Can You Fill A Paintball Tank With An Air Compressor: A Guide

Can You Fill A Paintball Tank With An Air Compressor

Now, picture this scenario: you’re in the middle of a fierce paintball fight and have the upper hand. Suddenly, the unexpected happens; your paintball gun’s air compressor tank becomes empty. 

How can you fix this? The only way out is for you to fill up the paintball gun tank to continue. Most people may consider using the air compressor in this scenario, but the question is this: can you actually use an air compressor?  

Can You Fill A Paintball Tank With An Air Compressor?

Yes, you can fill a paintball tank with an air compressor, but you have to consider certain things. Understand that the paintball gun tank’s pressure rating and that of the compressor matter a great deal. 

You’ll discover that most paintball guns use compressed air tanks with a higher rating. The pressure rating could range from 3000 psi to around 5000 psi. 

Now, here’s one thing you need to understand. You cannot use a standard air compressor or tire pump to fill a paintball gun that has a pressure rating ranging from 3000 psi to 5000 psi.  

Instead, choose a high-pressure paintball gun air compressor. The compressor should have a maximum rating of around 5000 psi or higher. 

You’ll be able to fill up your paintball tank to maximum capacity when using an air compressor with a higher pressure rating. In addition, you’ll be able to complete the process faster.  

How Paintball Guns Use Compressed Air

Paintball guns are made to offer players fun. And understanding how they work will help you appreciate them better. 

Now, how does the paintball marker use the compressed air?

On the paintball, there’s a tank filled with compressed air. The air depletes as you fire shots from the paintball gun until you eventually exhaust it. 

But how does this compressed air help the paintball gun fire paintballs? The compressed air cycles the paintball into the barrel, causing pressure to build behind it. 

The pressure is released when you pull the trigger, propelling the paintball through the barrel. 

Now, here’s where it gets more interesting. Once you shoot a paintball, the pressure lines up another paintball, waiting for you to pull the trigger. 

Before going deeper into this discussion, you need to understand the difference between CO2 and paintball gun tanks. Both use different constituents. 

The CO2 tank utilizes liquid that turns into gas, while the paintball gun tank uses compressed air, as earlier explained. 

The pressured air paintball guns use offer them some advantage. It’s the reason for their consistency and it eliminates loading issues.

A Handy Tip: Two types of paintball marker’s compressed air tanks exist. One is an aluminum tank with a pressure rating of 3500 psi, while the other is a carbon fiber model. The carbon fiber tank is lighter and boasts a pressure of 4500 psi. 

Again, remember that you cannot fill a paintball gun compressed air tank with a standard compressor or tire pump. You require a higher pressure rating compressor to fill the paintball gun’s compressed air tank to maximum capacity. 

If you have a paintball gun tank with a capacity of 3000 psi, a compressor of 4500 psi will be acceptable. It will fill the tank to full capacity and with ease. 

In other words, if your tank’s capacity is 4500 psi, don’t try refilling it with a 3000 psi air compressor. Alright, let’s go deeper.

How To Fill Your Paintball Gun Tank With Air Compressor: Simple DIY Project

Refilling or filling a paintball gun tank with an air compressor is possible and easy. Ensure you use the ideal air compressor with the ideal pressure rating. 

As we have explained, tire pumps are not ideal for filling paintball tanks. These tire pumps boast maximum pressure of 180 psi. And as you can see, the pressure is way lower. 

You cannot use a 180 psi tire pump to refill a paintball whose tank’s pressure rating is 3000 psi. 

Another question is, can one refill a paintball tank with an air compressor without professional help? Yes, you can! 

However, you may require professional help when filling a CO2 tank. 

On the other hand, you can fill a paintball tank that uses compressed air with an air compressor. Follow the steps below to get it done. 

Step 1: Put your equipment together:

The first thing you need to do is gather all the equipment you need for the process. Having all your tools on-hand will make the process easier and you’ll avoid mistakes. 

So, what piece of equipment do you need to fill a paintball gun tank? Check out the list below.

  • Air compressor
  • Hose
  • Tank (HPA tank must be in good shape)
  • Safety gear (gloves, goggles, masks)
  • Scale (This item is optional)

A Handy Tip: Safety materials are necessary. Don’t take any risks. Good quality safety gear is also paramount to ensure maximum protection. Please, take it seriously. Remember that you’re working with pressured air. 

Step 2: Inspect the tank:

After gathering the materials and equipment required, an HPA tank inspection should be the next thing on your agenda. 

HPA tank inspection is an essential process under the law. The law stipulates that it must be done every 5 years to prevent a safety hazard. 

So, if your tank is overdue, avoid refilling it with pressured air. Instead, get the inspection done. 

Additionally, filling the tank with compressed air will be a wasted effort if the tank has leakages or holes. Ensure the problem is fixed, or the tank is replaced before you proceed. 

Step 3: Move to a well-ventilated area:

Proper ventilation is essential when filling a paintball tank with compressed air. Furthermore, it would be best to do the refilling outside or in a spacious environment to avoid any health risks. 

Step 4: Get the residual air off the tank:

If you want to refill your paintball tank to maximum capacity and do it successfully, ensure there’s no air left in the tank before you begin. 

Refilling the paintball tank when there’s air left in the tank is improper. You may end up overfilling the tank, which would be a disaster. 

So, how do you release the air remaining in the tank? You can do so via the air bleed valve. Have it opened and let the air escape. 

Again, don’t open the air bleed valve inside a tight space or a room. You’ll pollute the air and expose yourself to health risks. 

If there is no air left, close the air bleed valve and proceed to the next stage.

A Handy Tip: You can use a weighing scale (optional) to determine if the tank is empty. So place the paintball tank on the scale to see if the weight differs from when the tank is empty. 

If the tank you want to refill weighs more than when empty, there is air inside. And you need to release the air before filling.  

Step 5: Connect the air compressor and tank:

Connect the air compressor to the tank you want to refill after inspecting the tank’s condition. 

There’s a nozzle on the tank and air compressor. Join them together to start refilling the tank. But before proceeding, ensure the nozzle on the tank and air compressor is compatible. 

You should pay attention to the nozzles’ compatibility to prevent leakage. You don’t want to experience leakage when refilling a paintball tank with compressed air. 

Step 6: Start refilling the HPA tank:

Start filling your HPA tank with compressed air if you’re sure there is no leakage in the nozzles. 

If the compressor is electricity-powered, plug it into a wall socket and turn the switch on to pump air into the HPA tank. 

However, if the compressor is rechargeable, ensure you recharge it properly before using it. Another thing I would like to state is the compressor’s pressure rating. Ensure the compressor’s pressure rating is high enough to fill the tank. Otherwise, you’ll just be wasting your time.

A Handy Tip: Ensure you don’t overfill your tank. But how can you do this? It is simply by understanding how long it will take to refill your tank. 

Here’s how to calculate the time it will take to fill your paintball tank. 

Firstly, understand that paintball tanks come in varied sizes. So let’s assume your tank is 4 ounces. Multiply 4 ounces by 2, and you’ll get 8 seconds. 

The calculation above reveals that you must wait 8 seconds to refill a 4 ounces tank. 

Another thing you need to consider when refilling a paintball tank is how quickly you open the valve. If you do so too quickly, hot fill may enter the tank. And when it does, it will cause the pressure to drop fast. 

Step 7: Disconnect the compressor from the tank:

Disconnect the compressor and store it in a cool and safe place for future use. Disconnecting the compressor involves locating a release valve and turning it. However, on some compressors, you may find a whip. 

The bottom line is to thoroughly disconnect the compressor from the tank. 


So, can you fill a paintball tank with an air compressor? The answer is yes. However, the kind of compressor you plan on using matters, as tire pumps won’t work, given their low pressure rating. 

But overall, filling paintball tanks with compressed air isn’t that difficult. Any DIYer can get it done, but you mustn’t neglect the safety guidelines. Follow all the safety procedures attentively. In addition, ensure the tank is in good shape and empty too. 

John Henrick

My name is John Hendricks, and I am a passionate paintballer who loves to play and compete. I have been involved in the sport for many years and have a wealth of experience to share.
I believe that paintball is a great sport for people of all ages and skill levels and should be accessible to everyone. That’s why I created this website – to provide a one-stop shop for all things paintball.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.