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Old 14-01-2016, 10:38 PM
MalunEri MalunEri is offline
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Default Weakspots?
Hi, I apologize if this have been answered before, I know I have read somewhere on the web years ago, but I've been gone from the looner community for so long I've forgotten.

What about balloon weakspots? Which ones are safe, which ones aren't?
I'm a very phobic non popper, but I like my balloons tight, even with the neck showing. And that can be a tricky combination some times unless I'm very careful.
I often inflate my balloons near a source of light, and hold it up every few breaths just to see if a new weak spot shows up. Depending on how bad it looks, I may either continue blowing, let some air out and tie the balloon, or just let it go entirely while I run away screaming.

But I believe I might be over reacting sometimes, so which kind of weak spots are dangerous, and which ones aren't?

There are a few kinds that seems to be coming back.
  1. One looks like almost a small pinhole, but doesn't really grow in size even when the balloon grows, often found near the neck or at the drip point.
  2. One I believe may be the color of the balloon fading? It seems to be a larger area of the balloon that can appear more transparent than usual. It looks so dangerous I usually freak out.
  3. One kind probably doesn't seem very dangerous to me, it's lines that goes along with the shape of balloon, every balloon seems to have at least two of these. But some times it appears that a lot of other weakspots appear at them, and those scare me.
  4. Patterns in color, some times the color seems to be pretty spotty, in lack of a better word. Usually fades out a bit when the balloon gets bigger. Used to scare me more than it does now, but I'm still careful.
  5. Piece of rubber that kinda sticks out, like a wart or something. I have blown a balloon to full size with this kind of defect, and it have appeared to be alright, but some times there is a small ring of unevenes near these, and that scares me...
  6. Circle of doom, this I really believe to be dangerous, but I rarely see it. Its as if a pinhole mentioned above expands a lot as the balloon inflates. These I really believe to be deadly.
  7. Random effects that appears on an inflated balloon. I check my balloons when I inflate and before I tie them, but some times I see a weakness, usually a pinhole or something on the balloon after some play. It may have been there all along, but it still freaks me out. Can these burst an already inflated balloon?

So, which ones of these should I really watch out for? It seems most balloons at least have one kind, but I have gotten braver.
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Old 15-01-2016, 12:50 PM
Harley Harley is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
Hi! First off I must say that I'm really not an expert on this as I haven't handled many overinflated balloons due to phobia, but I wanted to thank you for the list of "defects" and your thoughts on them - it's very reassuring to hear that some of them may not be so fatal as they would appear!

However, I would like to say that 1 and 6, the "pinholes", do scare me a lot. Probably because they are usually more defined than other defects.
And when there is an area that appears more transparent I grow really wary and usually stay the heck away, so it would be interesting to know more about the causes and risks with these!
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Old 16-01-2016, 02:39 AM
MalunEri MalunEri is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
Not an expert myself, so I'm asking if anyone know more than I do, this list is my own experiences, and because I'm phobic I havent been able to experiment much.

I still believe large transparent areas just might be the color on the balloon fading and thus not dangerous at all, but Im afraid I might be mistaken and I havent dared to find out XD

Pinholes I find in a lot of balloons. I might just have bad luck, but I believe if I find them this often, how dangerous are they really? Considering how many balloons being inflated, how many would pop before reaching full size if all those little defects are as bad as I fear? Thats why I believe small pinholes, at least the very smallest ones that only look like a thinner part of the latex may not be as dangerous as they look?
But Im certainly too afraid to find out for myself.

I read an article on this on a looner site many years ago and Ive been desperate to find that again, with no luck.
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Old 16-01-2016, 05:48 AM
OverTheTop OverTheTop is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
#3 is usually a (harmless) side effect of using flute molds instead of paddle molds. If the balloons are flat, without folds, when you get them, they're typically made with paddle molds. When they have 4 "flaps" (or more, or less) then they'll have those lines.
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Old 16-01-2016, 11:15 AM
lyckr lyckr is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
I won't say these things are 100% true, but they're based on my experience and things I've read online in the past. Please correct me if I'm wrong on some of these points

1: Pinholes are harmless most of the time. These have still always concerned me just because of how weak these areas looks, but I've pushed several balloons with a pinhole quite hard without them popping, so you should usually be safe with these.

2: I think these are what they call "church windows". They can be dangerous depending on how they behave. If they're either really big (more than about 2cm?) or if they start growing after you've inflated the balloon, they might cause it to pop. If they stay small, you should be safe.

3: As OverTheTop said, these are mold lines and they're harmless 99.9% of the time. I had one 16" Cattex that had several pinholes and an actual hole along one of these, but it didn't pop even though it was half full by the time I realized it was leaking.

5: These are usually just a small patch of slightly thicker latex I think. They usually show up as a little darker patches when you blow them up and are harmless.

You might also find some useful information on the old UKLooners forums. It doesn't have much activity anymore, but there's a lot of good old posts if you do a bit of searching.
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Old 16-01-2016, 01:47 PM
MalunEri MalunEri is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
Thanks, that cleared a lot up for me.
I was active at those uklooner forums many years ago, so yeah, might have been where I read it.
But I forgot my old password, so I haven't been able to log in again to check there.
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Old 16-01-2016, 02:54 PM
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wildheart wildheart is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
I'm unable to register at uk looners, you have to email an admin. Never got anything back
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Old 26-04-2016, 12:43 PM
MalunEri MalunEri is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
Can confirm #2 as dangerous, I saw one on a blue TT17 today. No other weaknesses on the balloon, so I decided it might not be so bad.
It popped as I squeezed the balloon to try to stretch a neck.

Luckily, wasn't super loud, and I wore my ear protection, which mutes it a lot, but still freaked me out.
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Old 28-04-2016, 09:40 PM
InflatableSeal InflatableSeal is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
This is something I struggle with alot myself. I can't recall the number of times I've aborted a balloon inflation simply because I saw something that was even slightly suspect about them.
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Old 02-05-2016, 12:22 PM
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craggy2012 craggy2012 is offline
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Default Re: Weakspots?
I've a bag full of 'dodgy' new loons that I'm not sure about using....

Some are quite thick latex, but have visible, deep cracks in the surface of the latex and I'm fearful of them failing whilst inflating them for the first time...

I've even got a couple of Qualatex 36 rounds with thin spots that gradually appear in the latex when you start inflating them... Again- these I tend to keep underinflated so they're still dull matte looking rubber and just use they for sitting or laying across.
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