Best recipe for air leak solution

It has been a little over a year now that my Tracker has been up and running and I need to do an air leak test of the whole system from beginning to end and my question is what is the best (soap?) solution to use and what method (squirt bottle?) of applying it works the best.

When I go to a park or beach and see kids making bubbles that float away in the air I quickly come to the conclusion that some solutions are better than others. Some bubbles are as big as basket balls while others are quarter sizes.

Also how do you get the solution around to the back side of hard to reach places? I just read somewhere that peanut oil migrates to hidden locations for rust protection so maybe the right soap solution will also migrate to the back side of joints for testing.

I usually just use 1 part cheap dish soap and 4 parts water. (Use less soap if it’s ultra-concentrate or something). Stronger soap mix makes sturdier bubbles, which can pinpoint leaks easier.

Any spray bottle will work fine, it doesn’t need to be a mist. For distributing the soap to the backside of a round pipe I’ll squirt some on the top until it runs down both sides.

Don’t be stingy with the solution, it only works if it gets thoroughly soaked around the leak.

If there’s a really big leak it can blow the soap away without making bubbles. Try using very low pressure at first, then increasing pressure later on.

I think the pros, bubble blowers, add some corn syrup to the mix to make stronger bubbles. I’m sure I read that somewhere

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Barber foam-soap in pressure can! It stays put for a good while and does not float away.


Some areas you can be flooded with water and watch for any water leaking ( plumbing , hay filter , both condensate tanks , lower portion of gasifier and heat exchange .)

If you get your ash wet the gasifier will run poor for a while. Don’t forget to drain all the water out of the plumbing before starting the motor . Once I didn’t and hyrolocked the motor :cry:

I think that kid soap is called bubble soap, it works good for refrigeration leak checking.

Now is the time to use your “God given senses”. Listen for these larger leaks that won’t show up with bubbles. Run the back of your hand around the area about one inch away. Then another very good way I use on inner tubes is “my cheek” Look to the side and slowly move your face or cheek along the area. TomC

I read somewhere that they add glycerine to make stronger bubbles.

Soap bubble formula 1 qt. Dish detergent
2 ½ gallons H2O
Add 1 cup glycerine

I divided every thing by 32 (32 oz soap to 1 oz soap) so the formula becomes
1 oz soap
1 1/4 cups water
1/4 oz glycerine, maybe about 1 1/2 tsp or so

If you’re in a draft free area maybe you can use a smoking stick of incense. You’d have a long handle to reach hard to get spots.


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Smoke bombs, or smoldering burlap in before you air it up.

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