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Are there some general guidelines for knowing whether a pad in a cup is gone or not?

From the thread How do you revive shrunken pads? I gather that if the pad has genuinely shrunk the pad is gone.

Ideally I would be sitting at a table with one of you and also a pile of pads in varying states of decrepitude Together, we could go through them, and communicate our visual and tactile impressions.

I can only presume assessing pads is a central part of of the technician’s practice.

I can not expect you to help me in ways I can only help myself. Nevertheless is there a rule of thumb which could help me save old pads as opposed to doing a complete repad?
 

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Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
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If there is a leak: personally, unless it is a very new pad (less than a month or two) AND it is still supple AND it has a verry shallow seat AND the pad is not dirty, I replace the pad. About 99% of the time, perhaps more, I just replace the pad. In the end I find that it saves me time, and I think the pad seating is better, both things that help the customer get a better job done for less money.
 

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zagzig said:
Are there some general guidelines for knowing whether a pad in a cup is gone or not?
1. It has cuts (from the tone hole edge) or tears.
2. It is really soft and squishy (i.e. it should not have been born!)
3. It has irregular thickness (i.e. it should not have been born)
4. It has gone hard like concrete, (unless a leak light shows that it tis still sealing really well, with light key pressure.
5. The hardness makes it unacceptably noisy when it hits the tone hole
6. You are attempting to re-use it after it has been removed from a key cup.
7. It has not been supported evenly over its back surface, eg cardboard part-shims without full filler of glue.
8. As a result of any of the above, the pad resists being adjusted to seal well.

I can only presume assessing pads is a central part of of the technician's practice.
It is annoying when one thinks a pad is OK, then spends a long tome trying to get it to seal, and eventually giving up, replacing the pad, and finding that one can achieve a good seal within seconds. Assessment is not an exact science!

"Nevertheless is there a rule of thumb which could help me save old pads as opposed to doing a complete repad? "

I think all of the above probably answers that. Vague, but as good as you'll get. Experience teaches, if at all in doubt, ditch it!
 
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