Can Paintball Tanks Explode? – Safety Guidelines

A lot of people generally get scared when they hear the news of paintball tank explosion and they can’t believe if its true. Most of you might still have this doubt – Can Paintball Tanks Explode? Or if it can what is the cause and what precautions can we take?  This article would help you to clarify all of your doubts. I’ll explain each and everything related to paintball tanks that you should take care of in details. So, without wasting any more time Let’s answer all of your questions.

Can Paintball Tanks Explode?

Can Paintball Tanks Explode

The straight answer is — Yes paintball tanks can explode but that should not scare you much because it is very rare. Over the years there have not been many cases of where the paintball air holding tank has exploded. While these incidents may occur all over the country and indeed all over the world the causes for each explosion differs. The good news is that paintball tanks do not easily explode because manufacturers subject them to the very strictest of testing and make high contingencies too.

What are the causes?

1. Putting Oil in fill-nipple

Warning = Never ever put oil or lubricant in fill nipple of your HPA tank.

This is the most dangerous things that you can do with your paintball equipment. This is more dangerous than taking your mask off in the middle of a field because if you do this it can kill you. So, this is a failed mistake.
Now there have been some people that luckily have been okay and have gotten away with just severe burns. In their case luckily this has not caused a fatality but this very easily could cause a fatality.

You need to understand that paintball tanks operate at very high pressures. With a paintball tank which gets up to 4,500 psi anything that has any sort of a petroleum or lubricant in it that gets into the bottle, once it fills up the 4,500 psi will operate like a diesel engine. The pressure alone is enough to detonate it.

What has happened and what has caused paintball tanks to explode is when fill nipples on the tanks start leaking okay and inside the fill nipple is basically what’s called a shuttle valve. The air pressure pushes the shuttle valve out of the way. There’s an o-ring in that seals off the fill nipple after you’re done filling it.

Those o-rings  probably after filling it hundreds and hundreds wear out and what happens is is because of the
compressors are filling air which we breathe and that includes dirt and dust and moisture so impurities get into the tanks.

So, what causes this fatal mistake is paintball players instead of taking off the fill nipple and replacing the o-ring.
What they decide to do is to pump oil down into the film nipple and then air it up and then try to see if that oil will wash the o-ring and blast all the dirt back into the tank and seal off.

This is a fatal mistake, so that’s what happens you never ever ever want to take lubricant whether it’s gun oil or anything and put it into the film nipple.  It’s fine if you put it inside your gun. That’s okay because at 850 psi the lubricants are fine okay where they’re not stable at above the 2000 psi range which like I said if you want to turn your tank into a bomb.

I don’t recommend doing,  because doing this will lead your tank to explode and probably one of these tanks blowing up will pretty much easily pull the top off of a car.

So I got to put this out there as a safety warning because a lot of people like you put a drop of oil in fill nipple

2. Manufacturers Defect

Although they are rare due to the stringent testing the tanks undergo a manufacturers defect can cause a paintball tank to explode. The paintballs tank may not be able to withstand the pressures its exerted to. The weakness may be in the structure or in the valves. Cases of manufacturers defects are rare but still, we should ensure complete safety.

3. Physical damage to the paintball tank

This is by far the leading cause of the explosion in paintball tanks. Paintball is an extremely physical sport. It involves a lot of running, sliding, jumping and diving and quite naturally your paintball tank will take a lot of beating during your play. Small scratches and little chips on the tank should not be a major cause of worry. However, if your tank has deep gorges and you begin to see some of the fibers below the gel of paint your tank is not safe for use.

4. Natural wear and tear

Like any man-made objects paintball tanks will explode when they have grown old. Most paintball tanks have a lie span of fifteen years. With repeated usage, they are bound to one day succumb to the massive pressures they are exposed to Precautions to reduce explosions.


What Precautions can you take?

1. Hydro testing of paintball tanks

ln essence the purpose of hydro testing is to ensure that the tank won’t fail when it is pressured up and in use. A hydro test will expose any potential structural integrity issues. Hydro testing simply involves submerging the paintball tank in a vat of water and pressuring it up to see up to what pressure it can withstand without compromising its integrity.

Before this is done the regulator is removed and a thorough physical examination is done to ensure the threading is not damaged. Most paintball tanks have a lifespan of 15 years but it is recommended they undergo hydro testing every five years. It is not safe for you and the people around you to use tanks that are non-compliant. Information on the date of manufacture is found outside the tank. If this information is not available, contact the local paintball expert in your area.

2. Correct volume and pressure

Always ensure that the paintball tank is holding the recommended volumes of pressure and liquid. Although most paintball tanks can withstand up to three times. The pressure the manufacturers have rated it for, it is advisable to keep within recommended limits. Still, it would take serious damage to breach this levels.

3. Buy from reputed brands

Do not ignore this important tip. Always buy from reliable, reputed brands in the paintball industry. Never go for cheap low-quality tanks from unreliable, less popular Brands. Most of the time these brands deliver damaged products. With the paintball tanks, we cannot take this risk so always ensure that you buy a high quality tested product.

4. Use of tank covers

Tank covers for paintball tanks are not only affordable and offer protection to your tank but they will increase your accuracy and performance in the field. I highly recommend using tank covers for the safety of tanks.

5. Proper storage

Store your paintball tanks away from wet surfaces as this makes them swell which in turn makes them asymmetrical. Moreover store the paintball tanks away from the sun as this leaves them hard an brittle. In both of this situations, extremely wetness and heat can cause a deterioration of the structural integrity. Store your paintball tanks at room temperature in a clean place.

6. Ask an expert

lf you are unsure of the safety of the paintballs in your field do not hesitate to consult a local expert. Better safe than sorry. An expert will assist you to advise on the hydro testing dates, correct pressure and also perform a physical examination to ascertain the structural integrity of the threads.