Where Can You Fill Compressed Air Tanks?

Learn How to Get Your HPA Paintball Tanks Filled

Compressed air tanks are filled up to 3000-4500 psi and require heavy duty compressors and equipment. While compressed air tanks often out-perform CO2 tanks, fewer stores have the capability of properly filling them.

This poses a common problem for paintball players. Where can you get your high-pressure air (HPA) tanks filled?  There are a number of stores that you can turn to for cheap fills or you can always do it yourself (but be prepared to spend some money).

Tip: Filled air tanks cannot, by law, be shipped (with the exception of one-time use and 12 gram CO2 cartridges). When buying your equipment online, do not expect a tank to come ready for the paintball field. If you're considering compressed air, look into your local tank filling options before making a purchase.

Paintball Shops and Fields

The first place to look for tank filling is at your local paintball store and field. Most shops and fields have the equipment to safely fill compressed air tanks and some fill them for free. However, you're more likely to pay $1-3 for every 1000 psi.

If there is not a paintball field or store in your area, check around with local paintball enthusiasts. Some owners of completely unrelated businesses have invested in the HPA tank compressors to suit their own needs. They will often fill tanks on the side to bring in a little extra cash (and help pay off the equipment).

If anyone like this is in your area, your fellow paintballers may know of them.

Scuba Stores

Since compressed air tanks for paintball operate at a similar pressure to scuba tanks, many scuba stores also fill paintball tanks. Again, it should cost just a few dollars to fill a tank and it is one of the easiest options available.

Fill Tanks At Home

If you own a scuba tank, you're halfway to filing your paintball tanks at home. A scuba tank filled at your local scuba shop can easily fill compressed air tanks if you also purchase a scuba fill station.

  • A 3000 psi scuba tank will fill about 15-20 compressed air paintball tanks.
  • A scuba tank will cost a few hundred dollars and you will need to pay to get it filled. Consider this when weighing your options. If you live a good distance from stores that fill tanks, it may be a good choice.

Are you thinking of buying the air compressor itself? Unless you're running a field or opening a store, think again. The HPA compressors can easily cost over $2000 for a basic set up. Of course, you can fill other people's tanks as well as scuba tanks, but for most paintball players, this option is out of reach.

Don't even try to use your tire pump or a standard air compressor, it won't work. Most of these max out at 180 psi and your tanks require a minimum of 3000 psi to fill.

Tips for HPA Tanks

No matter where you get your tank filled, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

  1. HPA tanks have a 'hydro date' indicating the last time they were inspected. All tanks should be reinspected every five years.
  1. Never put grease or oil on the tank's fill nipple. When filling, heat will build up and warm these flammable oils and can cause a fire.
  2. Keep your tanks out of direct sunlight and try to avoid leaving them in a hot car. This goes for all paintball tanks: pressure can build up and blow a burst disc CO2 tanks and while HPA tanks aren't likely to overpressurize, it's not good for the regulator seals.
  3. Protect your tanks with a tank cover or something similar like a fabric bag. 
  4. When filling tanks, it is best to do a 'slow fill.' If the tank is filled too fast, you will lose psi as the air cools. This means that your 3000 psi tank may only end up with 2500 psi in the end. Most paintball and scuba store operators know this, but it's important to remember if you're filling your own.