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  1. #1

    Default Sawyer Squeeze clogged, locked up tight

    Last year I pulled my filter out of the storage tote after a year's storage, and it was locked up; no water passed through it.
    I tried running straight vinegar through it, let it set overnight, nothing happened. Trashed it, bought a new one for my annual section hike.
    After returning home last year, I carefully followed the manufacturers directions for storage. This past Wednesday night, I pulled it out of the storage tote to check it for my upcoming section hike...and IT TOO, was clogged. A few drops managed to flow through it. Again I tried to run straight vinegar through it, letting it soak over night.
    The next morning (Thursday), no improvement, so I ordered a mini. (If I have to replace it every year after only one week's use, may as well save the money and weight).
    After returning from a local overnight hike Sunday afternoon (dry trail, carried water) I checked to see if the extra couple of days of soaking in vinegar had helped free up the squeeze I just replaced with the mini.
    Attaching a bottle to it (again) and squeezing it, no change, still only drips. I tried tapping (pounding) the filter against the bottom of the utility sink to jar things loose maybe? You know, why not - it's about to go in the trash! Attached the bottle to it again and squeezed, and I had flow!
    So I mixed some vinegar and water an back-flushed it, then put it in several Ziploc bags to keep it from drying out.

    Still not sure if I trust it enough to bring it on my next section (Shenandoah), or if I should bring the mini... But I thought I would share how got my squeeze working again after it clogged during storage.

  2. #2
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    You "pounded" the filter and then water flowed thru it... I'd be too afraid that you damaged it and the flow is coming from going around the filter rather than thru it (i.e. filter isn't filtering).

    Surprised you're having so much problems. I've only once had a filter clog up on me over the winter storage. So long as I back flush it after every trip, I don't have an issues.
    Do you store it with the cap on?
    I did a JMT thru hike and I noticed my mini significantly slowed over the course of the hike, even though I was back flushing at least every other day. I surmised that the combination of hard water and dry air gave the water in the filter more of a chance to evaporate and therefore leave mineral deposits that clogged the small pours.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
    You "pounded" the filter and then water flowed thru it... I'd be too afraid that you damaged it and the flow is coming from going around the filter rather than thru it (i.e. filter isn't filtering).

    Surprised you're having so much problems. I've only once had a filter clog up on me over the winter storage. So long as I back flush it after every trip, I don't have an issues.
    Do you store it with the cap on?
    I did a JMT thru hike and I noticed my mini significantly slowed over the course of the hike, even though I was back flushing at least every other day. I surmised that the combination of hard water and dry air gave the water in the filter more of a chance to evaporate and therefore leave mineral deposits that clogged the small pours.
    You know, I was so surprised or excited that I got it running again, that rather obvious conclusion didn't even occur to me. Lol

  4. #4
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    Default

    I store mine wet with a little bleach in a plastic bag.

    thom

  5. #5
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    Interesting thread. I've never had my Sawyer Squeeze clog up, but maybe that's just luck (or the fact that I replace them occasionally since I'm never quite sure if I let them freeze or not and err on the side of caution).

    I wonder if a thorough backwash with distilled water (and maybe white vinegar) might be useful if storing them for a while?

  6. #6

    Default

    Do you use the plunger to backflush the filter?If you use it with distilled water I don't see how it could clog up so easy but water filters do fail sometimes.A friend of mine had his Sawyer mini lock up on trail and it pretty much ruined that trip.I sometimes wonder if filter failures are the result of not using the plunger as it's much more aggressive than using a bottle.

  7. #7
    GSMNP 900 Miler
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    Quote Originally Posted by Five Tango View Post
    Do you use the plunger to backflush the filter?If you use it with distilled water I don't see how it could clog up so easy but water filters do fail sometimes.A friend of mine had his Sawyer mini lock up on trail and it pretty much ruined that trip.I sometimes wonder if filter failures are the result of not using the plunger as it's much more aggressive than using a bottle.
    When my Mini slowed down over the course of my JMT hike, I carried the plunger and back flushed at least ever-other-day. Of course, on the trail, I was back flushing with filtered water, not distilled water or vinegar.
    Bu then it was that experience that taught me, filter clog issues have to do with mineral deposits... as many of the JMT water sources are very clean, and I started the trip with a brand-new filter.

  8. #8

    Default

    I did use the plunger when preparing the filter for storage, but I did not use distilled water. I used tap water. Apparently there are enough minerals and whatnot in my city water to clog a Sawyer.

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