How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Forum dedicated to tips and tricks for new riders and veterans alike.

How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby Salmonslayer » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:08 pm

I have been asked how to fix valve delaminations in the past and I have a little extra time on my hands, so I thought I would post what works for me. I am interested in hearing what works for others. I am not interested in defending what I do, because you think it sucks, so save it for someone else. :o

I recently bought a 16M Bularoo and bar on EBay with disclosed, but undiagnosed bladder problems. I have some experience repairing bladders and experience specifically with the Bularoo one pump bladder set up. I probably paid more than I should have because I did not really factor in the risk of unknown bladder issues for a one pump system that was notoriously difficult to fix.

I received the kite and pumped it up. The kite immediately deflated. I pumped it up again and sprayed soapy water on the valves and near the internal one pump connections. The valve on the #2 and #4 strut were bubbling quite a bit. The easiest way to fix delaminated valves is to buy U-stick Valves for about $15 each. However, when you have a kite with a low resell value it is hard to justify spending 15%-50% of the value on repairs. If I had a fairly new kite, I would be much more likely to go with the U-stick valves.

For this repair I assumed my time had no value. It was less than 1 hour of labor. The more valves you need repaired on a bladder, the more it makes sense to use this repair method IMHO

What you need

3M 5200 Adhesive Sealant - About $7 at home Depot in the paint dept.
Sand paper
Permanent marker
Rubbing Alcohol to clean the surfaces before gluing.
Cardboard
Optional
Stainless ring or some other weight to hold down the valve flange while drying
Bladder What you need.jpg
Bladder What you need.jpg (129.43 KiB) Viewed 6143 times


In this situation the valves were barely stuck to the strut, so they came off as I was pulling the strut through the unzippered opening that is used to access the strut bladders and valves. With most valves there should be bladder access point nearby. With the Bularoo, the access points allowed me to repair the bladder without disconnecting the internal one pump connections or loosening the bladder at the strut tip. I just pulled enough bladder and valve through the opening to easily re-glue the valves. I put a piece of cardboard behind the bladder to provide flat surface to work on and keep the bladder flat.
Bladder ready to remove.jpg
Bladder ready to remove.jpg (123.91 KiB) Viewed 6143 times



Step 1 Remove the valve. In my case it was already removed. If your valve is leaking, but mostly still well glued to the bladder, you can use hot water to soften the glue and bladder materiel enough to peel off the valve. Take a cup of water at room temperature, and put it in the microwave for 1 minute. This is should give you very warm water, but not too hot to work with. Just dip the valve and bladder in cup to raise the temp and then slowly and carefully peel them apart.

Step 2 Clean the bladder and valve flange with rubbing Alcohol. I am not sure this is needed with 3M 5200, but it seems to be a common practice to use it when repairing bladders.

Step 3 Lightly scuff the surfaces you are going to glue with the sand paper. I am not sure this is needed with 3M 5200, but it seems to be a common practice to use it when repairing bladders.

Step 4 Place the valve back on the bladder and trace the proper position with a permanent marker and mark the inside of the hole in the bladder. Also, Pay attention to which way the tab that holds the valve plug is positioned and mark it with a line. You will forget to position the valve tab properly without this line. I guarantee it.
Bladder lines drawn.jpg
Bladder lines drawn.jpg (131.16 KiB) Viewed 6143 times


Step 5 Apply the 3M Adhesive Sealant to the bottom of the valve flange. It does not take much, so don’t squirt it on like it is toothpaste

Step 6 Place the valve on the bladder while paying attention to the lines you have drawn. When pushing the flange down, give it a ¼ inch turn one direction and then back to make sure the adhesive is well spread out. Then push down on the flange and make sure you are forcing any excess adhesive towards the outside edge of the flange instead of into the middle of the valve. If your valve does not have a ball or flap stopper, you should be able to see the small hole in the bladder by looking down the center of the valve.
Bladder valve 1.jpg
Bladder valve 1.jpg (130.35 KiB) Viewed 6143 times

Bladder valve 2.jpg
Bladder valve 2.jpg (118.86 KiB) Viewed 6143 times

Bladder valve 3.jpg
Bladder valve 3.jpg (99.1 KiB) Viewed 6143 times


Step 7 Optional -Place a stainless ring or similar on the flange to help hold it against the bladder materiel while it dried. I forgot to take a picture of this.

Step 8 You are done. Walk away. 3M 5200 takes a long time to dry. In garage with 50 degree temps it took about 48 hours to dry enough to put back on the kite.

Step 9 It is breast cancer awareness month. Go fly your pink kite with pride.

Success!!! I pumped up the kite and it held air for four hours
Bularoo1.jpg
Bularoo1.jpg (151.02 KiB) Viewed 6143 times


A couple of notes

Aqua Seal is used as the adhesive for bladder to bladder gluing. I have not successfully been able to glue a valve to a bladder using Aqua Seal.

3M 5200 is a marine caulking you use when you want to seal below the water line thru-hull fittings on a boat. It is VERY dependable and probably the most permanent caulking you will ever use. There is another marine caulking called Sika Flex 291 that should work just as well but is untested for bladders as far as I know.

When you have an old bladder it is a good idea to keep them around use for parts. I have saved a lot of time and money using spare bladder parts. If you need an extra valve or patch the spares come in handy. With a little trial and error you can easily become an effective and efficient bladder doctor. I took a kite to Airtime once for a LE repair. They could not believe the Frankenstein bladder I was using. The installed a new one at a substantial discount. I think they felt sorry for me. I still keep "Frankenstein" as a spare.

Let me know if you need any clarification on these steps.

Good luck with your repairs.

Paul
Last edited by Salmonslayer on Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:48 pm, edited 3 times in total.
'08 Nemesis HP 10m, 12m, 14m
'12 Naish Parks 5m, 7m, 9m
'13 149 MTH Custom
'14 135 Brokite Hybrid
Jailbird Rashie by Neil Pryde
'13 Engine Harness
Q-Powerline
Carkeek Swim Team distance swim specialist
User avatar
Salmonslayer
Tacoma Fanboy
 
Posts: 2743
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:07 am

Re: How to Fix Valve Nipples on the cheap.

Postby PistolPete » Sat Oct 26, 2013 8:54 pm

Nice post Paul. I have used the same method, seems to work just fine. I did have success with Aquaseal but it was tricky to work with, it has toluene (a nasty chemical...use outside only) which kind of melts/shrinks the bladder material. Aquaseal won't stick to itself (a second layer) very well and is too thick/sticky to work with at room temperature so by putting the sealed tube in hot water to warm up for a while makes it less viscous and easier to work with. After using it, put it in a ziplock bag and keep it in the freezer (requires water to cure so it won't cure if frozen).

Instead of finding old kites to part out for bladder material, does someone sell small rolls of bladder material (like Seal-A-Meal does)?
Attachments
sealameal.jpg
sealameal.jpg (35.13 KiB) Viewed 6137 times
User avatar
PistolPete
 
Posts: 324
Joined: Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:14 pm

Re: How to Fix Valve Nipples on the cheap.

Postby PKSP » Sun Oct 27, 2013 3:55 pm

they are just called valves. there are no nipples involved. i feel misled. dont do that again please.

also, i (and many people i know) have used aquaseal many times to stick valves to bladders. it works excellent. as far as i know, way better than anything else. it takes a solid layer, and to be weighted down and compressed overnight. the right size sockets, or pvc, or two rolls of cloth athletic tape stacked on top of each other, and a weight on top. a tip is to put a piece of wax paper inside the bladder behind the hole, so you dont accidentally glue the bladder to itself. the paper will live in the bladder after that, but it is no problem.
PKSP
 
Posts: 24
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2012 2:58 pm

Re: How to Fix Valve Nipples on the cheap.

Postby jcarlson » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:00 pm

I have also re attached at least two valves with aquaseal, weight, wax paper like PKSP said. One of the kites has only been flown once or twice post repair, the latest hasn't flown yet but looks solid. Unfortunately after finding and patching pin hole, then replacing the damaged dump valve (I didn't think it was likely leaking, but the part you pull was seperating from the plug) it still has a slow leak I can't find. The stick on replacement valve came off when I pulled the bladder back into the kite, so I had to patch the bladder and aqua seal the valve on. I have more time into this kite than its probably worth, but I didn't know that going into the repair process.
User avatar
jcarlson
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2007 8:13 am

Re: How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby Salmonslayer » Sun Oct 27, 2013 10:47 pm

Here is a video on using U-Stick valves
phpBB [video]
'08 Nemesis HP 10m, 12m, 14m
'12 Naish Parks 5m, 7m, 9m
'13 149 MTH Custom
'14 135 Brokite Hybrid
Jailbird Rashie by Neil Pryde
'13 Engine Harness
Q-Powerline
Carkeek Swim Team distance swim specialist
User avatar
Salmonslayer
Tacoma Fanboy
 
Posts: 2743
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:07 am

Re: How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby IslandKiter » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:53 pm

Thanks for posting this. I cracked one of my valves at Damon on Sat.
I didn't know how complicated it would be to fix, but it looks like a relatively easy repair using one of those u-stick valves.
I will order one of those up ASAP and hopefully have my 10m ready to go by the time it blows again.
User avatar
IslandKiter
 
Posts: 606
Joined: Thu Apr 25, 2013 1:25 pm

Re: How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby hnoor0044 » Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:13 am

The stick on replacement valve came off when I pulled the bladder back into the kite, so I had to patch the bladder and aqua seal the valve on. I have more time into this kite than its probably worth, but I didn't know that going into the repair process.
hnoor0044
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 2:43 am

Re: How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby Salmonslayer » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:31 pm

I have never had a stick-on peel off easily. Did you apply the alcohol swab and clean it up first? Some people treat them like a communion wafer and try to catch a buzz sucking on them.



Sometimes you got to spend a bit more time than seems worth it for a repair. It will pay off in the future when you gain confidence in your repair skills and can easily fix a kite and get back on the water quicker
'08 Nemesis HP 10m, 12m, 14m
'12 Naish Parks 5m, 7m, 9m
'13 149 MTH Custom
'14 135 Brokite Hybrid
Jailbird Rashie by Neil Pryde
'13 Engine Harness
Q-Powerline
Carkeek Swim Team distance swim specialist
User avatar
Salmonslayer
Tacoma Fanboy
 
Posts: 2743
Joined: Sat Jun 20, 2009 12:07 am

Re: How to Fix Valves on the cheap.

Postby ivette.carlier » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:26 am

This is just a wonderful post. It's a little bit old but I just discovered it. Nice post!
ivette.carlier
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 14, 2017 5:05 am


Return to Tips and Tricks

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest