How to find an airbed leak

29 March 2013

Over the winter, three of our airbeds decided to spring leaks. They were all sitting in the cupboard in the same bag, maybe I should have separated them because this seems like a group effort to me. The kids had a sleepover the other week so I blew them all up, by morning three out of four of the kids were lying on the floor and didn’t seem too happy about it.

That’s the trouble with air beds, most of the time they don’t deflate immediately they wait until 2.00am and then lower you gently onto the cold rocky floor.
text1 The Campingaz airbed I binned, but the expensive Coleman ones I decided to try and save. I blew them up as firmly as possible and listened. I ran my ear and upper lip all over the surface of both beds but couldn’t feel or hear a thing. I went online for help. Before I resorted to the messy option I decided to try this one. Take a paper tissue and place it firmly onto the airbed, it you hear a hissing noise there’s a leak (and you’ve been extremely lucky), if you don’t, move on to another area until you do find it. I didn’t find it.
Next I tried wetting my forearm and slowly moving it around the mattress while squeezing and listening. At this point, the sleepover girls were desperately phoning their parents to come and get them, before creepy Dad finished doing whatever he was doing on the living room floor.

None of that worked, I don’t think I was patient enough, so I tried this other method I found on a forum. I poured about 5 jug fulls of water inside the airbed plus a big squirt of washing up liquid. I gave it a good rattle around and then I inflated the bed. I put a cotton sheet on the floor, laid the airbed on top and rolled around for a while. When I looked underneath there was a tiny wetspot on the sheet, from that I located the leak from some bubbles on the airbed. The same thing worked for the other mattress, only it took a little bit longer because it was on the edge (so was I by then).

So that’s two things learnt, how to find a leak in your airbed and how to get rid of your daughter’s friends after a sleepover.

If you don’t have a repair kit, I've tried the and it works fine.

The best airbeds I've used are the Coleman Comfort ones, they are a bit more expensive but they've lasted us about four years which isn't too bad. I've listed a few below for you to have a look at.

Thanks for reading.

Ian Young

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