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HPA tank nipple leak

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Yomillio View Drop Down
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    Posted: 22 October 2006 at 9:53am
Well, yesterday i went to fill up off a scuba, and took precautions so i am 100% positive that i did everything right.  I started filling it, and it is my assumption that some particle was forced up into the fill nipple, causing it to completely leak from there.  I took the nipple off from the reg this morning as one whole piece, and just tried blowing through it and such to clean it out.  Im sure there is some way to "get into" the nipple and break it down so i can better clean it, but i cant figure out how.  It is a Pure Energy tank, and the nipple appears to have a flathead screwdriver "thingy" on the bottom, but i cant remove it, all it does is turn.  It is not my tank and i really have no personal experience with HPA, so i dont have a manual or anything to guide me, so can someone help me out?
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Bruce A. Frank View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce A. Frank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 October 2006 at 2:18pm

Originally posted by Yomillio Yomillio wrote:

Well, yesterday i went to fill up off a scuba, and took precautions so i am 100% positive that i did everything right.  I started filling it, and it is my assumption that some particle was forced up into the fill nipple, causing it to completely leak from there.  I took the nipple off from the reg this morning as one whole piece, and just tried blowing through it and such to clean it out.  Im sure there is some way to "get into" the nipple and break it down so i can better clean it, but i cant figure out how.  It is a Pure Energy tank, and the nipple appears to have a flathead screwdriver "thingy" on the bottom, but i cant remove it, all it does is turn.  It is not my tank and i really have no personal experience with HPA, so i dont have a manual or anything to guide me, so can someone help me out?

With it off the tank, try putting several drops of oil in that nipple and then carefully use the scuba to blow through the nipple. The nipple has sealing surfaces that can get trash lodged in them just like the power valve can. A little bath of  oil blown through will possible clean that trash out. This technique has worked to clean mine several times.

I have said before that it is easy to get dirt in the nipple and regulator of HPA tanks. If you forget to replace the nipple cover sometimes grit and other trash can get into the fill nipple. When you then refill the tank that grit can lodge in seals of the nipple or travel on into the tank. Grit getting into the tank can also work its way into the tanks valve and regulator causing leaks or too high pressure coming out of the tank.

Also, if the guy who filled up before you had dirt on his tank fill nipple then your tank, even though you have been careful, can then become contaminated when you connect.

Trash in the valve regulator on my HPA tank caused a pressure spike that destroyed the low pressure gauge on my marker (before I installed my Palmer Stabilizer).

The HPA tank valve/primary regulator can also be cleaned and kept clean by using a few drops of synthetic oil in the nipple before filling every once in a while. The synthetic oil cleans both the nipple seals and travels through the tank to clean the tank valve and its built in regulator.

A little caveat here, there has been come controversy over putting drops of oil into HPA tanks. In fact there was one incident of an explosion of a tank in which there had been "contaminated" with oil. On further investigation it was found that someone had put butane, not just oil, it the tank before filling. The heat and compression during fill caused the butane to ignite and destroy the tank. (I believe that, IIRC, luckily, there were no serious injuries).

The chemistry of high pressure air and oil does present a possibility of problems, but there is no documented case of HPA tanks exploding  from oil use. But, just to play the safe side and remove any worry, it is probably good to use any of the several synthetic oils available for use in the HPA nipples and valves.



Edited by Bruce A. Frank - 24 October 2006 at 11:36am
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Bruce A. Frank View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bruce A. Frank Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 October 2006 at 11:46am

I have received a couple of dozen emails asking about this exploding tank incident. I no longer have the article about it. It happened in one of the European tournaments and was written up, inadequately, in Paintball News this past spring. Maybe a search on their web site will produce the article for those who are interested.

http://www.paintballnews.com

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