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How to refill a paintball tank

A paintball air tank in position

This is a bit of specialist topic. Most paintballers in the UK won’t ever need to replace their own marker tanks, as sites and venues handle all aspects of marker maintenance. However, for those of you with your own marker and access to replacement compressed air / CO2, then here’s the low-down on how to get your marker back up to fighting weight once it’s run dry.

To quickly fill you in though, the tank is the bulbous container that screws onto a marker to provide the propulsion needed to hurl paintballs through the air. The tank usually sticks out the end of the marker and can be pressed against the shoulder to provide stability. Either filled with CO2 or compressed air, these vital bits of kit are simple to use once you know what you’re doing, but should never, ever be tampered with unless you are refilling your own marker. Best leave it to the marshals!

There are quite a few places that could help you refill your tank once it’s empty though, the likes of hobby shops, specialist paintball stores, local paintball sites or even scuba centres are great places to ask. Once you find somewhere, follow these basic tips on how to refill your tank.

First, know the correct pressure to fill to. This information should have come with the tank or, in many cases, be written on the side of it. Now choose either your CO2 or compressed air (again, whichever one your tank is compatible with) and remove the tank from your marker. Safety Tip: always keep the barrel pointed towards the ground when removing the tank, just in case any sudden bursts of air release a stray paintball.

Next release the leftover pressure from the tank by using a standard valve adaptor which screws on the end. Once it’s totally drained, hang the empty tank on a scale (zero the scale) and then connect the end of the tank to your new refill source. Open the supply valve and watch the scale slowly rise. Be careful not to release too much too quickly, and stay focussed at all times – do not let your tank fill up beyond it’s recommended safety level.

Once it is full, completely shut off both valves – the tank and the supply source – and then disconnect the tank. Now you can either stick a cap on the top of your tank and safely store it to use another day, or attached it immediately back onto your marker, so you can get back to playing at the optimum capacity.

Like I said, most of you will never have to refill a marker tank if you come to Bedlam Paintball Edinburgh, Glasgow or Aberdeen/Dundee, but if you ever do, in short, follow the safety instructions at all times!