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Old 12 Jun 2010
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Help needed with General Ecology filter in Kenya

Hello all, we are hoping we can get other overlander's experiences and advice on our current filter system...

We are currently in Nairobi, having been on the road for nearly five months. Before leaving we installed a General Ecology Seagull filter into our 4x4, purchasing two catridges (one in the filter, one for a spare). The retailer we bought it off suggested we would not need the spare, but we just wanted to be on the safe side. Our first catridge stopped working in Sudan, so we put the spare in whilst in Khartoum. The second catridge is now on its way out, and we are wondering what on earth we are either doing wrong or whether the filter is simply not up to the job (though all other threads on the Hubb seem to suggest everybody but us is happy with it?) Two other overlanders we have met on the road have the same system and are happy with it, although both are rarely using it whereas we have been putting all of our drinking water through.

We have contacted the retailer we bought it off, and he implied it was our own DIY installation or the pump that was at fault. But we have put in a Shurflo pump at a higher spec then recommended, and have tested it by removing the filter and the pressure is still really strong. We have only put in tap water to our tank. We are now unsure if we should change systems (as we haven't been able to find replacement catridges in Kenya), which will cost us big, or get more catridges sent (which will again cost and who knows how long they will last). We are reluctant to switch to bottled water or use chemicals...

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated?

Mark and Allison
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Old 12 Jun 2010
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Sorry to hear of your problems as I've had one of these units (a Seagull iv) for 4 years now and I've never had any problems. When you say the cartridge stopped working, do you mean that it would not allow any water through? If so, I take it that your current flow rate is starting to drop off. From memory the life of one of these filters is 7,500 litres and I can't imagine you've used over 15,000 litres. There can be only two possible problems; either the pump isn't producing enough pressure or the filters have blocked. I take it you've installed the right diameter piping. It's very hard to check that the pump is producing enough pressure but even though logic would dictate that the problem lies in the filter, my money would be on the pump. Can you connect an open pipe to the pump and check its flow rate and compare it with someone elses? I would check out the pump's pre-filter and give it a thorough clean too. Provided you can verify that the pump is truly producing the right pressure (and pressure is the key not volume pumped-bit like volts rather than amps) then the answer can only be with a blocked filter. I suspect you can't clean them and your only option is to get a new filter. I've never heard of anyone else having such a problem which is why I'd bet that the problem lies with your pump rather than your filter. Are you sure that produces a high enough pressure?

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