder Size (CF) 11″ is enough instead of two small tanks?

  4. ergo says:

    Yes. In fact 4-5 good gulps of pure helium are fatal. That purity can only be achieved inside a helium hood where no oxygen can get mixed in.

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