Berkey Troubleshooting


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Is Your Berkey Not Working Properly?

Fear not. Try these troubleshooting tips to solve any problems you might have with your Berkey system. Of course, you can always contact our Customer Service for any issues that might arise. Our Berkey Care Lifetime Warranty covers manufacturing and workmanship defects to the stainless steel housings, standard spigot, washers, hole plugs, knob, or wing-nuts Berkey Water Filter System. If at any time these items fail due to defects in materials or workmanship Berkey Filters will replace them free of charge. 

Maintenance and Care Tips 

● Do not allow wet purification elements to freeze.

● Do not place purification elements in dishwasher.

● Do not place purification elements in microwave oven.

● Do not boil purification elements.

● Do not clean purification elements with detergents or soaps.

● Do not store purification elements until completely dry.

● Do not allow purification elements to sit in the direct sun for extended periods of time.

● Do not tighten purification element wing nuts with tools, hand tighten only.

● Do not place the Berkey® unit near a heat source or in direct sunlight.

Is your Berkey not filtering or filtering slowly?

There may be a couple reasons for why your Berkey might be filtering slowly. One of the most common remedies to you may need to clean your Black Berkey Filters. Depending on the water that you put into the top chamber, the pores in your filters may have become blocked. Try doing a full system clean to get your system running at peak performance. Learn more about Berkey Flow Rate.

Does Your System have an Air Lock?

What is an airlock? An air bubble prevents liquid from passing through. Most commonly found in pipes but can occasionally happen to a Berkey too. The upper and lower chamber fits very snuggly together, because of that it can create an air lock.  To fix this we recommend using an anti-airlock clip, or adjust your upper chamber to allow for air flow.

Have you cleaned your system?

Due to the exceptional filtering ability of the Black Berkey Purification Elements it blocks a lot of contaminants. It's no surprise that the pores become clogged. Follow the steps for cleaning the black filters and don't forget to reprime them. 

Does your Berkey water taste funny/weird/metallic/different?

Sometimes the first batch of water to go through you system might taste like metal or chlorine or plastic. Usually a system flush and priming your filters fixes this problem. Learn more about solutions for improving taste. 

Are you using the correct type of dye?

When doing the Red Dye Test it is critical that the correct type of dye is used. Artificial liquid red food coloring is the only type recommended for this test. Other dyes contain minerals and natural colors which may pass through the Black Berkey. Elements. Gel Food color should NOT be used.

Is you Berkey leaking?

Are you finding a little puddle of water on your counter near your Berkey? It may be for a variety of reasons. It may simply be your system is overfilled. Your system can only handle a few gallons at a time. Even if the upper chamber is empty, the lower chamber may be full and there's no where for the filtered water to go but out the seams between the upper and lower chamber. Take the guess work out of knowing how much water is in the lower chamber with a water view spigot. The other culprit might be parts not assembled correctly. If the spigot is not installed securely, it can leak water and make it appear as if water is leaking out of the rubber bottom of the system.

Are the washers and wing nuts installed correctly? 

The washer should be on the stem of the black filter inside the upper chamber, and the wingnut should be secured on the black filter stem in the lower chamber. If not you will not have a proper seal, and will cause your system to fail the Red Dye Test.

Are the wing nuts on securely?

Wing nuts should only be hand tightened to a snug fit, but not more. If the wing nuts are on too tight, this could cause stripping on the threads of the filter stem, preventing a correct seal. Never use tools to tighten anything on your Berkey.

Did your Berkey break?

If any of the parts or pieces are broken, you may be eligible for a replacement under the warranty. Inspect your order once it is received. If you find items to be missing or damaged, you must notify us within 10 days to be eligible for replacement. Claims of missing items or  damaged items after 10 days of receiving your package will not be approved. Follow these steps for reporting damaged items.

Has a purification element failed?

Try re-doing the Red Dye Test. Be sure to rinse off and re-prime the Black Berkey Filters first. Additionally, make sure you empty any excess water out of the bottom of the system or cups. The Black Berkey Filters are eligible for the Standard 2-Year Warranty (Prorated at 6-Month Intervals). The Black Berkey Purification Elements and unit housings are warranted to be free from defects in materials and workmanship for a 2-year period, prorated in 6-month intervals.

When should you replace your filters?

It depends on the scenario but most often, the Black Berkey Filters should be replaced after 3,000 gallons of use. How long is that? You can calculate your filter lifespan by using this equation (number of filters x 3,000) ➗  gallons used per day = filter lifespan (in days). Filters may wear out sooner if they have to work harder when filtering more contaminated water. Berkeys can filter river, lake, and pool water but we recommend only doing that in case of emergency to extend the life of your Black Filters. 

 RELATED: See Top Berkey Complaints



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