PDA

View Full Version : MSR Sweetwater filter failure



LIhikers
05-19-2005, 14:41
During the last week of April my wife and I hiked the AT in CT. At the Limestone Spring lean-to our MSR Sweetwater filter broke. The glue joint failed that secures the clear, plastic, pump outer tube to the underside of the red cap. The design is such that even so we were still able to use the filter. It was just less efficient and leaked a good bit, no major problem.

I checked the MSR website and found out that their filters all have a lifetime warranty. I also gleaned the phone# so I could call and find out how to excersize that warranty. I explained what happened to one of their customer service reps and she assured me that it would be covered by warranty. She issued me a Return Authorization number right on the spot and gave me the address to send the failed unit to. She assured me that they'd ship me out a new one as soon as they got to look at mine.

So far a really positive customer service expeerience. It's good to share customer service problems so that we all can make more informed purchases, but let's share the good as well as the bad. I'll be mailing the package out tommorrow and I'll let you all know how things work out in the end.

LIhikers
05-19-2005, 14:43
Boy I sure wish there was spell check here at WhiteBlaze...lol Either that or maybe I should learn how to really type!

neo
05-19-2005, 15:06
i had a sweetwater gaurdian years ago,it sucked.
waste of money,you could not give me another one.:cool: neo

JoeHiker
05-19-2005, 16:08
i had a sweetwater gaurdian years ago,it sucked.
waste of money,you could not give me another one.:cool: neo
Could you be more specific? What about it sucked?

neo
05-19-2005, 23:00
Could you be more specific? What about it sucked?
they clogg easily,hard to pump,quick filter deterioration,due to constant clean
plunger linkage breaks easily:cool: neo

icemanat95
05-19-2005, 23:50
I had similar experiences. I HATED the pressure relief valve. Tell me folks, which side of the filter membrane is the pressure building up on and how does a relief valve relieve that pressure? The only place the pressure can build up on is the contaminated water side, and releasing water from the treated side of the membrane doesn't solve that problem, so the water relieved by the relief valve can ONLY be contaminated water....spraying all over everything. Great design. NOT.

My primary filter is a PUR/Katadyn Scout/Guide. I also have an Explorer, but there aren't any new filter cartridges available for it. The PUR Hiker and the MSR Miniworks ceramic are the way to go today.

superman
05-20-2005, 07:37
I recently came back from hiking on the CDT in New Mexico for a month. I took my MSR w/porcelin filter because I anticipated iffy water supplies. It was worse than I had imagined. Tex was using a filter with a paper filter and it clogged immediately. We weren't concerned since my MSR could be cleaned to clear clogging as needed. At one of the nasty water sources I was cleaning the filter as it crumbled in my hand. That left us with aqua mira. One water source consisted of scooping up water that was running across a field with a plastic bag ...and yes there were animal droppings in the field. Now I know the chemical purifiers work pretty good but...I don't like drinking swimmy, floaty things.

NICKTHEGREEK
05-25-2005, 19:56
Still using my 6 year old sweetwater with no problems although I'm pretty careful about using the silt stopper prefilter, and the initial quality of the water before I start. So far I've used 3 or 4 replacement filter elements and at least 5 silt stopper filter elements and replaced the intake hose because it was just ugly looking.
I've talked to some folks who expect to be able to stick the intake in moist cow flop and be drinking Dom Perigon 2 minutes later, and some folks who are afraid to filter tap water for fear of a clog.
I found that if the water that you want to filter is more like thin mud, letting the sediment settle in a "dirty water" container like a Nalgene canteen then only drawing off the top layer of cleaner water works pretty good. I'd never hesitate to buy another even with MSR stamped on the side now.

Crazy Larry #1
05-25-2005, 22:55
my primary filter is the sweetwater, the outfit that makes them backs them 100%, i've had some dealings with them........wanderer
I had similar experiences. I HATED the pressure relief valve. Tell me folks, which side of the filter membrane is the pressure building up on and how does a relief valve relieve that pressure? The only place the pressure can build up on is the contaminated water side, and releasing water from the treated side of the membrane doesn't solve that problem, so the water relieved by the relief valve can ONLY be contaminated water....spraying all over everything. Great design. NOT.

My primary filter is a PUR/Katadyn Scout/Guide. I also have an Explorer, but there aren't any new filter cartridges available for it. The PUR Hiker and the MSR Miniworks ceramic are the way to go today.

Old Hickory MH
05-26-2005, 23:02
I love my MSR Miniworks, won't leave home without it. You listen to what it tells you and you won't go wrong, hard to pump, clean it. Tear down and reasemble a piece of cake. I have been lucky so far, no need for repairs, but maybe that is part of what I like about it.
Old Hickory

LIhikers
06-07-2005, 10:21
I just got the replacement filter head back from MSR. They shipped out the replacement the day after the post office says they delivered the broken one. One phone call to get an RA# and postage to their facility is all it took to excersize the warranty. Customer service doesn't get any better than that!
I'll certainly consider MSR/Cascade Designs when I'm in the market for new gear.

sliderule
06-15-2005, 20:58
my primary filter is the sweetwater, the outfit that makes them backs them 100%, i've had some dealings with them........wanderer
The best warranty in the world will not stop you from getting thirsty when your filter fails in the middle of nowhere. Let's not confuse an outstanding warranty with outstanding reliability.

ocourse
06-16-2005, 12:36
Mine has given reliable service with no problem at all. When the filter is clogged, or the person filtering is pumping too hard and fast, the filter is bypassed and the untreated water is sent out the port. It is a simple and safe design. If not for the valve, water could be forced through the filter (causing damage to it) and improperly treated water could flow into your container. Used properly, the untreated water exits the filter and harmlessly squirts away.

Footslogger
06-16-2005, 13:10
I went through all of them ...the last one being the PUR Voyager/Hiker. They all now sit on the shelf as relics of my years of hiking. For one reason or another they all failed and/or became more of a liability than an asset. I carried PolarPur for several years and now use AquaMira exclusively.

Am I safe ?? ...no one really knows, but I haven't had an health issues related to water consumption while hiking.

'Slogger
AT 2003

icemanat95
06-16-2005, 13:40
Untreated water squirting harmlessly away is a matter of luck. My Sweetwater filter tended to spray rather than squirt, causing vaporous and misted water to blow into the wind over a fairly wide cone. If the wind is in your face, it's landing all over you. Then that valve gets to sticking open and you've got real problems as it spews dirty water constantlynad leaks it steadily over your hands and equipment.

Rather than spraying water, I'd rather see a popper type pressure warning valve. When the pressure rises, a button pops up and tells you to clean the filter without any water expelled at all. Simple and effective, no leaking of contaminated water.

I tried real hard to like my Sweetwater and gave it thousands of miles of daily use...I prefer my PUR filter.

sliderule
06-17-2005, 18:13
I prefer my PUR filter.For the benefit of those who might be looking for a filter, some of the former PUR models are now sold under the KATADYN name brand.

ABR
09-01-2005, 16:15
Reliability is certainly most important, but for me ergonomics ranks pretty up there as well. Having used both the push-pull style (e.g., PUR/Katadyn filters) and the lever style (MSR filters), I'll take the one that feels engineered around the human, rather than the other way around..

kyhipo
09-01-2005, 16:43
dump it and go ultra light filters are lame ,i neva use them bring pills in case of emergency:dance ky

Seeker
09-01-2005, 17:36
I went through all of them ...the last one being the PUR Voyager/Hiker. They all now sit on the shelf as relics of my years of hiking. For one reason or another they all failed and/or became more of a liability than an asset. I carried PolarPur for several years and now use AquaMira exclusively.

Am I safe ?? ...no one really knows, but I haven't had an health issues related to water consumption while hiking.

'Slogger
AT 2003
i gotta agree with you, 'Slogger... i love AquaMira... and i've never gotten sick on it either...

neo
09-01-2005, 18:49
i love this set up:cool: neo

http://www.ula-equipment.com/amigo.htm



here are a few of my pics
http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/6565/sort/1/cat/500/page/9

JoeHiker
09-02-2005, 09:32
Reliability is certainly most important, but for me ergonomics ranks pretty up there as well. Having used both the push-pull style (e.g., PUR/Katadyn filters) and the lever style (MSR filters), I'll take the one that feels engineered around the human, rather than the other way around..
Even after reading this, I'm still not sure which one feels engineered around the human to you. Is it the pump or lever?

rgarling
09-02-2005, 09:33
That filter has a 2 micron pore size, which is a little big. CDC says you need <1 micron for crypto.

rgarling
09-02-2005, 11:06
sorry for the ambiguous post above. I was referring to the Amigo filter that Neo mentioned. The CDC also recommends <1micron for giardia. The point is if you carry a filter it should be effective against the most likely contaminates you will encounter.