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When and how do I clean the Black Berkey® Elements?

Berkey Water System
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The following article was provided courtesy of New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. (NMCL), the manufacturer of Berkey® Water Systems and products.

Black Berkey® Elements don’t necessarily need to be cleaned every time one cleans their Berkey® unit. However, this can vary depending on your area and water source. In certain areas, the  water is much dirtier than normal, and will necessitate cleaning the elements more frequently; possibly even more than cleaning the rest of the system requires. If your water is muddy or really dirty we advise pre-filtering  your water by running it through some type of cloth, ie: shirt, bed sheet, bandanna, etc.  before putting it in  your Berkey® system. While this isn’t necessary, doing so keeps the cleaning schedule for the elements down by collecting debris that may clog the pores of your Black Berkey® Elements.

When is it time to clean your filters?

  • Cleaning the elements should be done when you experience a drastic slow down in your flow rate.
  • You may consider cleaning your elements on a consistent basis. For example, every 6 months. The benefit to doing so is that you won’t experience a slow flow rate. Cleaning elements on a regular schedule is at your discretion. This is a suggestion, not a requirement.

How do you clean your filters?

  1. First, empty and disassemble the Black Berkey® Elements from the Berkey® unit.
  2. Use a cleaning pad similar to a Scotch Brite Pad or a stiff toothbrush and gently scrub the outside of the Black Berkey® Elements under cool running water.
  3. Re-prime the filters. If you’re not familiar with this process please visit our YouTube channel with step by step instructions, here.
  4. Reassemble the Black Berkey® Elements into the Berkey® unit.
  5. Lastly, fill your Berkey® unit and perform a red dye test as described in your instructions to ensure the Black Berkey® Elements are effective.

If you are currently using a water softening system, we highly recommend that you obtain pre-softened water directly from the source rather than run softened water through your Black Berkey® Elements. Please click here, for more information regarding the use of the Berkey® system with softened water.