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Slow air leak in tubes - valve tightening & cleaning

Note: 95% of inflatable boat slow air leaks can be attributed to loose or improperly fitted air valves. All Newport Vessels products are pressure tested and logged three times during the production process. The third and final air pressure test consists of the entire boat being inflated to capacity and then PSI gauged and logged 4 times during a 24-hour period. This extreme attention to detail & obsession with quality ensures that all defective products are caught before they are shipped to customers. If you’re experiencing a rapid air leak that can be heard or seen, then this means that you are not properly locking the air valve.

If you're experiencing an air leak that is only noticeable over a several day or week period, then this means only 1 of 3 possible events are occurring (Tear in the fabric, leaky seam, or air valve leak). Remember, 95% of all slow air leaks can be attributed to loose or improperly fitted air valves.

Find the problem:

Newport Vessels inflatable boats use interior baffles, so it is possible for a leak in one air chamber to affect or cause a neighboring chamber to become soft as well. So the first thing you need to do is determine which chamber is the problem chamber. To do this, you will need to deflate all air chambers and then fully inflate only 1 air chamber at a time. After fully inflating 1 air chamber, close the valve cap and use a spray bottle of soapy water (the more soap the better) and thoroughly spray the solution all over the air valve. You’re looking to find small bubbles forming around the inside of the cap or the outside perimeter of the valve. If bubbles are found, the problem is found. Remember you’re looking for even extremely tiny bubbles and in cases of slow air leaks it helps to apply pressure by sitting on the tube to help make the leak more noticeable when soapy water has been applied. Also we recommend that you apply the soapy water generously and then sit on the tube for 3-4 minutes and wait to see if even very small bubbles form. If the inflated chamber does not produce any bubbles then repeat the above steps with each of the other chambers & valves in order to pinpoint the leak.

Fix the Problem:

When the soapy mixture was applied, if bubbles were found around the valve perimeter, then this means that the valve needs to be tightened, reoriented (by reinstalling), or your valve is damaged and needs to be replaced. View video “Slow Air Leak in Tubes – How to Find & Fix” for how to remove & reinstall.

It is possible that over time, dirt, debris, salt, or any other build up may accumulate on the inside rubber seal of the valve. This rubber seal creates the air-tight seal that is needed to keep your tubes fully inflated, so many times this accumulation of debris can cause a small gradual air leak that can make the air chambers soft. The best way to remove or clean this debris is to use the foot pump to blow air throughout the valve by placing the air nozzle about 2 inches away from the valve and pumping the pump. However the best way to clean the valves is to fully remove them by using the valve wrench that can be found in your repair kit. If you cannot find this piece you can get them from our website (Valve Repair Kit). Clean the inner rubber seal with a cotton swab and then re-install the valve. Instructions for doing this can be found in the video “Slow Air Leak in Tubes - How to Find & Fix”.

If it’s determined that the leak is coming from around the valve perimeter, you can also apply a thin layer of glue around the valve housing as well as on the hole where the cap string attaches to the valve. Many times this simple solution can solve the problem as well. You can either use glue or any household standard silicone for this quick fix as well.