How to Fill Paintball Tank With Air Compressor?

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Paintball is a nice, fun, and interactive sport that basically uses players to shoot paintballs from a paintball marker with the help of paintball air tanks. The compressed air inside the paintball tanks is the thing that drives and pushes the paintballs from the marker to the target.

Now, to fill up those paintball tanks after getting emptied need to be refilled by air compressors. As they don’t last forever. In order to know about that, you need to know how to fill a paintball tank with air compressor at home or anywhere else you would require.

Now, not everyone can have the time or place to stay and require a professional’s help in filling paintball tanks. And, there’s also the stress to seek out help from the professional during tournaments or busier days. In this case, air compressors are the sure thing to go with.

An air compressor needs to apply the right amount of pressure to refill a paintball tank. And this requires certain steps that need to be followed diligently. Without, much further ado, let’s jump in!

How to Fill Paintball Tank With Air Compressor

What Kind of Paintball Tank Do You Use?

In the paintball industry, we have two types of paintball tanks in common. One is the High-Pressure Air Paintball tank or HPA in short, and the other is the Compressed Carbon Dioxide Paintball tank, or called the CO2 paintball tank in short.

These more or less does the same job of pushing the pellets out while on games, but they operate in a different manner. HPA tanks contain highly pressured oxygen inside them. The rated maximum capacity available up to 5000 PSI (pounds per square inch).

Whereas, the CO2 paintball tank has CO2 gas compressed in liquid state (because of compression applied to the gas). Each of these tanks varies from 3.5 oz to 40 oz.

Now, as you can see, there are many different types of paintball tanks. So, before making a purchase decision or refilling your tank, you should know and find out the paintball tank that you have, know what’s in there and check out the manuals on it.

HPA tanks is suitable for refilling as it does not correspond with the temperature. And, it delivers the right pressure which holds air up to 3000 PSI. On the other hand, the CO2 tank is affected by temperature which in turn raises or lowers the pressure in the tank.

What To Use for Air Tank Refill?

Air tanks need their specialized compressor which will use high pressure to fill up the tanks with the right pressure. If you really serious about having one for yourself, you can get them from the nearby paintball gun store. But they may shave a bit more money off of you.

If we look towards the players perspective, you could see that most players refill their tanks either in the paintball gun field or the paintball gun store. You might be charged a small fee for letting you use their equipment to refill your tank.

Almost all of these compressors work in the same way. So, if you have pumped your flat tire before, then refilling your tank shouldn’t pose a problem. On the plus side, there’s also the gauge that comes with the compressor which will indicate the pressure which is convenient.

Can You Use a Regular Tire Compressor?

Hell no! Regular tire compressors use about 150 to 180 PSI which is not enough at all considering the fact that it requires 20 times the regular tire compressor pressure. It requires a minimum 3000PSI to be refilled.

high pressure air

Photo Credit: Ultimate Rental

Your regular tire compressor cannot maintain a steady pressure which most of the air or paintball tanks require these days. You need specialized, heavy-duty, high-pressure compressor like Ninja Compressed Air Tank.

But, in short, you need to know how to fill paintball tank with air compressor whether you want to refill at home or paintball store.

How To Refill Your Paintball Tank?

It is a very challenging process of refilling the tank through air compressor as you need to be careful with the pressure and all. However, we have simplified the process into small steps in which we have got you covered by the following steps:

1. Find out your tank’s maximum PSI

You need to find out your tank’s maximum PSI. As it is crucial that you do not exceed the maximum capacity that it can hold. You can check the user’s manual, specification details or the capacity indicated sticker on your tank.

If it is CO2 tank, then you need to freeze it to normalize the temperature. As the temperature varies in this case when refilling. Doing the refrigeration will smooth out the refilling process with no causalities.

2. Empty Your Tank

You must empty your tank before refilling. Be it HPA or CO2 tank, there should be no residues left in the tank. Open the air valve and let the air inside the tank escape in a well-ventilated environment.

3. Attach the Tank to the Fill Nipple

Check out the attachment that will attach to the tank. An O-ring will be there which prevents air leaks once you attach it to the tank. If there’s no black O-ring, the tank will not be filled properly as air is going to leak through that.

If don’t find the O-ring, discuss it with the paintball store or seller. But, if there is an O-ring on the attachment, pull it out on to the collar or neck of the attachment, so that you make way for the central needle to be seen fully.

Plug the central needle by passing it through the filling nipple. Shake it or wiggle a bit to affirm the position of the attachment. If that is firm then you’re good to go.

4. Fill The Tank Slowly

Once you confirmed the attachment, slowly start to fill up the tank. You can use the compressor lever. Some come with push buttons instead, so you will need to pay close attention.

Do not push down the lever or button rapidly throughout the refill process, you just need to fill it slow. As the refill gets done, the needle should raise and move upwards.

5. Keep Your Eyes Peeled on Both Gauges

Keep your eyes peeled on both the gauges- one attached to the paintball marker or gun and the other attached to the air compressor. Watch out for both gauges as you continue to refill the tank. Both the gauges should move in a similar fashion.

If both the gauges work the same way and move the same, then it confirms that they both are working correctly.

6. Hot Fill Should Be Avoided

Hot fill means the rapid and quick refill of tank. This is one of the major mistakes that people make quite often by pushing the lever or button rapidly during refill. Because of this, the air enters the tank blasting the air compressor gauge off.

This causes the gauge show abnormal readings instead of the accurate one causing you to overestimate the content filled up inside the tank.

7. Release The Pressure

Once you have filled up your tank, the air compressor should have left over air inside the release valve. Most people make this simple mistake which is very important as there’s still the air that needs to pass through the hose.

This damages the fill nipple and the tank. To release the air, push on the release valve attached to the air compressor where the air will burst out and make a loud “whoosh” like the sound whale sound. No need to be concern yourself with the sound of it.

8. Separate The Hose

Separate the hose from the fill nipple after releasing the leftover air. Pull back the collar and remove the O-ring from the collar. Disengage the attachment from your tank like reversing the 1st step.

Pull away the hose from the attachment and you’re done!

How to Fill Paintball Tank With Air Compressor at Home?

Now, in order to fill your paintball tank at home, you just need to know what type of tank you’re working with, what is the capacity of it and do you actually want to buy a compressor for yourself and do you really need that.

Specialized and heavy-duty air compressors are a bit expensive and they are actually widely used at households. And you do get the benefit of refilling the paintball without the stress and waiting to get the professional’s help.

And the process discussed above are very same for the refilling tanks at home too so you don’t need to fret about that. But that being said, you need to maintain, clean and watch out for the gauges and the safeties so that it really helps you at the time of your need.

Specialized high-pressure compressors like “Ninja Compressed Air Tank” and “GX PCP” can be handy as they can perform up to the mark as you require.


In all seriousness, refilling your paintball tank with air compressor is really a simple task that needs to be done with the right process and parts to get the job done. And as you go through countless refills, you’ll find it a lot easier to deal with.

As you play often in the field or at home, you will require continuous refills to keep up with your sport. As a result, your small investment on getting yourself an air compressor will become fruitful in the long run.

Which in turn, saves you quite a lot of bucks from using them in smaller fees in paintball stores.


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