Uncle Stu

Wader Repair: can't find the leak

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I've searched here and on Google, and I've studied all the tips on spraying alcohol on breathable material to find your leak, but I can't get it to work. I've got a leak that makes me wet inside one leg, but I can't locate it to fix it with Aquaseal... any tips? Thanks in advance. (They're over two years old, not worth a warranty claim, but worth a fix.)

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Uncle Stu is stocking foot guy I believe. 

 

I would like to hear if the fill with water thing works. Never tried it. 

 

First step for me would be narrowing down location of leak by putting on waders over a pair of black pants or dark jeans. Then submerge the leaky leg in water for just long enough for the pants to show a visible wet spot. 

 

I'd search the corresponding area on the waders for any visible signs of damage like abrasion. Then I'd try shining a headlamp through it in a dark room looking for a pin of light. 

 

If the leak area is near to a seam I'd aquaseal about a foot or two of the seam never hurts. Making sure to cover any stitching. 

 

 

 

 

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One thing might be interesting is if you cleaned the waders inside and out according to manufacturer's instructions and then tried the alcohol thing again. 

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did you try a flashlight inside the leg?

 

Flashlight

 

Dark room.

 

You MIGHT see the pin hole.  

 

Antoher suggestion, put affected foot or leg in water, like a pool or bucket, but only for a minute or two.  The wet spot on your pants will give you a general idea of the leaky location. 

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SOP for finding a leak in a waterproof membrane is fill the garment and look for wetting out of the face fabric as suggested above.

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The spraying alcohol trick on the inside usually works for me but not on the stocking foot booties. This spring I had a slow leak that would leave my sock wet on one foot. Couldn't find anything using alcohol so finally turned the waders inside out and did a really close inspection of the booties. Sure enough there was a worn area in the neoprene that I was able to fix with aqua seal. I also check the seams on the booties every year and glue down any seam tape that is lifting. 

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While I haven’t applied this to waders it is very effective for hard to find leaks. On YOU TUBE search “Smoke Machines for Vacuum Leaks”. The method is used for intake leaks in the fuel systems of performance autos. Watch a demo.0

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Flip the leg inside out, so exterior is inside now. Then fill it with water.

Youll probably spot the drip or a cracking seam in a few minutes.

 

Dont need to wet the insides all the way unless you plan to wash it all too.

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Excellent, thanks everyone. Gonna try your suggestions. For some reason my brain got fixated on the alcohol idea but as we all know... there's more than one way to skin a catfish. 

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Geez. What about just rolling the waders into a ball from the top down so they fill with air and lookibg for the air bubbles in a bathtub or pool like you would a tire?

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The water thing is the best way I’ve used.  If it a stocking foot just turn them inside out so your filling up the outside.  Helps in dry time and I always fix leaks from the inside first.  

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Posted (edited)

The best way I ever found to find non-obvious leaks was to wear cotton sweatpants (during the daytime) till you feel the leak and it won't take long. The cotton will be wet in a very specific area that will correspond to the area of the waders that needs to be repaired. Always worked for me because every previous method .was a crap-shoot and leaking waders for a second night is never a good option.

Edited by SC

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