Berkey Filters & Systems FAQ


 How Do Berkey Water Systems work?
Each Berkey® system consists of an upper and lower chamber. Water is poured into the top chamber, where gravity pushes it into the filters. The filtered water collects in the lower chamber, where it can be dispensed through a spigot.

Which Berkey System is right for me?
Do i need to fill top chamber to the top every time?
YES, to ensure the filters don't wear out unevenly, fill to the top of chamber every time. Make sure bottom chamber is empty first otherwise the bottom chamber will overflow
What cleaning & maintenance do you recommend?
 Due to the lower chamber being FREE of chlorinated water, regular cleanings are required.  If you complete a full filtered cycle of water every day, then we recommend the lower chamber being rinsed with warm to hot water once per month.
Are Berkey filters recyclable?

We don’t recommend the recycling of the Black Berkey Elements, PF-2s or PF-4s. The shells of the Berkey® PF-2™ and PF-4™ are made of Polypropylene, which is Recycle Code 5. Uses of Polypro (for short) include catsup bottles, yogurt containers, margarine tubs & medicine bottles.  However, there is no recycle code for the Berkey PF™ elements. As we understand it, a recycle code cannot be assigned since the element is sealed and contains material inside for arsenic & fluoride reduction. To recycle, one would have to cut the element open and remove the material before recycling the plastic shell.

The same issue applies to the Black Berkey Elements. The complex matrix of materials involved in the manufacture of the BB9 elements does not allow the elements to be easily classified by a single recycle code. In addition, with both of these types of elements, there is no way of knowing what contaminants are in the media after use.

How often should I clean the Black Berkey Elements?
If you are using potable water only, the Black Berkey elements should only need to be cleaned once or twice  per year. Remove the elements, light scrub with Scotch Bright pads under cool tap water and then re-prime the elements.


Black Berkey Elements Test Results
A complete list of test results by clicking link below 


Do the Black Berkey elements remove pharmaceuticals from the water?Our elements are effective in removing or dramatically reducing drug pollutants from our drinking water


What is the difference between Berkey Earth Filters and the Black Berkey Elements?  We carry two classes of filters;

  • Purification Class- Black Berkey Elements (BEST) meet and exceed  NSF Standards with a reduction of contaminants up to 99.9999999%
  • Filtration Class- Berkey Earth Filters  (GOOD) exceed other filtration class filters with a reduction of contaminants up to 99.9%

Berkey Earth Filters are more economical and are about 34% cheaper in price  then the purification elements. however water filtration is much slower then the Black Berkey Elements .Watch this video for a comparison of the 2 filters.


How much Chlorine or Chloramines do the Black Berkey Elements remove?  & how much Fluoride is removed with the PF-2 & PF-4 filters?  The Berkey System will remove greater then 99.9 % of free chlorine or chloramines.  The Fluoride filtration elements will remove between 90% and 99.75% of this contaminant. Results can vary depending on the PH of the water.

 Do the Black Berkey Elements have silver in them?  Yes, silver is used as an antimicrobial to self-sterilize the Black Berkey® elements. Testing was conducted both internally and by Analytical Services, Inc. to insure that the silver used does not leach into the purified water.

 How do i transport my Berkey system?   Prior to transporting or moving any Berkey® system, the Black Berkey Elements must first be removed. Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. Place the elements in secure and water-tight packaging. The top and bottom of the stainless steel systems nest within each other for easy transport (remove spigot from lower chamber).  Please note: Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. This is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

 A small amount of water remains in the upper chamber, is this normal?  Yes it is normal and not unusual for the last 1.3 cm. to 2.5 cm. of water to remain in the upper chamber.

How can I tell if my Black Berkey Elements are working correctly? (Red Dye Test)

Why are some  Berkey Water Systems not available for sale in in California and Iowa? (click here)