Float Tube Bladder Losing Air

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
I know "you get what you pay for" but my buddy has had an ODC 420 Ultralight (not) for a few years and has gotten a good bit of use out of it. A couple of years ago I got a sale flyer from Creek Company listing that tube for a ridiculously low price. I thought it was a great deal for drive-to lakes where there was no need to put wear and tear on my $420 Wilderness Lite (actual) ultralight tube.

I used the ODC 420 3 times and on the fourth trip found it has a leak at the right bladder-valve screw-in connection. I've tightened the valve as much as I possibly can. I emailed the mfg but got no response and as fate would have it they only list the left bladder in their catalog parts section. Anyone know how that bladder-valve connection can be repaired?

If it comes down to a new tube I don't want to buy another disposable float tube and was looking at ODC tubes for a possible replacement but it looks like they discontinued at least half of their float tube product line.

Do bladderless tubes hold up better?
Are any of the current Outcast tubes bladderless like my Trinity was (sold it to get the lighter Wilderness Lite)?
 

Freestone

WFF Supporter
Brian, does yours have the new push-button valve like this one:

3FF54120-B9BE-4D64-9CF8-05A9ADEB0999.jpeg

If so, can you say more about where exactly it is leaking? These types of valves are typically good but do require a little maintenance, no matter whether they are installed in bladders or bladder less tubes. If the leak is around the edge of the valve where the valve body meets the fabric, often that can be fixed by tightening the connect with a valve wrench. If it is leaking inside the valve, often a small piece of grit causes leaking and can be cleaned out with a Q tip and rubbing alcohol.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Thanks for the response! The new-style valve is leaking at one edge of the valve-bladder connection under the valve rim. I used the valve wrench that came with the float tube to tighten the valve as tight as I can get it with the bladder out of the nylon cover but there's a slow steady stream of bubbles coming out from under the valve rim when I test it. Is there supposed to be a gasket between the valve rim and the bladder or the bladder and the valve seat that remains inside the bladder?
 

Freestone

WFF Supporter
Thanks for the response! The new-style valve is leaking at one edge of the valve-bladder connection under the valve rim. I used the valve wrench that came with the float tube to tighten the valve as tight as I can get it with the bladder out of the nylon cover but there's a slow steady stream of bubbles coming out from under the valve rim when I test it. Is there supposed to be a gasket between the valve rim and the bladder or the bladder and the valve seat that remains inside the bladder?

Some valves do, some don’t. I would next try removing the valve and thoroughly clean both the bottom of the valve and the tube fabric. You might have a little grit between them. You might apply a little 303 to the surfaces before you reassemble them.

Best of luck!

Edit: I should note that I have had even the white powder that forms on valves and other materials sometimes cause leaks. It is amazing how little powder or grit it takes.
 
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Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
Thanks again for the response. Cleaned all surfaces inside and out and wiped with 303. The leak has slowed but not stopped. I found it's still a couple of years shy of the 5 year warranty so I resent a description of the problem along with a copy of the receipt to the email address on the website and is where I received a sale flyer from last month. It got an "undelivered message" reply from their email provider :confused:.
Your message could not be delivered for more than 4 hour(s).
It will be retried until it is 5 day(s) old.

I also tried the phone number on the receipt and it is not valid.
I shall keep trying.
 

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