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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've suspected slow leak in both bladders of my v-tube, and this weekend was the worst thus far. Trouble is, I'm having trouble finding the leaks. I fully inflated one bladder, rinsed with warm water, and then coated entirely with liquid soap, looking and listening for bubbles and hisses. Nothing.

Now I have it stood up on end in the tub so that at least I can assert that there IS a leak.

Any more suggestion for finding said leaks? Pretty sure I can repair once located.

TIA.
 

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Are you taking the bladder out of the boat fabric and performing your leak check? That might help find the leak. Just don't over inflate the bladder when it's out, you might have one big leak after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
it must be a real slow leak if the soap bubble test didn't show it up, how long is it taking to effect the fishing?

Eric
Half hour.

Are you taking the bladder out of the boat fabric and performing your leak check? That might help find the leak.
You're kidding, right?

Took bladders out, rinsed off any sand/debris, lightly coated with liquid soap to try and locate bubbling or hissing.

I feel like maybe I'm not explaining this right, it's not all that complicated. Boat losing air out of both bladders. This after reinflation to account for air molecule shrinkage once boat is in water. Losing enough air that it's affecting how well boat tracks.

Boat sinking=bad. Do not want to drown in lake. Must repair boat.
 

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Fill bathtub about 1/2 full. Inflate bladder, but not to firm. While keeping track of what you have and have not checked, submerge portions of the bladder under water. Check an area, move to another. At some point you should see bubbles.
 

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Maybe it's just me but I'm a bit different about bladders than I am about leaky waders. One is inconvenient and annoying while the other may be life threatening. I would make it simple and do one of two things (and I've done both): 1) If the boat is fairly new, too new for bladders to leak, send your bladders in to the mfr and request replacements...mention your concern for SAFETY on the note and ask for new ones vs repairs (if Creek Co would do it for me, anyone else should as well), or 2) Just order a new set of bladders if yours are old. If they just sprung random leaks and they're old, you're likely in for more of the same...why deal with that and whatever risk comes along with it? >> Understood if it's your only tube and you don't want to go without at this time of year...if that's the case I'd patch them (assuming you find the holes) then replace at season end.....and be extra cautious in the meantime. Good luck..
 

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If you used the method Michael suggested to no avail then I'd fear that there are numerous tiny holes, often along where a crease may have been or a seam. I agree with Ford_Fenders. Replacement is the safest route. Until then I'd minimize use or supplement use by wearing a PFD, again for safety. Sorry to hear of your troubles, but thus far the trouble is minimal. Most good inflatable companies will work with you to get you safely back on the water fast.
 

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Half hour.

You're kidding, right?

Took bladders out, rinsed off any sand/debris, lightly coated with liquid soap to try and locate bubbling or hissing.
I wasn't kidding, just asking. Sounds like you're already a step ahead of me, so you can forget my suggestion.

I hear you, you don't want to sink while in the middle of the lake. FF and Mumbles make a real good point about repair vs replacement depending on the age of the tube.
 

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Could that emergency roadside Fix-a-flat stuff work? You know the stuff that's pressurized in a can. Heck, might make sense to keep a spare can in a pocket on your boat.
 

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Not sure about the fix a flat stuff, but on that same thought process Tufo tires, a european bicycle tire company makes a sealant for their tubular and tubeless clincher tires. That stuff could work too. I'm not sure that the sealant stuff will work with urethane type bladders though. I know my friend had a puncture in his seat bladder and he quickly got off the lake. The local shop made a call and a new bladder was in the mail to him in a few days. Great service from those at Outcast for sure.
 

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I had a similar problem with my Super Fat Cat not long after buying it as a floor demo model from the old Kaufman's in Bellevue several years back. I couldn't find the leak to save my life despite doing all the things you noted above. So took it back to Kaufman's and they called Outcast about the problem and they sent me a brand new bladder.

The Kaufman's guys suggested I pay really close attention to the Halkey Roberts valve since they're notorious for leaking if a little piece of crud works it's way into the rubber flapper (and which is why the dust cap should always be snugged down tight, even when deflated.) I used a Q-Tip and alcohol to swab out the inside of the valve and a can of compressed air to blow out what I couldn't reach with the Q-Tip. I pumped it back up and left it in my garage for a couple of days. It was still holding air when the new bladder came and still holds air to this day. I kept the new bladder as a backup.

K
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I think the valve stems are stripped. I'll probably try inflating and then finishing off with electrical tape and take it out for a float on Green Lake tomorrow.

If that's the case, the valves will need to be replaced. The boat is a Trout Unlimited Togiak, made by Classic Accessories. I wonder if anyone knows how to contact them, as Google does not appear to be my friend.
 

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Humblest apologies SS, not magical, just a single destination. Not sure if it is beneficial for anyone.
 
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