How To Refill A Paintball Tank: Paintball Tanks 101

How To Refill A Paintball Tank

Read this article if you want to know how to refill a paintball tank. You can visit the best paintball fill station to get the services, but it’s always handy to know everything about your marker. Having a full tank is a crucial part of optimal performance.

The gun performance will reduce as your tank’s compressed air or CO2 capacity lowers. You, therefore, must know how to fill or replace paintball tanks if you are to have any success in paintball. Let us get into the details and see how you’d go about it;

How To Refill A Paintball Tank

Filling paintball tanks is not difficult, and you can do it with relatively little practice. This is information that will be helpful for quick refills between games to keep you in the competition. Many advanced players have this skill, which is important if you are to elevate.

Always keep a nipple cover on your tank fill valve. When you play, a lot of dirt, water, and mud can get into the fill nipple and cause blockages. Covering the fill nipple will ensure the longevity of your tank and regulator. 

  • The fill station has a quick-release valve that goes into the fill nipple of your tank. The fill station connector has a collar; pull it back, insert the fill nipple into the connector, and then release the collar to cover the connection. 

Ensure the collar spins; the connection is locked and won’t shoot off when you start pumping.

  • Once the connection is secure, it is time to pump the air. You have to watch both gauges, the one on your tank and the one on the fill station.

One gauge might be broken or inaccurate, so watching them both while you fill is an extra safety precaution. 

You should avoid jamming the air release lever forward. Avoid super fills or fast fills when you jam a lot of air into the tank. This will bring water and debris into your tank if the filters are dirty, which can cause blockages in your paintball marker.

  • Slowly bend the air release lever, and you will hear the gas rush into your tank. Watch both gauges go up slowly, keeping your tank’s capacity in mind. A 4000 psi tank will hold more air and will take more time to fill up. 

Check your tank’s specifications and ensure the regulator is operational to release excess air pressure. It is safe to fill the tank close to the max capacity but not all the way to account for heat increase on the field.

  • Once you reach the tank’s full capacity, release the lever, and the fill station will release all the air in the whip. Remove the collar and disconnect the fill station whip from your air tank; you will be ready for more paintball games. 

Some fill stations have a button instead of a lever, but they work the same way. Press the button and let the air come in; once the gauge reading reaches your tank’s capacity, release the button. 

Know the air level and type of air your tank is designed for to prevent accidents. The process is the same if you have connected the gun to your tank. The fill nipple is separate from the gun air hose; thus, you can pump it without disconnecting the gun.

Important Things To Consider Before Refilling A Paintball Tank

Refilling a paintball tank is easy; an employee at the best paintball fields in the US or a filling station usually does it for you. 

If you are to do it at home, here are some important aspects you should keep in mind to avoid a disaster; 

1. PSI Differences 

Tanks have different filling capacities and psi capabilities; you must keep this in mind when filling the tank. 

Each tank has a gauge that indicates the maximum and current level of air. Use the tank gauge to make sure you aren’t overfilling the tank.

Use a room with proper ventilation, especially with CO2 and nitrogen, since a leak could be harmful in a crowded room. Open the windows and have enough space to work the filling station whip without harming others.

2. Manufacturer specifications

Each tank has specifications from the manufacturer about filling it. Some specifications are standard, while others are specific to give brands or product series. Know your tank and its specifications to be safe each time you refill it.

Most manufacturers will also include storage and use instructions which you should adhere to for a safe experience. Compressed air tanks can be hazardous, especially if you are using nitrogen.

3. The type of paintball tank

A 3000 psi HPA tank is different from a 3000 psi CO2 tank. Tanks are designed to work with the properties of the specific gas they store, and they can’t work with other gases. For instance, compressed air is denser than CO2; therefore, it would be too much for a CO2 tank.

Know what gas your tank uses and use the correct pump to fill it; otherwise, it will cause an accident. 

Safety Tips When Filling Paintball Tanks

Just like safety tips are important for paintball, you must learn all safety procedures when refilling your tank. 

This seemingly harmless process could turn disastrous if you don’t do it safely, so let us get some tips to keep you and your friends safe;

Get the tank inspected

You must take your tank for inspection every three or five years to ensure the regulator, gauge, and other safety systems are working. Each tank has a hydro rate indicator showing the tank’s last inspection date.

If the tank is past 5 years without an inspection, don’t use it since there is a high chance that it is defective. Don’t refill it since the gauge might be off, and an overfilled tank will cause an explosion. 

Don’t put flammable substances on the filling nipple

Air rushes into the tank at high speed, and the friction it causes leads to a temperature increase around the filling nipple. 

Don’t put grease or oil on the filling nipple since the temperature increase could spark an explosion.

Keep the tanks out of direct sunlight.

You need a proper, cool place to store your paintball tanks to keep them functional. The tanks have gases that expand when the temperature increases. The expansion causes a buildup of pressure in the tanks, which causes the burst disc to blow up in CO2 tanks.

In HPA tanks, the pressure will damage the regulator seals, and you will spend a lot of money replacing them or getting a new tank. Maintenance and proper storage will save you a lot of danger, hassle, and money.

Add another layer of protection. 

Just like you need to know what to wear to paintball in the summer or different terrain, protection is important for your tank. 

You need an additional layer of protection to protect your tank from the elements when in use or storage. 

You only need a cloth or fabric bag to cover it during storage. This will keep water, dust, and debris out of the tank for longer use. You can buy tank covers to use on the field, which will protect your tank from scratches and debris.

Use a nipple cover to keep the filling nipple clean, ensuring your tank lasts long. 

Avoid quick and excessive fills.

Don’t rush to fill your paintball tank, as that might damage your tank’s regulator and gun. Instead, use the slow fill ritual, which takes about 20 seconds more than the quick fill option. Slow fills are safer and won’t push dirt into your tank.

When pumping air into a tank, it’s not safe to test its limit. If you have a 3000 psi tank, fill it to 2500 or 2600 psi to leave room for expansion. 

Overfilling the tank is a recipe for disaster, and the regulator will get damaged, then you’d be unable to use the tank.

Don’t leave the tank full.

Don’t leave the tank at full capacity when storing it, nothing serious will happen, but you should take extra safety precautions when possible. Leaving the tank full will reduce its lifetime but leaving it empty is bad for the regulator.

Leave about 1000 psi and fill it when you want to play. Disconnect the tank from the gun whenever you want to store it. 

Even the best paintball guns aren’t designed to handle permanent pressure; therefore, the pressure will damage them.


You have a full guide on refilling a paintball tank, and you can avoid accidents. Safety is important when dealing with tanks, as they can explode. Keep the filling nipple clean and clear of all debris so it doesn’t get blockages.

Even the best paintball tanks will stop working if you fill and use them incorrectly. Store them in a cool, dry place and disconnect the tanks from your paintball gun before storage. The additional pressure on your gun will damage the hose system and limit performance.

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.

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