Paintball Tank Refill – Comprehensive Guide Plus Safety Procedures

Paintball tank refill - featured image

Paintball guns operate with air, compressed gas or carbon dioxide contained in a tank. These tanks are filled with up to 3,000 to 4500 pounds per square inch of the gas/CO2 – and that’s A LOT of pressure!

Refilling these tanks is a regular chore for paintballers, and you’ll need special heavy-duty compressors and equipment for a refill.


The good news is that you can also easily do it at home, no need to rush and spend hours searching for the best paintball CO2 refilling spots in your area. However, before you hop into the refilling paintball tank venture on your knowledge about the process, tips, and dangers involved in filling paintball tanks at home.


Doing so demands a considerable investment.

Today we will share some pointers that will help you better understand: “how to fill paintball tanks at home?”

What Stores Refill CO2 Tanks?

First of all, you need to know that the newly ordered best paintball tank of yours will come empty.

By law, you cannot transport or ship filled gas tanks of paintball guns. But one-time use and 12-gram CO2 cartridges are the exceptions to this law. Hence you can either Google “paintball tank refill store near me” for the first refill or do it yourself.

If you are considering compressed air, look into local tank filling options before making a purchase – opt for a tank that is easier to get filled in your area.

Any nearby paintball equipment supplier or paintball arena should be a good bet in the former case. These shops have safe equipment to fill compressed air tanks whereas some will fill them even for free!

You’ll need to rush to a store every time you need to prepare your gadgets for the game. They might be close, or there can be a long line to wait for your turn. All such delays can be frustrating and might lower your enthusiasm and energy far before you step into the game.

What to do in such a case?

If you are an occasional player, such delays should not bother you. If otherwise, you need to learn some skills and technical details on dealing with the gadgets, including filling the HPA tank with an air compressor at home.

DIY Only If You Are A Pro!

If paintball is your hobby, from tank refill to cleaning the equipment, Doing It Yourself (or DIY) is undoubtedly a great idea.

It will save you a lot of time and money but, when dealing with something like air compressors, insufficient knowledge, and handling skills can put you at risk.

So if you are a beginner, I will suggest you look for the CO2 tank refill locations near you and seek their services, but pros can get the equipment delivered to their homes and start filling up yourself.

One of the best gadgets you can buy for a paintball tank refill at home is the Scuba Tank. If you own one, you are halfway to refilling your paintball tank at home. The good news is that the 3,000 PSI scuba tank can fill a compressed air tank for a paintball gun about 15 to 20 times.

paintball tanks lined up for refill

This is a considerable investment, but you will also have to pay the shops for a refill.

But if you are keen to own paintball and associated equipment, invest wisely in branded products.

And the next thing you should do is to know how to operate these gadgets – properly.

How To Fill HPA Tank With Air Compressor?

Now with all the equipment at your home, you will be your boss. But before you start, know the basics of tank refilling and care. For instance, the tank should be inspected every five years. You can check the “hydro date” on the tank. It indicates the last time your tank was inspected. Never use, or refill the tank when it reaches the time limit.

Secondly, never, I repeat, never put oil or grease on the filling nipple!

While filling the tank, heat builds up and can react with oil creating a fire hazard or a blast. And as we speak of the heat leading to fire and explosions, you should also avoid keeping tanks under direct sunlight. It also means that you must have proper space to save your paintball equipment.

The tanks are filled with gases; heat will raise the temperature and buildup pressure, resulting in a blowup of the burst disc in the CO2 tank. But in HPA tanks the pressure will damage the regulator seals. A bit of care will save you from a lot of hassle, investment, and dangers.

Now, why not add another layer of protection as the tank rests at your home?

All you need is a fabric bag or a piece of cloth to cover it.

And when it comes to filling up the tanks, follow the notion of “less is more.”

Avoid excessive, filling, instead, try to follow the “slow fill” ritual. Remember if you fill the tank too fast, you will lose the PSI as the air cools. It also means that your 3000 psi tank may end up with 2500 psi in the end.

A professional tank filling store will do the same, but it is important to remember while filling the tank at home.

The Dangers Of Leaving The Air In The Tank!

Now that we understand how to fill a paintball tank with an air compressor, let’s discuss some safety concerns.

Most are clueless of the hazards of leaving the air in the paintball tank or gun can lead to a catastrophe. Imagine you come back from the game and take your gear, marker, and compressed air or CO2 tank and put them all down in the store telling yourself that you will clean them in ten minutes.

You’ll take a shower, check a couple of emails, grab a snack, nap a little – feels good after a busy day, and SNAP! The day’s gone, and the gadgets are still lying there. And a few days later you will see the gear lying upside down; not oiled, and with dry paint spackled all over it.

This will be a hard-to-clean mess.

paintballer ready with tank filled

You can experience it once and decide that you won’t make such a mistake again. But trust me; it will happen again – and again (there’s even an Arabic proverb about this that I read in ‘The Alchemist’).

Here, you need to be extremely organized and adopt good habits to keep the gear clean all the time – no matter what!

Moreover, you should always do your best to keep your paintball gun clean after each use. Likewise, it is important to take the tank off your gun and store both items separately. If you leave the CO2 tank on your gun, it will cause some serious problems down the road.

A filled-up tank is like a ticking time bomb and will also damage the gun overall like causing the gun to spring a leak.

What Will Happen To A Overfilled Air Tank?

Here comes another bummer.

Most players believe that they must keep the tank supper filled after the game, just to stay prepared for the next run.

Although nothing serious can happen to the paintball air tank with or without air, it is better not to leave it overfilled (just avoid risks where you can). But then again you should leave a little air in the tank for the benefit of the air tank and the regulator.

A 1000 PSI will do the trick.

So don’t fill it in full capacity but don’t leave it empty as well.

The paintball gun is not meant to have air going into it all the time. Therefore you should either empty the air tank or disconnect it from the gun when not in use. Once again, it should be a part of your normal paintball equipment care routine.

Connecting & Disconnecting The Air Tank

You need to learn how to connect and disconnect the air tank from the paintball gun. It is important as you will wish to get it done without causing any damage to your equipment.

As you get the paintball tank delivered to your doorstep, you will see a threaded ring on the end of the tank. It is known as O-ring. It will line up with a dedicated slot on your gun and can then be twisted into a dedicated place. You will keep turning the tank unless it is completely connected to the paintball gun.

Ensure there is no leak or weak seal; otherwise, you will face serious problems as you operate (more so if it happens amid a serious firefight).

When it comes to disconnecting the air tanks, it is better to go slow.

Start by turning and unscrewing the tank from the gun but only give a half-turn each time. As you continue to turn the tank, fire the fun to relieve some of the pressure. After firing a few shots, while turning the air tank slowly, you will be able to disconnect the air tank without any issues. Doing so will take off all the pressure from the valve and help the O-ring, tank, and gun stay in good shape.

That’s it!

Before wrapping things up, here’s a DIY tank refill video for pros only:

In A Nutshell!

It would be best if you were careful while operating gadgets involved in paintball games. All you need to do is to adopt a healthy playing and cleaning routine. You can add life to the products by storing them nicely.

From proper cover to sorting the air tanks in a cool and dry place (indeed away from sunlight) are of great importance. And one of the worst things you can do is put any flammable substance near the filling area.

Likewise, you should follow care instructions while cleaning the equipment as the amount of force behind the air can cause serious injuries and damage.

Last Updated on October 17, 2021

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