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Thread: Bladder Elbow leak. Why give up on repair?

 

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    Bladder Elbow leak. Why give up on repair?

    If I understand correctly from similar posts, the original elbow connection was an RF (radio frequency) weld. The elbow was cracked so I removed it. The weld separated cleanly. Is there no way to fix this? The bladder is fine otherwise and the BCD is in great shape. OK, now is when many will say get a new BCD. The bladder is from a near new Seapro Atpac. It's in great shape right down to the marbles loaded in the back. I would really like to repair the bladder.
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    Quote Originally Posted by scubasteve65 View Post
    It's in great shape right down to the marbles loaded in the back.




    What marbles?

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    You can try some water-bed sealant. That has worked pretty well in some of my repairs. You can also try something like aquaseal.

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    Thanks for the link dannobee. Not exactly sure what I'm looking at. "This is designed to be used with wing bladders that are not welded to the base". Huh? How would I get to the inside of the bladder? I once replaced an OPV valve in a drysuit but I obviously had access to both sides. In regards to something like aquaseal I would try it but the elbow cracked at the flange that would have effectively been RF welded to the interior side of the bladder. I guess what I'm thinking is something like a bulkhead fitting that would be flanged on the inside and tightened down from the top. OR just try gluing a flanged elbow that was originally there (Anyone have one salvaged from a bladder?) Oh, and for the marbles, the atpac is essentially a hard pack that's interior was loaded with weight with a release door. This one is filled with glass marbles to avoid corrosion and getting jammed on the inside like lead shot might.

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    marbles pic

    Here is a picture of the release door. The hinge pin laying in the foreground is attached by stainless steel cable so you don't lose it.
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    At Packs....A shop I where I worked sold them, and once while I was in the pool demonstrating to my class how the weight system worked, I released the trap door mechanism and....nothing happened. The weight balls just stayed stuck in the back. Mine had a combination round lead weights and marbles. I had to rap on the back pack several times to get the weights to drop. It was very embarrassing moment but now thinking about it brings a smile to my face.

    If I remember correctly, the bladder did not have an over pressurization valve as there was one in the inflator/deflator mechanism. If you are able to repair or replace the bladder, I have to suggest installing a standard overpressure/dump valve. This is normally the type of project a DIY personality would tackle as the time a shop technician has to spend on it make it cost prohibitive.... fair dues to you for giving it a shot.

    If you have completely removed all of the old material from where the old elbow was mounted, and are down to clean vinyl, I think your best bet would be to install a bondless fitting. I.e. an inner flange with a gasket, a outer flange/elbow also with a gasket. Here is a link to another site where you may get a better idea of what Dannobee was pointing out. EXP Wings by Dive Rite - Dive Gear Express You will probably need the elbow and flange assembly. If you are going to install an OPV you will need the Overpressure Relief and Dump valve and another flange assembly.

    I will be interested to hear the outcome, please keep us posted.

    Couv
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    Elbow pic

    ok, I called it a bulkhead fitting for lack of a better term. But a "bondless fitting. I.e. an inner flange with a gasket, an outer flange/elbow also with a gasket" is what I meant to say (thanks Couv). So where to get one? The attached pic is a typical replacement bcd elbow when the receiving threads are already there. Even if I could find the the male threaded piece would I attempt to stretch the urethane opening just enough to get it on the interior? I'm assuming I need the threads to be the diameter of the whole but the flange to be a bit larger than the hole. I'm also including a pic of typical pvc bulkhead fitting and an Aquarium bulkhead elbow fitting to sort of illustrate the idea. Both are sizes around 1".
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    Here is another thread you may find helpful.

    Reattaching the filler tube to the bladder

    But basically, to replace your elbow you will need: an elbow, two gaskets, and the inner flange. The inner flange goes inside the bladder and has the male threads on it. The elbow goes on the outside, has the female threads, and screws onto the inner flange. Yes you will have to stretch the bladder a bit to get the inner flange in.

    Here is a site with more pictures:

    Wing Parts | Wings, BCs, Harnesses | Scuba Geek Canada


    Couv
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    The good thing with those bladders is that if it tears slightly while stretching it to get the male in inside, that can be easily re-glued - if the tear is smaller than the male piece. If it's not, you sometimes have to create a small compression fitting using a small screw and 2 pieces of metal.

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