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Air mattress pinhole leaks

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Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby CAMERONM » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:05 pm

Since Lumbergh mentioned in his post a problem with finding a slow leak in his air mattress, I'll mention a tip that merits a separate post. No, you are probably not going to find that pinhole leak while having an unpleasant time submerging the mattress in freezing cold running water. The trick is to make up a small solution of soapy water and rub it over the mattress until you see some micro bubbles appear. Sleep well tonight...



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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby oldranger » Fri Jan 19, 2018 3:54 pm

The soap trip does not always work! 2 times I've sent mattresses into Exped because I could not find the leaks with soapy water at home. My theory is that they don't leak rapidly enough to spot the leak unless you put the additional pressure of your weight on the mattress.
Mike

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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:47 pm

Exped has patched my synmat four times now, so I have to wonder what they do differently and if it can be replicated at home...
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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby freestone » Fri Jan 19, 2018 4:57 pm

On my last trip I developed a pinhole leak in my Exped mat as well. I did the lake thing and found the hole no problem but it was tricky keeping my eye on exactly where the hole was because as soon as the mat dried the hole became invisible. But that was just the beginning of my frustrations. When I was ready to apply the patch, I discovered that the glue in the tube had dried out, so I had to settle with using pine sap and to my amazement it worked out well enough so I could make it through the night without recharging the mattress with air.

I think I am giving up on air mats, or at least have a backup. Probably a modified Z-rest pad with an air mat that has no insulation. I always carry one anyway as a sit pad and did that when the mat had a leak. it was actually a very comfortable combination.

The new BA AXL air pad may be just what I am looking for.
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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby SirBC » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:26 pm

CAMERONM wrote:Since Lumbergh mentioned in his post a problem with finding a slow leak in his air mattress, I'll mention a tip that merits a separate post. No, you are probably not going to find that pinhole leak while having an unpleasant time submerging the mattress in freezing cold running water. The trick is to make up a small solution of soapy water and rub it over the mattress until you see some micro bubbles appear. Sleep well tonight...


This is how I find leaks in my keggerator setup :drinkers:
-------------
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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby CAMERONM » Fri Jan 19, 2018 5:53 pm

I worked with some inflatable "pinholely" pneumatics professionally for a time, so I know from experience that soapy water is the most certain diagnostic path. Lack of success might mean finding a more bubbly soap, or putting more pressure on the matt. The actual pressure coming out of a pinhole is very little, so just about any type of adhesive tape should take care of the problem, at least on a somewhat smooth plasticky material. Several mentions of Exped here; I have never had a problem with a contemporary Thermarest. In ancient times I once field-repaired an old fabric Thermarest using a the bottom of a pot of hot water to seal the patch.
Last edited by CAMERONM on Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Air mattress pinhole leaks

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:10 pm

I have had Thermarest, Big Agnes, Exped, and continue to use Exped because they are most comfy for me. But they all get leaks, because they are all made of the same &%6&*# stuff, no matter the terminology. They all have a life span and they all wear out. And those three brands take care of their stuff, good customer support. Thank goodness. Stopped using NeoAir when they became wildly different from my original one. Stopped using Big Agnes because the Exped is lighter.
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