What to do if inflatable boat compartments become soft over time?

All inflatable products, including dinghies, kayaks and rafts are tested at our factory. They are kept fully inflated for 48 hours after the SATURN logos are applied to the product tubes. Therefore, it is extremely unlikely that brand new inflatable  products are leaking air right out of the box. If air is escaping rapidly from a valve when you inflate your product for the first time, then most likely you are not properly locking the air valve.

If you leave your boat fully inflated, come back in a couple days or weeks and the air chambers are soft, then there are only 3 possible reasons for that: micro puncture somewhere on a fabric surface, leaky air valve, and least likely is a leaky seams, which is definitely a warranty issue.

Please note, that since air chambers are separated by inner baffles, it is possible that air leak in one chamber will cause other chamber to become soft too. In this case you will need to pinpoint which chamber is actually leaking air. To do that you will need to deflate other chambers, and inflate only one chamber at the time to the full air pressure, and then see if it will get soft overt time, or if you can find air bubbles anywhere with application of soapy water. If inflated chamber holding air well and no soapy bubbles are observed, then it means that some other chamber can be compromised. Repeat same operation with different chambers until you will pinpoint leaking chamber. If you suspect that a valve is the source of the slow leak, you can verify this by fully inflating the air chamber,
closing the valve cover and applying a soapy water mixture around the valve housing and cover cap. Air may escape around the valve plastic body perimeter, cap body perimeter, or in the place where the string securing the valve cover cap enters the valve housing.

If air leak is very slow, it might be difficult to immediately detect air bubbles. Try to press on air chamber to increase pressure or leave for couple minutes. If valve is leaking, then you will see small bubbles forming in a place of air leak.

Over time, it is possible that debris, sand, dirt, oils and grime will accumulate on the rubber seal ring that is designed to keep the valve air tight. That may allow a small amount of air to slowly escape, making the tube and chambers soft. To remove debris you will need to blow air into the open valve with a hand pump while keeping the hose slightly away from valve’s
unlocked pushpin. It might be also possible to splash a bit of acetone inside the valve to clean off the dirt and grime. Leave the valve open to let the acetone evaporate. If that does not help, remove the valve with a special valve tool, clean the rubber seal with a cotton swab soaked in acetone and re-install the valve with a tight fit. If that does not help, then valve needs to be replaced.

If you are observing air bubbles around the valve housing perimeter while applying a soapy mixture, there is a possibility that the valve needs to be tightened with a specialized valve tool. Such tools may be purchased or borrowed at http://saturninflatableboats.ca/air-valves.html.
It should also be included with your repair kit.

You can also quickly seal the slowly leaking air valve by applying a thin layer of glue around the valve housing perimeter, or putting a drop of glue inside the opening, where the string that secures the valve cover enters the valve housing, if you observe air bubbles at that particular place. Household silicone sealant may also be applied in place of the glue.

Click Play to see Video how to replace air valve or visit http://youtu.be/IBQ3E8BoV5Q

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