Msr trailshot issues

Discussion in 'Hydration, Hygiene & Health' started by Nevis, Apr 16, 2018.

  1. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    Having issues with my trailshot. only used it once and it worked fine. After a night away when I returned I went to flush clean water through it, it appears that it will not suck water through. I have performed an integrity test and that was ok, but still it will not suck water through. If I remove the filter cover and orange valve I can get some water through but when I reattach it will not work. When I remove the hose and manually suck it will flow, again when I reattach the hose it won’t. Anyone any ideas? Have emailed msr but the auto response email
    says it could be a while before they reply.
  2. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    A bit late at night but I'll have a look at mine tomorrow, haven't used it 'that' much but had no problems so far.
  3. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    Looks like it just would not work so its on its way back to ULOG for a replacement :)
  4. ColinHawke

    ColinHawke Ultralighter

    It sounds like the valve is not working correctly - The one that has the horizontal slit in it at the end of the tube, do you have it the right way around in its little housing? I think you have to flip it when doing the integrity test?? sorry can’t remember the details.

    I’m away on business at the moment but get home in 8 days or so and will have a look at mine.
  5. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    Yup checked the wee orange valve and tried both ways round and still kaput!! Hopefully ULOG will send me a new one as soon as.

    K:)
  6. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Oops, sorry @Nevis I totally forgot about this, hope you get sorted :)
  7. Nevis

    Nevis Section Hiker

    ULOG sent out a replacement that day, no questions... just done :) Good work from them as always :)
    Chiseller, Tartanferret and Bopdude like this.
  8. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    I had a similar problem. Flow reduced to a dribble after one use. Returned it for replacement but after hearing a number of people have had similar issues, I just don't trust it.

    I switched to the much simpler BeFree and not looked back.
    Clare likes this.
  9. ColinHawke

    ColinHawke Ultralighter

    I guess everybody’s different - didn’t like my BeFree at all and gave it away and have used my trailshot on every trip since and no probs.

    Edit: It won’t work unless the hand pump ‘bulb’ is filled with water - just pump a few times at the correct angle and fill the bulb - then it works like a hosepipe!
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  10. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    A bit of a thread resurrection ...

    I'd been looking for a solution to low flow rate in my Trailshot and one of the hits was this thread. Another hit was on a review of the Trailshot on bikepacking.com https://bikepacking.com/gear/msr-trailshot-review/ where one of the comments came from an MSR sales rep, quoted here:

    Interestingly, or maybe even confusingly, the instruction manual that ships with the Trailshot still says to clean every 8 litres and shake for 20 seconds.

    From my searching it seems that the flow rate on the Trailshot is very hit and miss out of the box, some are very good, some not so. From a bit of experimentation it seems that getting the bulb full is key to getting good flow. When I've had problems the bulb would only half fill, it was as if it couldn't draw well enough but even multiple attempts at cleaning as per above wouldn't improve things.
    gixer and Bopdude like this.
  11. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    Good info, I've been struggling with mine on recent trips, I'll try the cleaning advice before binning it off in favour of a BeFree.
  12. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    That sounds like a lot of bother compared to other filters. I tried the instructions that came with the product and couldn't make two of them pass more than a dribble.

    As my health, if not my life, depended on it I just didn't trust it enough to take with me on a trip.
  13. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    el manana likes this.
  14. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    I tried the cleaning steps in the earlier post and it works a treat, used it this weekend and had no problems, rinsed again after use and the water was murky, so good advice to clean as you go :)
    Chiseller likes this.
  15. Bob-W

    Bob-W Summit Camper

    Thought I'd add some results of trying to fix the flow rate on my Trailshot.

    Now there's not many bits to the Trailshot, eleven to be precise, so there's not much to go wrong. So this is a sort of a work through in locating the problem.

    Was it the filter cartridge? Well I hoped not since that would be almost the price of a whole new Trailshot. A full clean, several times, and things were a little better. I also did MSR's integrity test (Google this, it's an easy test to perform) and everything seemed OK.

    Going through how the Trailshot works and also having a known working unit (my wife's) to compare to, I noticed that the priming of the unit was different. You squeeze the bulb about ten times to fill its reservoir - at this point you should get full flow. My unit would only fill to about 20% so when I subsequently squeezed the bulb to get water rather than force the incompressible water through the cartridge I was compressing air hence sod all flow.

    No water was escaping from the bulb so it wasn't damaged. I checked the pre-filter and check-valve (a sort of one-way valve) and everything was clear so water could get in. Taking the cap assembly off I happened to try squeezing the bulb and it began filling, a few more squeezes and it filled completely! So the cap was somehow preventing the bulb from working properly, curious. I tried various levels of tightening the cap down with occasionally explosively wet results [​IMG] I also swapped parts back and forth between the working unit and mine but with no real difference in its behaviour.

    All this while my attention had been on the bulb, after all that's where "the problem" lay. Then during one attempt at priming I happened to notice air bubbles escaping from between the male and female parts of the check valve housing. Try the working unit - no bubbles. Hmm. Now I'm beginning to better understand how all the parts work together ...

    At either end of the system is a one way valve, the check valve at the input and the umbrella valve in the output cap, both are aligned so that flow occurs from the dirty to the clean side. During priming when you squeeze the bulb air is expelled through the umbrella valve, when you release the bulb the partial vacuum seals the umbrella valve whilst at the same time allowing water to enter via the check valve. Repeat until bulb is full at which point you get full output flow.

    A bit of searching about Trailshot priming problems and it seems the above paragraph isn't quite right in that priming doesn't rely on the check valve to work. One suggestion was to remove the input filter and check valve altogether to prime the unit. This works! In fact it only takes three squeezes of the bulb to fully prime it but you need to have the unit with the output valve lower than where the input pipe enters. Taking the end of the tube out of the water to replace the input filter only introduces a little air back into the system. Two potential problems:

    1. You might drop the input filter and/or the check valve [​IMG]
    2. The initial priming could be using cloudy water with particulates so will clog the filter quicker.

    Not an ideal solution but it does mean my unit will work. I thought it might have been my check valve but swapping it for the other one and there's still no improvement so it's possible that there's multiple faults with mine all combining to prevent correct priming.
    WilliamC likes this.
  16. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    I got fed up of mine, it should just work but doesn't so I've gone to Sawer as a temp before I try a BeFree :(
  17. Foxster

    Foxster Trail Blazer

    Just go for the BeFree. Much, much better than a Trailshot and more convenient than a Sawer.
    Bopdude likes this.
  18. edh

    edh Thru Hiker

    I have a BeFree for sale.....
  19. Bopdude

    Bopdude Section Hiker

    pm 'ed
  20. Michael_x

    Michael_x Summit Camper

    I like that there is an integrity test for the MSR. My biggest concern with my Sawyer mini is I have no way to test it and cobfirm it is working.
    el manana likes this.

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