If you’ve ever wondered how to install and use an HPA fill station, look no further. I have compiled a little bit of info on how to use an HPA fill station, as well as a video to show how easy it is, and how quickly you can fill your own tank using a scuba tank, a fill station adapter, and a video camera.
What you’ll need
- Fill Station Adapter
- Scuba Tank
- At least one HPA tank
- Attach the fill station adapter to your scuba tank valve
This part is really a lot easier than it seems. Here’s a picture to help you out with this one:
- Attach your tanks fill nipple to the quick disconnect on the fill station adapter.
- If your tanks maximum pressure rating is higher or equal to the scuba tanks maximum pressure rating:
First of all make sure the release/bleed valve on the fill station adapter is turned all the way in, so it is closed. Then slowly turn the scuba tank valve to open it slowly. You’ll want to make sure and fill the tank slowly to keep it from overheating or filling too fast.
- If your tanks maximum pressure is lower than the scuba tanks maximum pressure:
When filling your tank you’ll want to be EXTREMELY careful not to overfill. This will require an extreme amount of attentiveness to make sure you turn off the scuba tank valve before your HPA tank exceeds it’s maximum pressure rating.
- After the pressure is stabilized, or you have reached your HPA tanks maximum operating pressure, turn off the scuba tank valve.
- Open the release/bleed valve on the fill station adapter to let the air out of the fittings by unscrewing it.
- Disconnect your tank from the quick disconnect and you’re finished.
Overall, the process is really simple, quick and easy. If your local field does not offer HPA fills, this can be a great and inexpensive way to use HPA even though it isn’t offered.
The initial cost of going with an HPA setup can be rather expensive, but in the long run will pay off. If you’re going with a 3000 PSI setup, the scuba tank will cost you around $150 dollars, and the fill station adapter will cost around $50 dollars. So for $200 dollars you can be fully equipped to start filling your own 3000 PSI tanks. The scuba tanks can be filled at an scuba/dive shop, and sometimes even places like machine shops will be able to fill them for you.
Points to Ponder
If you’re going to use your own HPA fill station, firstly, you need to figure out if you can even get your bulk tanks filled at a reasonable price. To get a scuba tank filled, it’s about $5 dollars here. That’s extremely cheap considering it costs $10 dollars for all day air at most fields. But if you only have one bulk tank, especially if the tank has the same maximum PSI rating as your HPA tank, you’re not going to get that many good full fills out of it before the pressure starts dropping. That’s why you see a lot of fill stations that have multiple tanks daisy chained together. A setup with 3 or 4 bulk tanks daisy chained together will give you a lot more full fills than a single stand alone tank will. So if you’re planning on setting up a fill station, you’re going to want to consider buying at least 2-3 scuba tanks. A setup like this will run you around $500 dollars if you get everything brand new.
Well, I put together a short video to give everyone a visual of just how easy it is to do all this stuff. Please pay no attention to the goofy looking guy I cast to play the lead role.