Berkey Shower Filter FAQ

TECHNICAL INFORMATION

In the shower environment, chlorine can either be in liquid or gas state. At higher water temperatures in the enclosed shower stall, free-chlorine moves from the liquid to the gas state, where it vaporizes and subsequently is inhaled. The United States regulates all shower head flow at 2.5 gallons per minute. Thus, the science behind shower filtration must take into account the unique situation in the shower, including temperature, flow rate and volume. Since chlorination is a long established public health practice necessary for the disinfection of drinking water, consumers are aware of the health benefit drinking filtered water can provide. However, it’s surprising for some people to learn that 50% of their daily exposure is in the shower. The other 50% comes from their drinking water. Therefore, filtering shower water is equally as important as filtering drinking water. Documented scientific studies conclude that taking long hot showers is a potential health risk. In the enclosed shower stall, chlorine vaporizes where it is inhaled. To a lesser degree, dermal absorption also occurs. Chlorine is added to kill pathogenic microorganisms, such as bacteria. The highly reactive chlorine combines with fatty acids and carbon fragments to form a variety of toxic compounds. Medical studies suggest a link between absorption and inhalation of chlorine in the shower environment with elevated risks for diseases and serious illness. Showering in chlorinated water may also cause pre-existing conditions such as asthma and eczema, to become exacerbated. In addition to the benefits of filtering water, there are cosmetic benefits. Symptoms of chlorine exposure are dry and/or flaking skin, dry brittle hair and red irritated eyes. Filtering your shower water reduces these symptoms. Using a patented blend of high-purity Calcium Sulfide, Copper and Zinc; the Berkey® Shower Filter unit works on a similar principle to a Catalytic Converter in an automobile. In shower filtration free-chlorine is converted into a harmless chloride salt. The scientific name for this chemical reaction is known as “Reduction-Oxidation”, commonly referred to as Redox. Redox reactions can be chemically complex. Simply stated, during a Redox reaction electrons are transferred between molecules, creating new elements. For instance, when free-chlorine comes in contact with the filtration media, it is changed into a benign water-soluble chloride. This reaction changes free-chlorine to a larger chloride molecule. This is too large to evaporate or be absorbed by the skin. It is then carried harmlessly through the water supply. This salt-based molecule requires more energy (heat) to evaporate than a water heater at industry-standard maximum temperatures allow and is too large to be absorbed by the skin. It is then carried harmlessly through the water supply. The media used in the Berkey® Shower Filter converts free chlorine and some combined chlorines to a harmless chloride salt. The media, a proprietary blend of Copper, Zinc and Calcium Sulfide works well in a variety of temperatures from hot to cold.

NOTE: If possible do not use the Berkey® Shower Filter unit with a shut-off valve. If a shut-off valve is absolutely necessary, please make sure it is installed inline above and before the Berkey® Shower Filter unit. Use of a shut-off valve after the Berkey® Shower Filter unit may result in excessive pressure buildup inside the Berkey® Shower Filter unit causing the filter to be damaged and voiding your warranty.

The Berkey Shower Filter’s maximum operating temperature is rated at 120°F. However in order to avoid scalding in the shower, we recommend the temperature not exceed 110°F.

The Berkey Shower Filter testing is based on continual usage. The process of oxidation occurs once the filter is activated by water and thus will lose its filtering capability over time. If your shower filter has not been used in a few months, we recommend that it be replaced.

The Berkey shower water filter contains a patented high purity blend of zinc, calcium, and copper which are most effective in reducing free chlorine, dirt, and odors. Proprietary filter media also kills bacteria and inhibits the growth of bacteria, algae, and fungi. As an added benefit our filter media is completely safe, so the process is not toxic and does not cause any adverse side effects. Features of Berkey Water Filter Systems: Effective in both hot and cold water Reduces up to 95% of chlorine Reduces chemical absorption and vapor inhalation in the shower environment. Reduces the levels of hydrogen sulfide, iron, and iron oxide Contains bacteriostatic media Reduces damage to hair and skin Back Flush Attachment to prevent premature clogging Includes Massage Shower Head Chlorine Vapor in the Shower: In the shower environment, chlorine can either be in liquid or gas state. At higher water temperatures in the enclosed shower stall, free-chlorine moves from the liquid to the gas state, where it vaporizes and subsequently is inhaled. The United States regulates each water filter for shower use, and all shower filters must flow at 2.5 gallons of water per minute. Thus, the science behind shower head water filtering must take into account the unique situation in the shower, including temperature, flow rate and volume. Berkey understands this process and took all of these factors into account while developing our unique shower water filters. The Berkey Shower Filter works on a similar principle to a catalytic converter in an automobile. Inside the shower filter, free chlorine is converted into a harmless chloride. The scientific name for this chemical reaction taking place inside the Berkey shower filter is known as "Reduction-Oxidation," commonly referred to as Redox. Redox reactions can be chemically complex. Simply stated, during a Redox reaction electrons are transferred between molecules, creating new elements. For instance, when free chlorine comes in contact with the Berkey filtration media, it is changed into a benign, water-soluble chloride. This reaction changes free-chlorine to a larger chloride element, too large to evaporate or be absorbed by the skin. Hospitals, restaurants, municipal water treatment facilities, and homes rely on this same process media to safely reduce or remove free chlorine, iron, iron oxides, hydrogen sulfide and bacteria from their water. Berkey process granules are high-purity copper-zinc formulations that are used in shower filter applications to reduce iron, iron oxide, hydrogen sulfide, microorganisms, and scale. Shower water filtered through redox media controls microorganism growth and reduces bacteria and other microorganisms by electron transport, causing cellular damage. Inside the Berkey filter the process media also kills bacteria by direct electrochemical contact and by the flash formation of hydroxyl radicals and hydrogen peroxide, both of which interfere with a micro- organism's ability to function. High-purity copper-zinc redox media consistently remove 95% of free chlorine by electrochemically reducing dissolved chlorine gas to water-soluble chloride ions. When pressurized shower water is filtered through the Berkey shower filter media, soluble lead cations are reduced to insoluble lead atoms, which are electroplated onto the surface of the filter. Filter replacement: All Berkey shower filters purchased typically last 20,000 gallons before needing replacement or one year whichever comes first, in which case you would need to shop for and buy another one online.

The Berkey Shower Filter with massaging shower head will be approximately 9" long once assembled (8.25"L x 3"D). The Berkey Replacement Shower Filter is 3" in diameter with a length of 5.5". The filter will fit most standard shower arms that have a 0.5" diameter. This is the standard US sizing.

Chlorine exists in two forms as combined available chlorine and free available chlorine. Combined available chlorine is present as chloramine or other derivatives in water. Free available chlorine is the residual chlorine present as dissolved gas, hypochlorous acid, or hypochlorite not combined with ammonia. It is free available chlorine that presents the most danger to the human, and it is this form of chlorine that the Berkey® Shower Filter removes.

NOTE: Simple OTO (orthotoluidine) type chlorine tests cannot be relied upon to show the presence of free available chlorine. This type of test also shows the presence of combined chlorine. When testing for free available chlorine, an inexpensive test is the DPD (N,N-diethyl-p-phenylenediamine) type test method.

The Berkey Shower Filter can withstand a maximum pressure of 60 PSI.

 

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