Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sawyer Squeeze Filter Field Cleaner Modification

I’ve been using the Sawyer Squeeze Filter now for close to a year, and I have been very happy with it. As you may remember, prior to making the switch to Sawyer, I used to use a MSR Miniworks EX filter. The reason why I was so hesitant to change over to a different filter was that the Miniworks had a ceramic filter element that was very easy to field clean. On the other hand, the only way to clean the Sawyer Squeeze Filter is to backflush it. For that, Sawyer provides a large ciringe. You fill it up with clean water, put it to the exit hole of the filter, and press. That pushes the water through, backflushing the filter. Of course, having to carry such a large ciringe in the field is not practical.

One I first got the filter, the first course of business was to figure out how to backflush the filter in the field (the reality is that I have not had to do it yet for purposes other than experimentation). I came up with a solution where I took a small piece of rubber tubing that would connect to the exit home of the filter, and connected the other end to a cap that would screw on a Platypus bladder. By squeezing the bladder, I would backflush the filter. You can see the modification here. The mechanism has worked well, but now there is a better option available. Sawyer has released a kit which allows you to splice the filter into the line of your hydration bladder. The kit consists of two parts that screw into either side of the filter.


The line then connects to these adaptors.


Now, I don’t use a hydration bladder, so this wasn’t much use to me from that stand point, but I though it would be great for a backflush mechanism. It works in the exact same way as the old modification. I simply took a piece of rubber tubing and connected it to the blue part of the adaptor, the one that can screw onto a Platypus bottle.


For it to work, just screw the adaptor onto a collapsible bottle with clean water like a Platypus bladder. Take the other end of the tube and connect it to the exit opening of the Sawyer filter. Then squeeze the bottle to backflush the filter. The mechanism is exactly the same as the old adaptor, it is just much more durable and secure. This can also be used as a great way to fill up a Platypus bottle in the filed. Instead of backflusing, just connect the adaptor in the way described above,, put the regular bladder with dirty water on the filter, and start filtering. Because the Platypus bottle is connected to the filter with the adaptor, there will be no spilling of water.

The adaptor kit costs $5 and is available at REI.

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