Safety is the #1 rule in replacing a compressed air tank valve / regulator.
Paintball markers are powered by a portable compressed air, nitrous or CO2 compressed gas cylinder. Although the valve or regulator on the tank is rarely defective, occasionally this part needs to be removed for maintenance or replacement.
The process must be undertaken carefully. Unless key safety precautions are accurately followed, serious injury could result.
Removal and Replacement of Regulator / Valve Body
1. The most important step in this process is verifying that the tank is 100% degassed and at room temperature before beginning the process. On a compressed air tank, slowly remove the fill nipple with the crescent wrench. Once air begins to escape from a partially removed part, stop and allow any compressed gas to escape. The same is required with a CO2 tank, although the part to be removed is the burst disk, not a fill nipple.
2. After the disk / nipple is completely removed from the tank, allow the tank to return to room temperature. The escaping gas likely super-cooled the tank, making removing the valve very difficult. Wait until the tank is at the same temperature as the room before continuing.
3. Using the adjustable wrench, remove the valve / regulator by turning the valve counter clockwise. This should be done with the burst disk / fill nipple still removed from the valve. You may need to use a hot air hair dryer or heat gun to loosen the threads of the valve. Do not overheat the tank and do not use a propane torch.
4. After the valve / regulator is removed, allow the tank to return to room temperature. Carefully inspect the threads in the tank, and use the cotton swabs to remove any foreign debris, such as paintball paint residue or dried threadlocker. Similarly, clean the threads on the valve / regulator.
5. Inspect the o-ring on the valve body. Replace if checked, torn or worn. Apply a light coating of o-ring lubricant to the black rubber o-ring on the valve body. Apply a light coating of threadlocker to the valve body brass threads. Follow manufacturer’s instructions to allow the threadlocker to tack up, and then thread the valve into the tank. The valve should be snugged up to the tank only. Do not over tighten.
6. Replace the burst disk / fill nipple to the tank. Apply a light coating of thread sealant to the part before inserting into the regulator body. Tighten these parts firmly. Allow the tank seals to dry for at least eight hours before pressurizing the tank.