A Comprehensive Guide on Helium Tanks (2023)

Nothing says celebration like a cloud of floating balloons! Balloons are the simplest and most cost-effective decorating idea. The only drawback of having balloons is putting air in them and transporting them to your event’s venue. Thankfully, this can be a no-sweat experience by using a helium tank.

In this article, I’m going to give you all the caveats of renting or purchasing a helium tank, where you can buy one, as well as some important tips on using them. Consider this your all information resource on helium tanks.

What is a Helium Tank?

Imagine trying to squeeze in all the air from a large music hall, which is how much air you’ll need for a thousand balloons, into a plastic bottle that can be easily transported. It just wouldn’t hold.

The second lightest element, helium is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless gas used for various purposes. It is commonly used in rocket fuel tanks, microscopes, computer hard drives, and more. But it is best known for inflating balloons.

Helium and other light gases exert a tremendous amount of pressure when compressed into a small space and thus must be stored in heavy metal tanks strong enough to withstand the pressure.

These tanks are geared with mechanical components such as valves and nozzles to make it easier for you to extract as much gas as you need and prevent the rest from escaping.

A helium tank can thus conveniently inflate helium balloons without the effort and exhaustion of using a conventional balloon pump.

Types of Helium Tanks

A Comprehensive Guide on Helium Tanks (1)

Image source: Pinterest

The kind of helium tank mainly depends on the capacity of the tank. Each tank’s helium content influences what it can accomplish. Here is a rundown of the different types of helium tanks based on capacity:

7-Liter Helium Tank

This helium tank is enough to inflate 27 to 30 9-inch latex balloons. For larger balloons of about 12-inches, this helium tank should be sufficient for a maximum of 16 balloons.

If you inflate an 18-inch foil balloon, you’ll have enough helium power for 14 to 16 balloons. All these balloons can float beautifully for a maximum of 8 hours.

13-Liter Helium Tank

With this helium tank size, you can effortlessly inflate about 27 foil balloons of 18-inches and latex balloons of 12-inches. Meanwhile, you can inflate up to 50 9-inch latex balloons with this helium tank.

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22-Liter Helium Tank

For larger events that need more helium balloons, you definitely need to bring in the bigger helium tanks.

This helium tank can inflate up to 90 9-inch latex balloons. This is enough to make a balloon canopy for one of your venues. If you are using either a 12-inch latex or a 9-inch foil balloon, then you can easily inflate 46 balloons for every single helium tank.

Helium Tank Brands

With several disposable helium tanks available in the market today, it can be a little intimidating to make the right purchase.

There are several elements to consider like the number of balloons you need to inflate and the kind of balloons you’ll be using.

Balloon Time

A Comprehensive Guide on Helium Tanks (2)

This brand offers you an excellent option to transport your pre-inflated balloons. Their helium tank is designed to be lightweight, easy to use, disposable, and recyclable.

You can purchase the brand’s standard tank that includes the tank itself and a roll of white ribbon, or get the Balloon Time Kit with the helium tank, ribbon, and 9″ inch latex balloons. They offer balloons in assorted colors and their helium tanks come in two sizes: Standard and Jumbo Balloon Time Tanks.


A Comprehensive Guide on Helium Tanks (3)

This brand is everything you need inside a box. It comes as a kit with a helium tank and balloons.

Rather than being inconvenienced with ordering balloons from the store and finding ways to fit dozens of balloons in your car, getting the helium balloon tank from Unique is the most practical and hassle-free solution.

Unique offers these disposable helium tanks in two sizes. You can conveniently order these brands from Amazon, Walmart, Target, and Party City. Alternatively, you can also visit their websites and order directly from there.

When to Use It?

If you’re planning to use helium balloons and need to work with a dozen or more of them, you also need helium tanks.

Helium tanks can be very handy for parties and events where helium balloons are involved. You can conveniently inflate your balloons and allow them to float or style them in diverse balloon creation.

(Video) How to use our Koch & Co Helium Tanks

There are two common reasons for using helium tanks. Either you are hosting a gathering with helium balloons as one of the concept designs, or you are using helium tanks as an income-generating source by renting them out.

How to Get Helium Tanks?

A Comprehensive Guide on Helium Tanks (4)

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Renting From a Supplier

Based on the size of your event and the kind of balloons you’ll be using, disposable helium tanks may not be the best option. To ensure you have more than enough helium supply is by renting a helium tank (or two) from a supplier.

The best way to find a suitable supplier is to check Google or get recommendations from friends and family who have already rented.

Helium tank suppliers will ask for a deposit, while some may accept a credit deposit that can range anywhere from $100 to $200. Rest assured, the deposit amount will be paid back in full once you return the empty tank in good condition.

Make sure that you confirm that you’re receiving the different accessories with the helium tank such as the pressure gauge, the required valve, and balloon nozzle. Some would have these included, while others would need to be rented separately.


• Ideal for events where more than 50 helium balloons need to be inflated
• Can be rented with a cylinder dolly for movability
• Balloon nozzles and other accessories are included with the rental fee


• Additional time and effort to look for a supplier
• Considered a more expensive option

Buying Helium Tanks

If you won’t be using any particular type of balloons and you have a set number of balloons to work on, then it would be better to get your helium tanks. Some tanks come in complete packages, including a certain number of balloons, ribbons, and nozzles.

Most party supply retail stores would have one available, or you can also shop online and go through customer feedback before you “Add to Cart.”

After using the helium tank, you can dispose of it and be done with it. In case you have not consumed all the gas inside, be sure that you can store it safely.


• No additional task required after using it
• Ideal for small-scale events
• Easy and more convenient procurement

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• Additional accessories need to be purchased separately
• Limited choices when purchased in a physical store

How to Use Helium Tanks?

Helium tanks are quite simple to use. Here are the steps you can follow to use a helium tank:

#1. Remove the rubber tip cap of the helium tank.

#2. Attach the appropriate balloon nozzle.

#3. Open the tank’s valve by rotating its handle anti-clockwise. Continue rotating until it won’t allow you to go any further.

#4. Slide the balloon’s neck over the balloon nozzle.

#5. Slightly lift the balloon nozzle upwards so the gas can be released.

#6. Fill the balloon until you have reached your desired size. Remember not to overfill it with gas or it will burst.

#7. Remove your inflated balloon from the nozzle and tie it at the end to keep the gas from escaping. You can secure it further by using a ribbon or a balloon weight.

#8. Close the helium tank’s valve by rotating its handle clockwise. Always keep it tightly closed when you are not using it.

What Can You Do Once the Helium Runs Out?

If you are out of helium, you have two options to remedy the problem.

Refill Your Helium Tank

The only time you opt for this route is when your current and empty helium tank is labeled “refillable.” If you try refilling a canister that is not designed to be filled, it can cause injuries and accidents.

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If you are 100% confident that your helium tank is indeed refillable, then you can head to a welding or gas supplier in your area and request a refill.

Dispose of Your Helium Tank

Disposable helium tanks are just meant to be used once, and after exhausting all the helium in them, you have to throw them away.

If your helium tank is less than 18 liters, you can safely dispose of it in the trash. Ensure that it is completely empty by turning on the top valve and releasing all the gas inside.

If it is a higher-volume helium tank, it is best to take it to your local refuse center, specifically to the household hazardous waste team. Again, make sure that the tank is 100% empty to avoid causing any bodily harm to the workers.

Quick Tips About Helium Tanks

1. Helium tanks sold in toy and party stores usually are disposable tanks.

2. Even if the tank is labeled as refillable, it is better to dispose of it if it is old and has not been certified for several years.

3. Any sign of rust and damage to the head or neck of the tank is an immediate indication that you need to dispose of your helium tank.

4. When you still have some helium left inside the tank, ensure that you close the valve tightly to prevent the gas from leaking. You can keep a helium tank for months at a time.

5. Helium tanks are pressurized. Don’t put it on your mouth or nose.

6. Do not use a helium tank for any other function except its intended purpose.

7. Never directly expose the tank to heat or fire.


Helium tanks can free you up from the hassle of transporting dozens of balloons in various sizes and designs. It also saves you a considerable chunk of your time from inflating balloons. A helium tank can be the ultimate solution for a balloon-filled gathering!

Featured image source: Pinterest

(Video) How to Use Balloon Time Helium Tank


How do I know how much helium is left in my tank? ›

You'll see a regulator on the tank that tells you how much gas is left in the tank. It also has an attachment on it for filling balloons.

Why is my helium tank not making my balloons float? ›

Why didn't my balloons float? There are a number of factors that may affect the float time of a balloon, including using balloons other than those supplied with the helium kits, the type of balloon being used, under- or over-inflating the balloon, as well as external factors such as temperature, humidity and altitude.

How can such a small tank contain enough helium to fill so many balloons? ›

Such a small tank contains enough helium to fill so many balloons because decreasing the volume of the container will increase the number of collisions of the gas particles and increase pressure, but when you decrease the amount of pressure there is, you increase the volume of gas that can fit in, according to Boyle's ...

Does it matter if we run out of helium? ›

If our supply ran out, it could spell the end of MRI testing, LCD screens and birthday-party balloons. Or it could make all of those things much more expensive. Although argon — another inert gas — can be substituted for helium for welding purposes, no other element can do what helium can do in supercold applications.

Can a helium tank be left out in the cold? ›

A: Helium cylinders should be stored in an indoor, well-ventilated, secure area. The helium cylinder should not be stored in areas that are unprotected from the weather.

How do you make helium float again? ›

A bit like recharging a battery, you can try to recharge the helium by taking the balloon somewhere warmer. Hopefully, the heat will loosen up the helium molecules and encourage them to split apart from the clump they've formed, and start to bounce around inside the balloon again.

Why do some foil balloons not float with helium? ›

A common reason for a balloon not to float is when it is under inflated. Do not fill a balloon smaller than 9 inches with helium as they only float for a few hours. When the weight of the balloon exceeds the lift of the helium gas, the balloon will also not float.

How long should a helium balloon stay inflated? ›

Standard size latex balloons stay afloat for approx 8 - 12 hours when filled with helium, whereas helium filled foil balloons float for 2-5 days. The reason foil balloons float longer than latex balloons is because helium will slowly seep out of the pores in natural latex.

What is the correct formula for helium? ›

What is Helium? Helium is a non-toxic and non-combustible element. This element is represented by He, which is also the chemical formula for Helium gas. Its atomic number is 2.

How much helium do I need to fill 100 balloons? ›

If you're trying to inflate 100, 9-inch standard latex balloons, you will need approximately between 25 to 27 cubic feet of helium.

How many balloons will a 14.9 cu ft helium tank fill? ›

14.9 cu. ft. Fills up to 50 latex balloons (9"), 27 latex balloons (11") or 27 foil/Mylar balloons (18") Disposable and recyclable.

How many balloons will a 20 cu ft helium tank fill? ›

Our 20 cu ft Helium Tank will fill about 40 standard size balloons inflated to 11". Our 30 cu ft Helium Tank Rental will fill about 60 standard sized 11" balloons.

How many balloons will 60 cubic feet of helium fill? ›

They fill about 30 9″ latex balloons. So that's around 3.3 balloons per cubic foot of helium. This 60 cu ft helium balloon kit will fill approximately 200 9″ balloons.

How many balloons can you fill with one tank? ›

Non-returnable. Latex Balloons: Tank will fill approximately (30) - 9 inch latex balloons or (16)- 11 inch latex balloons. The float time for each latex balloon is approximately 5-7 hours. Mylar Balloons: Tank will fill approximately sixteen 18 inch mylar balloons or (10) - 20 inch mylar balloons.

What will replace helium? ›

Argon can be used instead of Helium and is preferred for certain types of metal.

What can I use instead of helium for balloons? ›

Take a big bottle and fill it with the mixture of Sodium hydroxide and pieces of aluminum foil. Add water inside the bottle. Next step is to attach a balloon to the mouth of the bottle containing the mixture. The mixture inside the container will automatically generate hydrogen gas that will rise and fill the balloons.

Can you return helium tanks to target? ›

Return details

This item must be returned to any Target store. This item must be returned within 90 days of the date it was purchased in store, shipped, delivered by a Shipt shopper, or made ready for pickup. See the return policy for complete information.

What happens if a helium tank gets hot? ›

Since a helium tank is pressurized, it may explode if heated, so keep it away from heat and out of direct sunlight in a well-ventilated area.

Can you keep a helium tank in your house? ›

Helium, gas used in balloons, is a safe, non-combustible, non-toxic gas that is lighter than air. Helium can be used safely indoors and outdoors.

What temperature should I keep my helium tank at? ›

Store helium tanks upright at temperatures below 125 degrees F (52 degrees C). The storage area should be secure, ventilated, and able to protect the tanks from sunlight and the weather.

Can you deflate a helium balloon and use it again? ›

As long as no manual sealing of foil balloon is required, the balloon can be re-used. As a rule of thumb, as long as the balloon is 16inch and above it is usually self-sealing and can be re-used.

Does Hairspray make helium balloons last longer? ›

HAIR SPRAY Hair spray on the outside of the balloon will make it last a long time but don't touch it or it shrivels. Hairspray actually helps keep the air in longer by sealing the balloon.

What is the longest lasting helium balloon? ›

Bubble balloons and foil balloons (also know as Mylar balloons) can last days, weeks or even months! They have a much longer lifespan than latex balloons because latex balloons are porous and helium slowly escapes out of them.

Can you reuse foil helium balloons? ›

Of course, the most obvious way to reuse your foil balloons is to fill them back up with helium and let them take centre-stage at your party once more. In fact, thanks to their clever valve system that remains intact after use, there are no limits on how many times you can inflate them.

How to get confetti to stick to inside of balloon without helium? ›

Static is required to help the confetti stick to the sides of the balloon. To create static, you can try rubbing balloons with cloth, carpet, or hair. You can also try touching as much of the confetti as possible when putting it in the balloon.

Why are my helium balloons deflating so quickly? ›

The small, individual helium molecules can escape through the tiny holes in the latex far more easily than the conjoined oxygen or nitrogen molecules can. Eventually they'll all get out, but the helium has a much easier time escaping. This is why your helium balloons deflate faster than the ones you fill with air.

Can you over inflate a helium balloon? ›

If you are filling your own balloons with helium, be mindful to not overinflate them. Overinflated balloons won't float as long as they could. Aim for an egg shape with standard latex balloons; a balloon that's shaped like a pear or light bulb is overinflated.

What temperature is too hot for helium balloons? ›

What Temperature is too Hot for Helium Balloons. If the temperature gets as high as 100°F, helium balloons may show signs of degradation. As the temperature rises, the balloon's porous material stretches.

What are the two types of helium? ›

A liquid mixture of the two isotopes helium-3 and helium-4 separates at temperatures below about 0.8 K (−272.4 °C, or −458.2 °F) into two layers.

What rule does helium follow? ›

The octet rule states that atoms tend to form compounds in ways that give them eight valence electrons, and thus the electron configuration of a noble gas. An exception to an octet of electrons is in the case of the first noble gas, helium, which only has two valence electrons.

What is the difference between helium 1 and helium 2? ›

This liquid form is called helium II to distinguish it from normal liquid helium I. Helium II exhibits the property called superfluidity: its viscosity, or resistance to flow, is so low that it has not been measured. This liquid spreads in a thin film over the surface of any substance…

How many balloons can a 40 cu ft helium tank fill? ›

This helium balloon kit includes our midsize 40 cubic foot helium tank plus Western Enterprises' high-quality balloon filler valve/regulator at a discount price. Not only will this kit fill over a hundred balloons, it lets you stop the endless “buy another helium tank” cycle.

How much does it cost to fill 1 balloon with helium? ›

You can expect the following price ranges to fill balloons with helium: Foil balloons: Free! Latex balloons: $0.99 to $1.29.

How many helium balloons does it take to pick up 1 lb? ›

How many helium balloons does it take to lift a pound? One pound is equivalent to 453.592 grams. Since each helium balloon can lift up to 14 grams, you'll need 32.39 or 33 balloons to lift a one pound object.

Can you use Michaels coupon on helium tank? ›

Coupon Exclusion: No additional coupons or discounts may be applied.

How many balloons can you fit in a 15 cu ft helium tank? ›

Tank weighs 12 pounds, holds 15 cubic feet of helium and includes 50 assorted size and color latex balloons and 1 roll of ribbon. Disposable tank contains enough helium to fill 50 nine inch balloons or 27 eleven inch balloons.

How can you tell how much helium is left in a tank? ›

You'll see a regulator on the tank that tells you how much gas is left in the tank. It also has an attachment on it for filling balloons.

How many balloons would it take to fill a 10x10 room? ›

Calculating The Number of Ceiling Balloons Required

For single helium balloons there is an easy formula to calculate how many balloons you should order. Simply multiply the length of the room by the width of the room and multiply by 10, 7 or 5.

Why can a small helium tank fill so many balloons? ›

Explanation:The tank can hold enough helium because the gas in the tank is under tremendous pressure. Gas will contract under high pressure, and expand under low pressure. When the helium goes into the balloons, it occupies much more space because there is less pressure in the balloons than in the tank.]

How much helium Do I need to fill a 36 inch balloon? ›

Big 36" Latex Balloons - How much helium do they need? To fill a 36" Balloon fully you need 15 cubic feet of helium equivalent to one F50 canister. That is a lot of helium!

How many balloons can a 8.9 cu ft helium tank hold? ›

It's a small, light tank of helium with regular sized balloons w/ ribbon. It really did only fill up about 40 balloons so don't expect to get much more out of it. However, 30-40 balloons is plenty for my purposes so it was a good amount of helium in my opinion.

How much helium does it take to fill a 72 inch balloon? ›

You will need at least 113 cubic feet of helium!

How long until all helium runs out? ›

Once the gas leaks into the atmosphere, it is light enough to escape the Earth's gravitational field so it bleeds off into space, never to return. We may run out of helium within 25–30 years because it's being consumed so freely.

How much helium do we have left? ›

The remaining conservation helium is about 85.7 million cubic meters (3.09 billion cubic feet).

How long does it take for helium to go down? ›

Below is a table with details of the helium capacity for different balloons and their expected float times. Standard size latex balloons stay afloat for approx 8 - 12 hours when filled with helium, whereas helium filled foil balloons float for 2-5 days.

How long will helium stay inflated? ›

Though many factors can influence the duration time of a balloon, normally an inflated latex balloon with helium should last 18 to 24 hours. Foil helium balloon can retain for much longer, often remaining inflated for 2 to 5 days. It all depends where you place them and the room temperature they are placed in.


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