Berkey Light Water Filter FAQ
We recommend keeping the Berkey Light out of direct sunlight to prevent growth of algae. The only other maintenance we suggest is to wash the lower chamber once per month with soapy dishwater. In areas with hard water, calcium scale may build up on spigot and chambers after prolonged use. To remove, soak affected part(s) in vinegar or a 50-50% mix of vinegar and water for about 15 minutes. Finish by cleaning with soapy dishwater. After prolonged use, the flow rate of your system may decrease significantly. To speed up flow rate, simply scrub exterior of each purification element with a stiff brush or ScotchBrite® pad and re-prime elements.
What makes the Berkey Light such a popular system is that it is portable, lightweight, and see-through. The Berkey Light also has a great amount of storage capacity at 2.75 gallons. A favorite feature of Berkey Light is its base. The base allows some space between the counter top and the spigot. In addition, when used with the Berkey Light LED Base, the water droplets light up and glow, which result in soothing patterns of light onto the surrounding area.
In the past the Berkey Light systems were made of food grade polycarbonate that was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Some research suggests that polycarbonates have been known to leach BPA (Bisphenol-A) when either exposed to High Strength Industrial Grade Alkaline Detergents or when they are repeatedly exposed to temperatures in excess of 192 degrees Fahrenheit (over 88 degrees Celsius); neither of which occurs when utilizing the Berkey Light system. New studies concerning the possible leaching of BPA are on going. There has also been a wealth of mis-information circulated over the airwaves and the Internet. The FDA stated in April 2008 that it was not recommending anyone discontinue using products that contain BPA while they continue their risk assessment process. Even with such statements from the FDA, New Millennium Concepts determined that it was in the best interest of our customers to utilize an alternative to the polycarbonate previously used to produce the Berkey Light system. Fortunately, in 2008, a new product was developed that is BPA FREE. New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. replaced the polycarbonate material with this new material to alleviate any concerns that our customers might potentially have. Not only is this co-polyester highly durable and dishwasher safe, it is also scratch, stain, shatter and odor-resistant. PLEASE NOTE: Over the past year there has been an increasing concern over containers that contain the recycle code #7. The recycle code found on the bottom of plastic containers is called Resin Identification Codes. Polycarbonate is simply one type of plastic that falls under the code #7. Code #7 is a catchall code that basically means “Other” and most products that do not fit into categories #1 through #6 are placed into category #7. It is also for products that are made from more than one type of plastic in category #1 through #6. The new co-polyester that the Berkey Light system utilizes is also categorized into #7 although it is not a polycarbonate and does not contain any BPA.
This is not something that happens very often. However, it is possible that if there is excessive pressure put on the spigot it may cause stress fractures. There would need to be a great deal of strain or force put on the Berkey Light for it to crack or break.
The manufacture has made a change in the plugs utilized in the Berkey Light systems. The exit holes in the upper container of the Berkey Light systems has slightly increased. Accordingly, we have also slightly increased the diameter of the blocking plugs. This change was made so that the hole plugs used for the stainless steel systems are universal and can be used with the Berkey Light systems. The new larger size hole plug will fit into all Berkey Light systems with a production year of 2014 or later. All Berkey Light systems with a production year of 2013 or earlier will require the smaller hole plugs. The manufacturing date on the system can be found on the embossing on the bottom of the upper chamber. Look for a circle with a two-digit number in it. If the number in the middle of the circle is 14 or larger, then the larger hole plugs are needed. If the number in the circle is 13 or lower, then the smaller plugs will be needed. If you require replacements for the smaller hole plugs, please contact customer service for availability at 1-800-350-4170.
When the water has been purified, it is stripped of chemicals that would normally prevent the growth of algae. This is one factor that can allow algae to potentially occur. The second is light. If the Berkey is near a window and in the sunlight, the combination of the purified water and heat from the sun provides ideal conditions for algae to grow. The LED Light of the Berkey Light Stand can create the same effect if left on too long. The growth of algae can be avoided by relocating the system away from direct sunlight or by not using the LED lights as frequently. It is also important to wash the plastic housing monthly with soap and water. Our customers have reported that by placing a pure silver coin in the lower chamber, that the algae is unable to grow. This is due to the natural anti-microbial properties of silver. If you prefer this option, an American Eagle coin (99.999% pure silver) would work well. While we would not know the exact type of algae that is growing, most blue-green algae’s are healthful food sources. We suggest Googling spirulina for more information about blue-green algae being healthful.