How to find a small, slow leak in a large inflatable children's toy?
April 24, 2004 1:42 PM   Subscribe

Anybody have advice on how to find a small, slow leak in a large inflatable children's toy? [more inside]
posted by grateful to Society & Culture (8 answers total)
I'm too impatient to wait for the more... I recommend blowing it up and submerging it in water and watching for the bubbles.
posted by dobbs at 1:45 PM on April 24, 2004

Response by poster: I have to refill the castle walls on our Jumpolene every 2-3 days, and it's getting old. Also, what's the best way to fix the leaks? Ive fixed one or two with duct tape, which seems to work - no air is escaping from under the tape.
posted by grateful at 1:46 PM on April 24, 2004

That Jompolene would take a very big bathtub, dobbs.

Maybe find a way to inflate it with smoke?
posted by Kwantsar at 1:48 PM on April 24, 2004

Spray the whole thing down with soapy water, a couple of square feet at a time. The air leaking should create soap bubbles on the surface. It'll take forever, but it's probably the only way to find the leak, aside from dunking it in a swimming pool.
posted by mmcg at 1:53 PM on April 24, 2004

Fill it, dry it completely and put it on a dry surface, cover it with something dry like newspaper on all sides, and see where the moisture appears.
posted by bingo at 2:43 PM on April 24, 2004

I second the soapy water technique. I've patched many a summertime toy using that diagnostic. If you add a little glycerine (1/3 C. dish soap, 1 Tbsp. glycerine, 1 gal. H2O. YMMV) to your soapy water, you'll get better "bubble retention" resulting in a larger bubble which is easier to see.
posted by maniactown at 3:02 PM on April 24, 2004

But she don’t use bubbles
And she don’t use cheese
She don’t use newspaper
Or any of these
She uses vasoline, vasoline, vasoline
posted by m@ at 3:27 PM on April 24, 2004

I've had very little luck using duct tape to patch inflatables. You can buy a vinyl patch kit... look in a store where they sell air mattresses.
posted by Daddio at 3:59 PM on April 24, 2004

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