How to Set Up and Use a

Compressed Gas Cylinder

Compressing a gas is a way of storing large quantities of a gas in a small space. Compressed gas cylinders are used for a massive array of functions, from medical use in storing oxygen for hospitals, industrial uses and recreational use in areas such as scuba diving. Due to the fact that a compressed gas cylinder has high explosive potential, setting up and handling of compressed gas cylinders is crucial to the safety of those around them.


1. Check the cylinder valves. Ensure that they are free of debris and that if an o-ring is present that it is intact with no dents or abrasions.

2. Check what type of regulator needs to be attached to the compressed gas cylinder. This will vary with regard to the type of valve and the gas contained in the cylinder. Pure oxygen, for example, must only have oxygen clean regulators used to avoid the risk of combustion in a high oxygen environment. Check the markings on the cylinder for the gas contents.

3. Attach a regulator to the valve. Ensure that the regulator sits in the valve properly before tightening it to ensure a firm seal. This applies both to threaded valves and yokes (pressure sealing o-ring valves). Tighten the valve to the specification for this valve. On some valves this is "finger tight;" on others it requires tightening with a tool such as a wrench to make a stronger seal.

4. Slowly open the valve allowing the gas into the regulator system. If you hear any hissing or leaking sounds, or the crack of an o-ring failing, turn off the system and depressurize it in order to assess the problem. If there are no problems, then continue to use the system as desired.