Leaking valves

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Jul 14, 2010
    I have an older horn, and it seems to be leaking out of one of the valves probably the third valve.

    The horn has a good seal. I can seal the bell against my leather coach, hold the spit valves tight, and not blow through it. Too my surpise it even forced air back at me when I stopped. I tried it with all the valves down too.

    Any ideas, I think it happens when I finger the valves.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2010
  2. jbkirby

    jbkirby Forte User

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    Sep 10, 2009
    Dothan, Alabama
    Look at each valve very carefully and be sure there is not place such as a pin hole where air is leaking (valves are hollow). Put soapy water in the horn and try to pressurize it again with the bell plugged and look for bubbles (this old tire repair trick just might help you find a leak in a soldered joint).

    If the horn itself is tight, then the valves may be loose from wear. Do they have side-to-side play? Have you pulled the valve slides without pressing the valves to listen for the "pop" indicating good compression?

    I hope this helps!!
     
  3. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    If it seals against your couch, what makes you think the valves are leaking?
     
  4. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

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    Jul 14, 2010
    Small amounts of liquid is dripping on me.
     
  5. Brekelefuw

    Brekelefuw Fortissimo User

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    Mar 21, 2006
    Toronto
    Oil pushes dirt and moisture down in to the bottom valve caps. Check that they aren't full of gunk, causing the water to leak out of the hole in the bottom.
     
  6. fraserhutch

    fraserhutch Mezzo Piano User

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Novato, CA, USA
    Isn't there a small hole on the bottom of your valve? Sometimes saliva can leak from there. Sometimes saliva can leak from your spit valve, and in my case, it often comes out the bell.

    It's not necessarily a leaky valve.
     
  7. ComeBackKid

    ComeBackKid Fortissimo User

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    May 11, 2009
    Yorba Linda, CA
    Keep in mind that "leaky" can have two meanings. Leaking AIR will cause the instrument to have a hissy, airy sound when it is played (if the leak REALLY bad). You would certainly detect that type of leak the way you tested it. Alternatively, removing the 1st valve slide, putting your thumb over the outlet (usually the top) pipe, depressing all the valves, and blowing into the MP receiver will allow you to pressurize the valves and waterkeys to check for air leaks - sometimes referred to as "compression".

    The second type of leak is water. The water that collects in the trumpet can work its way down the pistons during playing and leak into the bottom caps. Such leaking can occur on any trumpet if you play with the bell held high allowing the water to run into the valves rather than collect in the tuning slide, or if you make excessive water, or if you blow so hard, it pushes the water into the valves.

    So, it is just a matter of figuring out how the water is reaching the valves in the first place.
     

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