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Old 22-10-2020, 10:55   #1
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Leaking Inflatable Valve

We have a Zodiac inflatable, circa 2004 in very good condition. Had a very slow leak in the starboard tube before I brought it home for cleaning and service. Discovered the valve has a very slow leak. Tried thread tape, grease everywhere and now vaseline. Bought a new valve, same problem. Dealer not helpful. Valve appears to be in good condition and no visible indications. Any ideas?
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Old 22-10-2020, 11:02   #2
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

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Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
We have a Zodiac inflatable, circa 2004 in very good condition. Had a very slow leak in the starboard tube before I brought it home for cleaning and service. Discovered the valve has a very slow leak. Tried thread tape, grease everywhere and now vaseline. Bought a new valve, same problem. Dealer not helpful. Valve appears to be in good condition and no visible indications. Any ideas?
If you have bought a new valve and replaced the old one and you still have a leak, then it must not be the valve itself.

You can only fix this if you find exactly how and where the air is coming out, through the valve, around the valve or through the fabric near the valve.

Once you figure that out then the path to fix it may be obvious. BTW, I have made small patches stay on with super glue and they hold for a few years.

Soapy water works for me.

I am not surprised that the dealer is not helpful, it is Zodiac, after all.
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Old 22-10-2020, 13:16   #3
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Rex, clean off the grease you used, and use silicone grease for vacuums. It seems the best for stuff like that. (gaskets and O rings love it)

It is possible, as Fred suggests, that the air is coming out around the valve. Maybe you can verify that before you go buy silicone grease, as soap and water (for bubbles) is lots cheaper!

Good luck with it. That's a very long life for a PVC dinghy.

Ann
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Old 22-10-2020, 15:12   #4
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Thank you all. Bubble test only tells me it is the valve, cannot pinpoint exact location. Leak is diminished with large gobs of Vaseline, will buy Silicone grease in the morning. Very long life for an inflatable but believe it was in the box until 2018. The new to us boat came with a lot of new in box, very old stuff.
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Old 22-10-2020, 15:30   #5
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

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Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
Thank you all. Bubble test only tells me it is the valve, cannot pinpoint exact location. Leak is diminished with large gobs of Vaseline, will buy Silicone grease in the morning. Very long life for an inflatable but believe it was in the box until 2018. The new to us boat came with a lot of new in box, very old stuff.
Rex, are you saying that the valve leaks even with the cap screwed on tight? Because there is an o-ring in that cap which, if clean, should be able to stop the leaking air.

BTW, my PVC Zodiac was purchased in 2009 and, not that I like it much, is still in use.
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:07   #6
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Yes, somehow it is escaping past the cap which is as tight as I can get it by hand. Soap test indicates the valve, nothing in surrounding area. Dingy propped up on side and soap the cap does not reveal a leak but it is somehow getting past the cap. Soap test on valve with cap off is boiling bubbles. Last check a few minutes ago and with cap off, cannot hear the leak - good thing. Will prop it up and soap test valve again in a couple of hours. Maybe it has finally seated?
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Old 22-10-2020, 16:23   #7
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rex Delay View Post
Yes, somehow it is escaping past the cap which is as tight as I can get it by hand. Soap test indicates the valve, nothing in surrounding area. Dingy propped up on side and soap the cap does not reveal a leak but it is somehow getting past the cap. Soap test on valve with cap off is boiling bubbles. Last check a few minutes ago and with cap off, cannot hear the leak - good thing. Will prop it up and soap test valve again in a couple of hours. Maybe it has finally seated?
It sounds like you are working the problem, and I'm pretty sure with your approach you will solve it, in time.

My experience with the Zodiac valves is that they often will leak with the cap off. With the cap off you can see it bubbling and hear it. With the cap on, if you cannot see any bubbling and cannot hear it, I'd say there is a possibility that another leak exists somewhere.
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Old 23-10-2020, 08:13   #8
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

One gotcha with the soapy water test. I had a leak in one of the tubes. I spent hours on the beach with gallons of soapy water without finding anything. Then we turned the boat "just so," and my girlfriend walked past it and then said, "I feel something." You could feel the air escaping a foot away from the tube. Spray soapy water and nothing. We ultimately by touch found a clean slice about 1/4 long. The air was leaking so fast that it would blow the soap solution away without making a single visible bubble.
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Old 23-10-2020, 13:20   #9
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Bought the silicone grease this morning. Instant fix! Decided to do the other 2 valves while at it and noticed the ones that did not leak had originally been coated with something while the one that did leak had been installed dry. All now cleaned and greased and holding tight! Thank you all.
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Old 23-10-2020, 20:05   #10
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Re: Leaking Inflatable Valve

Good on ya, mate. Success is so fun!
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