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Old 10-13-2015, 08:15 PM
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Default Wader warranty question

I have a pair of Orvis waders, I believe they are around fifteen years old. I bought them way back and they've been in my garage and stored in a tote. I've worn them several times during the past summer, and numerous times here in the last couple of weeks, with the colder weather coming.

Last week I noticed when I finished fishing, that both of my socks were wet, but my legs were perfectly dry. I though I had a leak, so I did what any normal and intelligent guy would do, I put them on and sat in the bath tub. I didn't notice any leaks. I talked to a friend and he believes that I'm either sweating while I'm fishing or I have a pin whole leak in both feet.

The days I've worn them the water temperature has been around 50 degrees, and the air temperature is the same or a little above. I guess I have two questions, since this is the only pair of waders I've ever owned. If they truly are leaking, wouldn't it be fairly obvious? And I was told I should contact Orvis. A friend said they may honor the waders and help me get them replaced. I know Orvis is a good company, but would they replace the waders even though they are 15 years old?
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

I had an almost exact experience happen with my waders this past weekend as well.

Earlier in the season, I did get a tear in mine and about two weeks ago repaired them. This was the first weekend I wore them and, just like you, my feet were wet but not my legs or where the tear was repaired.

My first thought was like you, I had another hole in them, but, like you, my legs were dry. It got up to about 80 here and the water was about 58. What my theory was, it was sweat. Not enough water in my wool socks to wring out after wearing them for 5 hours.

That being said, I would have think that 15 years of use is pretty good. Personally, I would not send them back or claim warranty unless they were guaranteed for that long or longer.
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Old 10-13-2015, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

To find a leak for sure turn them inside out and fill each leg to the knee with the hose. You'll find the leaks.

Whether or not you ask them to honor 15 year old waders or not is your choice but I believe they will tell you they are no longer a warranty item.

Ard
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:20 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

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Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
To find a leak for sure turn them inside out and fill each leg to the knee with the hose. You'll find the leaks.
This and a $5 tube of aqua seal would where I would start. If you find the leaks to be at the bootie/leg seam, then I would contact Orvis simply to see if it can be fixed properly and if not, I'd go bananas with the aqua seal.
It frankly wouldn't surprise me one bit if they offered you some sort of credit for them towards a new pair.
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Old 10-13-2015, 09:26 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

Personally, I wouldn't ask Orvis to honor a warranty after 15 years, but that's just me. I'm sure they will repair them for you if they need to be, give them a call for a quote.

As for how to fix them, you can do what Ard suggests and an alternative is to turn them inside out, go in a dark room and run a flashlight inside along the seams or wherever you think they're leaking.

The thing about breathable waders is all materials are not created equal. Neoprene doesn't breathe, so the moisture being wicked away from your feet has no where to go and thus gets trapped on the inside of your boots.

If you are going to fix them, Aquaseal is great, however LESS IS MORE. If you put too much on the inside, your clothing will stick to it as you slide into them, especially in the feet or ankle area. I've found this out the hard way. At that point, you may decide to cut your losses like I did.
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Old 10-13-2015, 10:06 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

I agree with others who have said you probably should either try to fix with Aquaseal or just replace then. 15 years is a very long time to own a pair of waders. If they're failing you now, lay them to rest and be thankful you got every last cents worth out of them. Asking Orvis to replace them is equivalent of asking Michelin to replace your tires because they "only" lasted you 300,000 miles when they were warrantied for 60,000.
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Old 10-13-2015, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

I had the exact thing happen to me yesterday when I had my Orvis Sonics on for 4+ hours on a 70 degree day with a lot of walking through the brush. Since the wetness was only and totally on the "rubber" stocking foot area and both feet were equally wet I'm convinced it was sweat/condensation. Slim chance I'd spring a leak both feet at the same time on the same day and have the exact same amount of wetness on both socks.
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:09 AM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

As I have been known to engage in the occasional "jungle-wading"-- "occasional," as the limbs aren't as limber as they once were --I have a formula of sorts that I apply to the longevity of my waders. It goes a little something like this:

Category #1- 3 to 5 years of leak-proof life: "I've gotten my money's worth..."

Category #2- 5 to 10 years of staying dry: "My waders and I are living on borrowed time..."

Category #3- 10 or more years with only minimum leaks: "I'm going to have these waders framed and hung on the wall..."

The fact that your waders fall into the "Category 3" classification with only minimal "weeper leaks" stands as testimony to the quality of your Orvis waders. As Ard and jaybo41 have suggested, hunt down the leaks, then repair with the judicious use of Aquaseal. And, if that doesn't take care of the problem, keep an eye on the Fall sales, as waders often are included during the off-season/holiday sale items...

Good luck with the leak hunt...

Jerry, aka hairwing530
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Old 10-14-2015, 05:34 AM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
To find a leak for sure turn them inside out and fill each leg to the knee with the hose. You'll find the leaks.

Ard
I have a reverse technique, which I recommend.
I inflate my waders with my air compressor, checking one leg at a time so they inflate like a balloon. Then I lather the seams with soapy water and/or run the garden hose over the outside of each leg (and watch for bubbles). I also gather the waders at the belt and inflate the entire set to check for leaks in the waist.
It requires a compressor, but is fast, easy, and your wader insides stay dry!
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Old 10-14-2015, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Wader warranty question

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdwy View Post
I had the exact thing happen to me yesterday when I had my Orvis Sonics on for 4+ hours on a 70 degree day with a lot of walking through the brush. Since the wetness was only and totally on the "rubber" stocking foot area and both feet were equally wet I'm convinced it was sweat/condensation. Slim chance I'd spring a leak both feet at the same time on the same day and have the exact same amount of wetness on both socks.
JD a 'it works' suggestion for your damp feet (no way to stop that with NEO booties but you can really minimize). Get yourself a set of good SILK socks, they go next to your skin, Over these the 'Sealskin' breathable booties. The first pulls the sweat away from your feet, the second lets it pass through.

fae
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