If you really want to see the impressive purification power of the Black Berkey Water Filters then the food coloring test provides the perfect opportunity. Many companies selling water filters make claims about the high quality of their filters without making it verifiable by you, the customer. Berkey water filters go the extra mile by making it possible for customers to verify that the Black Berkey water filters do what they claim to do. The food coloring test is invaluable for new as well as established customers to ensure that their Berkey filters are working according to specifications.
For new customers: It demonstrates the amazing purification power of the Berkey water filters as well as affirming that the system has been properly assembled.
For existing customers: It's an invaluable way of ensuring that your Berkey water filters are still functioning properly. However long the original Berkey filters have been in operation, whether it be for the past 5 or 10 years, you can perform this test at anytime to see if it’s time to replace the Berkey water filters. When doing this it's best to place a cup underneath each filter as this will help isolate which filter may be exhausted, and which is still purifying effectively.
With other water filters, the customer must assume their system is working to specifications or spend the time and money to perform water tests.
The food coloring test should be done after priming your Black Berkey filters and if you have PF-2 fluoride filters, before installing the PF-2 fluoride filters.
Due to the fact that artificial red food color is banned in the EU/UK because of health concerns the instructions for the red food color test are not the same as the instructions you find on the American Berkey system assembly sheet.
Please follow the instructions below.
Use only natural red food color sold in tiny 38-50ml bottles without any added glucose, sugars or thickening agents. These are available at all major supermarkets or Asian food shops. Do not use Tesco brand, Dr. Oetker Gel Food Color Bright Red or any other gel based food color.
Completely fill the upper chamber of a Travel, Light, Big or Royal Berkey with water, and then add a quarter (1/4) teaspoon or less of red food coloring to the upper chamber, stirring well. Add a half (1/2) teaspoon or less to the upper chamber of an Imperial or Crown Berkey. The water should have a slight pinkish tinge. If the food coloring is completely removed, your system is working properly. If not, make sure the wing nuts on the elements as well as the blocking plugs are securely tightened then re-run the test.
Once you have determined the water is running through clear for 5-10 minutes the remainder of the colored water in the upper chamber can be discarded.