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Water Filters


Most people often overlook cleaning their filter after a trip and before storage. You can triple or quadruple the life of your filter if it is cleaned properly. Most filters come with extensive cleaning/maintenance instructions, which you should follow closely. Here's a list of procedures that will increase your filter's performance greatly.


Backwashing a filter

When output starts to slow, detach the intake hose and attach it to the filter outlet. Pumping will send a "backwash" of clean water through the filter, loosening some of the accumulated gunk. After backwashing or before storage, the filter element must usually be sanitized with a diluted bleach solution.


Scrubbing a ceramic element

This means removing and wiping off the ceramic cylinder. If the water flow has slowed, scrub the cylinder with a toothbrush to restore normal output. Some ceramic elements contain silver to limit the growth of bacteria, fungi, and algae within the filter, which keeps you from having to sanitize it after cleaning. Note, however, that the silver isn't intended as a water treatment by itself.


Cleaning the surface filter

This means removing the filter membrane and scraping or brushing it clean. Most people replace their membrane when it turns gray. After removing the membrane, you must sanitize it with a bleach solution or by boiling.


Start with the cleanest water you can

Try and not make your filter work harder than need be. Use pools rather than large currents, because they stir up sand and debris. Always hold the intake hose above ground so you won't suck up any mud, muck, or leaves. You can also dip up a container of water and set it aside to let the suspended solids settle out. A few hours will help, but leaving water to settle overnight is best.


If regular brushing does not help to fully restore flow rate, the filter cartridge may be clogged with organic matter. Here’s how to fix that: Add one ounce (more is NOT better) of unscented household bleach (such as Clorox Regular or Clorox Ultra) to one liter of clean water. Mix for 10 seconds. Pump the diluted bleach slowly through the filter cartridge, stopping just as the inlet tube begins to suck air. Remove the tubing and seal the inlet and outlet ports of the filter cartridge (foil or plastic wrap works well). Let sit 16-24 hours. Flush the filter cartridge with 3 liters of clean water. The filter is now clean.

Courtesy of Cascade Designs


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