Nobody wants a leaky valve but unfortunately with time, it happens… This is where the valve peels away from the bladder as the glue deteriorates and will result in a slow puncture. This is often discovered when looking for a puncture or if you wiggle the valve and hear a hissing noise.
Spare valves are sold at The Kitesurf Centre (£9.99) which already have an adhesive applied to them, just like a puncture repair patch. This saves buying a tube of Stormsure glue and makes for a quicker job with no drying time. However the whole process is outlined below in 10 simple steps for a standard valve replacement.
- Locate the leaking valve either by sound or if you can’t hear it, use bubbly water like you would for a normal puncture (Check previous post).
- Remove the bladder with the leaky valve. If it is on a one pump system, then remove the connecting tube if needed. Again, DON’T forget to tie a long string onto the valve or bladder if you need to remove the strut completely. Then you can pull it back through easily.
- If there is only a small leak then you can leave the valve in place and bung up and glue over the hole with Stormsure glue, however it is usually a sign that the rest of the glue is about to go too.
- If it is a large leak or you want to redo the gluing, remove the valve. It may be easier to heat it up using a hair drier first.
- Clean and sand the valve and bladder where it was attached.
- Apply a thin layer of glue around the base of the valve.
- Squish it back into place, making sure the bladder isn’t stretched or crumpled underneath the valve. It is best to put it on a flat solid surface for this and leave it here for drying.
- Apply pressure on the edges of the valve; an upside down shot glass normally does the trick.
- Weight it down and leave it to stick for 6 hours.
- Put the bladder back in and make sure there are no twists. Inflate and test.