Last Updated on October 20, 2022
Keeping your Paintball tank refilled before each game is very crucial. You don’t wanna be that guy who runs out of air in the heat of the game. Everyone knows how frustrating it is. That’s why knowing how to fill paintball tank with air compressor is definitely going to help you someday.
In this blog post, we will cover all the basic steps you have to do in order to fill your paintball tank. Moreover, we have also listed down some proven tips to make sure you do it the right way.
How do I know when a paintball tank needs to be refilled?
Paintball tanks come with gauges installed that display the amount of air left in your tank. However, there are times when even these gauges can malfunction, in that case, it is strictly recommended to get a new paintball tank. The broken gauge can cause you to overfill or underfill your tank hence resulting in more problems.
Determine the Type of Paintball Tank You Have
Before starting to fill your paintball tank, you first have to determine the type of Paintball tank you have. Paintball tanks come in different types and sizes but the most common of them are HPA and CO2.
Which One is Better: HPA or CO2 Tanks
CO2 tanks are cheaper and best for beginners who only play a couple of times a month. CO2 is stored in a liquid form inside the tank which means each time you press the trigger, a little amount of CO2 liquid converts into gas. Obviously, this process takes time and sometimes causes the pressure to fluctuate rapidly in extreme temperatures.
Meanwhile, HPA (High-Pressure Air) tanks are filled with highly compressed air. They are usually preferred by more competitive and pro players as they have less pressure fluctuation. HPA tanks are usually more expensive than CO2 tanks but if you think about the on-field performance as compared to the CO2 tanks, it is totally worth the extra money.
Another advantage of the HPA tanks over the CO2 tank is that they are cheaper to refill and can be filled up at pretty much any paintball field. Whereas, most paintball fields have stopped filling up CO2 tanks due to less demand.
Where to Get Your Paintball Tank Filled?
If you want to be extra cautious, it is highly recommended that you get your paintball tank filled at a local paintball field. Most of the fields have their own dedicated air compressor and offer a very reasonable price for filling up a compressed air tank.
However, if your local paintball field is closed and you have some extra buck lying around then you can buy your own paintball tank dedicated air compressor. These compressors are usually very easy to use and come with an adapter for easy connection.
Can You Use a Regular Tire Compressor to Fill Air Tank?
Well, the answer is simple – You should NOT. This may seem like an unnecessary clarification but you’d be amazed at how many people get this question wrong. Your paintball tank needs around 3000 to 5000 PSI of air (depending on the size and capacity of your paintball tank) in order to fill up properly. Whereas, an average tire compressor operates on a pressure far low than what it needs to fill a Paintball tank.
How to Fill Paintball Tank – Step by Step Process
Here is a step-by-step guide on How to Fill Paintball Tank. Make sure you follow each step in order to fill your paintball tank correctly.
Step 01: Determine the maximum PSI of your Air Tank
This is one of the most crucial steps when filling your paintball tank. Always determine the maximum PSI Limit of your paintball tank and make sure that you don’t fill up more than the recommended PSI.
To check the maximum PSI limit of your Paintball tank, simply look for a label located somewhere on the tank. This label contains all the necessary information regarding your paintball tank including the maximum PSI Limit and is pretty much common for all tanks manufactured today.
Step 02: Attach the quick-disconnect tube to the fill valve
After determining the PSI of your paintball tank, the next step is to get your air compressor ready. Remove the fill valve cover from your tank’s fill valve and attach the quick-disconnect tube to the fill valve of your paintball tank.
Most quick-disconnect tubes have a locking mechanism, which means you have to pull back the collar of the tube’s connector and release it once it aligns with the fill valve. Once the connector is locked, screw it tightly to make sure that the air doesn’t get leaked or discharged accidentally.
Step 03: Start filling your Paintball Tank Slowly
Once everything is nice and tight, start filling your paintball tank slowly. A lot of beginners make the mistake of filling their tank too quickly. You don’t want to overfill or underfill your tank.
Pressing the lever all the way will cause the air to blast off into the paintball tank, resulting in the gauge rising rapidly despite having much less gas than what the gauge reading shows. This is what we call “Hot Fill”, this can seriously damage your tank and can lead to an overestimation of its content.
Step 04: Watch both Gauges
Keep an eye out on the pressure gauge to make sure that you fill up your tank below the maximum limit. It is important to watch both gauges (the one on your tank and the one on the compressor) so that if one of them malfunctions, you are aware of that.
You can always stop filling once you reach certain pressure. The pressure limit of the tank depends on the size and capacity of the tank, so it is recommended that you refer to your Air Tank’s Manual first to learn the optimum fill pressure.
Step 05: Release the Pressure
Once you are done with filling up the air, it is important to release the pressure inside the Air compressor before removing it from your paintball tank. How to do that? Well, the procedure is pretty simple. Just press the release value attached to the air compressor.
Upon release, you will hear a loud air-release noise, it was the air that was in the compressor’s line waiting to be pumped into your marker. After the air release, you are safe to proceed to the next step.
Step 06: Detach the Hose
Lastly, detach the hose/tube connected to your paintball tank by unscrewing the connector and pulling the collar off. Now that you have removed the hose, you are good to go.
Tips & Advice to Ensure a Safe Fill
Here are some proven tips and advice from pro-paintballers to ensure a safe and proper fill-up of your paintball tank.
1. Make sure that the Area is Well Ventilated
You don’t want to fill your tank in a closed room, especially when dealing with CO2. In case of an accidental discharge, it can cause serious problems. That’s why you should make sure the area is well-ventilated.
2. Always Check for the Recent Hydro Testing Date
Make sure that your air tank is within its effective period of usage. A hydro test would typically last for 4 to 5 years (depending on the type of tank). So, prior to refilling your paintball tank, make sure that it has gone through a recent hydro-testing.
3. Avoid Hot Fill by Filling Slowly
Whenever you are filling an air tank, watching both gauges should be part of your practice. Do not under-fill your paintball tank by filling it too quickly, as this can cause you to overestimate its content. It’s best to fill it slowly for optimum tank performance.
4. Make sure that Everything fits nicely before Filling
Make sure that the quick-disconnect hose is properly locked and fits nicely before you begin to fill your tank with air. Otherwise, you may end up having leaked air or in the worst case, an accidental discharge. After the filling is done, don’t forget to release all the pressure before detaching your air compressor from the paintball tank.
5. Don’t Fill a tank with more than its capacity
While underfilling a paintball tank can result in poor performance. an overfilled tank is more likely to leak or burst. In order to avoid such accidents, always fill up your paintball tank slightly below the recommended PSI.
Final Words – Wrapping it up
Well, we all know how critical it is to perform a proper and safe fill-up on your air tank. As seen from the steps above, filling up a paintball tank can be pretty easy if done properly and with caution. Always remember to check for the type and pressure limit of your tank (according to its manual) prior to performing any refill.
Lastly, if you still get confused always ask for help from your fellow paintballers or the field manager. They will be happy to help you.