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How To Prime PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Water Filters

Let's review how one primes and installs the PF-2 fluoride and arsenic water filters for the Berkey Water Filter. The PF-2 water filters must be primed prior to installation, and when installing into the lower chamber they should not be screwed on more than 8 revolutions onto the Black Berkey stem.

The media within the PF-2 water filter contains micro fine dust as a result of the manufacturing process that can cause the purified water to have a bitter taste.  To dislodge the process dust from the Berkey PF-2 water filters, it is necessary to prime each element. We start off with the video showing how the priming procedure is done, followed by text instructions and some additional helpful notes.

How To Prime Your PF-2 Filters Video

PF-2 Water Filter Priming Procedure

1. With blue caps in place, wash the exterior of each PF-2 water filter with a mild dish soap.
2. With clean hands, remove both blue caps from each end of the PF-2 water filter.
3. Place the rubber-priming button (tan colored) onto one end of the PF-2 water filter and align the hole in the button with the hole in the PF-2 water filter.
4. Press the priming button up against a sink faucet so that the priming button creates a seal between the faucet and the PF-2 filter.
5. While holding the priming button against the faucet, turn on the cold water gently and allow the water to fill the cavity of the PF-2 water filter and discharge from the opposite end.  Allow the water to discharge for up to 2 minutes or until the water runs clear, whichever is longer.  Hint: Place your thumb on top of the faucet to apply pressure creating a tighter seal.
6. Now repeat the process by turning the PF-2 water filter over and priming the filter from the opposite end in the same manner.
7. Prime each additional PF-2 filter repeating steps 3-6.

PF-2 Water Filter Installation Procedure

1. Remove the upper chamber from the filtration system and place it upside down on a counter so that the stems of the Black Berkey elements are facing upward.
2. With the water flow arrow pointing away from the upper chamber (the PF-2 water filters have threads on one end only) screw the PF-2 water filters onto the stems of each black berkey element 8 revolutions.  Notes: a) Do not screw the PF-2 filter on more than 8 revolutions as this may damage the internal media screen b) The flow arrow should point away from the upper chamber.
3. Replace the upper chamber onto the lower chamber (the PF-2 water filters should now be hanging in the lower chamber). Fill the upper reservoir with water and let it drain into the lower chamber. When the lower chamber is full, discard this 1st batch of water, which may contain some residual process dust.  Your purification system is ready for use.  Note: On rare occasion it can take up to 5 full chamber flushes/batches before the dust subsides.  If the dust not not subside after the 5th full batch of water, please contact us for potential replacement.

Additional Notes on the PF-2's

1. When the lower chamber is full, the PF-2 water filters will be immersed.
2. When the water level in the lower chamber rises above the bottom of the PF-2 water filters, it is normal for small amounts of water to burp through threads connecting the PF-2 water filters to the Black Berkey elements.
3. The lower chamber in most gravity purification systems has a 2-3 gallon capacity and a typical household uses about 1 refill per day.  We recommend that the upper chamber be filled at night prior to going to sleep. The water from the upper chamber should be purified and awaiting use in the lower chamber by the morning. It is normal for the purification process to slow down significantly when the water level in the lower chamber rises above the bottom of the PF-2 filter. Households requiring more water can speed up the flow rate by drawing off the purified water into a water pitcher or other containing when the water level in the lower chamber rises about the bottom of the PF-2 water filters.

Click here for instructions on How to Prime the Black Berkey Purification Elements.

41 thoughts on “How To Prime PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Water Filters”

  • Chris

    Do instructions come supplied with the berkey cartridges upon purchase? and do u get the fittings such as the washers etc? i dnt mean to ask daft questions but its sometimes an idea just to get clarification.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Yes Chris, anything that's needed to make the berkey filters operate in the system are always included. With the PF-2's, they simply screw onto the stem of the black berkey itself.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Kim Hallahan

    What if I screwed PF-2 more than 8 revolutions and damaged the internal media screen?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Kim -

      This should be fine as the screen is designed to keep in the PF-2 filtration media granules. However, pay attention to your filtered water. If you're noticing a white residue that does not seem to go away after a few flushes, it's possible it's backing out the top. This doesn't typically happen with the berkey filter, but it's worth keeping an eye out for.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • jon

    I would like to make a suggestion for Berkey to help improve the installation of these already awesome systems. Make the male threaded stem for the black filters shorter and exactly the right number of threads so that the wing nut plus the pf-2 will allow a full and tight fit with no threads exposed. This will also prevent the pf-2's from being "loose". By loose, I mean in the sense when a plumber would feel compelled to wrap the threads with Teflon tape to make a snug seal. I kept the tan gasket/washer buttons on the threaded stems and then tightened the pf-2's 8 turns while the button kept some downforce against it. This made the pf-2's seem more solidly adhered, but some sort of tighter install would be more pro. Btw the water that comes out of this system rivals my Kinetico RO system ($995) and is even less tasteless. It is smoother. This makes me think the RO system is outputting harder water. I even replaced the pre and post filters, and my home has a dechlorinator and water softener before the RO system. Perhaps the Big Berkey and pf-2 combo is making softer water.

    Reply
  • Jesse

    Can the pf-2 filters be stored like the black berkeys after priming? What is the procedure for prepping them for that?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Jesse -

      Once they are primed it begins the clock ticking on their 2 year life span. So, yes you can prime and store them, but you lose valuable filtration time.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Mike Morreale

    I bought the flouride filters,once installed 1 filter seems to flow a steady stream the other one drips 1 or 2 dops at a time...is this normal??

    Reply
  • Naomi MInahan

    Hi, my big berkey's flow has become really slow after 10 weeks since we moved to the Ozarks. The water here is very high in minerals, I wondered if that has to do with it. So, cleaned the upper black filters by using a stainless steel scubber. It made one better but the other is still kind of slow. What else should I do? I also soaked the bottom flouride filter in vinegar. Is that o.k.? If it is, should I periodically do that to clean it out?Thanks so much!
    Sincerely,
    Naomi Minahan

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Naomi -

      This definitely sounds like calcium buildup on your black berkeys. This article should help:

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/berkey-water-filter/anns-helpful-hints-for-berkey-water-filter-systems/

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Stephen Lynch

    Hi there i got the 4 Black filters and 4 PF2's and in the system. I have wash them and cleaned / installed as per instructions. I have filled the tanked and drained it 5 times now and still getting strange chemical taste that leaves a tingle feeling in the mouth. Has anyone had such a problem before or should I continue to flush the system out of water

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Stephen -

      Some Berkey PF-2 filters have more dust than others and require some more time to clear out. You can re-prime the PF-2's from both ends allowing the water to flow through about 2 minutes from each side. Then run a few more system flushes through and the dust should be fully cleared out. If you would like personal assistance, please contact us at customerservice@bigberkeywaterfilters.com.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Alex

    Hello, I was wondering, what if I damaged the cloth film inside the PF-2 filter when screwing in the filters, what might happen? I did 9 revolutions and I passed the limit. Should I be concerned? Thank you.

    Reply
  • cheri

    Hi
    Since the PF-2 filters are made from plastic and and sit in the lower chamber I am concerned that they may leach toxins into the water. Is the plastic casing BPA free?
    Also, I noticed that the PF-2 filters have a lifespan. I have an unused pair that I had stored for about 2 years now. Does this mean they are no longer useable?
    Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Cheri -

      Yes, all of the products are BPA free. The PF-2 filters lifespan only kicks in once they touch water, so yours would still be usuable.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • cheri

    Another question. Do the Berkey shower filters need to be primed? I can't seem to find any information on priming these.
    Thank-you.

    Reply
  • Hello

    Hi, I just assembled my Berkey last night and it's 6:30 pm and still hasn't filtered through completely yet. I primed the black elements and the arsenic/fluoride elements. What else needs to be done so I can refill and drink?

    Reply
  • derick

    I screwed the pf-2 in all the way in and to tight... im not sure if should lossen them now; or if they are damaged because of this...let me know on this.

    I have been very happy with the berkey system; however, this is a major design flaw in the berkey system... i wonder how many users make this mistake. I dont know if the pf-2 filters are leaching chemical compounds in the water... it makes me wonder if the water is safe or not to drink.

    Berkey needs to redesign the threads so there is some type of stop so the pf-2 filter where it cannot be screwed in to tight. What makes is also concerning is that the thread always seem loose when tightening (this is the reason i kept screwing them in... they felt very loose... another reason berkey needs to fix this design.

    Please change this design... i'm now contemplating buying new pf-2 filters just for piece of mind; however, still have some concern how loose the threads are with the pf-2 filters... the threads just dont seem water tight.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Derick -

      The reason for only 8 revolutions is to allow space in between the black berkey stem and the PF-2 itself for water to be able to flow through. If you screw it on too tight it will not damage or ruin the Pf-2's but rather just slow/stop the flow from the black berkeys into the PF-2's. You can just back them off a couple of revolutions are you'll be good to go again!

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • derick

    i wanted to add something to my previous comment; i think the berkey filter system is the greatest filter system made and only conveying how i think berkey can prevent other users from making the same mistake i made.

    Reply
  • Gail

    I read somthing about the PF-2 filter and soft water systems, not allowing all the good minerals to filter through. Could you clarify if there are any issues with have a soft water system and the use of any of the filters in the Berkey system along with it?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Gail - The berkey water filters will leaver all the beneficial minerals in the water. So, it a softener uses salt or potassium, this minerals would still be left in the water post filtration.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Melissa

    I mistakenly took out pf2 filters early for replacement. They were stored in the garage in a brown paper sack. I was going to recycle them. I have since discovered they could have been used longer. They have been in the garage for several weeks. Can they be cleaned and used?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Melissa -

      Yes, you can just start reusing them, but eh filters are only good for 2 years from when they first touch water, so you will have to take this into account.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Kati

    I had someone put together my Berkey and I noticed that pf2 filters upside down. Do you think they are ruined now?

    Reply
  • Carol

    Hello,

    My system is an Imperial Berkey with two Black Berkey filters and two PF4 flouride filters. We primed the filters before use and allowed our eight rotations for the PF4's. The water is delicious. The issue we have is the speed of filtration. From the first filtration, it has taken several hours to filter the 4.5 gallons. We are three weeks into ownership and it is taking almost five hours to filter thru. I considered the Scotch Bright cleaning, but I understand I can do this 100 times before the end life of the black filters. At that rate, my filters would be 'done' in under six years. I was hoping for the full ten years. We fill our system once a day, and often we only have to add two gallons of water to the upper chamber. We are filtering normal city tap water.
    Any thoughts for the slowness, or ideas to speed things up without losing filter longevity?
    Many thanks!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Carol -

      The 100 times cleaning with a scotch brite pad is not a limit that we have heard of before and in our experience, there is no limit to how many times you can use a scotch brite pad on the black berkeys. With that being said, this sounds like calcium buildup on the black berkey filters. The buildup is most likely on the lower portion of the filter as this is in contact with the water the most. The difference in flow rate doesn't seem to be too great, so I would say you do not need to worry about cleaning the filters just yet, but if you want to tend to it often, then I would recommend cleaning the lower portion with a scotch brite pad and then re-priming the filters to make sure the pores that may be clogged are reopened. In other words, during priming you want to see the water sweating back out those lower portions of the filter to confirm that they are fully open and unclogged again. Hope this helps!

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • kt

    what is the flow direction of the of 2 filters. the instructions say to take the stickers off before they alert you to the necessary directions. should the larger part be away from the upper chamber or the other way around? thank you

    Reply
  • Jill

    My pf-4 filters are so loose that they fall off the black screws. What is wrong?

    Reply
  • Dennis

    I have the pf-2 filters and they don't fit on the black screws.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Dennis -

      If the fluoride filters do not fit onto the black berkeys, you do not have the PF-2's, but rather the PF-4's which are for the ceramic filters. Using the correct PF-2's will fix this issue for you.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Dennis

    The package that they came in said they are the pf-2's as well as the instructions that came with them. Was this just a packaging error? And if so, can I send them back and get the correct ones?

    Reply
  • jon

    Have you fixed the endcap issue on the Black filters? Every single one we've owned had the endcaps coming off from the glue not holding well enough. We used some 100% silicone and it's holding well for now, but we worry about how safe it is to use certain adhesives. I was reading silicone should be fine. What do you use, and how have you improved the design so that regular use doesn't result in leaks or the caps coming off?

    BTW, the PF-2's have caused an interesting off-taste which we feel is something that reacts with the stainless steel tanks. All the PF-2's we've owned have exhibited this phenomenon, but we haven't noticed it when utilizing them in plastic bucket designs. Is it possible that the arsenic/fluoride reduction medium is reacting with metal?

    Reply
  • Pam

    Greetings. I have noticed that even after running six cycles of water through my new Berkey travel that an oily film rises to the surface of the water after a few minutes after pouring. Could this be from the fluoride filters? The black filters? What do you suggest?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Pam -

      Yes, this is from the fluoride filters. It can take up to 10 full system flushes before this film dissipates. Please run a few more flushes through and you should start to see a noticeable improvement.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
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