The process of refilling the paintball tanks is a bit confusing. Not to worry, you will find all there is to know about it here. This guide is for all the paintball players, whether beginners or professionals.
What Exactly Are Paintball Tanks?
You must be quite familiar with the Paintball gun, also known as the ‘Paintball Marker.’ These are used to fire gelatin capsules, aka paintballs. These capsules are made up of paint, which splashes when it hits the target. Nonetheless, the thing to consider here is the source of the force that makes the shooting possible. Well, it becomes possible due to the paintball tank.
Different Types of Paintball Tanks
The Paintball tanks can be categorized into the following:
High-pressure Compressed Air (HPA) Paintball Tanks:
The HPA paintball tanks carry highly pressurized oxygen. This is also termed as breathable filtered air. Even though these tanks come in different sizes and capacities, the maximum capacity available for these tanks is 5,000 PSI.
Compressed Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Paintball Tanks:
The CO2 paintball tanks, as the name suggests, contain CO2 but in a liquid state. The sole reason for this form is that the gaseous CO2 turns into a liquid when it is compressed. The tank sizes for this class range from 3.5 to 40 fluid ounces, i.e., 100 ml to 1,180 ml.
Compressed Pure Nitrogen (N2) Paintball Tanks:
The Compressed Pure Nitrogen paintball tanks are uncommon to find. Such paintball tanks can easily attach to the paintball guns. Through these, the compressed gas is released in the gun, which supplies the coercion that assists in firing the paintball at high momentum.
You can take a look at our list of tanks for paintball markers and then select which one suits you the best!
Types of HPA Tanks Available
The air is denser than CO2. Therefore, it can be stored in high-pressure environments. This ascertains that HPA tanks can generally endure up to 4,500 PSI of pressurized air inside. On the other hand, CO2 tanks can only sustain up to 1,800 PSI. Moreover, the carbon tanks are sold in a standard aluminum tank. HPA whereas is offered in two different types.
Fiber-Wrapped HPA Tanks:
The Fiber-wrapped HPA tanks are developed from a carbon fiber that is molded into the form of a cylinder. These are not only light in weight but also can store air at a high-pressure threshold.
Nonetheless, these are expensive and can wear and tear easily in harsh environments.
Aluminum HPA Tanks:
Since the aluminum tanks are heavier than the fiber-wrapped ones, they are sold in small sizes. This impacts their ability to sustain high PSIs. However, one aluminum tank can hold up to 3,000 PSI. These tanks are long-lasting as well as affordable. These can last up to 15 years if used and kept in proper care.
Difference Between CO2 and HPA Tanks
Paintball markers are designed specifically for either HPA or CO2 tank. Hence, it is impossible to interchange tanks in the markers. Therefore, you must consider your marker’s manual for more information regarding their suitability for the tanks.
Usually, HPA tanks are more preferred than CO2. The reasons being the following:
The HPA tanks are already filled with gas. While CO2 carries liquefied carbon dioxide, which expands and transforms into gas after it gets freed from the compression inside the tank. This means that CO2 is converted into a gaseous state after the trigger of the marker is pulled.
Moreover, the CO2 is prone to susceptible to ambient temperatures. If the tank encounters a high-temperature environment, the CO2 will expand, which increases the pressure inside the tank. Nonetheless, CO2 will shrink if it is exposed to low temperatures. This decreases the pressure inside the tank.
The Downsides of Using CO2 Tanks
In addition to the above, the disadvantages of the CO2 tank are listed below:
Fluctuations in Shot Velocity
The pressures inside the CO2 tank fluctuates in accordance with the temperature of the room or the environment the game is played in. This impacts the shots to vary in velocity.
On the contrary, the HPA tanks are infused with gas. This forms a consistent pressure that assists in shooting with a steady velocity.
Proves to be Impractical in Rapid Shots
Another downside to CO2 tanks is the time it takes to expand into a gas. This leads to inconsistent shots when the marker is fired more than once rapidly. Due to such actions, the liquid CO2 instead of gas can leak, which damages the gun. In this case, the frost will be visible on the marker since CO2 is at an extremely low temperature.
The Bright Side of Using CO2 Tanks
There are also bright sides to getting a CO2 tank. One of these is that CO2 tanks are cheaper than HPA tanks. In addition to this, they are easily available. Furthermore, CO2 can shoot more sturdy shots with high velocity since CO2 in gas form is about 60% denser than air.
Why PSI Matters When Refilling a Tank
You cannot opt for any random air tank to fill your paintball tank. The reason for this is that the PSI of the air tank and the PSI of the marker are to be aligned.
For instance, the 200 PSI air tank will not fill a paintball tank of 2,000 PSI. Therefore, it is essential that you find the PSI of your maker and then search for the suitable air tanks that can fill the requirement. The finest way to achieve this is to choose a legitimate shop or store that offers refills to the paintball tanks.
Places to Refill Your Paintball Tank
1. At Your Local Sporting Goods Store or Paintball Pro Shop
When opting for the shops to refill the paintball tank, you must always choose your local sporting goods store or paintball pro shop. This is because these stores offer both compressed air and CO2 refilling equipment.
According to our findings, Dick’s Sporting Goods provides refills up to 24 ounces for CO2 tanks. This is more than the average 20 ounces offered in the market for this tank. Moreover, you can fix your paintball gun if the CO2 leaks. You can either do it at home or take to specialty stores for a fix. The pros at these stores can also inspect your gun, its O-rings, and the air tank to ascertain if they are functioning properly.
These stores often provide refills to their regular customers. Hence, it might be a good idea if you become one of their loyal customers.
It only takes a dollar or two for refilling a 1000 PSI tank. Therefore, you can expect it to cost around $5 per refill.
2. At Other Local Miscellaneous Shops
If you are looking for more options to refill the paintball tank, we have listed a few for you below:
1. Your Home
You can easily refill your paintball tank at your house. However, you will need to be equipped with proper appliances. These include a fill station with enough PSI require.
If you do not have any nearby shops and you possess a compressed air tank, do not worry. There are plenty of other stores that offer the refilling of paintball tanks.
2. Scuba, Welding, Or Fire Extinguisher Shops
The other options include scuba stores, fire extinguisher shops, welding stores, and oxygen supply stores. Most of these shops offer up to 3,000 PSI, which is way more than the average paintball tank requirement.
Moreover, you can even rent out or buy a scuba tank. This way, you can utilize the tank to refill your paintball marker’s air tank up to 20 times. This is a nice option if you do not have easy access to a store.
You can also search in stores like Walmart. They might have CO2 tanks that can be used to fill the paintball tanks. Otherwise, you can have them filled by a professional.
Refilling a CO2/HPA Paintball Tank at Home
Refilling your paintball tank has some advantages, especially when you are a pro. Firstly, you will have to reload a lot. So, it is best to learn to refill tanks on your own. Secondly, you will end up saving money by not paying anyone else for it.
Refilling an HPA Tank:
You must be careful with the materials with which you refill the tanks. For instance, using a tire pump or a regular air compressor is not a good idea to reload your HPA tank. This is because the air pressure in these is 180 PSI max.
A 4,500 PSI air compressor pump is best for a standard paintball. It may be slightly expensive. However, it is not only hassle-free and straightforward but also easy to use.
The compressor can also fill scuba tanks. You can use a fill station to connect your paintball tank and a scuba tank.
The step by step process to fill the tanks is as follows:
- First, connect the fill station and scuba tank.
- Attach the paintball tank with the fill station.
- The release valve must be closed on the fill station.
- Now, turn the primary valve to fill the tank.
Be careful while turning the valve hastily as it can damage the paintball tanks over time due to hot fills.
Suppose you rapidly fill the tank till 4,500 PSI, and now your tank is hot. You will see a drop in your tank’s pressure after some time.
To prevent the hot fill from damaging the tank, you need to release some of the air from your tank. First, you need to rotate the release valve. This will cause easiness in the fill tank by liberating the air pressure.
Voila! You did it, and now, you are good to go.
HPA tanks also consist of a hydro date. It indicates the last time the tank was inspected for any possible issues that may have occurred due to accidents or leakages in the tank. Hence, you should check the hydro date every five years.
Refilling a CO2 Tank:
There are only two things you need to fill a CO2 tank: A Bulk Tank and a CO2 fill station.
The steps have been listed in order below:
- Firstly, refrigerate your CO2 paintball tank before filling it. It helps in avoiding the fluctuations in the tank due to temperature indifferences.
- Next, connect the fill station with the CO2 tank.
- Now attach the paintball tank with fill station.
- Rotate the primary valve of the bulk tank.
- Let the air in your tank by opening the station’s valve.
And that is all!
Kindly be cautious about storing the CO2 bulk tank. Certain hazards can occur if these are inappropriately used.
Refilling the paintball tanks at home all by yourself can save a lot of time. Nonetheless, you must have all the required equipment for it, which is mentioned above. Moreover, it is necessary to know how to do such a task. With all the information provided above, now you can refill your paintball tank from the comfort of your house.