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  1. #1

    Default Sawyer Squeeze 100% clogged after storage

    Went out on an overnighter this weekend and something told me to check my filter before I packed it. Sure enough, it was 100% clogged. This is the second one that has done that - works fine on the trail, next trip its completely blocked. This one hasn't been used in at least 10 months, probably longer.

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to keep this from happening?

    Any suggestions on reviving this one?

  2. #2
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Backflush it before storing it? Clean with bleachy water to sterilize, then rinse with clean water. Let it soak in water before taking it out after long term storage. I've been using my Sawyer squeeze fo four or five years now.

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    Do....not.....let.....it....dry......out

    Thats my advice.

    My very first one, tried on tap water, was impressed
    Put away
    6 mo later....no work
    Called sawyer, they said soak it in water, soak it in vinegar,
    Nope, still only get a trickle thru

    Subsequent ones
    Double ziplock with wet paper towel
    Check every month or two

    No issues.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 11-04-2018 at 20:48.

  4. #4

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    If mine sits a few weeks it always does this. I turn it vertical and pour vinegar into the end where the water enters. Takes about 20 minutes and you will get vinegar slowly dripping through filter. Then I rinse thoroughly with water and it works fine.

    Maybe it's mineral deposits. Don't know. Not even sure if vinegar is a safe way to clean them. can anyone comment?

  5. #5

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    When that happens to mine, I screw the filter onto a smartwater bottle and set it upside down for a few days. Eventually the water will start to flow.

    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk

  6. #6
    Registered User methodman's Avatar
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    Good thing I read this thread! Last time I used my Sawyer Squeeze, I back flushed it , cleaned it and sanitized it. It was locked up pretty good and I am going hiking in a few days. I have the water running thru it now. Thanks for reminding old folks!

  7. #7

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    After your hike, and before storage, backflush with distilled water. Tap water will have minerals that will crystalize in your filter and clog it. Vinegar can help restore flow after it's clogged, but the key to preventing problems in the first place, is distilled water....
    Go afield with a good attitude, with respect for the wildlife you hunt, and the forest and field in which you walk. Immerse yourself in the outdoor experience. It will cleanse your soul.--Fred Bear

    www.misadventuregear.com

  8. #8

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    The reason this happens is because of hard water. When the filter dries out it leaves the normal minerals behind that we see in bathtubs and shower that build up over time. This doesn't affect our home pipes for a long, long time but due to the minute nature of the filter's holes it doesn't take much for it to become clogged from these mineral deposits.
    I discovered this the hard way too and after every trip I back flush with clean water and THEN I back flush with vinegar a couple of times and only then do I put it away. This approach prevents the water from evaporating and leaving the deposits behind. The only bad thing about this approach....forgetting to rinse the vinegar out of the filter before drinking the water you just filtered...it's very stomach churning to take a big swig of that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maui Rhino View Post
    After your hike, and before storage, backflush with distilled water. Tap water will have minerals that will crystalize in your filter and clog it. Vinegar can help restore flow after it's clogged, but the key to preventing problems in the first place, is distilled water....
    I've been theorizing for a few years now that mineral deposits cause flow issues with Sawyer.

    The theory started after I noticed that a brand new filter was slowly decreasing flow rate over the course of a JMT thru hike. Given the amount of granite and volcanic material you're hiking over, I figure the water is likely very hard with minerals, and the air is very dry. That likely meant (compared to my usual hikes in the moist Smokey Mountains) the water in the filter was drying out and must have been leaving behind mineral deposits.

    After my last Sawyer Squeeze became practically unusable after winter storage, I now always back flush after each trip with distilled water mixed with vinegar, followed by a back flush with distilled water.

  10. #10
    Registered User rmitchell's Avatar
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    Kind of like a drip coffee maker.

    I wonder if storing it wet might invite mold or mildew?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rmitchell View Post
    Kind of like a drip coffee maker.

    I wonder if storing it wet might invite mold or mildew?
    From what I understand, mold/mildew needs moisture (or very high humidity) and something organic to feed on.
    My guess is that if you've back flushed the filter, there isn't going to be anything inside the filter for mold to feed on.
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 11-05-2018 at 14:22.

  12. #12
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    Hike more often! Use the filter every month!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayne View Post
    Hike more often! Use the filter every month!
    That is the plan!

    Unfortunately, due to work and a move, I was not able to get out and go backpacking from late January until this past weekend. Luckily, now that I am settled in I am planning on getting out a lot more. It also doesn't hurt that I have a nearly endless supply of trails within 2 hours of me!

    Thanks for all of the suggestions. I will get some distilled water for backflushing and some vinegar.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    When that happens to mine, I screw the filter onto a smartwater bottle and set it upside down for a few days. Eventually the water will start to flow.
    Once clogged, I don't see the point in trying to unclog a Sawyer (unless you don't discover it's clogged until you're on the trail). You can buy replacements crazy cheap (compared to what water filtration cost only a decade ago).

    As of 11/5/2018 on Amazon
    Sawyer Mini for as low as $16.69 (select Blue Single)
    Sawyer Squeez for as low as $19.99 (select the 'Facuet Adapter' version)
    New Sawyer Micro Squeeze for $28.99 (the filter on top of the new Sawyer Select Series of foam filter bottles)

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Once clogged, I don't see the point in trying to unclog a Sawyer (unless you don't discover it's clogged until you're on the trail). You can buy replacements crazy cheap (compared to what water filtration cost only a decade ago).

    As of 11/5/2018 on Amazon
    Sawyer Mini for as low as $16.69 (select Blue Single)
    Sawyer Squeez for as low as $19.99 (select the 'Facuet Adapter' version)
    New Sawyer Micro Squeeze for $28.99 (the filter on top of the new Sawyer Select Series of foam filter bottles)
    Thanks for those links. The last time I had checked Amazon, they were a little higher priced than Walmart, where the Mini was $20 and the Squeeze was $30. If I need to order a new one I'll happily save the extra money! Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Clifton View Post
    When that happens to mine, I screw the filter onto a smartwater bottle and set it upside down for a few days. Eventually the water will start to flow.

    Sent from my SM-G955U1 using Tapatalk
    My 1st one was sucked full to remove air, then immersed for weeks. No change.

    Imo.. something irreversible happens. Not sure what. I have some doubts its as simple as solids plugging pores, that would be a partial plugge it seems. Mind pasded nothing by squeezing, i could barely suck thru it.

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by soumodeler View Post
    Thanks for those links. The last time I had checked Amazon, they were a little higher priced than Walmart, where the Mini was $20 and the Squeeze was $30. If I need to order a new one I'll happily save the extra money! Thanks!
    Iím gonna get that Micro Squeeze. Itís small enough to leave on a SmartWater bottle and filter directly. You can do this with the Mini but the flow rate sucks.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    Once clogged, I don't see the point in trying to unclog a Sawyer (unless you don't discover it's clogged until you're on the trail). You can buy replacements crazy cheap (compared to what water filtration cost only a decade ago)...
    I imagine you throw away your car when it needs an oil change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    I imagine you throw away your car when it needs an oil change?
    while i agree with your point - that is a horrible analogy the relative value of a filter and a car are not in the same economic universe...

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    I imagine you throw away your car when it needs an oil change?
    Hardly a reasonable comparison. If my car was $20, completely sealed from any and all maintenance, was showing life/safety related concerns like a failing water filter, and small enough to have minimal impact on a landfill - YES.

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