Do I need a new filter cartridge?
January 27, 2019 11:15 AM   Subscribe

After being stored with a bit of pond water in it for seven years, there's a thin ring of light green algae growing around the bottom of the (Katadyn Hiker) filter cartridge. Do I need to replace it?

I neglected to clean and fully dry my Katadyn Hiker water filter before it was stored for an extended period. Most of it looked normal, no mold in the tubes or anything, but when I opened the cartridge area I observed a small amount of water around the base of the cartridge and a small ring of light green algae or something growing there. Can the cartridge be salvaged? I'm assuming no but they're expensive so I'm asking just in case. I can take pics if necessary. Thanks.
posted by nzero to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (6 answers total)
p. s. This was a brand new cartridge used exactly once before it was improperly stored.
posted by nzero at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2019

I recently saw someone ask in a running forum how to salvage a mouldy water pack. The most sobering reply was along the lines of “I’m the doctor who oversees all fungal-related illnesses for my area. Fungal chest infections are no joke. Buy a new one.” I then (why?) googled fungal chest infections and resolved to be much less lackadaisical about water bottle hygiene. I know you describe algae rather than fungus, but I’m guessing if it’s damp enough for algae it could easily be damp enough for all sorts of other shit too. I’m generally pretty laid about about this stuff but am moving more towards not fucking with my water supplies.
posted by penguin pie at 11:26 AM on January 27, 2019 [10 favorites]

Damn dude. Thanks for the dose of perspective.
posted by nzero at 11:34 AM on January 27, 2019 [1 favorite]

So I guess the next question is can I just replace the cartridge and clean the filter itself with bleach as normal? Or is the whole thing toast?
posted by nzero at 12:34 PM on January 27, 2019

Depends how many nooks and crannies your unit has. You could have a persistent recurring algae problem, if there's somewhere in there that the bleach can't reach. It looks like that model has kind of a lot of nooks and crannies.

Pump-style filters are deprecated anyway; all the cool kids these days use the Sawyer Squeeze, which is way lighter and way less of a hassle to operate. $40 bucks well spent in my opinion, even if your current filter wasn't a nasty ol' gooball.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 2:51 PM on January 27, 2019 [4 favorites]

The filter body is made out of hard plastic that isn't porous. You should be able to clean it out as per instructions from the manufacturer. It's getting into the pump mechanism and valves that might be an issue. I'm not sure how easy it is to get into those parts. Most of these filters are built to be cleaned.
posted by thenormshow at 9:03 AM on January 28, 2019

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