Standard Foil Balloons with Self-Sealing Valves (for air-fill foil balloons without self-sealing valves, see here)
Solutions and Tips
Hole in balloon
The smallest pinhole can cause a balloon to pop or deflate quickly. Some holes are too small to see with the naked eye. If you cannot see the hole in the balloon, try pressing on the balloon, while feeling around the balloon to figure out where the air is escaping. In many cases, there may not be a hole. Instead, the air may be escaping from the self-sealing valve. Please read the solution below about balloons losing air quickly.
- You can try taping over the hole, but this is unlikely to stop the balloon from deflating because helium and air pressure will lift up the tape and the air or helium will escape. If there is no hole, you might have damaged the self-sealing valve by using the wrong nozzle to inflate the balloons. Only use the balloon nozzle recommended to inflate foil balloons. See more details on balloon nozzles. If you use the wrong equipment to inflate a foil balloon, the self-sealing valve can expand or tear and will no longer work.
Seam of balloon not sealed
A manufacturer heat seals two pieces of film together in a shape to make a foil balloon. In rare cases, the machine will fail to make a complete heat-seal, leaving part of the balloon unsealed. In other cases, the seal may look finished, but the balloon will pop when under pressure once inflated.
- Unless you can find a way to heat seal the balloon together, there is no real solution to this issue. This is a manufacturing defect and errors like this often occur in batches. If you ordered a large quantity of the same balloons, you may want to try using a balloon further down the batch you received, until you find balloons that do not have the defect.
The balloon will not inflate or balloon seems sealed.
Customers often ask what to do about foil balloons that do not inflate, yet appear sealed. In most cases the balloon is inflatable, and the customer is not inflating the balloon properly. Manufacturer defects do happen but are a rare occurrence.
- It is very important to use the brass nozzle inflator when inflating foil balloons because using the wrong equipment can damage the balloon or valve.
- Make sure when inflating the balloon, the self-sealing valve is not folded or bent or else the air or helium flow will be restricted from passing through the self-sealing balloon.
- Make sure the nozzle is properly inserted in the self-sealing valve. It is a common error to inflate a balloon and the nozzle is not actually inserted into the self-sealing valve. The valve is an additional piece of plastic inserted into the tail of the balloon. A good trick is to use a straw to find the self-sealing valve by inserting it into the balloon.
- The location manufacturer’s self-sealing valve varies from balloon to balloon. The valve can be found higher, lower, uncommon location, and in multiple locations.
- Some balloons may say “Inflate Here” printed directly on them and have a marked opening even though the valve may be higher or lower than indicated.
- Most self-sealing valves may have a cut-out round hole in the film. This hole is not the opening to the self-sealing valve. The valve may be above or below the hole.
- It is possible that the seal is slightly stuck together, and the high pressure from inflation generally opens the nozzle.
- To salvage a balloon with a self-sealing valve that is stuck together– insert a straw into a self-sealing valve. Once the straw goes past the edge of the balloon, you should be able to fill the balloon.
- Another tip is pushing the foil balloon nozzle further into the balloon into the valve and move it around when inflating the balloon. The pressure often opens the valve, and the balloon will begin to inflate.
- Do not give up. Try several times and the solutions listed above, before deciding the balloon is defective. Balloons that do not inflate are not common.
Missing self-sealing valve
It is a rare occurrence but can happen when no self-sealing valve is manufactured into the balloon.
- It is important to know that most balloons under 16 inches do not have a self-sealing valve and require heat sealing.
- Run your hand over the tail of the balloon and feel for a difference in elevated texture– this is the valve.
- You can fix a balloon by heat sealing it.
- Learn about heat sealing balloons.
The balloon deflates too quickly
This is a sign that there is a hole in the balloon, or the helium is leaking from the self-sealing valve.
- There is no real solution for balloons with holes in it.
- If helium or air is escaping from the self-sealing valve:
- Always use the correct nozzle when inflating foil balloons to avoid problems with the self-sealing valves getting damaged by improper inflation.
- Always hold the balloon valve straight when inserted into the nozzle to avoid damaging the valve.
- Try flattening the self-sealing valve to help complete and open the seal.
- Always tie the ribbon below the self-sealing valve, to avoid damaging the valve.
- slowly inflate balloons to avoid damaging balloons.
- Stretchy tape (#32119-10525) can be used to seal a valve if you suspect the valve is leaking. Simply cover the tail and the inflation hole with stretchy tape.
- Balloons appear deflated when brought to a cooler location. It is recommended to inflate balloons in the same temperature/location the balloon will be used in. See this article on using foil balloons outdoors.
|Balloons pop during or after inflation.|
- Use the correct nozzle when inflating a foil balloon. If you use the incorrect nozzle to inflate a foil balloon, you will damage the self-sealing valve causing the balloon to burst. Inflators meant to only inflate latex balloons do not control helium flow.
- Did I over-inflate the balloon? Certain nozzles do not automatically stop once the balloon is fully inflated. It is suggested to use an auto-fill inflator when inflating foil balloons. Otherwise, you will have to guess when the balloon is full and you may over-inflate balloons and damage the valve.
- You are using the wrong nozzle to inflate your balloons. You should invest in an auto-fill nozzle.
- Inflate foil balloons slowly and let the smaller parts of the balloon inflate before inflating the other body parts.
- A fully inflated balloon should yield slightly when pushed on. If the balloon does not have any flex, it is over-inflated.
---use auto stop fill inflator
Other reasons why balloons pop:
- If a balloon pops when it touches the ceiling, the ceiling may be a rough surface.
- Foil balloons outdoors can pop with exposure to high temperatures. High temperatures and exposure to the sun can cause the balloon to pop.
The balloon seal may be imperfect. Try using balloons further down in the batch you received.
Balloons are stuck together
This happens when the ink did not dry before the next step of the manufacturing process of the balloon.
- In most cases, the balloon can be peeled apart with little or no damage.
- It is very important to store balloons in a dry location.
- This is also a sign the balloons got wet after the manufacturing process.
My balloon will not float
Some balloons will not float in elevations 4000 ft or higher.
- Is the balloon supposed to float with helium? Some balloons are air-fill only. Check your invoice. The title of the balloons normally read "Air-fill Only", for balloons that do not float with helium.
- Did you fully inflate the balloon?
- Is the balloon fully inflated and does not float?
- Have you added a heavy string or ribbon to the balloon? Ribbon or add-ons added between the floor and the balloon will act as additional weight. See this article.
See special elevation instructions.
- Are you using a 60/40 mix? This can cause floating issues.
- If you using a disposable tank, use a minimum of 20 percent air inside them. Air does not float, so any amount of air will affect float times. See the pros and cons of using a disposable tank.
- Is your helium supplier supplying you with quality helium? Helium prices have increased significantly and some suppliers have begun adding more nitrogen or other gases into their tanks.
- See this article about helium.
- Nitrogen and helium do not mix well. The supplier needs to mix helium and nitrogen in the appropriate mix.
- Nitrogen weighs the same as air. There are two issues with this. (what are the issues)
Streaks/discoloration or missing ink on balloon
This is normally a manufacturing defect.
Balloons should always be able to inflate regardless of printing defects. Do not fold foil balloons because they get easily scratched and the ink can transfer to another balloon.
|The self-sealing valve is not aligned to the opening or tail of the balloon||Extremely rare.||In most cases, you can still inflate the balloon. The self-sealing valve might be to the far right or left of the valve opening. |
|The balloon is not floating upright||Once you add a ribbon and a weight, the balloon should float upright.|
- A few balloons (like jumbo letter and number balloons) have two tie points. In order to keep the balloon upright, you will have to tie a ribbon and weight to each tie point.
- Balloons in higher elevations can experience issues floating upright. This issue is not common, but balloons in higher elevations might float slightly to one side. This is not a manufacturer defect.