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MSR MiniWorks/WaterWorks Ceremic Filter Element



Keep the water flowing through your MiniWorks or WaterWorks Water Filter with the MSR Marathon EX Ceramic Element.

When you can fit the element gauge around the filter of your MSR WaterWorks EX or MiniWorks EX, it's time to replace the filter with the MSR Marathon EX Ceramic Element. This ceramic element removes protozoa and bacteria down to .3 microns, including giardia and cryptosporidium. If you have an older MiniWorks or WaterWorks, not to worry—this MSR element not only works with them, but it also increases flow rate by 25%.
  • Item #CAS0484

Cartridge Life
1057 gal
Claimed Weight
4.2 oz
Recommended Use
replacement for MiniWorks EX or WaterWorksEX
Manufacturer Warranty
limited 3 years

Tech Specs

California Proposition 65


Cancer and Reproductive Harm -

What do you think about this product?


>Rating: 4

Solid choice!

I've used it several times

An exact fit for my old and favorite pump filter. Looks to be the same quality as the original and only time will tell if it lasts and performs as well as the original.

>Rating: 4

Great but beware the forces of Gravity

I've used it several times

Similiar to others' reviews, it IS in fact a great filter. You can fill up a Nalagene quickly (you just need to clean it regularly) and the filter itself lasts a very long time... unless you drop it on the ground/floor and it cracks the ceramic. I've done this to 2 of these filters so I now use a steripen...better considering my track record.

>Rating: 4

Great Filter, But Be Careful

I've used it several times

It filters out unwanted flavors that mother nature mixes up and is fresh. The only complaint is that the ceramic filter is weak structurally. It does not take a beating, so DO NOT drop it on a rough and/or hard surface. It will crack like mine did and compromise the integrity. However, I am very happy with the filter's performance and WILL NOT be changing.

>Rating: 5

Easily Replacable

What can I say, it is a filter cartridge. It works great. It is super easy to replace. You just drop it in. Done.

>Rating: 4

Fragile when not in the filter, but bombproof otherwise

The MSR Miniworks and WaterWorks uses this ceramic filter that will last years and years if taken care of properly. There a few downsides to the filter though. Replacements are expensive, though not relatively so, since a single ceramic filter can potentially last you several years or more. Also, they are fragile. Do not go to sleep with a little water in this filter if it is going to get below freezing at night. The freezing water will swell into ice and crack the filter. Sleep with this filter if you're going to see freezing temperatures. The filter is field maintainable/cleanable. Pull the ceramic element out, and *very lightly* brush it with a small piece of Scotch Brite, or something similar that has a bit of abrasion to it. Do not scrub the hell out of the filter. It'll reduce its life significantly, and won't get it any cleaner than a light cleaning. The goal is to remove the funk covering its porous surface, not to sandblast it. Also, once you're home, take the filter element out and let it dry, and take the time to clean the filter body. 30 minutes of maintenance will keep this filter and element lasting a long, long time. With proper care this filter is, dollar for dollar, the most affordable and reliable filter around.


Carbon center

Showing the inner carbon core.


Brand new / Ready to trash

This is a filter that hasn't been used yet, next to one that is ready to be replaced.


They may have just changed the compound to a different ceramic. i don't think that is going to affect it.

>Rating: 3


I got this to replace the one that I dropped and cracked. I wish that these filter were a little more rugged.

They stand up to quite a bit of abuse if they're stored in the filter body.

>Rating: 4

Before you buy this READ THIS

Please read your manual. I used to work in a gear shop, and every last one of these we sold was to someone who didn't need it, or needed it because they mistreated their old filter. Step 1: Don't need a new filter: I've had a MiniWorks for 11 years, if you let it dry out after trips (prevent mold), don't let it freeze with water in it, and make an attempt to get clear water into it, it'll last a decade or more. Once you think you need to get a new one of these, check the MSR manual (online too!), and scrub off the surface according to their directions. Presto, I probably just saved you $40. Scrub it off, and when you do that, just bite the bullet and get new O-rings for it (normally less than $5 at your local MSR rep). Also, make sure that you've got the prefilter on the little floatie. That'll again extend the life considerably.

>Rating: 3


Bought a replacement after the original filter in the unit broke when I dropped it a couple feet onto a rock. Wish the ceramic filter was a little more durable it would be nice if replacements were cheaper. Thus the 3 stars... That said, I am still overall very happy with the MSR Miniworks filtering speed and how easy it is to use and maintain. That was my first problem with it after years of good use.

>Rating: 4

Worth the cash!!!!

The filter lasts a long time!!! Easy to maintain and clean!!! Loved it on all the trips!!!

>Rating: 3

Works Great

The only reason why I gave this three stars is because the price sucks. Other than that this filter beats all other filters that I have owned. It is extremely fast and makes some super clean (and tasty!) water. Sometimes I have to clean the filter after every single 32 oz bottle that I fill but cleaning it is so easy that I don't even consider this a negative towards msr.

>Rating: 3

Mini Works

The filter in the unit clogs fairly easily in silty water. It is also fairly easy to clean with the green scrub pad and works well when clean.


I've had an MSR Waterworks (with the...

I've had an MSR Waterworks (with the additional paper element) for years. On the last trip I dropped and broke the ceramic element. Bummer for that trip, but when I got home I checked my gear box and it I had two replacement elements which I had purchased on sale when a local store was going out of business. One looks exactly like the ceramic element I busted, with charcoal inside. The other appears to be charcoal on the outside - can't see inside. My question is are these two filter elements equivalent, or are meant for different levels of water quality and filtration?

Joe, Any chance you have pictures? I've poked around (and I own one of these) and I don't know of and can't find anything about a charcoal coated version of this. Or it may be a different model? Are the plastic pieces at the top and bottom the exact same? Jared D. Gearhead 800.409.4502 ext 4055


I have an older MSR pump filter that says...

I have an older MSR pump filter that says "MSR #205" on the removeable filter. It uses a big "O" ring on both ends. Can I get replacements for this?

Hi William, This is the replacement for the older filters that use the #205 cartridge.


Greetings, What are the differences between...

Greetings, What are the differences between the MSR Waterworks, the Waterworks II, and the MiniWorks EX? We use, and dearly LOVE an old Katadyn Pocket filter, but recently got a new Waterworks for a very good deal. Your thoughts and comment will be appreciated. Thanks, and God Bless! Every Good Wish, Doc

The water works has an extra paper like element. So the water works is a 2 stage filter. The second stage is basically a back up to the ceramic element. The sec onstage does have to be replaced, although not that often because clean water is flowing throughout he filter at that point. The mini works is just a one stage ceramic element. The mini works will have a faster flow rate then the water works and the pocket. The Water Works are no longer made. You will be able to get the secondary filter for a few more years. The mini works and the water works ceramic elements are the same.


I just purchased a used miniworks and the...

I just purchased a used miniworks and the filter is an orange or light rust color. Is this a normal color for some filters or is it dirty? I used a scratch pad lightly but when it did not seem to change color, I stopped. The web replacement filters look white.

When the filter element gets wet, it turns a light orange/rust color. The filter element should be fine. If you're worried, I would recommend boiling it for about 15 minutes. Any pathogen left after it being used will be eliminated.


I bought my Miniworks filter about 4 years...

I bought my Miniworks filter about 4 years ago and I've filtered more than 500 liters of silty canyon water and I've just bought a replacement cartridge back in june and I've only used it twice and both times it has screwed me over and the results have been stomach cramps and dehydration. There is a white seal around the top of the cartridge that is protruding out and I'm wondering if it's a defect cartridge. The filter won't put out any water no matter how much pumping I do and I've cleaned the whole unit several times and boiled the cartridge twice to try and revive it... Any ideas?


The white substance pictured is the glue used to hold the black rubber top to the ceramic/carbon material. This shouldn't cause any pumping problems. Typically what I see when someone has problem with their Miniworks EX is to check the duckbill valve located where the hose connects to the filter. By unscrewing the black plastic piece you will find the duckbill valve located inside. If it is ripped, damaged due to deformation (permanent creases, etc.), or otherwise damaged you should replace it (included in the Miniworks Repair Kit). If this isn't the problem, I would then check the umbrella valve located underneath the head of the filter (red, flat valve that pops into the bottom). Usually there's a rock or some other debris logged in it not allowing it to sufficiently close. If the filter works properly, it is the most thorough of any filter on the market. This means that any sickness you've experienced was most likely due from some other contamination (dirty hands, dirty and/or contaminated container, etc.). However, if the ceramic filter element is cracked then this might allow for contaminated water to enter in. I would inspect the element very thoroughly. If none of these things work, I would recommend sending it back to Cascade Design. I would call them at (206) 505-9500.


anyone know where to find the umbrela...

anyone know where to find the umbrela valve, and other parts for this filter?

You can get the MSR filter mainetenance and cleaning kit and they have almost everything you need


I have an old MSR Miniworks, non-EX filter...

I have an old MSR Miniworks, non-EX filter housing with the blue top and was wondering if the EX cartridge works with the old style pump. There is an O-ring on the top and bottom of the old style filter and only one on the bottom of the new one. Also, does the new maintenance kit contain everything I'll need for the old filter housing? Thanks!!

It should work. You won't use the top large red O-ring, but instead the EX cartridge has a welded on rubber assembly that takes it's place. You still need the bottom red O-ring however. The repair kit should contain all the replacement parts for the old and new filters. For example, the old filter used a small blue ball instead of the duck bill valve in the new filter. Both are contained in the repair kit.


When replacing a old waterworks ceramic...

When replacing a old waterworks ceramic filter with the new EX, do you need the top screen?

No you do not. It will work just fine without it.