How To Fill A Paintball Tank – Where To Fill Up CO2 & HPA Tanks

If you don’t know how to fill a paintball tank, we have written a step-by-step guide that is extremely easy to follow. High-end Paintball guns need either compressed air, co2 as a fuel source to shoot paint. These tanks require high-pressure filling to release the perfect pressure gas or co2 for each shot.

If you don’t know Where to fill up compressed air tanks, or Where to fill up co2 tanks? We have also covered that.

HPA paintball tanks are high-end and either 3000, or 4500 PSI whereas co2 is cheaper and much less than that. The method of filling for each will be a bit different.

Filling a paintball tank is extremely easy, but if you don’t know, kindly read this guide. Don’t mess with high-pressure machines without knowing much. Along with all that, you will also learn which one is better, co2 or HPA?

Types of Paintball Tanks

There are three main types of paintball tanks, CO2, HPA (high-pressure compressed air), and pure nitrogen. Although pure nitrogen is a bit rare, we will shed a light on it too.

CO2: compressed carbon dioxide (CO2) is in the liquid from inside the tank, it converts into a gas from liquid once the temperature drops when you pull the trigger.

Compressed carbon dioxide was the very first paintball tank used to propel the paint. It has been around since the beginning because it is much cheaper than its counterparts.

HPA: These types of paintball tanks contain highly compressed breathable air/oxygen inside. HPA paintball tanks are more common a bit expensive than CO2 tanks.

The larger ones contain almost 5000+ psi. HPA tanks tend to offer many stable shots compared to co2.

Nitrogen: Compressed nitrogen tanks are not that common. I have never used it. Some of my friends did use nitrogen paintball tanks just for fun, but they immediately switched back to HPA.

Where To Fill Up Co2 Tanks?

Local paintball fields or shops are the most obvious places to look if you want to refill your co2 tank. 99% of fields and paintball shops are also filling stations.

You can set up your own filling station at home if you know how to fill, and if you can afford it. Most pros have their filling stations including me.

I have included a guide about how to fill a paintball tank if you don’t know.

Check local enthusiasts as well. Most people set up their local shops near paintball fields to earn some cash. Check them as well, you find some near a field.

Local welding, homebrew shops, and sporting shops in general also fill co2 tanks.

Where To Fill Up Compressed Air Tanks?

Again, your local paintball shop is the best place to fill your HPA tank because those guys are the professionals. All the paintball fields have their filling station.

Fill at your home. It is extremely easy to fill a compressed air paintball tank, I have highlighted all the necessary steps below. I would suggest investing in a filling station. It is a one-time investment.

Instead of spending 5 – 10 dollars each day, why purchase your home filling station. It is not that expensive.

Scuba shops are the second most convenient places to fill up your compressed air tanks because scuba tanks operate at a similar pressure. It doesn’t cost much as well.

You find filling stations at local garages, puncture shops, and sporting shops in general as well.

Which One is Better, Co2 or HPA?

Ans: HPA is better than co2 because it provides consistent shots without fluctuations.

HPA CO2
It is just compressed breathable air. It will remain gas during shooting. Co2 tanks are filled with liquid co2 and it tries to expand from liquid to gas when you pull the trigger.
It is considerably more consistent. The pressure and velocity fluctuations will remain stable so, you will get consistent and more accurate shots. As it expands from a liquid to gas, it cools down.

Most of the time you would notice frost coming out at end of the barrel, or side of the marker itself. It is liquid co2 pulling up into the paintball gun.

There will be no spike in pressure or velocity because there will be no transition. During the transitioning, there will be a sudden spike in pressure and the velocity change.

Velocity and pressure will always be changing and you will get a stable shooting.

High-end HPA paintball tanks offer consistent shots. Every 4th or 5th shot will be unstable due to the change in velocity.
HPA is beneficial for the solenoid. Fewer issues have surfaced over the years in the markers which use HPA instead of CO2. If you try to use a cold co2 paintball tank in an electronic marker, it is going to damage the gun most of the time because it has a solenoid, it is going to freeze it up.

 

Tank and refilling are about 20 – 30% more expensive, but most of the fields charge $5 – $10 for all-day fill.

You can fill it 100 hundred times if you want. You can save money in the long run.

Cost less for both tank and refilling.
4500 – 5000 Psi higher-end carbon fiber tanks will offer around 1200 – 13000 shots per bottle. Those tanks are a bit expensive compared to lower-end aluminum tanks. Lower-end aluminum 3000 psi tanks offer 500 – 550 shots per tank.

It is not like we are disregarding co2, they are still in the game because these tanks are inexpensive and easier to fill. Most beginner-level players do use co2 tanks instead of HPA just to save some money.

How To Fill a Paintball Tank

If you are the filling station and forced to fill your tank on your own, or you own a compressed air filling station, follow the steps mentioned below for a secure and efficient filling of a paintball tank.

How To Fill an HPA Paintball Tank  

Know the pressure of your paintball tank:

PSI is mentioned on the tank but always confirm it. Better safe than sorry. Most HPA tanks are either 3000 PSI or 4500 PSI.

I would also advise you to refrigerate your tank before refilling to stabilize the temperature inside, but it is not necessary. Most of the time we refill on the field, so there is no way you will refrigerate it on the field.

Always keep the nipple cover on after filling:

You want to keep the dirt, water, and debrief out of the filling valve, so always keep your nipple cover on.

Pull the collar back:

You will find a quick disconnect at any filling station. It is at the end of the attachment. Pull the collar back, insert it into your tank’s fill valve, and press it forward.

Make sure it spins too to make sure you have locked it tight so it won’t shoot on you during the filling. Hooking the tank to the filling station is the hardest part.

Monitor both gauges:

 

Pressure gauges

There will be a gauge on your HPA tank which is the main identification of HPA tanks, and there will be a gauge on the filling station as well.

Make sure to monitor both. You will never know if your gauge is broken, or the filling station’s gauge is faulty. So monitor both.

If your tank is 4500PSI, never go beyond 4500 PSI. Try to be in the range of 4000 – 4300 PSI just to be safe.

Slow filling:

There will be either a lever or a push button on the filling button to release the air into the tank. Now the trick is, filling slowly. The fast filling tends to release water and some debrief inside of your tank if the filters are not clean.

Watch both gauges closely. When you release, you notice a burst of air releasing from the release valve. That is how you know you have released all the air that was in the whip.

  1. Good to go.

Pull your collar off, cover the filling valve with a nipple cover, and you are good to go.

PRO TIP: You don’t need to tank off the paintball gun to refill it.

How To Fill a CO2 Paintball Tank 

Refrigerate the tank

Refrigerating the tank is very important because co2 is liquid when it flows into the tank, and temperature will cause it to convert into gas. You won’t be able to get enough into the tank.

You will need a scale:

I would suggest a digital scale if they have one. Analog ones are just bad, those are never accurate. Scale is important to purge the extra co2 out of the bottle, to measure the incoming co2.

Firmly attach the valve:

Connection of Co2 tank

Make sure to attach the filling station’s valve to the tank’s filling valve. Double-check to make sure if it’s firmly attached or not. You don’t the co2 to shoot on you.

Slowly fill the co2:

Co2 Filling

Open up both tanks, now slowly push the lever or push button down. Don’t make it too fast. Check the numbers on the scale. Purge any extra co2.

If it is a 20-ounce tank, fill it until it reaches 14 ounces, then purge a couple of ounces back to the filling station. It will continue to chill the tank. Now fill it again until it reaches 19 or 20 ounces max:

Purge the extra co2:

Once it is done, take it off the scale, close the pin valve, and purge all the extra co2 in the whip.

A little Advice

Filling a paintball tank is extremely easy, but if you don’t know how to fill a paintball tank, kindly don’t push yourself because all the intense pressure can make the tank shoot on you. Ask the professional and observe how he is filling the tank.

If you are a newbie, you can play with co2 because it is cheaper than high-end compressed air tanks.

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An Energy and Environmental Engineer, athlete, and social worker. I love the grittiness and thrill of paintball. Nowadays I am reviewing paintball products with an open mind & honest words.

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