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Berkey - Imperial Water Filtration System (4.5 Gallon) - IMP6X2-BB

Regular Price: $418.95  
$310.00
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The versatile Imperial Berkey water filter is the ideal system for use with small to medium sized groups, at home, churches, hospitals Free Water Bottle Filterorphanages, for outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies.

This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best.

Perfect for outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. This system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes.

It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance. Imperial Berkey Specifications Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the Imperial Berkey system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances.

  • Storage Capacity - 4.5 Gallons.

  • Configured with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements can purify up to 5.5 gallons per hour.

  • Configured with 4 Black Berkey Purification Elements can purify up to 11 gallons per hour.

  • Configured with 6 Black Berkey Purification Elements can purify up to 16.5 gallons per hour.

  • The Imperial Berkey water filter system comes standard with 2 Black Berkey® Purification Elements, but can be expanded up to 4 or 6 elements.
  • The versatile Imperial Berkey system is the ideal system for use with mid to large-sized families, small groups and during unexpected emergencies
  • Constructed with highly polished AISI stainless steel 
  • Upper chamber nests within lower chamber for transport and stands only 17" in height
  • Storage capacity of about 4.5 gallons (17 liters)
  • Maximum Filters: 6 Black Berkey® Purification Elements (in upper chamber)
  • System includes upper and lower stainless steel chambers, 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements (expandable to 4 or 6), 1 stainless steel lid, 2 washers, 2 wingnuts, 4 blocking plugs, 1 priming button,1 spigot, 1 rubber gasket to protect the base
  • Height when in use: 26"
  • Diameter: 10"
  • Weight: 10 lbs empty
  • For normal everyday use, this system easily serves: 4-8 people
  • Fully configured, this system can serve up to 200-400 people a day, during an emergency
  • Up to 6 PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters can be installed in the lower chamber if desired
  • Please Note: Due to Excessive Regulations, California and Iowa Orders take an extra 3 -7 days for delivery.
Black Berkey Purification Specifications - (Click to Open Close)

FILTRATION SPECIFICATIONS

Black Berkey® Purification Elements are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available.  The Elements have a unique purification capability that is due to their unique structure. The micro- pores within the Black Berkey® Elements are so small that viruses and pathogenic bacteria are simply not able to pass through them.

Many water filters on the market may claim to be a water purifier, but do not meet the performance specifications required for this classification. In order to be classified as a water purifier, a water treatment device must remove at least 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria and reduce viruses by 99.99%. The Black Berkey® Purification Elements can be classified as water purifiers because they remove 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses, which greatly exceeds the standard. The Black Berkey®Purification Element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53.

The Black Berkey® Purification Elements have been tested and confirmed to remove or greatly reduce the contaminants listed below:

VIRUSES – Removed to  >99.999% (Log 5)
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 4):
MS2 Coliphage ; Fr Coliphage.

PATHOGENIC BACTERIA (AND SURROGATES) – Removed to >99.9999999%
Exceeds Purification Standard (Log 6): Bacillus atrophaeus (Anthrax surrogate); Raoultella terrigena (Pathogenic Bacteria Surrogate); Salmonella Enterica.

TRIHALOMETHANES – Removed to >99.8%
(Below Lab Detectable Limits):

Bromodichloromethane ; Bromoform ; Chloroform ; Dibromochloromethane.

INORGANIC MINERALS
Removed to Below Lab Detectable Limits: 
Chloramine; Chloride;  Chlorine Residual (Total Residual Chlorine); Free Chlorine

HEAVY METALS (HIGH & LOW pH LEVELS)
Aluminum (>99%); Antimony (>99.9%); Barium (>80%); Beryllium (>99.9%); Bismuth (>99.9%); Cadmium (>99.7%); Cobalt (>95%); Chromium (>99.9%); Chromium 6 (>99.85%); Copper (>99.9%); Iron (>99.9%); Lead (>99.9%); Mercury (>99.9%); Molybdenum (>90%); Nickel (>99.9%); Vanadium (>87.5%); Zinc (>99.9%).

PHARMACEUTICAL DRUGS CONTAMINANTS – Removed to >99.9%
Acetaminophen; Caffeine; Carbamazepine; Ciprofloxacin HCl; Erythromycin USP; Sulfamethoxazole; Trimethoprim; Bisphenol A; Diclofenac Sodium; 4-para-Nonylphenol; 4-tert-Octylphenol; Primidone; Progestrone; Gemfibrozil; Ibuprofen; Naproxen Sodium; Triclosan.

ALSO REMOVES OR REDUCES:

Arsenic (>99.9%); Escherichia coli (E. Coli) (>99.999%); Fluorene (>99.9%); Manganese (>99.9%); MBAS (>96.67%); Nitrites (>95%); PCB’s (>99.9%); Petroleum Products (Gasoline, Diesel, Crude Oil, Kerosene, Mineral Spirits, Refined Oil- All >99.9%); Selenium (>99.9%); Thallium (>99.5%); Rust; Silt; Sediment; Turbidity; Foul Tastes and Odors.

Pesticides & (Semi) Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Removed to Below Laboratory Detectable Limits
1,1,1,2-Tetrachloroethane
1,1,1-Trichloroethane (TCA)
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
1,1,2-Trichloroethane
1,1,2-Trichlorotrifluoroethane
1,1-Dichloroethane (1,1-DCA)
1,1-Dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE)
1,1-Dichloropropene
1,2,3-Trichlorobenzene
1,2,3-Trichloropropane
1,2,4-Trichlorobenzene
1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene
1,2-Dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP)
1,2-Dibromoethane
1,2-Dichloro-1,1,2-trifluoroethane (CFC 123a)
1,2-Dichlorobenzene
1,2-Dichlorobenzene-d4
1,2-Dichloroethane
1,2-Dichloropropane
1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene
1,3-Dichlorobenzene
1,3-Dichloropropene
1,4-Dichlorobenzene
2,2-Dichloropropane
2,4,5-T
2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
2,4-D
2,4-DB
2-Butanone (MEK)
2-Chlorotoluene
2-Hexanone
2-Methyl-2-propanol
3,5-Dichlorobenzoic Acid
3-Hydroxycarbofuran
4-Bromofluorobenzene
4-Chlorotoluene
4-Isopropyltoluene
4-Methyl-2-pentanone
4-Nitrophenol4,4′-DDD4,4′-DDE
4,4″-DDT
5-Hydroxydicamba
Acetone
Acenaphthylene
Acifluorfen
Alachlor
Aldicarb
Aldicarb Sulfone
Aldicarb Sulfoxide
Aldrin
alpha-Chlorodane
Ametryn
Anthracene
Aroclor (1016, 1221, 1232, 1242, 1248, 1254, 1260)
Atraton
Atrazine
Baygon
Bentazon
Benzene
Bromacil
Bromoacetic Acid
Bromobenzene
Bromochloromethane
Bromodichloromethane
Bromomethane
Bromoform
Butachlor
Butylate
Butylbenzylphthalate
Carbaryl
Carbofuran
Carbon Tetrachloride
Carboxin
Chloramben
Chlordane
Chloroacetic Acid
Chlorobenzene
Chlorobenzilate
Chloroethane
Chloroform
Chloromethane
Chlorpropham
Chlorprophane
cis-1,2-Dichloroethylene
cis-1,3-Dichloropropene
cis-Nonachlor
Cycloate
Dacthal Acid
Dalapon
Diazinona
Dibromoacetic Acid
Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)
Dibromomethane
Dicamba
Dichloroacetic Acid
Dichlorodifluoromethane (CFC 12)
Dichloromethane
Dichlorvos
Diclorprop
DieldrinDiethylphthalate
Dinoseb
Diphenamid
Disulfoton
Disulfoton Sulfone
Disulfoton Sulfoxidea
Endrin
EPTC
Ethoprop
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Fenamiphos
Fenarimol
Fluorobenzene
Fluridone
gamma-Chlorodane
Glyphosate
Halo acidic Acids (HAA5)
Heptachlor
Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorobenzene
Hexachlorobutadiene (CCC)
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
HexazinoneIsophorone
Isopropylbenzene (Cumene)
Lindane (Gamma-BHC)
Merphos
Methiocarb
Methomyl
Methoxychlor
Methylcyclohexane-methane
Methyl Paraoxon
Methyl tert-Butyl Ether (MTBE)
Metolachlor
Metribuzin
Mevinphos
MGK 264
Molinate
Monochlorobenzene
m-Xylenes
Naphthalene
Napropamide
n-Butylbenzene
Norflurazon
n-Propylbenzene
Oxamyl
o-Xylene
Pebulate
Pentachlorophenol
Picloram
Prometon
Prometryn
Pronamidea
Propazine
p-Xylenes
sec-Butylbenzene
Simazine
Simetryn
Stirofos
Styrene
Tebuthiuron
Terbacil
Terbufos
Terbutryn
tert-Butylbenzene
Tetrachloroethylene (PCE)
Tetrahydrofuran (THF)
Thiobencarb
Toluene
Toxaphene
trans-1,2-Dichloroethylene
trans-1,3-Dichloropropene
trans-Nonachlor
Triademefon
Tribromoacetic Acid
Trichloroacetic Acid
Trichloroethene (TCE)
Trichloroethylene
Trichlorofluoromethane (CFC 11)
Tricyclazole
Trifuralin
Vernolate
Vinyl Chloride
and many more*

Alt Information

Brand Name:
Berkey Water

Water Filters

Category Filters:
  • In Home Filters
Filtration Level:
  • Bacterial Level
  • Virus Level
Filtration Method:
  • Gravity
Flow/ Filter Rate:
5.5 - 16.5 GPH
Storage Capacity:
  • 4.5 Gallons
Berkey - The Gold Standard
Describes the primary benefits to having a Berkey Personal Water Purification System
Berkey Water Purification Systems

This System Comes Equipped With 2 Black Elements

All Tabs Above Are Included

Black Berkey® Purification Elements are more powerful than any other gravity filter element currently available.  The Elements have a unique purification capability that is due to their unique structure. The micro- pores within the Black Berkey® Elements are so small that viruses and pathogenic bacteria are simply not able to pass through them.

Many water filters on the market may claim to be a water purifier, but do not meet the performance specifications required for this classification. In order to be classified as a water purifier, a water treatment device must remove at least 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria and reduce viruses by 99.99%.

The Black Berkey® Purification Elements can be classified as water purifiers because they remove 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria and 99.999% of viruses, which greatly exceeds the standard. The Black Berkey®Purification Element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53.


Berkey Fluoride Reduction Media All Tabs Above Are Included

Berkey PF-2™  Elements reduction elements are designed for use in conjunction with Black Berkey® Purification Elements to adsorb the following unwanted contaminants found in drinking water:

• Fluoride
• Arsenic V and pre-oxidized Arsenic III
• Other residual heavy metal ions

TECHNICAL INFORMATION:

FLUORIDE: Testing for fluoride was based on 20-30ppm of the ion in the influent aqueous solution at a flow rate of no more than 3 gpm (11 lpm) per cubic foot of media. Results of < 1ppm of the fluoride ion in the effluent were typical for the media (>95% reduction). Under optimum conditions, effluent concentrations of less than 50 ppb were readily achieved (>99.75% reduction).

ARSENIC: This product uniquely targets the entire family of arsenic oxide anions as well as the arsenic cations.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

How Berkey Compares with the Competition

 COMPANY  BERKEY AQUACERA
AQUACROCK PRO PUR
DOULTON KATADYN 

 MODEL

BIG BERKEY

CERAGRAV

AQUACROCK

PRO BIG

GSS-2

GRAVIDYN

VIRUS REMOVAL

YES

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

ELEMENT RATING

Purifier 

Filter

Filter

Filter

Filter

Filter

BASE SYSTEM COST

$258

$139

$399

$239

$229

$219.95

BASE GALS PER DAY

84

10

18

9

14

24

MAX GALS PER DAY

168

25

18

18.5

20

24

PEOPLE SERVED     [B]

16

6

5

4

5

6

MAX GALLONS PER FILTER

3000

535 

535 

1500 

535

730

REPLACEMENT TIME LIMIT

No time limit

6 mo. 

2 year

12 mo.

6 Mo.

6 Mo.

PRICE OF ELEMENTS (EACH)

$54.50

$30

$36

$49.50

$36

$56

APPROX. COST PER GALLON 

1.8 Cents

5.6 

6.7 

3.3 

6.7 

7.6 

FOOD COLOR TEST     

Pass

Fail

Fail

Pass

Fail

Fail

TURBIDITY FLOW RATE TEST

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

Pass

TEST RESULTS AVAILABLE

Yes

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Yes

TESTED TO NSF STANDARDS

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

NSF CERTIFIED CLAIMED

No

No

No

Yes  

No

No

GUARANTEE

6 MO./ 2Yr

*

1 Year

2 Year

*

*

SYSTEM COST W/MAX ELEMENTS

$363

$274

$399

$338

$319.99

$219.95

SYSTEM MATERIAL

AISI Stainless

HDPE

Ceramic

Stainless

AISI Stainless

Silicone

Household Water Filters

Below is a chart that compares the Berkey Water Filter to other commercially available household water filters.

 BRAND
BERKEY
AQUASANA
BRITA
CULLIGAN
EVERPURE
PUR
 MODEL Big Berkey AQ-4000 Faucet Filter SY-2300 H-54 Plus FM-3000
RETAIL PRICE $258 $99
 $34.95
 $159.95 $359.99 $49.99
REPLACEMENT FILTERS $107 $48
$20 $50.39 $100.99 $20
PER GALLON "COST 1.6 cents 
9.6
20
10
13.5
20
LONGEVITY

 6000
 500
 100
 500
 750
 100
COST FOR 6000 GAL. $258 $627 $1214 
$710 
$904 
$1229 
REMOVES VIRUSES YES >99.999%

 NO NO NO NO NO
REMOVES CHLORINE YES >99.999%
 YES 99%
YES 99%
YES 97% 
YES 88% 
YES 98%
REMOVES LEAD 

YES 96%
YES >99% 
YES 99%
YES 95%
YES 98% 
YES 96%
REMOVAL OF THM's YES >99.999% YES>99% NO YES 95%
NO NO
REMOVAL OF VOC'S YES >99.999% YES>99%
NO YES 95%
NO NO
REMOVES LINDANE 

YES >99.999% YES>95% YES 99%
YES 99%
NO YES
REMOVES ALOCHLOR YES >99.999% YES>98%
YES 99%
YES 98%
 NO NO
REMOVES ATRIZINE YES >99.999% YES>97% YES 92%
YES 97%
NO YES 96%
REMOVES BENZENE YES >99.999% YES>99% YES 96%
YES 99%
NO NO
REMOVES TCE YES >99.999% YES>99% YES 99%
YES 99%
NO NO
REMOVES FLUORIDE YES With the add on  Berkey PF-2
 * * * * YES

Priming the Black Berkey Filters

Priming the Black Berkey® water filter elements before their first use and during the inital setup is necessary to get full benefit and flow. The filtering medium of this element is a very dense and has a lot of surface tension. Water has a hard time penetrating this dense medium the first time the filter is used. Forcing water through the Black Berkey filter relieves this surface tension allowing you to enjoy the full flow and benefits of this great product. This priming process is easy and only takes a few minutes to perform. Simply follow the directions below.

Priming Instructions

priming-black.jpg 

  1. Place the washer, wing nut and tan colored priming button on the Black Berkey element as shown in the picture to the left.
  2. Place the stem of the Black Berkey filter between the fingers and using the wing nut for grip press the priming button against the faucet.
  3. While holding the priming button against the faucet, turn on the faucet slowly, allowing the water to fill the inside of the Black Berkey element.
  4. Allow the exterior wall of the Black Berkey element to sweat beads of water for about 10 seconds.
  5. Rinse the fine dust from the exterior of the filtration element. The Black Berkey filter has now been successfully primed. Repeat steps 1-5 for each filter element.

Priming the Black Berkey® Filter Elements when water pressure is not available?

The micro pore structure of the Black Berkey® filter elements are minute in size, in fact they are so small that red food coloring will not pass through the filter. The main reason this is so important is because it provides a greater efficiency at removing pathogenic bacteria and other contaminates.

The downside is that too much water tension can require that the purification filters be primed before they will flow to their full potential. From the factory the black purification elements are dry and air is trapped within the tiny micro pores. In some places water has more water tension than in other places and this can change from season to season.

The higher the tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micro pores of the filter using gravity alone. This trapped air does not allow water to pass through the filter. This then causes the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.

Before traveling to and using the Berkey system in an area without water pressure we recommend that the purification filters be primed using the priming button. If this is not possible the filters can be primed approximately 50% by using the below method. In other words using this method, the filters will not produce flow as fast as they would using the priming button method however they will filter significantly faster than if the Berkey elements had not been primed at all. This alternative priming method is as follows:

STEP 1: If your Berkey system is assembled, remove the purification filters from the upper chamber. Next, fill the lower chamber with water, then place the purification elements into the lower chamber, upside down with the stems facing upward, and put a ceramic coffee cup (or something else that will hold them under the water) on top of each purification element stem to force the element down under the water. Let the purification elements soak for several hours. This will force some of the air out of the stubborn pores. NOTE: Make sure that opening in the stems of the purification elements are not underwater as we want the water to be forced through the pores rather than entering through the hole in the stem.

STEP 2: The inside of the Berkey purification filters should now be full of water and significantly heavier. Try to keep as much water on the inside of the purification elements as is possible as you reassemble the purification element into the upper chamber by keeping the stems facing upward. Empty the water from the lower chamber and place the upper chamber back onto the lower chamber. Immediately fill the upper chamber with water.

When the Berkey purification filters have water within the bore (inside core), more force is generated to draw it through the purification element. This is because the water that drips out of the purification elements also hydraulically pulls new water into the purification element as the purification element begins to work like a siphon.

Thus, in addition to the "push" of gravity, there is also a hydraulic "pull" and this drastically improves the ability of the water to force the air from the micro pores. The above method is less efficient than priming the filtering cartridges with the priming button supplied with your filters but should be about 75-80% effective in clearing the blocked micro pores.

Let the water in the lower chamber run to waste and refill the upper chamber with water. Your Black Berkey® elements are now primed and ready for use.


Cleaning the Black Berkey Filters

The use of clean water filters is vital to a healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons Black Berkey filter elements last so long is their ability to maintain their integrity during a thorough cleaning. Berkey water filter elements, regardless of their variety, boast this quality. The unique composition of the Black Berkey purification element creates a pore structure so small that minute particulates become trapped on the very outermost surface of the filter.

Over time, like all filters, this will cause the flow rate to decrease. At this time, people will find themselves having to shop online for replacement water filter systems. There is no need to buy a replacement with Black Berkey filters; in fact, as part of a regular maintenance routine, our black filter elements can be cleaned up to 100 times before the need to purchase a replacement.

This cleaning ability is what sets the Black Berkey purification elements apart from our competition. How often do they need to be cleaned? A clean water filter is needed when the flow rate decreases to the point that the output slows to the point that it is no longer meeting your needs. This point depends on how much sediment or turbidity you are removing.

Try this test: Put some of your water in a clear glass and hold it up to the light. Can you see through it? If so, this is considered clear. Under these circumstances, the Black Berkey filter would only need to be cleaned every several months or possibly years. On the other hand, if it is stained or has a high content of sediment and mud like is found in some rivers, lakes and streams, you need a clean water filter — the Berkey elements may need cleaning as often as weekly or possibly daily.

Precaution:

When cleaning Berkey water filter systems, it is important to keep some things in mind. While this system can effectively purify untreated pond or river water, always use the cleanest, clearest source possible when cleaning the Berkey filter elements. As an additional precaution, if using water that may contain high concentrations of bacteria or viral contamination, add 16 drops of household bleach to every gallon of water being used. Then filter water through your Berkey system.

Cleaning Instructions for Household Use

  1. The only thing more valuable to your health than owning water filters for your home is owning clean water filters. Do not allow contaminated water to enter the core of the Berkey filtering element. This can be prevented by placing your finger over the hole where the water exits the filter.
  2. Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.
  3. Remove the top container and set it on its side on a solid surface like a table or countertop.
  4. Remove the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.
  5. Hold the filter under the running faucet, with the exit hole pointed up.
  6. Using a new 3M Scotch-Brite pad, carefully scrub the black surface of the filter element for several minutes.
  7. Set the elements aside and wash your hands.
  8. Reassemble the unit

Cleaning Instructions for Field Use

  1. Read precaution above.
  2. All water used to clean the filters and the unit must be free of harmful contaminants prior to proceeding.
  3. In a clean bucket, basin, or other similar container, add clean water. If you are forced to clean your Berkey system elements with compromised water, we recommend adding 16 drops of household bleach or iodine for every gallon of water being used to clean the elements.
  4. Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.
  5. Remove the top container and set it on its side on a clean solid surface like a table or countertop.
  6. Remove the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.
  7. Using a new 3M Scotch-Brite pad, carefully scrub the outer black surface of the filtering element, rinsing it as needed in the clean water.
  8. Clean all filters as described above and set them aside on a clean surface.
  9. Empty the container and add more fresh, clean, bleach-treated water as described in precaution above.
  10. Submerge the filters in the fresh, clean, bleach-treated water, and set them aside on a clean surface.
  11. Wash your hands with soap.
  12. Reinstall the filters in the system.

Testing the Black Berkey Purification Elements

The Black Berkey purification elements in your water filter system have unmatched water filtering ability. In order for these filters to perform properly they need to installed correctly. The most frequent reason the filters would fail this test is an inadequate seal between the filter and the stainless container. If red dye leaks past this seal the filter would not have a chance to remove the red dye from this water. Usually tightening the wing nut would solve this leaking. Because the Black Berkey filters are somewhat fragile, they may become damaged at the seam where the filter attaches to the plastic base. On the rare occasion that this happens the filter would fail this test and would need replaced.

To determine whether the Black Berkey Elements are working properly, perform the following test using red food coloring. If the Berkey unit contains the PF-2 Berkey Fluoride Filter elements in addition to the Black Berkey Elements, remove the PF-2 elements prior to the test.

  1. Remove the upper container from your Berkey water filter system and pour out any water it contains.
  2. Depending on the number of Black Berkey filters your system has, choose a clear drinking water glass for each filter. These glasses need to be the same in height, preferably the exact same glass.
  3. Set these glasses inside the empty lower container. The glasses should be spaced out about the same distance as the elements on your system.
  4. Place the upper container on the lower container, making sure that the water that exits each filter drips into the glass below it.
  5. Add approximately one gallon of clean water to the upper container then add one teaspoon of red food coloring to the water in the upper chamber. The water in the upper chamber should have a red tint.
  6. Allow the water to filter from the upper container into the glasses below for approximately 15 minutes.
  7. Remove the upper container and pour out the water.
  8. Remove the glasses  from the lower container one at a time and inspect the water. If the filtered water has a pink or red tint this would indicate that the filter is not working properly.
  9. Make a note of which filter passed the red food coloring and contact our Customer Service department for further instructions.

Other Tips:

  • Do not allow wet purification elements to freeze.
  • Do not place purification elements in dishwasher.
  • Do not place purification elements in microwave oven.
  • Do not boil purification elements.
  • Do not clean purification elements with detergents or soaps.
  • Do not store purification elements until completely dry.
  • Do not allow purification elements to sit in the direct sun for extended periods of time.
  • Do not place Berkey unit near a heat source or in direct sunlight.

When do I need to replace the Black Berkey filter elements in my system?

Use one of the 2 methods below:

Preferred Method

  1. Take the number of Black Berkey filtering elements in your system and multiply it  by 3,000. This number will be the (Total Life) in gallons.
  2. Estimate the average amount of water you filter through your Berkey per day. This number will be the (Total Use) in gallons.
  3. Then simply divide the (Total Life) by the (Total Use). This number represents how many days your filter will effectively treat your water before needing to replace them. 
  4. As a reminder, with a permanent marker write the date that you calculated the need for Berkey replacement filters on the bottom of your unit.. 

Example: If you have a 2 filter Big Berkey and your used 4 gallons of water per day.  You would multiply 2 (#of filters) by 3000 = 6000 (Total Life), then divide 6000 by 4 (total use) = 1500 days the filters will last, That's a little over 4 years!

The Black Berkey filters in your unit will never stop working.  The rate that the filters produce water will slow down.  This is an indication that the filter needs to be cleaned. This brings us to the second method. If after cleaning your elements they do not filter any faster; it is time to replace them.


I hear a lot about the Big Berkey, is this the best system for me?

The Big Berkey is our most popular system. All of our Berkey water filter systems have the exact same filter elements inside, so all produce the same quality of water. As you upgrade to larger units, the capacity and flow rate becomes higher. This gives them the ability to provide drinking water for larger groups of people.

The Big Berkey is our most popular model because it produces enough water for 8-16 persons and still compact enough to be portable, making the Big Berkey ideally suited for most of our customer's needs. The Big Berkey was also the first water filter model offered by Berkey.

Over time the Big Berkey has accumulated a huge following in the missionary and emergency relief organization field. This large following of dedicated users has produced much press making it a popular choice. Use the recommendations information on our Berkey Filter Model's page to determine the specific filter that best matches your water filtering situation.


We are on well water. Do we need to add the PF-2 filter elements?

No. The Berkey fluoride reduction filters should only be used if you are on city water, you have confirmed with your city that they are adding fluoride to the water and you want to remove the fluoride. The PF-2 elements are not needed if you are on spring water.


What are the basic differences between the Berkey Light and the stainless steel systems?

The Berkey Light model is designed for outdoor use therefore it is about three pounds lighter in weight than the equivalent capacity of our stainless steel system. This is the only difference, all Berkey models produce the same high quality purified water. The Travel Berkey system is also designed for outdoor use and is the smallest of the stainless steel systems.

It is compact enough to fit inside a portable suitcase, because unlike the Berkey Light system, the upper chamber nests within the lower chamber during travel. This is the preferred system when mobility is a primary issue.

The four multi use filter systems are designed for indoor, everyday use so they are heavier and larger than the above systems but these systems can also be used outdoors or during unexpected emergencies when a source of potable water may not be available.


We live in the state of California, are we able to purchase a Berkey water filter system?

California recently adopted AB 1953 / SB 1334 & 1395 / HSC Section 116875, commonly referred to as the "no lead law". Of course Berkey products do not contain lead, but under this measure until the state of California confirms this fact, Berkey is forced to suspend shipment of water purification systems to the state of California. This is a complex law and shipment will resume to California when we get clarification on how to proceed on obtaining a lead free certification as defined by the state of California. We ship to all other states with the exception of Iowa. If you are purchasing a Berkey system as a gift to be shipped to someone in another state, we accept payment from residents in all 50 states.


I have been using my system for about 6 months and the flow rate has slowed down considerably. Do I need to replace the filters?

No. Unlike other filtration elements, the Black Berkey filters are re-cleanable. What typically causes the filters to drip slowly is turbidity and sediment clogging the micro-pores of the elements. Simply remove the elements from your system, and clean the Black Berkey element by scrubbing the exterior of each element under running water with a green scrub pad (3M or ScotchBrite brand, etc.) or stiff toothbrush. It’s simple to do and takes less than a minute per element.


Many news stations have reported that pharmaceuticals have been found in the water of many cities in the U.S. Do the Black Berkey elements remove drugs from the water?

There are simply too many varieties of pharmaceuticals that could end up in drinking water. "Too many" means that it is impossible for Berkey to test for them all. However, we do know from testing, that the purification process used by the Black Berkey filters remove more pollutants than any other system available on the market today.


I just started using my Berkey purifier system but it is hardly filtering any water at all. Am I doing something wrong?

Typically the problem you are experiencing is due to high water tension, which prevents the air from purging from the micro pores of the new filtering elements. Included with your Black Berkey filters is a priming button and priming instructions. Take out the Black Berkey filters, prime, and re-install.


Is there a way to test my Berkey purifier system to make sure it is working properly?

Yes. You can test the Black Berkey filter elements by filling the upper chamber with water, and then adding a teaspoon of red food coloring for every gallon of water within your upper chamber. Be sure to use red as no other color of food coloring will work.  If the food coloring is removed entirely, your system is working properly. If not, make sure the wing nuts on the filters are securely tightened then re-run the test. If you have the PF-2 fluoride filters installed, remove them prior to performing the red dye test.


I just purchased a Berkey system but didn't receive a priming button with my Black Berkey elements. Instead, I think I received an extra black washer in the box. The instructions say to use the tan colored priming button. What gives?

Please check in the box which held your Black Berkey filters. The box should contain two elements. Attached to each element should be a black rubber washer and a wing nut. Also in the box, should be what could look like another single black rubber washer. This is your priming button. It is thicker than the washers and the center hole is smaller. This black priming button can easily be confused with a washer (we asked the manufacturer to change the color of the priming button back to tan).


Do the PF-2 elements replace the Black Berkey elements?

No. The Black Berkey filter elements and the Berkey fluoride reduction elements are used together at the same time. The top of the PF-2 elements screw onto the bottom of the Black Berkey elements (similar to installing a light bulb). The water flows through the Black Berkey elements, then the PF-2 elements. "PF" in PF-2 stands for Post Filter. When properly installed the the PF-2 elements will hang loosely from the black filters and may seem wobbly which is normal.  The PF-2 elements are secure.


I installed my Berkey PF-2 elements but my water is a bit cloudy, and why does it have a bad taste?

Insufficient conditioning (priming) of the Berkey Fluoride elements may result in an undesirable taste and/or cloudiness in the water. The odd taste is from process dust that may not have been washed free from the filters during the conditioning process. Please remove the PF-2 elements and prime them again for no less than 60 seconds (longer may be needed) on both ends. This should expel any residual process dust and fix the problem.


Can I filter sea (salt) water through my Berkey system?

No. The concentration of salt in sea water will more than likely ruin the elements fairly quickly.


I have a water softener installed in our house, can I filter that water through my Berkey?

Some people do, but we do not recommend it. It is best if you put water in your Berkey that has not gone through your water softener (the excess salt will likely shorten the life of the elements).


In case of an emergency, can I take water from our pool and filter it with my Berkey system? Will all the chlorine be removed?

Yes. The Berkey water filter systems can make chlorinated pool water safe for consumption. However, keep in mind that such a use will cause the elements to wear faster. So, you should only do so in case of emergency.


Which of the three methods of water filtration, reverse osmosis, distillation or Berkey purification is the healthiest for drinking purposes?

With respect to the healthfulness of the water, most health experts that are up to date on current research are no longer recommending drinking RO or distilled water on a long-term basis because these methods remove all the beneficial minerals from the water making the water an acidic "hypotonic" solution.

A chemist will tell you that any time a hypotonic (de-mineralized) solution comes into contact with a "hypertonic" (mineralized) solution, the minerals within the hypertonic solution will transfer out and into the hypotonic solution until equilibrium is achieved. What this means is simply that when one drinks hypotonic water, the minerals in the blood and lymphatic system, which are hypertonic, transfer into the hypotonic RO or distilled water that is consumed and the minerals are flushed out of the body upon urination.

In an effort to re-mineralize, the blood and lymphatic systems then begin to scavenge for minerals from other parts of the body, such as bones and other organs, and this process repeats itself every time de-mineralized hypotonic water is re-consumed. Several studies suggest that people who drink de-mineralized water (hypotonic) over a long period of time tend to be more prone to degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis.

Berkey purification systems do not remove the beneficial minerals from the water but they do extract harmful heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide. Therefore, the TDS (total dissolved solids) reading will not typically change much unless there are a lot of heavy metals or sedimentary minerals in the source water.


With respect to maintenance, how does reverse osmosis, distillation and Berkey purifier systems compare?

All Berkey models are easy to disassemble and clean. The lower chamber should be cleaned by hand in dishwater once a month. The Black Berkey elements may need to be cleaned typically after 6-12 months of use.

Distillation systems remove minerals from the drinking water. These minerals build up on the surface of the container and need to be soaked and cleaned with a 50/50 vinegar solution to remove the scale.

Reverse osmosis systems can have up to four filter elements, with each needing to be changed at differing intervals from four months up to two years. This requires that the water pressure be shut off and part or all of the system to be disassembled for maintenance. Additionally, the bladder tank should be washed with a chlorine solution at six-month intervals to kill any colonizing bacteria.


What is the pathological removal capability of a reverse osmosis system vs. the Berkeys?

Reverse Osmosis does not remove pathogenic bacteria and that is why it is often necessary to add an additional UV light to the system. However, the UV sometimes does not kill all the bacteria because any turbidity in the water can create shaded spots preventing some bacteria from being exposed. Typically, the UV is installed before the bladder tank, however, it is in the bladder tank that bacteria usually colonize. Therefore, if the bladder tank is not sterilized on a regular basis, it becomes a source for bacteriological contamination that is never exposed to UV. Additionally, the carcasses of the dead bacteria remain within the drinking water with an RO system whereas they are removed by the Black Berkey filters.


With respect to cost, how does reverse osmosis, distillation and Berkey systems compare?

With respect to upfront cost, RO systems typically are the most expensive due to the cost of the system and the additional expense to have the system plumbed in. Next in cost would be a distillation unit. A Berkey system will typically be the least expensive of the three.

With respect to cost per gallon of water, calculated upon the cost per gallon for replacement filters and energy costs, distillation systems and RO systems properly maintained typically cost between 35-65 cents per gallon. A Berkey system typically costs about 1.6 cents per gallon.


What is the difference between the Black Berkey purification filters and the white Ceramic filters?

Let us start by giving you brief history about Berkey. Berkey is the original North American distributor for British Berkefeld, a company who makes the finest ceramic water filter available. These ceramic filters are excellent at removing harmful bacteria from sediment heavy, contaminated drinking water.

It soon became clear to Berkey that a more powerful filter was needed, one that not only removed bacteria but was also in addition able to remove chemicals, viruses, heavy metals, fertilizers and a long list of additional contaminants from your drinking water. After many years of research Berkey developed the Black Berkey purification element.

This filter gives you all of the benefits of the ceramic filter with the added abilities mentioned above. Black Berkey purification element significantly raised the bar to a level that no other gravity flow water filters are currently able to attain.


Are the filtering elements in the Sport Berkey as effective as the Black Berkey purification elements?

Yes, the replaceable filter in the Sport Berkey is made of the same material and has the same ionic properties as the larger and longer lasting Black Berkey filter element found in all of our larger Berkey water filter models.


What is the difference between a water filter and a water purifier?

We have the answer to that question on our water filters vs water purifierspage.

Berkey Fluoride Filters (pf2fluoride.pdf, 97 Kb) [Download]

Cleaning Instructions (cleaningfilters.pdf, 44 Kb) [Download]

Berkey Instruction Manuals (Berkey.pdf, 442 Kb) [Download]

Berkey "Sport" Filters (TheSportBerkey7-24-14.pdf, 137 Kb) [Download]