Berkey FAQs

Stainless Steel Systems
Black Berkey® Purification Elements
PF-2™ Elements and PF-4™ Elements
Reverse Osmosis and Distillation
Guarantee
Potassium Iodate
Cutaway Views
Element Priming

Stainless Steel Systems FAQ’S

What grade of Stainless Steel is used in Berkey® systems?
High grade polished 304-stainless steel.

Is there a Berkey® system that will accommodate large groups?
Yes we offer two systems they are:

  1. The Imperial Berkey® system, when configured with six Black Berkey® purification elements can purify up to 400 gallons per day (~17 gallons per hour) when the upper chamber is full. This is enough to provide for up to 200 people on a sustained basis and up to 800 people on a short-term emergency basis.
     
  2. The Crown Berkey® system, when configured with eight Black Berkey® purification elements can purify up to 650 gallons per day (~27 gallons per hour) when the upper chamber is full. This is enough to provide for up to 325 people on a sustained basis and up to 1,300 people on a short-term emergency basis.

What is the most convenient method for filling the upper reservoir?
Most people use a pitcher to pour water into the upper chamber however, if you have a spray hose on your sink, using it to refill the system is a very convenient method.

The water in the upper chamber of my Berkey® system does not drain all the way. Is this normal?
Yes it is normal and not unusual for the last 1/2" to 1" of water to remain in the upper chamber. By design the water must pass through very fine micro pores within the elements in order to pass from the upper chamber to the lower. The lower the water level in the upper chamber, the lower the pressure available to force the water through the micro pores. You might have noticed that the system purifies much faster when full than when half full. That is because there is more pressure. The only way to remedy the problem would be to enlarge the pores within the filter elements. That would of course, reduce the efficiency of the purification elements. During each cycle the water left from the previous cycle mixes with the water from the current cycle and is then purified. You should not be concerned about the excess water during normal use however if you discontinue using your filter for a period of time such as during a vacation, it would not hurt to empty the upper chamber before departing.

I have been using my system for about six months and the flow rate has slowed down considerably. Do I need to replace the elements?
No, unlike other filtration elements Black Berkey® purification elements are re-cleanable. What typically causes the filters to drip slowly is turbidity and sediment clogging the micro-pores of the purification elements. Simply remove the elements from your system, scrub the exterior of each element with preferably a white ScotchBrite pad or stiff toothbrush. 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. Your problem should now be fixed.

How do I know when it is time to replace the elements in my system?
The best way to gauge when to replace the filters is to do the following:

  1. Multiply the number of filters in your system by 3,000 gallons to get Total Gallons For All Filters within the system.
     
  2. Next keep a track of how many times you need to refill the upper chamber in one week.
     
  3. Then multiply that figure times the capacity in gallons of your particular system (for example the Berkey Light™ system is 2.75 gallons) to determine Total Gallons Used Per Week.
     
  4. Finally divide the Total Gallons Used Per Week into the Total Gallons For All Filters and that will tell you how many weeks before the filters should be replaced.
     
  5. Next calculate the future date for replacement (52 weeks per year) and write that date on a sticker and attach it to the bottom of your system for future reference.

By the way, if you have been using your system for some time now, you can still use the above formula to determine when to replace the elements. Just count forward from the date you purchased your system.

I will soon be leaving the country. Is there a way to test my Berkey® system to make sure it is working properly?
Yes, anytime you plan on taking your system out of the country we advise that you always perform the following test prior to leaving. You should test your filters by filling the upper chamber with water then add a tablespoon of food coloring for every gallon of water within your upper chamber. If the food coloring is removed entirely, your filtration system is working properly. If not, check to make sure that the wing nuts on your elements are securely tightened then re-run the test.

By the way, always prime new purification elements before leaving the country, as you may not have enough water pressure to be able to prime the elements at your destination.

I just purchased a Berkey® system but the system 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 being purged from the micro pores of the new purification elements. Included with your Black Berkey® elements is a priming button and instructions for use. Please remove and prime your purification elements, reinstall them and that should fix the problem.

I have found that when I boil the water or freeze it into ice cubes, I sometimes get little white floating things in the water. What is this bacterium?
With respect to the little white floaters in the water, it is not bacteria but rather a problem that sometimes occurs with hard (heavily mineralized) water. When water is filtered through your system, the Black Berkey® purification elements actually increase the PH of the water. This is healthful as Pathogenic bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments and conversely have difficulty surviving in alkaline environments. This is also true inside your body. When the PH level of the purified water is raised, the acidity of the water goes down and the water is no longer able to hold as many minerals in solution. When this happens the minerals begin to precipitate out over time and depending on the mineral composition they will either sink to the bottom or float to the top. This process is known as flocculation and the precipitated minerals are usually referred to as "white floaters". The bottom line is that this is nothing to be concerned about, the white floaters are minerals that were already in your water; they are now simply visible whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form.

I did a TDS reading on the purified water and was surprised to find that the reading was about the same with the purified water as it was with the unpurified water. Is my system working properly?
Yes, a TDS meter measures only Total Dissolved Solids or minerals; 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.

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Black Berkey® FAQ’S

What is the shelf life of the Black Berkey® purification elements?
The shelf life of the Black Berkey® elements is indefinite. In other words they will last until you need them. We would advise however, if you intend to store them for a long period of time, that you store them in a zip-lock bag. This is because they are powerful enough to absorb contaminants from the air, which could reduce their expected life if you have a lot of airborne contaminants in the area in which they are being stored. A zip-lock back will prevent the above from occurring.

How often do the Black Berkey® purification elements need to be replaced?
Each element has an expected life of 3,000 gallons or 6,000 gallons for a set of two.

I have been using my system for about six months and the flow rate has slowed down considerably. Do I need to replace the elements?
No, unlike other filtration elements Black Berkey® purification elements are re-cleanable. What typically causes the filters to drip slowly is turbidity and sediment clogging the micro-pores of the purification elements. Simply remove the elements from your system, scrub the exterior of each element with preferably a white ScotchBrite pad or stiff toothbrush. 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. Your problem should now be fixed.

How do I know when it is time to replace the elements in my system?
The best way to gauge when to replace the filters is to do the following:

  1. Multiply the number of filters in your system by 3,000 gallons to get Total Gallons For All Filters within the system.
     
  2. Next keep a track of how many times you need to refill the upper chamber in one week.
     
  3. Then multiply that figure times the capacity in gallons of your particular system (for example the Berkey Light™ system is 2.75 gallons) to determine Total Gallons Used Per Week.
     
  4. Finally divide the Total Gallons Used Per Week into the Total Gallons For All Filters and that will tell you how many weeks before the filters should be replaced.
     
  5. Next calculate the future date for replacement (52 weeks per year) and write that date on a sticker and attach it to the bottom of your system for future reference.

By the way, if you have been using your system for some time now, you can still use the above formula to determine when to replace the elements. Just count forward from the date you purchased your system.

I will soon be leaving the country. Is there a way to test my Berkey® system to make sure it is working properly?
Yes, anytime you plan on taking your system out of the country we advise that you always perform the following test prior to leaving. You should test your filters by filling the upper chamber with water then add a tablespoon of food coloring for every gallon of water within your upper chamber. If the food coloring is removed entirely, your filtration system is working properly. If not, check to make sure that the wing nuts on your elements are securely tightened then re-run the test.

By the way, always prime new purification elements before leaving the country, as you may not have enough water pressure to be able to prime the elements at your destination.

I just purchased a Berkey® system but the system 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 being purged from the micro pores of the new purification elements. Included with your Black Berkey® elements is a priming button and instructions for use. Please remove and prime your purification elements, reinstall them and that should fix the problem.


 

How do I prime the Black Berkey® Purification Elements when water pressure is unavailable?
The micro pores on the Black Berkey® purification elements are extremely small, in fact they are small enough to filter food coloring out of water. The benefit from having such extremely small pores is greater efficiency at removing pathogenic bacteria and other contaminates. The downside is that too much water tension can require that the purification elements be primed before they will flow properly. When you receive the purification elements, they are dry and air is trapped within the tiny micro fine pores. In certain parts of the world, water has more water tension than in other places and this can change from season to season. The higher the water tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micro fine pores using gravity alone. The pores that have air trapped within them do not allow water to pass through and therefore become an inaccessible passage for the water. This then causes the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.

Before traveling to and using the system in an area without water pressure we recommend that the purification elements be primed using the priming button. If this however is not possible and water pressure is not available to use the priming button method, the elements can be primed approximately 50% by using the below method. In other words using this method, the elements will not purify as fast as they will by using the priming button method however they will run significantly faster than if the elements have not been primed at all. The alternate priming method is as follows:

STEP 1: If your system is assembled, remove the purification elements from the upper chamber. Next, fill the lower chamber with water, then place the purification elements into the water in 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 in the water 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 purification elements 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 purification elements have water within the bore (inside core), more force is generated to draw water 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 purification elements with the priming button 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.

What is the Micron Rating of the Black Berkey® purification elements?
With respect to the micron rating, we do not use or publish a micron rating for the Black Berkey® elements for the following reasons.

There is much confusion with respect to nominal and absolute micron ratings. An absolute micron rating is one that states the maximum pore size expected within an element. The nominal micron rating is the average pore size within the element. This means that if 90% of the pores are .02 microns and ten percent are 2 microns, one could claim the nominal micron rating as .2 microns, which would imply that pathogenic bacteria and parasites would be totally removed. But in reality the bulk of the water would channel through the larger 2-micron pores and thereby allow both bacteria and parasites to pass through. Therefore a nominal micron-rating claim can be very misleading.

With respect to the absolute micron rating, there is also confusion because there are two different standards to determine absolute; in the US the standard is 99.9% removal, but the international standard in 99.99% removal or 10 times greater removal.

Clever marketers of products can use the confusion over the above differences to make product "A" appear to be better than product "B" when product B may be far superior in reality. For example, we used to report an absolute rating using the international standard because we have a large international customer base. Several years ago we published a rating on our ceramic filters. A particular company began to publish that our elements were .9 microns whereas theirs were .2 microns. However, our micron rating was based on absolute (international) while theirs was based on a nominal(US)rating. When tested at Spectrum Labs, it was found that at the .2 to .3 microns range our filter removed more particulate than the other brand. Unfortunately many people make there purchasing decisions based on a micron rating that can be legitimately distorted and to a significant degree.

We soon became weary of trying to explain the above to our customers and so we decided not to participate any longer in publishing a micron rating. Rather, we think an absolute pathogenic bacteria removal rate is a far better gauge because it is far more difficult to abuse. Based on that criterion, the Black Berkey® elements remove greater than 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli. To our knowledge, no other personal filtration element can match that capability. In fact, the Black Berkey® elements are so powerful, they are unique in their ability to mechanically remove food coloring from water.

It is time for me to replace my filter elements but I have a different brand name of gravity filter. Will the Black Berkey® elements fit my system?
Yes the Black Berkey® purification elements are interchangeable with other gravity systems and the PF-2 filters can be used as well.

The water in the upper chamber of my Berkey® system does not drain all the way. Is this normal?
Yes it is normal and not unusual for the last 1/2" to 1" of water to remain in the upper chamber. By design the water must pass through very fine micro pores within the elements in order to pass from the upper chamber to the lower. The lower the water level in the upper chamber, the lower the pressure available to force the water through the micro pores. You might have noticed that the system purifies much faster when full than when half full. That is because there is more pressure. The only way to remedy the problem would be to enlarge the pores within the filter elements. That would of course, reduce the efficiency of the purification elements. During each cycle the water left from the previous cycle mixes with the water from the current cycle and is then purified. You should not be concerned about the excess water during normal use however if you discontinue using your filter for a period of time such as during a vacation, it would not hurt to empty the upper chamber before departing.

It appears that there is a slight dimple in one of my Black Berkey® elements, is this filter flawed?
No, The Black Berkey® purification elements are about twice as thick as are standard gravity filter elements. This is a built in redundancy or overkill, if you will. The minor dimple in the filter should not cause any decrease in the elements efficiency. However to check its performance, make sure the wing nuts are on tight and do the following:

Test your filters by filling the upper chamber with water then add a tablespoon of food coloring for every gallon of water within your upper chamber. If the food coloring is removed entirely, your elements are working properly. If not, check to make sure that the wing nuts on your elements are securely tightened then re-run the test.

I have found that when I boil the water or freeze it into ice cubes, I sometimes get little white floating things in the water. What is this?
With respect to the little white floaters in the water, it is not bacteria but rather a problem that sometimes occurs with hard (heavily mineralized) water. When water is filtered through your system, the Black Berkey® purification elements actually increase the PH of the water. This is healthful as Pathogenic bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments and conversely have difficulty surviving in alkaline environments. This is also true inside your body. When the PH level of the purified water is raised, the acidity of the water goes down and the water is no longer able to hold as many minerals in solution. When this happens the minerals begin to precipitate out over time and depending on the mineral composition they will either sink to the bottom or float to the top. This process is known as flocculation and the precipitated minerals are usually referred to as "white floaters". The bottom line is that this is nothing to be concerned about, the white floaters are minerals that were already in your water; they are now simply visible whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form.

What are the Black Berkey® elements made out of and how do they work?
Without getting too complex, several methodologies are utilized by the Black Berkey® purification elements. The elements are composed of a formulation of more than a half dozen different media types constructed into a very fine matrix creating millions of micro-fine pores. The pores are so small that pathogenic bacteria, cysts, parasites, sediment and sedimentary minerals are not able to pass through them. The media formulation both "absorbs" some contaminates and "adsorbs" other contaminates. Next, heavy metals ions (mineral molecules) are extracted through an Ion exchange process where they are essentially electrically bonded to the media. Finally, our filter elements are designed such that each water molecule can take several minutes to pass through the filter elements whereas these molecules passing through other filtration systems pass through those filters in literally microseconds. The longer the water molecules are in contact with any media, the greater the removal of the various contaminates.

I did a TDS reading on the purified water and was surprised to find that the reading was about the same with the purified water as it was with the unpurified water. Is my system working properly?
Yes, a TDS meter measures only Total Dissolved Solids or minerals; 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.

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PF-2 and PF-4 FAQ'S

Do your filter elements reduce fluoride in the water?
No, in order to reduce fluoride in your water you will need to use post filters that work in conjunction with the filters in your system. We have two types, PF-2's, which are used in conjunction with the Black Berkey® purification elements, and the PF-4 filters that are used in conjunction with our ceramic filters.

I noticed that the PF-4 elements also remove MTBE and heavy metals. Should I use these with my Black Berkey® purification elements?
No, the PF2's are used in conjunction with the Black Berkey® purification elements and the PF-4 elements are used in conjunction with the ceramic filters. The Black Berkey® elements remove MTBE and reduce heavy metals whereas the ceramic filters do not therefore; we incorporated MTBE and heavy metals reduction capabilities into the PF-4 elements.

What is the life of the PF-4 filters?
Each set of four PF-4 filters is will last for 1,000 gallons or six months whichever comes first. The reason for the six-month limitation is that the carbon within the PF-4 filters extracts contaminates that can be nutrients on which bacteria can grow. If the filters are used longer than six months “grow-through” can occur.

What is the life of the PF-2 filters?
Each set of two PF-2 filters is will last for 1,000 gallons. Since these elements contain pure fluoride and arsenic reduction media and no carbon, there is no six-month limitation rule as is the case with the PF-4 elements.

How do I know when 1,000 gallons has been filtered and when its time to replace the elements?
The best way to gauge when to replace the filters is to do the following:

  1. Keep a track of how many times per week you need to refill your system.
     
  2. Then multiply that figure times the capacity in gallons of your particular system (for example the Berkey light™ system is 2.75 gallons) to determine Total Gallons Used Per Week.
     
  3. Finally divide the Total Gallons Used Per Week into the 1000 gallons and that will tell you how many weeks before the filters should be replaced.
     
  4. Next calculate the future date for replacement (52 weeks per year) and write that date on a sticker and attach it to the bottom of your system for future reference.

By the way, if you have been using your fluoride reduction filters for some time now, you can still use the above formula to determine when to replace the elements. Just count forward from the date you purchased your elements.

I installed my PF-2 elements but my water is a bit cloudy and why does it have a funny taste?
The odd taste is from process dust that may not have been washed free from the filter elements during the conditioning process. Please remove the PF-2 elements and re-condition them for 60 seconds on both ends. This should expel any residual process dust and fix the problem.

Do the PF-2 elements replace the Black Berkey® purification elements?
No the Black Berkey® elements fit into the base of the upper chamber with the stems of the filters protruding through the holes in the base of the upper chamber. The protruding stems are threaded and the PF-2 filters screw onto these threaded stems so that the PF-2's hang down into the lower chamber. The water flows from the upper chamber, through the Black Berkey® elements, into the PF-2 filters and then into the lower chamber. The “PF” in PF-2 stands for Post Filter. So in answer to your question, no they do not replace the black filters but rather work in conjunction with them.

If I begin using use the PF-2 elements, will I need more counter space for my system?
No, the PF-2's attach to the stems of the Black Berkey® elements and hang down into the interior of the lower chamber of the system requiring no additional counter space.

I understand that the media used within the fluoride reduction elements is activated alumina, it that the same thing as aluminum?
The media used to extract the fluoride and arsenic is activated alumina. Since fluoride is a by-product of aluminum production, fluoride has a natural affinity to recombine with activated alumina making it an ideal extraction media. We are not chemists but will communicate our understanding on the subject. Both nutritionist and lab technicians have informed us that aluminum and alumina are two separate animals. Aluminum can cross the blood brain barrier and cause problems with the brain whereas alumina is inert. It is our understanding that alumina is oxidized aluminum. Aluminum is regulated whereas alumina is not for example, alumina is the material used for making the paste in toothpaste. At any rate, when testing for aluminum in water, most tests cannot distinguish between aluminum ions and oxidized alumina. Since we are not chemists, we tested the effluent from the filters and included that information in our brochure. While we were not required to do so, we felt that it was important to disclose to our customers what our results were so that they would have the necessary information to do further research on the issue should they desire to do so. We thin it was significant in the test we conducted using the combination of Black Berkey® elements and PF-2 elements there was a net reduction in the tested aluminum content of the source water vs. the purified water. Again that test did not distinguish between aluminum and alumina. The bottom line is that the media utilized is oxidized alumina and not aluminum.

What are the dimensions of the PF-2 and PF-4 elements?
The individual elements are 6” in length and 2.5” in diameter.

I have high PH in my water, will that reduce the efficiency of the PF-2 elements?
That is correct, high or low PH impedes the ability of the media to remove fluoride.

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Reverse Osmosis and Distillation FAQ'S

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 strip out all of 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 of hypertonic solution 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 reading will not typically change much unless there are a lot of heavy metals or sedimentary minerals within the source water.

Is there a way to verify for myself the effects of drinking de-mineralized hypotonic water?
Yes, you can check this out for yourself during a short fast. First check the TDS reading on your RO or distilled water, which should be around 1-3ppm. Then after drinking that water for several days check the TDS reading of your urine. Remember, the TDS only measures minerals not chemicals so any minerals that the TDS meter reads are minerals that are being leached or flushed out from your body.

What is the pathological removal capability of an RO system?
With respect to Pathogenic Bacterial removal, 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® purification elements.

Which type of water will have the best taste?
With respect to taste, distilled water will taste flat unless you shake it up rigorously because the distillation process strips the oxygen from the water. The taste of RO water is typically very good. The taste of Berkey® purified water is typically very good unless there is an excessive amount of ionized minerals in the source water. Even in such circumstances the improvement in the taste of the water is usually remarkable.

With respect to maintenance, how do the three types of systems compare?
All Berkey® systems are easy to disassemble and clean. Typically the lower chamber should be washed in ordinary dishwater once per month. The elements need to be cleaned after 6-12 months of use.

Distillation systems need to be soaked and cleaned with vinegar solution to remove the scale, typically after each gallon or two.

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.

How do the three types of systems compare with respect to cost?
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.

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Guarantee FAQ

Do Berkey systems have a warrantee?
Yes, the Black Berkey® purification elements have a two-year prorated warrantee calculated in six months intervals. Our guarantee is prorated similar to the guarantee on tire tread. In other words, if you have used the filters for six months, 75% of the guarantee still applies and so you can get a replacement set for 25% of the normal cost.

The systems themselves and their components have a six-month warrantee as stated below.

GENERAL WARRANTY INFORMATION
New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. Warrants this product to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a period of 6 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey® purification elements have a two-year prorated warranty calculated in six months intervals. New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. will replace or repair any product that it deems is not properly functioning during the stated warranty period. Relief under this warranty is limited to the replacement or repair of defective materials or workmanship only. New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. shall not be held liable for incidental or consequential damage to personal property from, but not limited to, a defective unit, improper use, abuse, accident, or neglect, etc. No warranty will apply to units which have been used for purposes not intended, which have been altered so as, in the manufacturers judgment, to affect adversely its performance. This warranty is for the original retail purchaser only, and cannot be transferred. Repair or replacement of parts will be made upon delivery to manufacturer's plant or authorized service dealer at customer's expense. The laws of the State of Texas, USA, will govern any disputes regarding this warranty or claim made. This warranty, which is given expressly in lieu of all warranties, expressed or implied, or merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose, constitutes the only warranty made by New Millennium Concepts, Ltd.

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Potassium Iodate 85mg. FAQ

Would it help if I started taking KiO3 now…just in case?
NO! Do not take any thyroid blocker now. You will be wasting your supply. It will not help you unless you are caught in fallout. We repeat, “NO, do NOT take a Thyroid Blocker UNLESS the authorities tell you to do so.”

When will the authorities tell us to start?
They will tell you that Fallout is headed your way and you should start taking KiO3 or KI about 3 hours to 12 hours before the fallout arrives.

How many people will a bottle of KiO3 cover in case of a nuclear disaster?
First lets set the figure for a “medium” event at 25 days (3 half-lives of radioactive Iodine 131). One 200-tablet bottle of KIO3 will protect the thyroid (for 25 days) for

  1. Four adults (age 12 years and up) OR
  2. Eight children (age 3 to 12 years) OR
  3. 16 Young children (age 1 month to 3 years) OR
  4. 32 Babies (age newborn to 1 month)

Keep in mind that it is possible to have more than one event OR an ongoing event as happened at Chernobyl.

I am allergic to Iodine and it gives me a rash. Should I not take a thyroid blocker?
That should always be your choice. However, if Iodine gives you a rash then Radioactive Iodine (I-131) will also give you a rash.

I have a Thyroid problem and my doctor says I should avoid foods that contain Iodine. What should I do?
That is a tough question. Iodine can cause some serious problems in some Thyroid patients. Radioactive Iodine-131 is Iodine and can be deadly for babies and young children. A Thyroid condition that requires the avoidance of Iodine will still be subjected to iodine in the form of Radioactive Iodine-131. Talk to your doctor and try to come to a decision together. If your doctor says something like, “It can never happen”, then you might want to find another doctor who will at least discuss it with you.

You carry KiO3, but I have seen KI for sale also. Is KI any good?
KI (the other guy's stuff) is a Thyroid blocker and it works. Either a blocker works or it doesn't. KI doesn't work better than KIO3 or visa versa. There are distinct advantages to KIO3, but KI will work to block the Thyroid. In fact, if you have enough fresh KI and you don't have young children then you don't need KIO3.

Which is safer, KiO3 or KI?
According to Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) KiO3 (our Thyroid Blocker) is safer to use. KiO3 has a Health Risk of 1---slight. KI (the other guys stuff) has a Health Risk of 2-moderate. However, compared to Radioactive Iodine, a Health Risk of 2 for KI means nothing. If it is what you have on hand, KI will work.

Which would be best for babies, children and adults, KI or KiO3?
KiO3 (easier to dose, KiO3 is not bitter and babies can keep it down) -And-KiO3 is much easier to dose children because you don't have to try to cut one of the tablets into an eighth.

What is the shelf life of KiO3?
The shelf life is “unlimited”. This means that it will be good for years if not exposed to excessive heat.

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Berkey® systems expanded view FAQ'S

What does the expanded view of your Stainless Steel systems look like?

 

What does the expanded view of your Berkey Light™ system look like?

 

What does the expanded view of your Black Berkey® Purification elements look like?

 

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Priming Black Berkey® Elements FAQ'S

I just purchased a Berkey® system but the system 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 being purged from the micro pores of the new purification elements. Water tension is higher in certain parts of the country and can change from season to season. The higher the water tension, the more difficult it is fot the water, using gravity pressure, to force the air from the micro-pores of a new element. Included with your Black Berkey® elements is a priming button and instructions for use. Please remove and prime your purification elements, reinstall them and that should fix the problem.


 

 

How do I prime the Black Berkey® Purification Elements, in the field, when water pressure is unavailable?
The micro pores on the Black Berkey® purification elements are extremely small, in fact they are small enough to filter food coloring out of water. The benefit from having such extremely small pores is greater efficiency at removing pathogenic bacteria and other contaminates. The downside is that too much water tension can require that the purification elements be primed before they will flow properly. When you receive the purification elements, they are dry and air is trapped within the tiny micro fine pores. In certain parts of the world, water has more water tension than in other places and this can change from season to season. The higher the water tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micro fine pores using gravity alone. The pores that have air trapped within them do not allow water to pass through and therefore become an inaccessible passage for the water. This then can cause the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.

Before traveling to the field or using the system in an area without water pressure, we recommend that the purification elements be primed using the priming button method. If water pressure is not available to use the priming button method, the elements can be field primed approximately 50-75% by using the below method. In other words by using this method, the elements will not purify as fast as they will by using the priming button method however they will run significantly faster than if the elements have not been primed at all. The field priming method is as follows:

STEP 1: Fill the lower chamber with water, then place the purification elements into the water in the lower chamber, upside down with the stems facing upward. 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.

Or, install the elements upside down in the upper chamber so that the elements are on the exterior of the bottom side of the upper chamber facing downward. Then place the upper chamber onto the lower chamber so that the filters are forced into the water within the lower chamber.

Let the purification elements soak in the water for 30 to 60 minutes until they fill up with water. NOTE: Make sure that the opening in the stems of the purification elements are not underwater as the water must be forced through the pores of the element and not allowed to enter the element through the hole in the stem.

STEP 2: When the inside of the purification elements are full of water they will be significantly heavier. Next, assemble the purification elements into the upper chamber while keeping the stems of the elements facing upward. It is important to keep as much water on the inside of the purification elements as is possible. Next, fill the upper chamber with water as quickly as possible. Hint: the fastest way to fill the upper chamber is to pour the water from the lower chamber into the upper chamber. Then place the upper chamber onto the lower chamber.

When the purification elements have water within the bore (inside core), more force is generated to draw water through the purification elements. This is because the water that drips out of the purification element also hydraulically pulls new water into the element as it 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 purification elements with the priming button but should be about 50-75% effective in clearing the blocked micro pores.

Let the water from the first purification cycle that is collected in the lower chamber run to waste. Next, refill the upper chamber with water. Your Black Berkey® elements are now FIELD primed and your Berkey® system is ready for use.

Note: If the water used to field prime the elements is from a contaminated or suspect source, if possible use a container other than the lower chamber to immerse the elements. If this is not possible then use the water that collects in the lower chamber from the first purification cycle to make a soapy dishwater. Then wash thoroughly the inside of the lower chamber and discard the soapy water. Next, purify more water and use it to rinse any remaining soap from the lower chamber. Your Berkey® system is now ready for use.

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