Re: Seychelle Water Filtration (It broke!)
- At Jerry's request, I am reposting my reports for Wally, revised because of hindsight:
My first impression was this was a nice looking, light weight filter.
However, I also noticed that not much effort was spent on printed material. The brochure showing their product line was a nice glossy one, but the instructions were two photocopied computer-printed sheets with NO illustrations. I finally found Filter Replacement on the back page. A couple of simple drawings, nothing fancy, would have been very helpful. Also, the "in"
and "out" were a bit hard to find - A big arrow imprinted on the body to show water flow would have been easier.
There were no instructions on cleaning the filter. Should it be brushed or backwashed? Without complete instructions, the part I've heard refered to as a backwash device I assumed to be for filtered faucet water as shown in their brochure as the Tap2Pure filter. I agree it would made a great backwash device.
I also noticed a bit of blackish grit in the filter system, apparently from the filter element itself. The filter element looked fragile, like a bit of foam pipe insulation. A gentle brush with a finger tip would remove more grit. This is not necessarily bad, but it was unexpected, and again, the instructions could mention this to appease the worried user. I gently screwed the element into the body of the filter, worried I would tear the element. I flushed as instructed and the water appeared to be clear quickly.
Once assembled on my platy system, the filter primed quickly. I was impressed with how easy it was to draw water through the filter to my bite tube. It sure was easier than pumping my MSR, and a whole lot lighter! I wondered how well it worked, and proceeded to the dye test.
I added a bit of yellow food coloring to the platy, and saw that the yellow color was only slightly faded on the output of the filter. I'm not sure it's not filtering the germs out, but my other filters (First Need and MSR MiniWorks) have all taken all the color out. It appears this test may not be valid for this type filter, but better instructions would help the user know how to test to be sure the filter integrity hasn't been breached.
I then removed the filter element to look at the O-ring that has been questioned. It looked ok, so I again carefully screwed the element back into the filter. I was concerned about breaking the filter media or tearing the O-ring, and went slowly. It did seem to go in a bit crooked as another tester mentioned, then spun easily and then the threaded nipple then BROKE OFF where the O-ring was located.
This is a BIG concern. If this was my only filter in the field I would be out of luck, or using my backup tablets. I am concerned that, being careful in my kitchen, I broke the filter. I could see damage being easier to inflict when tired after a hard hike or in bad weather. Also, a bit of sediment in the threads would increase the chances of damage. I am very interested in Wally's response to this.
The question I was unable to answer is how this filter would perform in silty conditions. I think a prefilter would be a big help here. Maybe I'd try a coffee filter wrapped around the filter element with a rubber band to hold it on? I don't always have the luxury of letting a pot of water settle before filtering.
So, in summary:
Can they provide better and illustrated instructions?
Why did the filter fail the dye test, or how do we know the filter's ok?
Why did the filter element nipple break off so easily?
How would this filter perform in silty conditions?
Thank you, Wally, for the chance to try this out. I'm a recent convert to lightweight backpacking after 30+ years backpacking in California mountains and deserts, including some ambitious cross country work, in all weather. I also teach backpacking to several scout units. I look forward to hopefully having the chance to try one of these filters in the field soon. How/where can I get a replacement filter element?
Bill "AsABat" Jeffrey
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