Author Topic: Finding slow leaks in your wing  (Read 626 times)

HBsups

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Finding slow leaks in your wing
« on: September 19, 2020, 02:10:06 PM »
Hello
Can anyone help out with some tips for finding slow leaks in the wing?
I have tried submerging the wing to look for bubbles, but didnít see anything (and very hard to get the centre strut under).
Also had a go at brushing with water and dishwashing liquid, but didnít see anything (also it was a slightly half hearted attempt as I got paranoid about the potential affect of the soap on the wing).

Are there any other tricks, or do I just give it to the repair guys and let them figure it out?
Is there a safe way to close the hose from strut to leading edge without damaging the hose, so I can figure out which part Iím dealing with?

These feel like rather rookie questions, but Iíve found that sometimes the obvious approach isnít necessarily the best....
Thanks in anticipation for any ideas!
Cheers Hamish

PonoBill

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #1 on: September 19, 2020, 03:57:39 PM »
If you pull the bladder out (look at some videos to see the right way to get it out and put it back) and inflate it to where it's just slightly firm, you can find the leak fairly easily and fix it. The bladder generally has to come out to repair it anyway, so it's not a pointless exercise. You can spray it with soap water and look for bubbles, but once you get the bladder out of the fabric tube the leak(s) will be much more obvious. The bladder doesn't have enough strength to contain itself with much air pressure--it's weaker than a kids baloon--the fabric tube does the containing, so you CAN'T get too carried away pumping it up. Just enough to get the wrinkles out of it. There's just no way to find a leak with the bladder in the wing unless the leak is in the feeder tube to the strut or in the valve. Check those first.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

clay

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #2 on: September 19, 2020, 07:51:15 PM »
This video helped me fix a slow bladder leak. I had the patch kit on hand, hardest part was getting the bladder back in straight without any twists.  Hoses and valves were a bit tricky, just needed to pay closer attention to how they connect:

https://youtu.be/X-PBgFCFplA
Aloha, I welcome and appreciate all responses of positivity and good feeling.

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HBsups

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #3 on: September 20, 2020, 01:54:31 AM »
Thank you very much PB and Clay.
That gives me confidence to have a crack at the repair myself. May as well start learning.
And...waddya know there is actually a bit of a repair kit and instructions with all that stuff I ignored when unboxing the wing.
Cheers H

Dwight (DW)

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #4 on: September 20, 2020, 04:18:39 AM »
The factories use powder to help the bladders slide in and out, but Iíve done many kites just using a garden hose and water. Slides in and out no issue.

steamroller

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #5 on: September 20, 2020, 10:38:23 AM »
slow leaks are a super hassle...big leaks are easy...

pump the wing up to whatever pressure youre supposed to use... for mine i use 6psi and fill up one of those garden sprayers  with dish soap and water...you want it really bubly....spray the heck out of the all the bladders...totally soak up with soapy water you wont hurt them and youre going to hose them off anyway


big leaks will immediately startbubbling like hell and you'll know where it is easily...measure the distance from a fixed point...2 feet port or starbord of the main valve or whatever

for slow leaks they take longer bubble and it might be very small fine bubbles that only bubble for a short while when the pressure is still high enough...i.e. when the pressureis 6psidown to 5 psi the small holes will bubble but then once it drops below 5psi it won't bubble anymore...thats the real hassle and where you really need to keep close track of measurements so you can find the leak when you take out the bladder...

once you find all the leaks and measured them from a reference point ....hose off everything to get all the soap off...pull out the bladder and with a sharpie pen mark where you think the hole is...inflate the bladder just a little bit an grabbing about a foot either side of your mark...choke it off with your hands and submerge it in a bathtub ...hopefully you'll see bubbles in the water...the big holes will bubble easy...the little holes might not...for the little holes you may have to squeeze the inflated section harder because it'll only leak at the higher pressure

finding the leaks is the hardest part...then you just use the patch kit from fixmykite.com...basicly super sticky band aid stickys that work really well...or flex tape works well too and its at lowes and home depot

steamroller

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #6 on: September 20, 2020, 10:41:18 AM »
but like pono did you gotta be really carefull when you squeeze the bladder to find the small leaks...its super fragile...i usually fix the big leaks that are easy to find but small high pressure only leaks i just buy a new bladder...way too much hassle

PonoBill

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Re: Finding slow leaks in your wing
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2020, 04:59:10 PM »
but like pono did you gotta be really carefull when you squeeze the bladder to find the small leaks...its super fragile...i usually fix the big leaks that are easy to find but small high pressure only leaks i just buy a new bladder...way too much hassle

True that. But slow leaks get faster if you add a little pressure to a damaged bladder. I'd order a bladder--it's worthwhile having a spare--but then get all brave and put a bit more air in until the bladder is a little bigger than the tube it came out of--assuming you can remember how big that would be. the added stretch will make the holes bigger and you can find them easier.

No guarantees, I'm 1 for 1 on exploding my bladder when its outside the wing. I'm saying what I will do NEXT time. I was looking at the end i thought was going to give me troble while the other end was puffing up to about 3X size. Just as I reached to the inlet to release the pressure--POP. New bladder.
Foote 10'4X34", SIC 17.5 V1 hollow and an EPS one in Hood River. Foote 9'0" x 31", L41 8'8", 18' Speedboard, etc. etc.

 


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