How to Tell If a Soccer Ball Has a Hole

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Estimated reading time: 2 min

Although soccer balls are made to endure the demands of the game, they can suffer damage that creates a small hole somewhere on the surface. You may not see the hole without actually looking for it, and the hole may only cause a slow leak. You might start playing with a properly inflated ball, and then you find that it is leaking air 10 or 15 minutes into the game. If you don’t know where the hole is, it is going to be hard to repair it. Continue reading to learn how to tell if a soccer ball has a hole.

Submerge the Ball in a Bucket of Water

If your soccer ball seems to be losing air, you can use the bucket of water test. First, make sure that you inflate your ball to the ideal pressure level. You can fill a bucket up with water. The bucket should be large enough that you can submerge the entire ball and see around its sides. Place the soccer ball in the water, and hold it completely under water. Now you will look for a small stream of bubbles. If you see a stream of bubbles that starts and stops, this does not indicate a leak. It is more likely air that is trapped in the seams of the ball. You are looking for a continuous stream of little bubbles.

Bubbles Coming From the Valve

If you notice that the stream of bubbles is coming from the valve, then you will know that there is something wrong with the valve. It could be defective, or it could be dirty. The first thing you should do is try to clean the valve. You will need a wet inflating needle to do this. Insert it a few times to get rid of any dirt. Then, you can resubmerge the ball into the water to find out if the air bubbles are gone.

If you still see air bubbles, your valve is defective, and you will need to replace it. It is important to make sure that you purchase a compatible valve for your soccer ball. You can check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Take the new valve and soak it in soapy water. Then, you can insert it into the ball and screw it into place. Once it is installed, you can inflate the ball to make sure that the valve is secure. This will fix a leaky valve.

Bubbles Coming From the Surface of the Ball

If you see a stream of bubbles coming from the surface of the ball, you probably have a small puncture wound somewhere on the surface or the bladder of the ball. You can repair this type of damage pretty easily. You should get a can of ball repair sealant from a sporting goods store. Then, you should deflate your ball until it is about three quarters full. Take the sealant can, and wet the needle on it. Then, you can insert the needle into the valve. You will spray the sealant for five or six seconds, and remove it. Now you can inflate the ball.

Once you have completed these steps, bounce the ball 10 or 15 times so that the sealant will be distributed evenly throughout the interior. Then, you should let it sit for about an hour. This will give the sealant a chance to settle. Your ball should be ready to go afterward.

It can be frustrating to have your soccer ball deflate while you are playing, but it is actually fairly common to have a leak after you have been using it for a while. Fortunately, you can use the methods above to easily find your leak and repair it.

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