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sticky buns
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Joined: 29 Aug 2010
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Location: Seattle
sticky buns
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PostSun Aug 14, 2022 3:26 pm 
Has anyone here used vinegar to fix their flow problems with a BeFree? I just used the overnight soak of 1 pint distilled water and 1/2 tsp of bleach. It helped a new filter significantly and maybe an old one a bit. I've heard vinegar is supposed to help, too, but I'm here to query the recipe -- same as the bleach recipe but with vinegar instead of bleach or full-strength vinegar? FWIW, I used my newish filter for a week in the Pasayten and flow rate decreased significantly in that time. Sheesh. I had the other one since 2019 and have used it a fair amount to the point where flow rate was pretty rotten. Neither had the 1000L of filtering that are described as the lifetime of a BeFree, and I'm not filtering squalid puddles. And wouldn't ya know it; just after getting the new filter, my old bag developed a pin hole.

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Chief Joseph
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Location: Verlot-Priest Lake
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PostSun Aug 14, 2022 5:24 pm 
The thing I liked about mt BFree filer is it has a really good flow rate, much better than the Sawyer mini. Plus I liked the lightweight collapsible bottle, but as you found with any lightweight gear items, you sacrifice durability. I also noticed that the first time I used mine for the season it would barely flow at all until it soaked-primed for a while, then it worked fine. Haven't tried the vinegar-bleach cleaning thing so I am no help to you there.

Go placidly amid the noise and waste, and remember what comfort there may be in owning a piece thereof.
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rossb
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PostFri Aug 19, 2022 10:28 am 
I've been able to fix it using the same method (soaking in water). There is an interesting article about backflushing and long term storage: https://backpackinglight.com/backflushing-squeeze-water-filter-platypus-sawyer-befree/. In the comments there is more. This is a summary: If you have hard water and add bleach, it can calcify if you let the bleach sit in there. Theoretically, chlorine dioxide is better than bleach at getting rid of the growth inside the filter. For dealing with long term storage, Ryan Jordan used to use vinegar, but switched to citric acid after the vinegar seemed to be dissolving some of the glue. Others routinely add bleach at the end of the year, and soak in a vinegar solution to start the year. In the comments you can see the types of vinegar/citric acid solutions they used.

sticky buns
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Gil
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Gil
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PostSun Aug 21, 2022 10:15 am 
I find that if I don't use mine for awhile, it takes time to get the "air dam" out of the filter to let water flow. The solution seems to be to fill the bottle in advance and let it sit on the drive to the trailhead. But that sounds like a different issue than yours.

Friends help the miles go easier. Klahini
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