Please make sure you are aligning the seams, as most of the systems will not snap together unless the seams are aligned. If that doesn't solve the problem, please measure the opening on the lower chamber from seam to seam. The diameter should be at least 20.2 cm. or greater. If it is less than that please contact us.
To determine the optimal size for your situation, please consider that the larger the system's capacity, the less often it requires refilling. All of our systems are available configured with two Black Berkey purification elements however; the four larger stainless steel systems are expandable which means that your first consideration should be to purchase the system, which has the capacity to best meet your group's needs. If at a later date you find that you require more liters per hour, you will not have to invest in another system. You can simply order additional purification elements to expand your current system. Below is a table showing our various two element systems, their capacities and the maximum number of elements each system can accommodate.
|Berkey Model||Capacity||Fully Expanded|
|Travel Berkey||5.7 liter||2 Elements|
|Berkey Light||10.4 liter||4 Elements|
|Big Berkey||8.5 liter||4 Elements|
|Royal Berkey||12.3 liter||4 Elements|
|Imperial Berkey||17 liter||6 Elements|
|Crown Berkey||22.7 liter||8 Elements|
The Berkey Light system is designed for outdoor use therefore it is about three pounds lighter in weight than the equivalent capacity of our stainless steel system. The Travel Berkey system is also designed for outdoor use and is the smallest of the stainless steel systems. It is compact enough to fit within a suitcase because unlike the Berkey Light system, the upper chamber nests within the lower chamber during travel. This is the preferred system when mobility is a big issue. So it depends on what kind of portability you are looking for; lighter weight (Berkey Light) or compactness (Travel Berkey).
The four-multi use systems are designed for indoor everyday use so they are of a heavier construction than the above systems. Although these systems can also be used outdoors or during unexpected emergencies when a source of potable water may not be available.
Most people use a pitcher to pour water into the upper chamber. Another convenient method is if you refill using a spray hose attached to your kitchen faucet.
Yes it is normal and not unusual for the last 1.3 cm. to 2.5 cm. 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 may have noticed that the system purifies much faster when full than when half full. That's because there is more water pressure. The only way to remedy this problem would be to enlarge the pores of the filter elements. This would of course, reduce the efficiency of the Berkey purification elements. During each cycle the water left from the previous cycle mixes with the water from the current cycle and is then purified. There is no need to be concerned about the excess water during normal use. Should you however discontinue using your filter for a period of time such as during a vacation, it would be best to empty both chambers before departing and leave them upside down to dry on the dish rack.
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, stiff toothbrush or vegetable brush. 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.
The best way to ascertain when to replace the filters is to use our calculator below, alternatively you can perform the following calculation manually:
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.
Yes, anytime you plan on taking your system to foreign shores 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 adding a teaspoon of red food coloring for every 4 liters of water within your upper chamber. If the red 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.
Usually 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 filter elements is a priming button and instructions for their use. Please remove and prime your purification elements, reinstall them and that should repair the problem.
They are not bacteria, but rather an effect that sometimes happens with hard (heavily mineralized) water. When water is filtered through your system, the Black Berkey filter elements actually increase the PH (alkalinity) of the water. This is healthful as pathogenic bacteria and viruses thrive in acidic environments and on the contrary have difficulty surviving in alkaline environments. This is also the case 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 solution in your water. They are now simply visible whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form.
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 the healthful and beneficial minerals in your water and to extract only the unwanted heavy metals such as lead and mercury as well as sedimentary minerals such as iron oxide and aluminum.
Yes, there are two systems to meet the needs of large groups:
There are three different types of Blocking Plugs: