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cody yochum
(uclacody0908) - F

Locale: Nor Cal
Sawyer Mini Backflushing on 01/27/2014 22:49:53 MST Print View

How often is it necessary to backflush the mini? Do you backflush before or after your trip? Do you bring the syringe if only out for a couple days?

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Backflushing Frequency on 01/28/2014 00:32:01 MST Print View

I would say it depends on where you use it and how much you use it. If I knew I'd just filtered five gallons of questionable, algae-laden, scum-filled puddle water, I'd be flushing. But in the sierras (where I mostly hike) I'd wait until the filter seemed a little slower than it used to/is supposed to. For me, with the bigger sawyer, this took about 4 to 6 two-night trips IIRC. I am guessing that the mini clogs earlier, but honestly, I don't have a scientific point of reference to back this up. Just more water going through fewer pores in a smaller space. Oh, well maybe I do. Someone else please . . .

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Sawyer Mini Backflushing on 01/28/2014 08:56:02 MST Print View

People have reported problems with Sawyer filters clogging, like mineral deposits in pores.

Maybe best to flush before and after each trip. Before trip filter a little water to make sure it's working.

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Clogs on 01/28/2014 21:06:55 MST Print View

I should add, when they get a little clogged they work the same but at a slower rate. If used as a gravity filter, this won't matter as much as when you are hoping to filter as you drink through a small, soft container like a 1 liter smart water bottle or the stock Sawyer bag.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Clogs on 01/28/2014 21:34:03 MST Print View

With a hard sided bottle you can apply more pressure, so if the filter is a little clogged it's not as bad

With a collapsible bag, they are inherently weak with the welded seams and the sides of the bag welded to the screw top, so you can't put so much pressure on it or it will break? So it's a little more sensitive to partially clogged filter?

cody yochum
(uclacody0908) - F

Locale: Nor Cal
cool on 01/28/2014 23:08:12 MST Print View

Thanks for the info. Theres got to be a way to backflush this thing with an item you already bring or something smaller/lighter than the syringe

McDowell Crook
(mcdcrook) - M

Locale: Southeast
love the mini on 01/29/2014 10:04:10 MST Print View

If I'm out for anything more than 5 days, I bring the syringe. Shorter trips don't pose much of a problem, although filtering on the last day can be a little slow. I use 1L smartwater bottles, so I don't have to worry about bursting a bag.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Sawyer Mini Backflushing on 01/29/2014 10:33:21 MST Print View

I bought a smaller 30ml syringe to make it more compact and it saves a tiny bit of weight.

Someone should come up with an in line pre-filter for chunky water. MSR uses a bit of sponge in the intake hose for a pre-filter. It would be easy to cut a chunk to fit into the neck of the dirty water bottle. That would be light and cheap and easy DIY.

It takes more time, but you can still do the bandana or coffee filter trick using your cook pot. Allowing silt to settle can help too.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Sawyer Mini Backflushing on 01/29/2014 11:00:39 MST Print View

Too bad the threads don't allow screwing soda bottle onto output. You can exert a fair amount of pressure, maybe good enough to backflush.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Sawyer Mini Backflushing on 01/29/2014 11:28:30 MST Print View

You can buy the in line adapter kit for the Squeeze. Add a little chunk of hose and you can adapt all kinds of bages and bottles to the mini.

Sawyer adapter kit

Brian Johns
(bcutlerj) - M

Locale: NorCal
Pre-Filter on 01/29/2014 13:08:21 MST Print View

Great idea. There's a little $12 inline filter that I think goes with the Platy gravity set - it's for removing taste not microbes, but it will likely work well to spare the filter. Then when the pre gets clogged just switch to filter only. Another option would be to put a fine mesh screen inside the top of your bottle or bag to spare the filter a bit. I might have to hit the hardware store.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Pre-Filter on 01/29/2014 14:51:22 MST Print View

This should get the chunkies. Easy to clean or replace. A real boat anchor at 0.5g :)

Sawyer DIY prefilter

M B
(littlelite8) - F
Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/29/2014 15:07:58 MST Print View

I was considering going with a smaller syringe, but read this interesting post:

http://adropofrain.net/2012/09/sawyer-squeeze-filter-modifications-part-2-cleaning-syringes-and-storage-bag/

I guess in a pinch and the filter was completely not working, it would do.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/30/2014 14:14:48 MST Print View

I felt okay about the 30ml syringe, but it wouldn't be practical to go much smaller. I think the way to go for general maintenance is to rig up something that you can hook to a faucet to backflush with. It's good to know about the channeling issue; I wouldn't sweat if for a once-in-a-blue-moon backflush, but relying on a small syringe over a season or a through hike looks like a bad idea.

The Luer Lock tips on the syringes are the weak link in the Sawyer system, IMHO. It's a handful to get the thing pressed tight to the nipple on the filter and pushing in the plunger on the syringe-- not impossible, just a bit clumsy and weak. With a little 10ml syringe, you wouldn't get much done.

Here's the 30ml (marked 35ml) next to the Sawyer supplied 60ml unit. It is 0.6oz with packaging vs the Sawyer at 1.2oz, so the saving in space and weight is minimal. For a day hike or overnight you could just carry MicroPur tablets as a backup. Back-flushing at home after each trip makes sense, much like putting fresh batteries in your headlamp.

Luer lock syringes

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/30/2014 14:24:04 MST Print View

Dave, where did you get the smaller syringe?

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/30/2014 14:40:56 MST Print View

It's Dale, Ted ;)

eBay. I got three for $6 and change including shipping. I imagine some medical supply or pharmacy would have something. Search on "30ml Luer lock". After reading about the channeling issues, I would tread cautiously: saving 0.6oz and having a dead filter doesn't compute.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/30/2014 14:51:42 MST Print View

Sorry Dale, I had just email a guy at work named Dave 4 times. The brain knew that it was you; I guess muscle memory at my age is a little harder to correct.
Thanks for the info.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Smaller Backflush Syringe on 01/30/2014 17:02:25 MST Print View

I'm sure you've been called Ted at least as many times as I've been called Dave.

It's okay man, Dave's not here.....

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Dave's not here..... on 01/30/2014 18:11:08 MST Print View

When I do that bit at work no one knows what I talking about! ;^)

BTW, has anyone heard/read anything from saywer stating that using a small syringe to backflush is a bad idea. I have a really small one that I was going to carry to backflush in the field if it every becomes necessary (it hasn't yet).

Edited by Hitech on 01/30/2014 18:12:42 MST.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: mini backflush instructions on 01/30/2014 19:20:12 MST Print View

Scanned from the instruction card packed with the mini:

Mini instructions

The idea is that a weak backflush will only clean the path of least resistance and each time you try to clean it, only those areas you cleaned with the low pressure stream will flow or be cleaned in successive attempts. That will create channels of clear tubes in the filter media with others permanently clogged. Time will tell!

As to "Dave's not here", I wouldn't expect anyone under 50 to have a clue. It came out in 1971, at the "height" of my "high" school experience (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheech_and_Chong_%28album%29)

Dave's not here, man!" - by Cheech and Chong

(Soft knocks at the door)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It's me, Dave. Open up, man, I got the stuff.
(More knocks)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It's me, Dave, man. Open up, I got the stuff.
CHONG: Who?
CHEECH: It's, Dave, man. Open up, I think the cops saw me come in here.
(More knocks)
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It's, Dave, man. Will you open up, I got the stuff with me.
CHONG: Who?
CHEECH: Dave, man. Open up.
CHONG: Dave?
CHEECH: Yeah, Dave. C'mon, man, open up, I think the cops saw me.
CHONG: Dave's not here.
CHEECH: No, man, I'm Dave, man.
(Sharp knocks at the door)
CHEECH: Hey, c'mon, man.
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: It's Dave, man. Will you open up? I got the stuff with me.
CHONG: Who?
CHEECH: Dave, man. Open up.
CHONG: Dave?
CHEECH: Yeah, Dave.
CHONG: Dave's not here.
CHEECH: What the h***? No, man, I am Dave, man. Will you...
(More knocks)
CHEECH: C'mon! Open up the door, will you? I got the stuff with me, I think the cops
saw me.
CHONG: Who is it?
CHEECH: Oh, what the h*** is it...c'mon. Open up the door! It's Dave!
CHONG: Who?
CHEECH: Dave! D-A-V-E! Will you open up the g***** door!
CHONG: Dave?
CHEECH: Yeah, Dave!
CHONG: Dave?
CHEECH: Right, man. Dave. Now will you open up the door?
CHONG: Dave's not here.

Edited by dwambaugh on 01/30/2014 19:26:24 MST.