PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The makers of Flex Seal have a new product called Flex Tape.
It claims to instantly patch, bond, seal and repair – fixing any leak, anywhere.
But, does it really do that?
Announcer Phil Swift is pretty convincing in the TV commercial for Flex Tape. According to Swift, it is “a super strong, waterproof tape that can instantly patch, bond, seal and repair.”
The commercial makes it look easy. You spring a leak and Flex Tape can fix it.
Jan Matuscak is a tablescape artist and creates centerpieces for large-scale events. She’s hoping the tape can help her with some do-it-yourself projects.
“Well I’m hoping that this will work. So, I’m going to be positive,” she said.
Instructions on the package are simple. Just cut, peel and stick or seal.
Jan thought going into the test, it may just be a winner.
“It feels like it will work. It feels heavy. It’s rubbery, it’s sticky,” she said.
The Flex Tape commercial describes the product as, “Triple-thick adhesive, virtually welds itself to the surface, instantly stopping the toughest leaks.”
To try and see how well it sticks, Jan and KDKA-TV’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland cut a hole in a bucket, and filled it up with water until it came spewing out.
“OK, the water’s coming out of the hole, let’s see if this works,” Jan said.
Initially, it did seem like the tape was holding and stopping the leak.
However, things took a turn minutes later.
“It’s leaking form the top, and there’s a bulge right where the hole is and it’s actually leaking from the bottom. It looked like it was going to work when I first put it on, but no, no,” Jan said.
Supposedly, you can also patch a leak from the inside.
So, using the same style bucket, with a similarly placed hole, they tried it again, thinking maybe this time the pressure from the water would make a difference.
Initially, it appeared that putting the tape on the inside of the bucket worked well. But, just to be sure, they added a bit more water.
“It’s leaking from the top and the bottom. It’s leaking,” Jan said.
To be fair, when they looked closely at the patch, they agreed it could be a little straighter and wondered if that made a difference.
So, they tried patching a hole from underwater for a second time.
At this point, they weren’t sure if it was just more difficult to do, or if they were just having a hard time, so they tried it a third time.
“It’s difficult to see down into the water, and to make a determination exactly where your hole is,” Jan said.
In all, they attempted it three times and the results did not improve.
“It’s leaking from the top, it’s leaking from the bottom. It’s just leaking,” Jan said. “Like a waterfall.”
The commercial shows Flex Tape on a PVC pipe, but Jan and Lynne opted instead to try and repair a garden hose.
When they turned on the water pressure, there was a significant hole.
This time, they were going to wrap the Flex Tape around the leak – not just patch it.
Jan wanted to make sure the tape was on securely.
“Let’s see, we’re going to wrap it, and wrap it around twice. Its secure, put some pressure. Let’s see what happens,” she said.
After a few minutes, the results were pouring in.
“It’s dripping in the back here,” she said.
They did most of their testing based on what is shown in the commercial. But, they sprung a leak each time.
Was there something in the instructions that they missed?
Just under the directions on the packaging, it does say, “For emergency repairs.” That’s a little different than they expected. Jan did not think that would fit her needs in the long run.
“That almost sounds like you use it one time very fast and then that’s it,” she said.
They also tried patching a hole in a small, child’s swimming pool and had the same leaky results.
The commercial even shows a boat – repaired with Flex Tape – out on the water again.
Jan and Lynne didn’t go that far. But, based on what she saw in the tests would Jan be willing to ride in a patched boat?
“I would not ride in that boat. You couldn’t catch me in the boat,” she said.
The directions also said that sometimes the Flex Tape needs 24 hours to set. However, a day later, Jan took pictures of the buckets.
The original water had leaked out and when filled up again, the water continued to leak.
So, does it really do that? It’s an easy answer for Jan.
“I’m very disappointed because it doesn’t hold. It doesn’t do what the commercial says it does,” she said.