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FAQ Water Products

Q1. My filter has little to no flow. What should I do?

A.1:Initial Wetting - Be sure to slowly squeeze the water through the filter, giving the filter fibers time to fully saturate. The initial flow rate may seem slow but will increase as fibers become wetted which usually takes approximately one Liter of water.

A1.2: Back Flushing Process - To maximize the effectiveness and longevity of your filter, Sawyer recommends back flushing your filter after each outing. The fibers are very robust so please be FORCEFUL in your back flush process. When using the syringe do not be gentle, it will only form paths of least resistance instead blowing out the particulates that may be trapped in your filter. When using the faucet adapter, hold the adapter on the faucet and 'turn the water up' to ensure particle(s) removal.

A1.3: Sanitation- Before storing your filter, Sawyer recommends sanitizing your filter. This process is simple: Back flush filter. Run a standard bleach solution (fragrance free) through your filter (one cap of bleach per quart of water). Let air dry and then store in a cool, dry place OR store wet and clean before using.

A1.4: Non-backflushed Filters - In case you forgot to back flush your filter after your last outing and flow seems to be little to diminished, soak the filter in hot tap water (not boiling) for about an hour and then back flush using hot tap water. REMEMBER to back flush FORCEFULLY! When using the syringe, do not be gentle, it will only form paths of least resistance instead of blowing out the particulates that may be trapped in your filter. When using the faucet adapter, hold the adapter on the faucet and 'turn the water up' to ensure particle(s) removal.

A1.5: Calcium Build Up - (If after above steps your filter still seems to be clogged) Soak the filter in hot tap water for about an hour and then back wash using hot tap water. If this doesn't work, it could be dried calcium. Soak the filter in vinegar for 1/2 hour and then flush with hot water. You may have to repeat this a few times to get it all the way clean. Make sure you back flush with all the force you can - hold the faucet adapter on the faucet and turn the water on. The filters are tough and can take more force than you can give with the faucet adapter.


Q2. My pouch seems to be leaking water (holes in seams), how do I prevent this from happening in the future?

A2.1: Initial Wetting - It is usually not the pouch causing the leak, it is usually the filter. Either the filter was not completely wetted at first point of use or too much pressure has been applied to pouch during filtration process. Be sure to slowly squeeze the water through the filter, giving the filter fibers time to fully saturate. The initial flow rate may seem slow, but will increase as fibers become wetted.

A2.2: Back Flushing Process- Back flush your filter (better and more often) using your syringe. You cannot hurt the filter fibers, so please be FORCEFUL in your back flush process. When using the syringe, do not be gentle, it will only form paths of least resistance instead of blowing out the particulates that may be trapped in your filter.

A2.3: Filter Application - Do not over tighten the filter on the pouch. Over tightening can cause the o-rings to embed into the threads or lodge into the opening of the pouch. If the o-ring is out of place you may not a have a tight seal and water could leak out the bottom of the filter. Please watch our video on Important Squeeze Filter Tipsto better understand how to care for your squeeze bags. Until you learn the perfect balance of force and cleaning, we recommend bringing a backup pouch with you on your trip.

A2.4: Torn Pouches- Before the pouches leave the factory they are 100% air tested. While they are rugged, these pouches are not indestructible. They tear as a result of too much pressure being applied and this happens when water is forced through the filter too fast or your filter needs cleaning and is creating more resistance.  Do not squeeze the pouch as hard or wring the pouch. Torn pouches are not covered under the warranty.


Q3. Does the Sawyer filter remove taste, chemicals and heavy metals form water?

A3.1: Taste- The Sawyer filter removes taste that comes from bacteria, dirt, and green matter.

A3.2: Chemicals- The Sawyer filter does NOT remove iron, sulfur, other chemicals, or simple compounds. Taste can be masked by using flavor additives like Gatorade or crystal light (filter needs to be cleaned immediately after using them).

A3.3 Heavy Metals - The Sawyer filters are not made with charcoal. While other portable filters have charcoal, they lack in amount of media and adequate dwell time. Therefore, they only remove small amounts of heavy metals, pesticides, etc. (when used in real life applications). Try using better sources of water, if possible.


Q4. What is the difference between the PointONE™ and Point ZEROTWO™ Filtration Systems and how do I know which to use?

First, Sawyer's filters and purifiers are rated in Absolute Microns. This means there is no pore size larger than 0.1 or 0.02 micron in size on the PointONE™ and PointZEROTWO™ respectively. This means that it is impossiblefor harmful bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E. coli, Giradia, Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella typhi (which cause Cholera and Typhoid) to pass through the Sawyer filters and purifiers. At 7 log (99.99999%) the filter attains the highest level of filtration available today. The PointZEROTWO™ filter removes both bacteria and viruses.

A4.1: Sawyer PointONE™ Filtration - The PointONE™ filtration system is usually all you would need unless you are traveling internationally (developing countries) where waterborne viruses such as hepatitis and/or Polio are present. This system removes all harmful pathogens from your water.

A4.2: Sawyer PointZEROTWO™ Purifier - If viruses are an issue, we offer the PointZeroTWO™ Purifier (0.02 micron absolute pores), the first and thus far only portable purification device to physically remove viruses which it does at a >5.5 log (99.9997%) rate, exceeding EPA and NSF recommendations. Due to the significantly higher level of filtration, PointZEROTWO's flow rate is considerably slower than the PointONE™ filters.

A4.3: North America vs. Third World Countries - In North America we do not have concerns about viruses in our water. They simply cannot survive. Viruses derive from contaminated human sewage and die shortly after entering a body of water. In Third World countries outbreaks have occurred due to poor treatment of sewage. Sewage without viruses can be handled by the PointONE™ filter. The only viruses with the potential to survive in water are hepatitis (which is rare) and Polio (which is extremely rare). You can contact CDC for information on virus outbreaks in areas for which you are traveling.


Q5: How fast should the water come out of my filter?

A5:Flow rates - vary depending on how clean the filter is and how well you cleaned the filter. Altitude also affects the flow rates (the higher you go the slower the flow. Also, the PointZEROTWO™ filter flows much slower that the Point ONE.


Q6. How do I care for my filter during freezing weather?

A6.1: Before initial wetting - Filter is safe from freezing temperatures if it has never been wetted.

A6.2: After initial wetting- While there is no definitive way to tell if a filter has been damaged due to freezing, Sawyer recommends replacing your filter if you suspect that it has been frozen.

A6.3: During trips - If you are in freezing temperatures we recommend that you store your filter in your pocket or close to your person so that your body heat can prevent freezing. THERE IS NO WARRANTY FOR A FROZEN FILTER


Q7. I would like to purchase a Sawyer filtration system, but how do I know which system I need?

All of our filters are easy to use and while we can point you to what applications the filters are best used for, your choice will be based largely on a personal preference.

A7.1: Filtration for Individuals- If you are looking for a filter you will be using for yourself, the following products will be best for you needs.

SP131 (Squeeze Filter with 16 oz, 32 oz, and 64 oz pouches) - This is the simple, portable, lightweight system that won Backpacker Magazine's Editor's choice in 2012. The threaded filter makes it easy to adapt. It is perfect for backpackers who want clean water fast without adding much weight.

SP129 (Squeeze Filter with one 32 oz pouch) - This is the same Sawyer Squeeze Filter but only includes one 32 oz pouch.

SP181 (All-in-One Filter)- This versatile system is also based off the popular SP131. This system includes a screw on filter filter, a 32 oz pouch for portability, a faucet adapter to filter tap water, and everything you need all to use it as a bucket gravity filtration system. This is perfect for individual use, groups, and emergency preparedness kits.

SP149 (4-Way Water Treatment Bottle)- This water filtration bottle can also be used as an inline water filter, on a hydration pack, or with the included faucet adapter.

SP140 (Personal Water Filtration Bottle)- This is a simple bottle system that comes with a back-flushing syringe. Perfect for traveling to areas where you do not trust the water.

SP162 (2 Liter Complete Filtration System)- This complete filtration comes with two 2 Liter bags that use gravity to filter the water from one bag to another. It is a great alternative to pumping water.

SP161 (2 Liter Gravity Filtration System)- This filtration system comes with a 2 Liter bag that uses gravity to filter the water into any container you have. It is good for hiking and camping trips.

A7.2: Filtration for Groups- If you are looking for something that can provide a larger amount of water for a group of people, the following products will be best for you.

SP181 (All-in-One Filter)- This versatile system is also based off the popular SP131 mentioned above. This system includes a screw on filter filter, a 32 oz pouch for portability, a faucet adapter to filter tap water, and everything you need all to use it as a bucket gravity filtration system. This is perfect for individual use, groups, and emergency preparedness kits.

SP184 (4 Complete Liter Gravity Filtration System)- This gravity filtration system comes with two 4 Liter bags that use gravity to filter the water from one bag to another. It is good for camping or hiking and longer distances with larger groups or where water is less accessible.

SP183 (4 Liter Gravity Filtration System)- This filter comes with a 4 Liter bag that uses gravity to filter the water into any container you have. It is good for camping or hiking with a few people.

SP180 (PointONE™ Bucket Adapter Kit)- This filter can be mounted to just about any plastic bucket. It is good for remote cabins, natural disasters, and emergency preparedness. It can be used to provide a long term water source.

A7.3: Portability vs. Stationary- Whether you are filtering on the go or sticking around a while, we have something for everyone. Our bucket filters, when applied to larger buckets, may be better for keeping in one location. While our Squeeze filters are light and always ready to go.

A7.4: Kid Friendly - Anyone can use our filters. They are low maintenance and light weight which is perfect for kids going on trips to summer camp or to see the world. They are very easy transport and use.


Q8: Filter Compatibility

A8.1: The Sawyer Squeeze Filter - The Sawyer Squeeze Filter can be used in conjunction with a hydration pack. Please see video Sawyer Squeeze with Hydration Pack using Inline Adapter and Sawyer Squeeze with Fast Fill Adapters.

A8.2: The Sawyer Squeeze Filter with Water Bottles- The Sawyer Squeeze Filter can also be used on water bottles when you are unsure whether or not it is safe to drink the water.

A8.3: The Sawyer Inline Filter- This convenient filter can be used as an inline filter on a hydration pack, a pre-filter for an existing pump system, with the provided faucet adapter, or with a gravity bag.


Q9. Are there additional copies available for download?

A.9 Yes. Replacement instructions are available on our Downloads Page.


Q10: Do you have more information about Sawyer's Label Claim and Million Gallon Guarantee?

A10.1 We have independent lab tests using EPA protocols and information about our Million Gallon Guarantee that are available on our Downloads Page.


Thank you for choosing Sawyer Products! We strive to provide the very best customer service experience. If you should have a question that is not addressed above, please do not hesitate to call our Customer Service Department toll free at: (800) 356-7811 or email us at feedback@sawyer.com.We look forward to serving you!

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