As a result of the internet, the average person has free access to vast stores of information. As a result, home improvement tools and do-it-yourself projects have recently seen a massive uptick in popularity.
When it comes to tools, an air compressor is one the most essential and most useful to have in your arsenal. The right air compressor can assist you in completing a huge array of projects that you simply wouldn’t be able to complete without one.
These days, it’s a relatively common affair to fill an HPA tank with an air compressor. HPA stands for high-pressure air tank, and it’s basically just the tank part of an air compressor.
These tanks are handy because they allow the storage and transportation of high amounts of compressed air. HPA tanks are often used as an alternative to CO2 in a lot of industries. You can think of it like an air battery that you can charge by filling it with an air compressor.
So, if you have never filled an HPA tank with an air compressor, then you are in the right place. In this article, we will show you how to fill an HPA tank with an air compressor. We will also go over some basic do’s and don’ts regarding the process.
Caution: High pressure tanks are dangerous. Please consult a professional like a scuba shop, if you don’t have any experience with HPA tanks. This information is for educational purposes only.
So, How Do I Fill An HPA Tank With An Air Compressor?
As it turns out, it’s not that hard to fill an HPA tank with an air compressor. In fact, it’s a fairly straight-forward process:
Step 1: Check the HPA Tank
Before you even think about filling your HPA tank, you want to give the tank a brief visual inspection. Give the tank a once over and make sure that there are no cracks, leaks, or rust anywhere.
Step 2: Release Air from HPA Tank
If it’s a used HPA tank and you are using it for the first time, you may want to remove any air that may have already been in it. HPA tanks can store all kinds of gases, so if you were not the last person to use that HPA tank, you really don’t know what is in it.
Also, this is helpful for reducing moisture content and preventing rust, anyways. All you have to do is open the release valve and it purges all the air from the tank.
Step 3: Connect the Hose with the Air Compressor
Make sure that the nozzle on your air hose matches the fitting on both the air compressor and also the HPA tank. Most of the time, this will be the case. This is because HPA tanks and air compressors generally use the same standard 1/4 inch connection.
Step 4: Start the Air Compressor
Once you have your air compressor connected to your HPA tank, it’s time to turn on the air compressor.
After you start the compressor, air will begin to transfer air into the HPA tank. It will not take long. In fact, in just a few minutes, the HPA tank will be completely full of air. It’s important to remember to not ever fill your HPA with more pressure than it’s rated for. In fact, it’s a good idea to not even fill it to its max pressure.
Ideally, it’s a good practice to only fill your HPA tank to about 90% of its rated pressure. This 10% buffer not only provides a decent safety margin, but it also helps extend the life of your HPA tank.
Step 5: Keep An Eye On The PSI
It’s essential to measure the PSI during the air filling process. By monitoring the PSI, you will know exactly how full the tank is. You want to make sure to not overfill your HPA tank.
While there are safety mechanisms built in to prevent any kind of explosion, when those safety measures are deployed it results in permanent damage to the HPA tank and possibly your air compressor.
Step 6: Disconnect Your Air Compressor
Once your HPA tank is completely full, disconnect your air compressor and make sure to turn it off. Also, it’s important to never leave an HPA tank and an air compressor unattended during the filling process. For one, you never know when something goes wrong, so it’s important for you to be there to monitor the situation.
Secondly, depending on the environment, there may be other people or small children near by who could accidentally damage your equipment or harm themselves if they go randomly adjusting high pressure knobs and dials.
NOTE: Keep Your HPA Tank In A Secure Place
Remember, it’s not safe to store an HPA tank in an open area. Especially when it is full and at its max pressure. It’s important to keep in mind just how much energy is stored in that tank.
If that energy is accidently released in a way that it was not intended, it can cause some serious damage and bodily harm. So, make sure to store your HPA tanks in a safe, secure place out of reach of children.
The Various Types Of HPA Tanks
HPA tanks are suitable for storing gasses under extreme pressure. In fact, some HPA tanks are designed to be able to withstand up to 4,500 PSI of pressure. There are two main types of HPA tank:
Fiber Wrapped HPA Tanks
Fiber wrapped HPA tanks are produced by pressing carbon fiber into a mold to make a cylinder form. Fiber Wrapped HPA tanks are lightweight and are safe to store high pressure gasses for long periods of time. They are not very durable, however, and they cost a bit more.
These are the best kind of tanks to use if you have to carry a high amount of tanks over a great distance.
For example, a truck load of fiber wrapped HPA tanks will be a lot lighter than a truck load of metal ones. So, if there is a company that regularly moves large amounts of these tanks, they would save money on fuel by using a fiber wrapped HPA tank.
Aluminum HPA Tanks
As you would expect, an aluminum HPA tank is generally much heavier than a fiber-wrapped HPA tank. They are more versatile in some ways, though. For example, aluminum tanks are available in a far wider range of sizes.
So, that makes aluminum HPA tanks ideal for light use. HPA tanks, on the other hand, generally only come in one standard large size and a very tiny paint-ball-gun only size.
There are downsides, however. Unfortunately, an aluminum HPA tank can’t handle as high of a PSI as a fiber-wrapped tank. Generally, the upper limit is about 3000 PSI. You can expect an aluminum HPA tank to last you about 15 years if they are not abused or neglected.
Safety Tips When Filling HPA Tanks With An Air Compressor
When you are filling your HP tank at home, the following tips are important to keep in mind:
- HPA tanks have a date that indicates the last time the tank was inspected. Make sure to have the tank inspected at least once every five years.
- Make sure to not put grease, oil, or other lubricants on the HPA tank fill valve. While it may seem like a good idea at first to do so, it’s something you want to avoid. This is because heat builds up during the filling process, and that heat is enough to ignite the lubricants and cause a fire.
- It’s crucial to make sure to not store an HPA tank in direct sunlight or in a closed vehicle. This is because heat will increase the pressure inside the tank. If the pressure increases too much, it could cause damage to the tank.
- One really easy and effective thing you can do to protect your HPA tank is to cover it with a fabric bag.
- Make sure to fill your HPA tank from your air compressor slowly. This is important because if you fill the tank too quickly, it will cause a loss of pressure. So, if you have a 3000 PSI tank and you fill it too quickly, you could end up with only 2500 psi of air in there.
Can I Fill A Paintball Tank With An Air Compressor?
Technically, yes. It’s important to remember that paintball gun tanks require pressures that range from 3,000 to 4,500 PSI.
So, if you are going to fill a paintball tank with an air compressor, it will need to be a heavy-duty model with all the bells and whistles needed for filling a paintball tank.
In reality, it’s best to either have your paintball tank filled by a professional or to purchase the specialty equipment required to properly fill a paintball tank.
Is CO2 or HPA better for paintball?
HPA tanks work for paintball, but they are usually larger and heavier when compared to a regular CO2 tank. Also, HPA paintball systems cost a lot more than their CO2 counterparts.
Air compressors and their associated HPA tanks are becoming more and more useful as the world continues to mechanize and develop. When you have the right air compressor, HPA tanks, and tools, there is almost no task that you cannot accomplish.
HPA tanks are useful because they allow the transportation and storage of large amounts of compressed air. These HPA systems are often used as an alternative to CO2 in several different sectors.
While it may be an easy, straightforward process to fill an HPA tank with an air compressor, it can be a little overwhelming if you have never done it before.
We hope this article helped you learn how to fill an HPA tank with an air compressor. Thanks for reading!