Refilling HPA Tanks With Air Compressor Complete Guide

How to refill HPA tanks with air compressor

Controlling airbrushes and paintball guns can be a hassle for many users. When it comes to maintaining the perfect airflow to maintain smoothness and continuity, things can get awfully tricky. Imagine these types of machinery malfunctioning every now and then as you work on your precious paint job. Sounds horrible, doesn’t it? Let’s do! How to refill HPA tanks with air compressor?

HPA tanks are a must when it comes to using tools that need proper air pressure to fully operate. With Nitrogen gas inside; this tank is the perfect fit for different sorts of air-works. And since it is a tank, it must be refilled from time to time.

In terms of filling something with air, air compressors are the one and only choice. HPA tanks can be refilled by air compressors very easily. For those who work in the industrial sector or simply like to work with machinery by themselves, the air compressor is a super handy tool in almost every aspect of their lives.

If you are a beginner and don’t exactly know how to fill your HPA tank with an air compressor, do not fret. We’ve got your backs. This brief yet exploratory article will show you How to refill HPA tanks with air compressor? Not only that but also the whole article will be a step-by-step guide for your ultimate convenience.

Types of HPA Tanks

Unlike the tanks which contain CO2 (carbon dioxide), HPA tanks lack density. This makes them ideal fit for any pressure level. Also, CO2 tanks are not compatible with high levels of PSI. Usually, CO2 tanks operate on about 1800 PSI, whereas the HPA tanks can operate up to 4000 PSI. There are basically two major types of HPA tanks:

Aluminum Tanks

The aluminum tanks are heavy but they are comparatively small in size. This makes the convenient choice for both factory and individual users as they provide much portability. There is also a downside of these tanks. They cannot operate at higher levels of PSI. Roughly around 3000 PSI is more than enough to make them crushed. These tanks are cheap and durable, but in a limited level of pressure and they can serve you for at least 14 years.

Fiber Technology Tanks

Unlike aluminum tanks, these are made of Carbon Fiber. You can easily tell by the name that these tanks are super lightweight compared to aluminum tanks. But there are some downsides too. As they are made with carbon-fiber, the cost of these tanks is high. Also, they are not durable enough compared to the ones made of aluminum.

How to Refill HPA tanks with air compressor

In order to refill your empty HPA tank with an air compressor, you will need some essential tools to execute the whole process. Also, keep in mind that the process of refilling the tank with the compressor is not an easy task at all. You must be cautious to the fullest; otherwise, you might end up causing some accident.

Required Tools:

  1. A HPA tank
  2. An air compressor
  3. A hose
  4. A nozzle and
  5. Some safety equipment

Check Your Tank First

The HPA tank stands for High Pressure Air Tank, which suggests that the whole function of the tank follows high pressure kinetic (atomic) laws of physics. That means, if your tank has a leakage, you simply won’t be able to refill it no matter how powerful the compressor you use.

The natural ‘diffusion equilibrium’ theory will let all the air inside the tank come out if it finds a slightest of way out! In such cases medium to high-scale accidents can occur which may prove lethal. Henceforth, make sure to have a professional check and repair your tank if it has any leakage.

Release the Leftover Air (if any)

If you buy a brand new HPA tank, then there should be no air inside it. But in case you are refilling your old tank, it’s better check for the leftover air that might be trapped inside. Take a release valve and find a well-ventilated area where you can empty your tank.

Attach the release valve with your tank and pull the handle. The valve will suck all the leftover air trapped inside of the tank. Beware that the area in which you will be working on should have the ultimate ventilation facility. Do not do this at your home as the air might cause breathing issues for you. Doing it in your garage is also discouraged.            

Attach the Hose Pipe with the Compressor

After successfully following the previous step, you can proceed to this one. The nozzle of the hose pipe should be attached to the compressor’s end and also to the tank’s end. You should be aware of the compatibility of the hose pipe.

It is because both of your tank and compressor will be attached to the same hose, and if they do not fit correctly, you might experience some unpleasant leaks and the whole process will be nothing but a waste of time and labor. Recheck if you have attached the hose with both ends.

Turn the Machine ON

Once you are done with all of the previous steps, you can now turn on your air compressor. Make sure that you have thoroughly checked that the hose is firmly attached to the HPA tank and look closely to the pulling valves. If you are satisfied with all of that, you can move forward. Keep in mind that when you are turning the compressor ON, your machine should be at its fullest charge.

If you have a corded air compressor, make sure that the power-cord is perfectly attached to the electric socket. It doesn’t matter whether you have a corded or cordless compressor. What matters most is whether you are delivering full power or not. After you have turned the machine on, you must check your PSI level inside the tank. It is necessary for the overall outcome of the whole process.

PSI Measuring

PSI or Pressure per Square Inch tells you what level of pressure your machine is dealing with. Also, in terms of HPA tank, you will need the perfect PSI to refill. We have already suggested to release all the air from the tank first.

You should check the PSI level just to make sure that there is no leftover air inside it. If there is any extra air, your compressor won’t work properly and there is a chance of experiencing an accident. Hence, it is highly recommended to check the PSI level thoroughly.

Detach the Hose Pipe

After the refilling, carefully detach the hose pipe which was connected to both the air compressor and HPA tank. When detaching it, try to pull the lever of the pipe slowly as you might feel the pressure of the air coming out. Make sure that there is no combustible substance around you while doing it. Because, if there is any kind of substance that provides fire, you might end up sparking a huge explosion.

It is better to avoid rush while detaching the hose pipe. You might also see that the hose is not releasing itself. It is because the air inside of the tank is creating a vacuum and it is pulling the mouth of the hose backwards.  Be patient while detaching the hose pipe from the air compressor and HPA tank.

 After-Refilling Checkup

Once you have refilled your HPA tank successfully, it’s time for the last checkup for any sort of leakage. Your tank will face huge pressure once it’s filled. It is because the new air will tighten up the surface of the tank with its own pressure, and even though it will be compressed air which will go inside of the tank, it will produce immense pressure. If your tank is not well built, it might get a leak or worse, it might crack in certain places.

For this reason, professionals suggest checking the tank thoroughly after refilling with new air. If you’re not confident enough to do the job, we suggest you call a professional who can help you all the way through.

Let the Tank Rest

After successfully executing all the aforementioned steps, it is time to put your tank to rest. Turn off the machines and also the power-supply to avoid any kind of accidents. Put your tank somewhere quiet and dust-free. Keep in mind that a damp environment will cause damage to your tank and it might cause leakage too. Professionals suggest putting the tank in a place where it can get enough light. The environment must be dry and fresh.

Should Know HPA Tanks With Air Compressor

Never Use Oil!

Never try to use any sort of greasing substance in the mouth of the hose pipes while refilling an HPA tank. If you do so, you will allow the heat to combine with the grease which is already a combustible element. This will turn into a huge fire and even worse, an explosion.

Cover the Tank

You know that HPA tanks should not be pressurized at all. Because it might cause cracks or leaks due to excessive heat which is generated by the refilling process. What you can do is cover the tank with a bag made of fabric. This will allow your tank to keep itself detached from the environment outside. It might sound silly, but this really works!

Keep It Slow

While refilling, try to keep the pressure static as much as you can and slowly increase it according to your need. Never ever try to start with the highest pressure. It will not only damage your tank, but also cause accidents. If your tank requires 2800 PSI, you can start with 2400 PSI with the compressor and slowly yet steadily increase it. Also, keep an eye on the measuring gauge.

Keep It Well-Maintained

All the HPA tanks in the market will provide you with a hydro-date indicator. It is used to indicate the last time the tank was used/refilled. It is suggested that you should check it every 4/5 years to keep the tank in a good condition.

Is Regular Compressor Compatible for Refilling

Refilling your HPA tank is a difficult task to execute. For this reason if you use the regular compressor, you won’t get the exact service that you require. Regular air compressors can operate within the range of 170-185 PSI. Where the HPA tanks require at least 3000 PSI to fully refill them. So be sure to use the compressor with the ideal PSI range.

Which Compressors Should I Use

In order to refill your HPA tank, as we have mentioned earlier, you will need compressors that have at least the power to run at 2800-4700 PSI. If you use smaller and less powerful compressors, you won’t get enough power to even inhale air; let alone refill a huge tank!

Can I refill HPA tanks with air compressor At Home

In a way, it’s a yes. But on the other hand, it’s not. If you are refill HPA tanks with air compressor at home, you won’t have those extra measuring gauges which indicate the overall pressure of the tank. Yes, you will initially get the update of the process, but for safety issues, we suggest you take your tank to the nearest automobile workstation. To avoid all kinds of shortcomings, it’s better to do it amidst the professionals. But if you’re a professional by yourself, you surely can do it even in your own backyard.

Air compressors are as delicate to work with as the tanks are. As suggested in this article, laziness or carelessness is NOT an option when it comes to dealing with air pressure. Neatly functioning equipment, a pristine-condition tank, a friendly atmosphere, and above all, a conscious mind is very much needed.

In case you’re a beginner, be sure to read this article carefully before embarking on your task. We all have to begin from somewhere, but there is no problem in seeking help from a professional in case you are confused because safety always comes first!

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