Tell If Your Air Tank Is Low Or High Pressure

The gauge attached to your air tank indicates the amount of air remaining.

Air tanks, used primarily by SCUBA divers and paintball enthusiasts, are either low or high pressure. The air is measured in pounds per square inch (psi). Low pressure for divers is defined as 2400 to 2640 psi. High pressure is defined as 3300 to 3500 psi. 3000 psi is a standard amount. Low pressure in paintball is a 450 psi output with high pressure being 850 psi. The tanks will range from 3000 psi to 4500 psi. Paintball also sells tanks that allow you to adjust the pressure of the air in the tank. This is not possible with SCUBA tanks.


SCUBA Tank Identification

1. SCUBA cylinders will have a flat bottom if they are low pressure.

Look at the entire cylinder. A low pressure tank will have a flat bottom. The bottom will be covered in hard plastic to protect the cylinder. A high pressure tank will have a round bottom. Hard plastic also covers this bottom, but the plastic curves with the metal and has square edges that protrude from the bottom, showing the round portion.

2. Look at the top of the cylinder around the valves. There should be a label that identifies the maximum pressure the tank can hold. For example, it might say “Maximum Pressure 3000 psi.” Many dive shops do not overfill a tank to avoid damaging the tank, valves and regulator. In the example, they might only fill the tank to 2800 psi instead of 3000 psi to avoid overfilling.

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3. Ask a dive shop professional to identify the make and model of your tank to determine the maximum pressure it can withstand. Shop professionals have likely seen the majority of makes and models and can assist you in identifying the pressure your cylinder can hold. You can also use an internet search engine to input the specifications of the tank and search for the specific tank’s pressure.

Paintball Air Tank Identification

4. Paintball tanks hang off the bottom of the gun and often have covers.

Identify the brand of the air tank. The leading paintball air tank brands are Crossfire, Pure Energy, Ninja, Guerilla, Empire and Custom Products. The more information you have about the tank, the easier it is to locate the tank’s specifications.

5. Find where the psi is listed on the tank. It will often be on the label or printed on the tank itself. Each brand produces different sizes, from 3000 to 4500 psi. Use a search engine to check the brand’s tank variety and where they list the size of their tanks on the product itself.

6. Consult a seasoned paintball enthusiast at a local paintball court or store. Bring the tank to the person to try and identify the size of the tank. Compare your tank to others on sale in stores to narrow down your particular tank’s pressure limits.