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Do I Need Siphon CO2 Tanks To Make Special Effects?

Siphon CO2 Tanks At A Special Event?
Image by Oscar Keys via

When you order CO2 tanks, you’ll be given the option to choose between different sizes and whether or not you need a siphon or dip tube. If you’re managing music festivals, theatrical performances, or special parties, chances are you’re planning for the event to have a certain vibe going on. Getting the right CO2 tank is key in even creating the special effects necessary to get that vibe going. There’s a science behind how a siphon can do what it needs to do, and understanding it can determine your choice in getting a CO2 tank with or without a built-in siphon.

What Is The Point Of A Siphon?

A siphon is a straw, usually made of stainless steel, that goes inside the CO2 tank, reaching the very bottom of it. It’s purpose is to draw the gas and dispel it in its liquid state, which is visible. Without a siphon, the gas tank will only dispel CO2 in its invisible, gaseous state.

Taking out a fire with a fire extinguisher
Image by Levi Damasceno via

There are other uses for siphons and dip tubes besides their use in CO2 tanks, and some of them are used on a daily basis. Think of fire extinguishers and disinfectant sprays. The contents inside of these bottles consist of a mixture of various ingredients that allow them to do what they’re designed to do. Fire extinguishers fight indoor fires with its yellowish, whitish powder consisting of pressurized nitrogen and carbon dioxide in their compressed liquid form, which deprives an indoor fire of oxygen, thus preventing it from spreading and growing. Disinfectant sprays will kill most germs and clean surfaces with its combination of common cleaning ingredients, fragrances, and sometimes even essential oils. The only way to get the liquid mixture out of these bottles and sprayed into the air is with a straw. That’s what the dip tube is designed to do.

As for CO2 tanks, the siphon is used to dispel liquid CO2. People will typically use siphon cylinders to make dry ice, although both dry ice and liquid CO2 can create a vaporous effect. The end result is visually artistic, usually making for an either creepy, frosty, dramatic, or mysterious aesthetic. Without that siphon, there isn’t any vapor. Just CO2 dispelling invisibly.

What If My Siphon CO2 Tank Isn’t Working?

Before you start to think there’s damage to your siphon CO2 tank, the first thing to do is to make sure the valve or gas regulator is screwed on tight. Sometimes unscrewing and rescrewing it back on could do the trick too. If after that you’re still not getting the desired results, then you might want to check for any evidence of physical damage or CO2 leaks. As an easy example, the dip tube may have been compromised, or the valve itself could be broken.

Damage to the siphon or valve means that a fire extinguisher can’t spray the nitrogen and CO2 to choke out the fire, thus rendering it worthless in an emergency. Fresh-smelling disinfectant sprays won’t be leaving the bottle with that type of damage, so nothing will get cleaned. For anyone in the music and entertainment industries, special effects equipment won’t make any visual flair for special events with a defective siphon cylinder. To avoid embarrassing technical difficulties like this, always make sure you do multiple tests before getting the party started.

Is There An Alternative to Siphon CO2 Tanks?

If you didn’t know, many will avoid renting or investing in a siphon CO2 tank by using their siphonless tanks in an either sideways or upside down position. This is one way to get the gas in its visibly foggy state, but it’s incredibly unsafe. We always recommend that our customers handle gas cylinders with care and follow OSHA regulations. Putting the tank upside down in the first place is never a good idea. In doing this, you place the weight of the tank above the valve, making it topheavy and susceptible to toppling over and denting. Putting it sideways will make it roll and turn it into a tripping hazard. Both positions give the cylinder the potential of becoming an uncontrollable rocket. Even if your tank and the gas regulator were to have the strongest and most durable build in the industry, the practices in and of itself are a way of encouraging unsafe CO2 cylinder handling and operation.

There really isn’t a proper alternative to a siphon CO2 tank. If you need liquid CO2, simply put, that’s what a siphon is for. Do your business and the audience a favor and use a siphon. It’s a safer and professional way of getting liquid CO2 to work on your special effects machines.

We're Making CO2 Deliveries for Special FX
Image by Raphael Schaller via

How Can I Order Siphon CO2 Tanks?

We’re a gas rental company. Our gas selection includes CO2, helium, nitrogen, and propane. They are all available in different sizes, and the CO2 tanks can be requested with or without dip tubes. Let us know what you need. If you’re not sure whether or not you may need a siphon CO2 tank, tell us the purpose for your CO2 gas order, and we’ll make a recommendation. Although, we do know for a fact that you’ll need that siphon CO2 tank if you want those cool-looking special effects.

We keep low, flat rates on all of our gas tank rentals, and we strive to make the ordering logistics easier on you. No one likes that complicated, expensive stuff. Then we have our gas delivery team driving anywhere in the United States and to select Canadian cities. And if you need assistance with installing tanks to some equipment, there's an installation team dedicated to that too. Because of our experience and team of entertainment industry experts, we prove to be America’s go-to company for special event gas products!

Head over to our ordering page to place a gas order with us. If you prefer to rent one with a phone call, dial 877-280-5321. And remember, tell us whether or not you need a siphon CO2 tank, and don’t be afraid to ask us anything regarding your CO2 and industrial gas cylinder needs.

1 Comment

Rayen Fizz
Rayen Fizz
Oct 26, 2021



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