Berkey Water Filter Assembly Instructions and Troubleshooting

The Berkey Water Filter assembles in less than 10 minutes and with no tools!

Berkey Water Filter System Assembly Diagram Berkey Water Filter System Assembly Diagram

1. Remove the Black Berkey filter elements and parts from their protective packaging, checking each item against the diagram. Follow instructions included with Black Berkey filters to prime the filters and make them ready for use.

2. The number of filter elements supplied will depend on the type of unit ordered:

  • Travel Berkey: 2 Black Berkey Filter Elements
  • Big Berkey: 2-4 Black Berkey or Ceramic Filter Elements
  • Royal Berkey: 2-4 Black Berkey Elements
  • Imperial Berkey: 2 - 6 Black Berkey Filter Elements
  • Crown Berkey: 2-8 Black Berkey Filter Elements

3. Extreme cleanliness is important. Wash hands before proceeding. Assure that contamination of the components does not take place during assembly.

4. Fit the knob (1) onto the lid (2) by inserting the screw (3) up through the hole in the lid and screwing on the knob. Hand tighten only.

5. After the Black Berkeys have been primed, place the large sealing washer (10) over the threaded part of the filter element (5).

6. Place the Black Berkey element (5) into the hole in the base of the upper chamber (4).

7. Secure filter elements in the chamber base by screwing on the wing nut (11) onto the threaded mount. Repeat #5 & #6 until all Black Berkey filter elements have been installed. Hand tighten only, no need to over-tighten. You want the filters as snug as possible to create a seal.

8. Place one small washer (8) onto the threaded part of the outlet spigot (7).

9. Insert thread of spigot (7) through hole in the side of the lower chamber (6). Place the second small washer (8) over the thread within the chamber and secure in place with the nut (9). Tighten securely by hand only.

10. Put the upper chamber (4) on top of the lower chamber (6) and place lid (2) in position.

Your Berkey Water Filter system is now ready for use! Go ahead and fill the upper chamber to the top and allow the water to filter into the bottom chamber.

If you are utilizing the PF-2 filters for removing fluoride and arsenic, you will need to prime these filters and screw them onto the stems of the Black Berkey elements. These filters hang in the lower chamber of the system. PF-2 priming instructions are included with the filters.

Berkey Water Filter Troubleshooting Tips:

All Water Not Filtering Through: There will always be about 1” of water left in the upper chamber of the system as not enough water pressure is available to push the remaining water through the filters.

Water Filtration Speed: If you feel as though the water is filtering too slowly, please understand that the water will always filter faster when there’s more water pressure in the upper chamber. Also, priming the Black Berkey filters opens the pores up to allow water in. A priming that has not been fully completed will still have closed pores and thus filter slower. Try re-priming the filters to ensure priming has been fully completed.

Weird Taste to Water: If you’re noticing a chemical taste to the water without the use of PF-2’s, please perform a red food coloring test on the black berkeys to ensure that all are working to specifications. If any fail, please contact us and we will have the manufacturer send you a replacement.  Also, try washing out the lower chamber with soap and water.

If using the Berkey PF-2 filters, make sure the manufacturing dust has been fully flushed out of these PF-2's as this can cause a cloudiness or oily texture to the filtered water and will leave an unpleasant taste.

Spigot Leaking: If leaking occurs around the washers of the spigot, make sure you have washers on both sides of the stainless steel. Tighten as much as you can and leave the spigot about 90 degrees out of phase. Then, grab onto the nut in the back with a wrench, and turn the spigot itself that last quarter turn using the spigot as leverage to get a tighter turn.  If this is ineffective, please soak the washers in olive oil for approximately 1 hour. Sometimes the washers can dry out and get hard over time and the olive oil will soften them up allowing for a good seal.

If water leaks through the hole of the spigot, please contact us as you may need a replacement spigot.

85 Responses to Berkey Water Filter Assembly Instructions and Troubleshooting

  • CHRIS

    may i ask what the result is if one of the pf-2 filters leaks drips every now&then via one of the side parts of the faucet? what i mean is - the water drips out the dead centre - then there is that ring shaped pattern where the side of that pattern is leaking some drips. sounds abit complex to explain. im in full belief that the pf2 elements are in working order regardless. its not like they leak water out of the side the product or anything.

  • CHRIS

    i have looked at the water in my see through glass after pouring it and it does look much cleaner and clear than if i were to just use tap water - although a few little small gasey looking bits do appear in the cup - its still looking much cleaner the water so im definately seeing results.

  • Pam

    We just bought the Big Berkey. Can you fill the top chamber, let it filter, then fill it again so it filters as the water in the lower chamber is used? We have a ceramic crock with a 3.5 gallon water bottle inverted on the top. When the bottom crock is full and the 3.5 gallon bottle is full no water leaks out. I guess that's really our question, will water seep out of the seam between the top and bottom chamber of the Big Berkey if both of them are full of water.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Pam -

    Yes, it will overflow at the seam, so please be careful of that. The Berkey systems cannot be airtight as water needs to move between chambers, and thus air needs to escape. The seam provides that air escape route.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Cindy
    Cindy on April 20, 2011 at 5:00 pm said:

    I don't get it - do we put TWO Black FIlters in the 2 gallon model??
    SInce there are TWO Holes - The diagram does not show the Filters IN PLACE -
    Also Where do the Flouride Filters go?
    The diagrams seem incomplete on these two items.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Cindy -

    If you have the Big Berkey, it comes with 4 holes and 2 blocking plugs. 2 of the holes will be filled by the black berkeys and the other 2 holes will use the blocking plugs unless you want to add in an additional 2 black berkeys. If you have the fluoride filters, they would screw onto the black berkeys and hang into the lower chamber.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Michael
    Michael on May 1, 2011 at 7:59 am said:

    Is the Crown Berkey with 2 Black Berkey Elements the same as the Crown Berkey with 8 Black Berkey Elements? What I mean is does the one with 2 filters have an additional six holes that are plugged where I can add additional filters later on if I choose to?

  • Helen OCONNOR
    Helen OCONNOR on May 1, 2011 at 9:17 am said:

    Water just pours out of one of my Big Berky filters. Tightening or losening it at the base does nothing. Is the filter damaged?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Michael -

    Yes it is. Every Crown configuration will come with 8 holes and 6 blocking plugs.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Helen -

    Some berkey filters will filter faster than others. The only way to test if your filters are working correctly is to perform a <a href="http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/water-filters/the-black-berkey-red-food-coloring-test/" rel="nofollow">red food coloring test</a>.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Ann

    I have 2 original black filters and 2 filters I bought a few months later. The oringal filters are just runnign water through and my water is now cloudy. Does not look nice and clear like it did before. Any suggestions? We just loved this when it worked properly but are getting a little frustrated at this point. I do not want to be purchasing filters every 6 mos when just 2 people are using this.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Ann -

    As mentioned above, if the water is flowing through very quickly compared to how it used to run for you, you should perform a <a href="http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/water-filters/the-black-berkey-red-food-coloring-test/" rel="nofollow">red food coloring test</a> to make sure they are operating properly. Two potential signs of a defective filter are a change in taste of water and/or water streaming through very quickly. These filters are under warranty and the red food coloring test will confirm for us if, and which filter, we need to have replaced for you.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Fred Hewes
    Fred Hewes on July 7, 2011 at 7:20 pm said:

    Berkey Co. has responded to my call and offered to replace the wingnuts.

    Fred

  • diane
    diane on July 23, 2011 at 9:53 am said:

    we just got the Big Berkey, and had alot of problems with leakage at the spigot and initially the color test failed, got very frustrated for past few days re-doing it set up. we then followed Ann's helpful hints and did the red food coloring test again and the water was clear in the glass under the black element so it worked.
    My question is after we rid the water, cleaned the bottom canister and filled up the top chamber w/ water, the elements filtered the water from the top to bottom canister w/in about 2hours...is that too fast? ..thought it take all night for the water to filter down. pls respond. thanks ,diane

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Diane -

    Some will filter faster than others and this can depend on a couple of variables, such as viscosity of water, and varying tolerance of filter batches. As long as they are removing the red food coloring, they are meeting the minimum tolerance levels and filtering as designed and tested.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Gen

    I've had my Big Berkey for about a year. Water tastes great but SOMETIMES, I find that there is a leak..which I believe comes from the area where the 2 halves meet...in the middle.

    I see the water seeping out a little but then it stops. But I find a puddle of water at the bottom (and things are wet!!)

    It doesn't happen all the time and I haven't figured out when it happens. I don't move the Big Berkey so I don't know how it gets "unseated" to allow the leak. Typically I have it filled up about half - 1 gallon (as I decant and put the water in another container) and replace 1 gallon at a time.

    Not sure why this happens. Any ideas?

    Thanks.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Gen -

    The water will always overflow at the seams of the 2 berkey chambers as they are not designed to be air tight. Air needs to escape out and pull into the chambers for water to be able to transfer in and out. If the chambers were airtight, this water transfer would not be able to occur. So as a rule of thumb, never add more water to the upper chamber than the lower chamber will be able to handle. We sell the <a href="http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/berkey-filter-accessories-c-68/sight-glass-spigot-p-221" rel="nofollow">berkey waterview spigot</a> to help with this.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Michael Smith
    Michael Smith on August 4, 2011 at 6:20 am said:

    Hello,

    I am wondering if this works on a well pumped from the ground? We have a well system that is 250ft below ground level and I use only bottled water because of the smell and taste. even my dogs won't drink it.

    Please advise

    Thank you,

    Michael

  • Rachel Green
    Rachel Green on August 9, 2011 at 7:58 am said:

    We have the ceramic filters and a stainless steel Big Berkey that we haven't used in a very long time. Have purposed to start using it again faithfully, and I've looked for instructions on your site for cleaning the ceramic filters and for knowing *when* they should be cleaned, but haven't found that information. Please help.

  • Rachel Green
    Rachel Green on August 9, 2011 at 8:15 am said:

    Aha! I found what I needed to know on the FAQ.

    "Simply scrub a section of the filter until you see a bit of black on the white pad then move to the next section. It's simple to do and takes less than a minute. Then re-prime each element and reinstall them."

    However, I'm not sure how to go about re-priming the elements.

  • Rachel Green
    Rachel Green on August 9, 2011 at 8:17 am said:

    Can the red food-coloring test be done on the ceramic filters as well?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Rachel -

    No, the red food coloring test only works for the black berkeys.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Michael -

    Yes, it should be of benefit. The question would be what is causing the smell and taste of that well water. Once this is identified, you can reference it against the list of what the black berkeys remove to see if it addressed:

    http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/berkey-filter-replacements-c-67/black-berkey-filters-2-p-187

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Mike

    Do I have to prime the white ceramic filters, or only the black ones?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Mike -

    Only the black berkeys and PF filters require priming.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Pam Murphree
    Pam Murphree on October 1, 2011 at 8:29 am said:

    I purchased a Big Berkey at a thrift shop. It has ceramic white filters. How can I tell if the filters need changing or if the the water is clean. How can I tell what is in the water and what is not? Does it clean out radiation and aspartame?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Pam -

    The berkey ceramic filters are good for 1200 gallons per set of 2. There is no indicator to be able to tell when they've been exhausted like the black berkey filters. You would need to test the water to know what is in there. The berkey ceramic filters have not been tested for radiation or aspartame.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Julie

    I am having problems priming the filters. I cannot get much water to go in the holes. What am I doing wrong?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Julie -

    This article/video on priming the black berkeys water filters should help.

    http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/berkey/priming-your-black-berkey-filter-for-use-or-storage/

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Mark

    I would like to buy a Berkey filter for our cabin. When we leave the cabin in the winter, it gets below freezing. We would of course empty the water out of the unit, but since the filters will probably still have water infused in them, will they be ruined if they freeze?

    Mark

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Mark -

    Yes, this can damage the filters as the water expands during freezing. It is recommended to not let the filters be exposed to freezing temperatures.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Sara

    Hi Dan,

    Does using a scotch brite pad to clean the outer surface of the black filter cartridges extend the life of the filters?

    Thank you.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Sara -

    No, cleaning the black berkey filters would be considered a maintenence exercise and would not extend the life past the approx 6000 gallons per set of 2.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Jackie

    I have a travel berkey. 2 Ceramic filters. Is it normal to take 4-6 hrs to run 1 gal thru??
    The filters are not dirty. City water is the water used. Filters are 2 weeks old. I love what water I get

  • Charlie
    Charlie on January 5, 2012 at 10:18 am said:

    Simple question re: the black washer that fits over the threaded stem of the Black Berkey filter. Should this washer be placed so that it is inside the upper chamber? Or in the lower chamber right next to the wingnut?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Charlie -

    The black washer goes in the upper chamber with the black berkey filter.

    Thanks
    Dan DeBaun

  • Andrea
    Andrea on January 7, 2012 at 11:02 am said:

    Hi Charlie,
    Just assembled my new Big Berkey and I think I over-tightened the PF2 filters and heard a soft "crack" sound from inside of the filters. I understand only now that I should have turned them strictly only 8 times and I actually tuned them 12 times, until the end of the threads. With only 8 turns there is a half-inch left on the thread and somehow looks "undone".
    The 8-turns-only rule should be written on the filters as an important warning as, I guess, I just ruined 2 brand new PF2 filters, a $50 value.
    So, are they really ruined and should I take them out immediately? Will they leak anything harmful from the filter into the water now that the membrane nside is very likely punctured through??

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Andrea -

    That crack you head was more likely just a filter pellet inside the casing breaking. That's ok, and you would want to flush out the remains of that via your faucet. Otherwise, you should be able to just re-attach at the 8 revolution mark and be good to go.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Jackie -

    This definitely sounds slower than normal. Please make sure your berkey upper chamber is filled all the way to the top when beginning to filter the water. It also may be that your water has a high viscocity and thus just naturally filters slower. We specialize in the black berkey generation of filters, so we unfortuantely have not heard of this issue before.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Charlie
    Charlie on January 24, 2012 at 4:25 am said:

    Dan--

    I've had a problem with the most recent set of PF2s that I bought. I followed the directions to the letter as to both priming and installation, but the filtered water still has the bitter, chemical-type taste that would be there if the filters had not been properly primed. The problem has persisted now through five or six cycles, and the taste is still just as strong. Three questions:

    1. Did the manufacturer have reports of a bad lot of filters?
    2. If not, what could be wrong?
    3. Is there anything harmful in the water with the peculiar taste?

    Thanks,
    Charlie

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Charlie -

    No, the PF-2 filters do not go defective because they are simply pellets in a plastic casing. Some filters are simply dustier than others and require a longer time priming from both ends and possible a few more system runs. You can always call or e-mail our customer service center for personal assitance also.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Anne

    Hi,

    We just set up the Berkey last week, and love it. I just noticed that there is a white powder ring in the bottom section and the water has a little oily look on the top. We primed the black filters and the PF filters. What should I do now? Reprime the PF filters? Also, is there any danger in drinking the water that left a white powder ring?
    Thanks.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Anne -

    This is this PF-2 dust and there is no danger, although it should have a bitter taste. Please dump and continue to run a couple more flushes through the system until this subsides. You can then wash any residual dust from the lower chamber with soap and water if need be.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Andrew
    Andrew on May 25, 2012 at 1:06 pm said:

    Please let me understand this better:
    1. The number of PF2 filters below must match the number of black filters, right?
    2. Then, would the capacity of both the upper and lower chambers be smaller with increasing the number of filter elements?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Andrew -

    Yes, you are correct. The volume of the chambers is based upon no filters inside.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Andrew
    Andrew on May 25, 2012 at 2:10 pm said:

    Point 3. After researching this more, any comments on the problems all those people have with the filters:
    http://www.amazon.com/Black-Berkey-Replacement-Water-Filters/product-reviews/B001C1NSE6/ref=cm_cr_pr_hist_1?ie=UTF8&amp;filterBy=addOneStar&amp;showViewpoints=0

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Andrew -

    The black berkey filters issues you have heard about happened with a batch that had a higher than average defective rate (3-6%), produced in November 2010. To prevent this from happening again, the manufacturer redesigned the filters so that they are machined on in addition to a new stronger glue, such that if the glue even were to fail, the machining still keeps them functioning as designed. We ship directly from the manufacturer and have been shipping the new designs since 2nd qtr 2011.

    The black berkeys had not had this base breaking problem in 12 years of manufacturer up until this batch, and have not since. All filters are also warranted for a period of 2 years (in 6 month pro-rated periods) from date of customer receipt in the case of any issues that may arise.

    Thanks
    Dan

    Thanks
    Dan

  • JennyD
    JennyD on June 26, 2012 at 8:39 am said:

    Hi Dan,
    You say that a glue is used on the filters. Can you please elaborate on that? I've read that some glues used in these types of products are harmful... thanks!

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Jenny -

    This is a food grade silicone glue and this type is used specifically because it is not harmful. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Jessica M
    Jessica M on July 16, 2012 at 11:10 am said:

    We bought a travel berky two months ago. we have to black filters and two flouride filters. All was working well until yesterday. When we fill the top part up it only filters about half of the water and then stops leaving about four or five inches of water in the top container instead of the usual one inch (we've tried multiple times and it does the same thing each time). Is there something we can try to do troubleshoot this issue. I don't think the filters should be bad at this point because we've only been using it for two months.
    Thanks,
    Jessica

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Jessica -

    This is occurring because your black berkeys are clogging up where they are in contact with the source water the most. The clogging is most likely due to calcium build-up but can also be due to rust, sediment, or something similar. These black berkeys can be cleaned to allow the water to flow through smoothly again and this is explained in the article below.

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

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Carole

    We just received our Big Berkey today. After assembling and filling with water (with food coloring) our water was blue (from the food coloring). After checking everything we discovered that one of the blocking plugs and/or washer is not working properly. Water is leaking through. We have changed the washers around on the two different plugs and still one of them continues to leak. What can we do?

  • Dan DeBaun
    Dan DeBaun on September 6, 2012 at 11:33 pm said:

    Hi Carole -

    The test only works with red food coloring. Please re-run the test and contact us at customerservice@bigberkeywaterfilters.com with the results.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Matt

    Hi,
    Using an electric PPM water tester I tested my tap water before and after running it through two different sets of black berkey filters. On both filter sets the contaminants PPM came back within 5ppm of each other before and after running through the black berkey filters. (130ppm to 120ppm) Is this normal? Is there a chance that the filters are not working properly? Both sets of filters have been in use for over 6 months and have probably had 300-400 gallons of water ran though them. I see filter systems such as zero water doing the same test with the same filters and they are showing no contaminants so I would assume the berkeys could do just as well.

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Matt -

    A TDS meter is very limited test and only measures Total Dissolved Solids (minerals and heavy metals); dissolved solids are simply dissolved minerals in an ionic form. A TDS meter does not measure the amount of biological and chemical contaminates. Black Berkey elements are designed to leave in your water the healthful and beneficial minerals and to extract only the unwanted heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide and aluminum. Therefore, your TDS reading will not change much unless you have a significant amount of heavy metals or sedimentary minerals in your water. Zerowater conversely removes the minerals also, thus why the number is zero. This is advertised as a good thing, however it is not recommended one drink water devoid of minerals over an extended period of time. Hope this helps.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • antonio
    antonio on March 29, 2013 at 8:26 pm said:

    hi there is a leak at the top of the two fluoride filters. water is still going through them but not all of it. there is a bubble of water at the top where they connect to the black filters. as the bubble gets bigger it spills into the clean water and my concern is that this water isn't getting filtered by the pf2's. is this normal? and if not how can i fix it?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Antonio -

    This is not something we have heard of before. Please make sure the PF-2's are only screwed on 8 revolutions, so water can pass through smoothly. You can also try re-priming the PF-2 filters.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • antonio
    antonio on March 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm said:

    is it 8 360 degree revolutions or simply 8 quick turns with your fingers? I tried both and I was still experiencing a leak. I can send a picture of the water bubble if you want. I think I fixed it though. I added in the washers for priming and now its air tight. the only thing is that now there is less space so I wasn't able to screw the pf2s in very far. but water is still going through them and the top is completely dry now.

  • terry
    terry on April 8, 2013 at 10:42 am said:

    I bought a used Berkey and find that the two black plugs (opposite filters) leak...any ideas on fixing these would be helpful.
    Thanks

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Terry -

    You can try soaking the washers in olive oil to help with the seal, but since it's a used system, you may want to purchase replacement blocking plugs found here:

    http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/blog/lead/report-finds-drinking-water-at-schools-still-contaminated-with-lead

    Thanks
    Dan

  • antonio
    antonio on April 9, 2013 at 7:56 pm said:

    I figured out why the filter was leaking. Its because i had the black washers on the bottom instead of on top. my issue now is that i am still experiencing a weird taste in the water. i have primed the pf2 filters multiple times 1 minute on each side and it just wont go away. its been almost 2 weeks since ive been using it. after how long or how many cycles will it take for the taste to go away?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Antonio -

    You should prime the PF-2's about 2 minutes from each side and after that, it takes up to approx 8 full flushes for a full dissipation. Please contact our customerservice@bigberkeywaterfilters.com for more specialized assistance.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • AB

    Just assembled my new Royal Berkey. I am a bit frustrated though. I followed the instructions and removed the stickers from my PF2 filters. Without them it is kind of impossible to keep track of the revolutions. I heard a soft "crack". I stopped and unscrewed it. The 8-turns-only rule and the advice to remove the sticker don't collide but anyway my question is: can I still use them? And if yes, can I still prime them if necessary?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi AB -

    Yes, the filters are still fine. This is the black berkey stem hitting the pellets inside. Just back them off to that 8 rev mark. The filters also may require a little extra time priming as extra dust may have released off the pellet when it hit.

    Thanks
    DAn

  • AB

    Dan so I can prime them? I am a little confused, somebody wrote an email back from customer service saying that I shouldn't attempt to prime them again since that will result in all of the media to fall out. I will be out of town for two weeks so I imagine I will have to once I am back. Thanks in advance for the clarification!

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi AB -

    If the screen is still intact (which it probably is), then you can prime them. If not, the just prime from the one side so as not to help any media fall through the pushed-out screen hole.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Amy

    I removed the stickers from the PF2 fluoride filter and am not 100% sure I put them on with the flow going to right way - is there a way to tell once the stickers are removed?

  • Marge

    Ok... so, I'm confused, after reading over and over, I have no idea what to do with the white filters that came with my Berkey. The black ones go upside down in the top chamber, but how do the white ones attach? Do they have an up? it is also not clear about where washers should go. Is there a better diagram for how it goes together? thanks

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Amy -

    They are threaded only on one side, so you have them on correctly if they are screwed on to the black berkeys.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Marge -

    Black berkeys upper chamber and white PF-2's lower chamber. The PF-2's screw onto the black berkeys 8 revolutions and hang off them. There should be a arrow that points the direction the PF-2's face. The black berkey washers go in the upper chamber and the wingnut in the lower chamber to secure the black berkeys.

    Thanks
    DAn

  • Tom

    Hi,
    We've owned the big Berkey with 2 black filters for about five months. Everything has been working just fine. We've filtered 1.5-2 gallons a day during that period. Suddenly, just today, filtration became agonizingly slow. I refilled the top chamber, completely full, with an empty bottom chamber. After two hours, we barely had enough water in the bottom to allow the spigot to work. Before today, typically, after two hours, almost all the water would be filtered.

    The difference is startlingly different between yesterday and today. Any thoughts on what happened, and how to fix it?

    Thanks,
    Tom

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Tom -

    It's difficult to say, but my first guess was they they black berkey filters have accumulated a film of calcium, rust, etc on them, and this is preventing the water from filtering through. Cleaning them should fix your issues. More details are in this article.

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

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Tom

    Thanks Dan. There is no *visible* build up. But just in case, I did lightly scrub them with steel wool. I got a little bit of black residue that came off, doing that, but the whole filter is black so, it seemed like just part of the filter.

    Cleaning them in that way did not fix the issue. I subsequently re-primed them, just in case, and that made them a *little* bit faster, but still much slower than they were, just two days ago. I want to reemphasize that the change was very sudden from Friday to Saturday. Though it is a little bit better today than yesterday, the problem is definitely NOT fixed.

    thanks,

    Tom

  • stacey

    Hello!

    I have had my berkey for just over a month, and today it seems that it has stopped filtering water. I took the top off, and it was about 2/3 full after sitting for several hours and the bottom has a one-inch ring of some sort of white, very stuck on film around it. Do you have any idea what could be happening? I have 2 black elements and 2 floride elements on if that helps. Thanks!

    Stacey

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Stacey -

    This white film is calcium buildup. You will need to clean the filters to remove this film and resolve clogging. Details found here:

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

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Pat

    I'm trying to install 2 additional filters but I'm clueless how go get those tight plugs out of the upper chamber. What do you advise?

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Pat-

    If you are referring to the blocking plugs, they should just unscrew fro removal. Sounds like yours may be extra tight or locked on after being installed for a long period or time, so you may need to try a wrench or ask someone for assistance.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Leslie

    Hi,

    We have two black filters and 2 flouride filters. The water is super slow filtering through the system - took 2 days. I put in red dye and it came out clear underneath. I have also cleaned out the system and scrubbed the upper black filters 2 times. Should everything be replaced or just the top filters? We put in the flouride filters in April but we use our system alot. Thanks for your advice.

    Leslie

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Leslie -

    You may need to clean deeper, as they still sound clogged. This Berkey helpful helps provides some more instructions.

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

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Joe O.

    Hello,

    I just purchased the Big Berkey with the 2 Black Berkey filters as well as two PF-2 white flouride filters. I just primed all the filters as is outlined in the instructions and I'm ready to put the whole system togethter.

    I have read several times that I should not screw the screw the PF-2 elements onto the stems of the Black Berkey filters more than 8 revolutions or it may damage the internal screens in the Pf-2.

    I have 3 questions regarding this:

    • If there are remaining revolutions that could be made and the seal between the 2 filters is not at least hand-tight, couldn't water leak out at the the threads, and thus there would be water in the lower unit that has not gone throught the PF-2 filtration process?

    • Is is possible to add a washer (or even use the "priming buttons") to make a larger, yet sealed, gap between the 2 filters (the black and the PF-2), thus allowing the full amount of revolutions to create a seal without breaking the internal screen of the PF-2? In other words, could a rubber washer be used to space them to tighten them fully?

    • Can we (actually I) suggest to the company that makes the Berkey products to make the stem on the Black Berkey filters not quite so long as to damage the inside of the PF-2? In other words, is there a reason why the black stems have to be that long to start with?

    It seems to me that if the length of the black filter stems were a correct length so as to not need to count revolutions while installing the PF-2, then people would be able to install them until hand-tight, have a better seal, and not worry about counting revolutions or breaking hte internal screen of the PF-2 filters.

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Joe

  • Dan DeBaun

    Hi Joe -

    The filters will not allow water to back out due to gravity and air pressure so 8 revolutions should be adhered to without washers in between. Also, if they were airtight, it would force back pressure on the black berkey filter the higher the water levels got and reduce water flow speed. Hitting this internal screen does not cause permanent damage as you're just hitting the pellets, and backing them off a couple turns will allow it to be ok. The stems are designed to be the length they are for the various applications they sometimes can be used in the field.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Sandra
    Sandra on February 1, 2014 at 8:01 pm said:

    We just got ours and we chose to get the additional flouride filters. One screws in tightly and the other one does not. It feels like when a screw gets stripped. If we keep screwing it, it loosens up again. Is this fixable? It does stay on, just not tight. Will this affect the water quality? And, how long does it take for the water to become clear? After one batch, it still comes out whitish and cloudy. Thanks!

  • admin

    Hi Sandra -

    The berkey fluoride filters are not intended to screw on tight. They should only be screwed on 8 revolutions as there needs to be space in between the end of the black berkey stem and the inside of the PF-2 filter itself.

    Thanks
    Dan

  • Sandra
    Sandra on February 1, 2014 at 9:35 pm said:

    Thanks. There's only about a quarter inch of black stem sticking out for the white filters to screw onto. If I don't try to make it tight, the white filters fall off. I'm thinking we have it set up wrong. Are the tan AND black washers supposed to be on there?

  • admin

    Hi Sandra -

    You should only have the black washers in the upper chamber. The tan priming button is not used in the assembly of the system.

    Thanks
    Dan

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