Alternating Pressure Mattress Repair, General Knowledge

How to Detect Leaks in a Low Air Loss Mattress in 7 Steps

A low air loss mattress is one of the most sophisticated bedsore treatment and prevention tools. These mattresses are punctured with tiny laser-cut holes that emit tiny micro-streams of air, allowing the skin to “breathe” and regulating the skin’s micro-climate.

Properly cared for, a high-quality low air loss mattress will last for years without giving you much trouble. That said, leaks happen, and it’s best to know what to do if you suspect one.

Follow these steps to detect, isolate, and address low air loss mattress leaks:

  1. Connect the pump to the mattress, turn the pump on, and inflate.

  2. Set the pump to Static mode.
  3. Open the cover to expose the supply hoses.
  4. Verify that the CPR valve is closed. If it’s open, that’s likely the source of the problem, rather than an actual leak.
  5. Starting from the foot end of the mattress, pinch off the supply hose after the first bladder.  You may need a clamp or vice grips to pinch off the hose.

    The first bladder should inflate fully. If it doesn’t, that bladder has a leak.  If the bladder inflates, proceed to the next bladder and repeat the process, pinching off the following supply hose.

    Note that the top and middle hoses deliver air to every other cell.  The bottom hose delivers air to the support pad underneath.
  6. Continue along the supply hoses, verifying that each previous bladder inflates uniformly.
  7. If there is no change in the inflation of a given bladder, or if it begins to deflate, the leak can be found in either the previous bladder, or the supply tube going to it.
  8. Once you’ve identified the leaky bladder or hose, simply replace it.


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