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Old 11-09-2004, 03:11 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Olympia, WA
Posts: 14,952
Finding an invisible leak in an air mattress?

I recently bought an air mattress that appears to be leaky - after 5-6 hours of sleeping on it, I can feel the floor through the bottom - but I can't find any visible leaks, nor feel air rushing out of it anywhere. I don't have a pool or anything large enough to submerge the mattress in, so does anyone know a way of finding leaks that can't be found just by looking?
Old 11-09-2004, 03:16 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 10
Using a spray bottle, fill it with soapy water, and spray it down while inflated. Pay particular to seams, but alas, it could be anywhere. Soapy bubbles getting larger will show your leaks.
Old 11-09-2004, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Jul 1999
Location: Taint of creation
Posts: 33,150
If it's new why fiddle with it? Just take it back and get a refund or replacement.
Old 11-09-2004, 03:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Location: Location:
Posts: 10,544
Use the spray, but work in sections, one at a time, before moving to the next. I have fixed numerous inflatable rafts, and submerging them in a pool isn't helpful. Spray bottle or sponge = way to go.
Old 11-09-2004, 03:20 PM
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Charm City, Hon
Posts: 3,380
Consider pouring or squirting a few cups of water into the mattress before you inflate it. Fill it to maximum pressure, and then apply pressure to it with each of the six sides down. The water should seek out any leaks. If you'd rather avoid the prospect of mildew inside your air mattress, mix it with rubbing alcohol or add a drop of bleach before putting the water in your mattress.
Old 11-09-2004, 04:36 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 43
pour liberal amounts ammonia and bleach into the mattress, close air intake, work your way around the mattress with a canary or smelling with your nose. when either one of you keels over, there's your leak
Old 11-09-2004, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Austin, Texas
Posts: 1,934
It wasn't a Coleman by any chance? I had the same problem with one, and I tried the soapy water approach without any luck. I ended up taking it to a swimming pool, inflated it there, hopped on and listened for hisses and looked for bubbles. It turned out I had 8 or 9 tiny leaks. I suspect it was a manufacturing problem.

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