Fixing the Katadyn Vario Filter
Kevin Felts 04.06.17
My Katadyn Vario has leaked water between the head and the body from day one. After a few Internet searches, I discovered this is a somewhat common problem. So, I developed my own solution.
I am not recommending this solution to anyone. If you decide to try it, try at your own risk. The housing of the filter will not be modified, just the replaceable filter and the ceramic filter.
The reason why the Katadyn Vario leaks water between the head and the body is because the filter develops back pressure. When the head is removed, there is a “pop” of air pressure being released.
The water is taking the path of least resistance, which is through the o-rings. To fix the problem, we need to reduce the back pressure. We are going to do this by removing the ceramic filter and cutting notches in the top outside edge of the filter.
Remove Ceramic Filter
Step One – Disassemble the filter and remove the ceramic filter.
Step Two – Place ceramic filter in direct sunlight for let’s say 30 minutes. We want to get it nice and warm.
Step Three – Grasp the ceramic filter in one hand, the housing in another hand and twist. Hopefully the ceramic filter will twist off. It is held in place with what looks like silicone.
Step Four – Use some kind of tool, like a flat head screw driver, and remove the remaining silicone from the housing.
Top Of Filter
If you take the filter and place it inside the housing and look at the top, it appears the water has to go through a 1/16 inch gap between the top of the filter and the housing.
To fix this problem, I took my pocket knife and cut out three sections around the top of the filter.
The filter has 5 slots that must fit in a certain way. Please do not remove any of the slots.
Hole Inside Filter
The only thing left that could cause back pressure is a hole inside the filter housiing. It looks like it is about 1/8 inch tall and about 1/4 inch long.
Due to the placement of the hole inside the filter housing, there is nothing I can do to fix it.
Katadyn Vario Results
For the first time in seven years, my Katadyn Vario did not leak.
On March 5, 2017, I went on an eight mile hike where I reviewed the Mountain House Mexican style rice and chicken. While the meal was getting ready, I filtered some water with my Katadyn Vario, and just like all the other times, it leaked like a screen door on a submarine.
After the ceramic filter was removed and the notches cut in the top of the filter, it did not leak.
Finally, after seven years of ownership, I can use the Katadyn Vario without unfiltered water going everywhere.