How To Fill a Scuba Tank Safely

Last Updated: April 21, 2022

When you go scuba diving, one of the most crucial pieces of equipment you need to take care of is your scuba air tank. A properly filled air tank will help you breathe under the water’s high pressure.

Therefore, you should be well aware of equipment quality control and scuba tank refill requirements.

You don’t have to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of getting your tank filled by someone else. Instead, you can learn how to fill a scuba tank at home and save time and money.

Is it Possible To Fill Your Scuba Tank at Home?

Filling a scuba tank is not rocket science. With the right knowledge and information, you will only have to take it to a dive shop.

Other than knowledge, you will also need filters and air compressor to fill a scuba tank. Make sure the compressor you buy can generate over 3,000 psi pressure.

Even though buying a $2,500 air compressor might seem like too much at first, it will save you a lot of money in terms of fees at the refill station. However, most dive shops will not sell scuba air compressors and filters to non-certified divers for safety.

As long as you are a certified diver, you will find filling your scuba tank at home at ease. Let’s learn how you can do that.

Steps Involved in Filling a Scuba Tank

In this section, we will explain how to fill a scuba tank with compressor in detail. Ensure following each step carefully to prevent accidents and air loss.

1. Inspecting the Tank

You will have to make sure that the tank has no leakage points. This is because scuba tanks take several hits from marine rocks and withstand a lot of pressure. The first step is to inspect it by the following methods:

  • Visual inspection: Check if it has markings or dents. Make sure the valve, gauges, and the tank itself do not have any out-of-place damages.
  • Sound inspection: Move it and see if you can hear the water moving inside. If you do, it is best to get rid of that tank.
  • Cold water inspection: Some leakages can go unnoticed by the naked eye. Submerging the cylinder in cold water will make any existing damages apparent. Placing it in cold water will also balance the temperature between the internal hot air and the external cold environment.

2. Draining Waste or Extra Air From the Tank

If your tank has leftover air in it about 2-3 months old, you should take it out through the following steps.

  • Open the air valve: Just a slight opening will help you get the air out. Release the air slowly to prevent moisture from collecting inside the tank.
  • Check weight: Keep releasing the air slowly till the tank weighs less than 10 pounds.
  • Check pressure gauge: Keep a check on the Bar or PSI reading to know if it’s empty.

3. Turning on the Air Compressor and Attaching it to the Tank

Using a suitable compressor is important since filters remove the harmful components from the air. Turn on the air compressor and set the pressure to about 3,000 psi. A good-quality compressor will automatically shut off when the tank reaches optimum pressure.

Find the hole on your cylinder that is compatible to the compressor’s hose. Do not remove any metal from either the cylinder or the hose to prevent air loss. Once the hose is tight enough, you can start filling the tank slowly.

4. Filling the Scuba Tank

This is the easiest part of the process. Make sure you fill the tank gradually while it is submerged under cold water. Keep an eye on the pressure gauge and stop filling once the the optimum pressure is reached.

5. Releasing Some Air and Removing the Hose

Make sure all the valves are tightly shut before you stop filling the tank. You should release some extra air to see if the pressure is regulated properly and the tank is full. Carefully remove the hose and shut the compressor off, and voila! You have successfully filled your scuba tank.

Also check out: How Long Will a Scuba Tank Last?


Filling a scuba tank at home is fairly easy as long as you can access the right equipment. Ensure following all the given steps carefully since any mistake can lead to a faulty pressure tank. Once the air tank is full, store it in a cool and dry place in an upright position.

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