Tips on Getting Rid of That Initial Metallic Taste

Excited to open your brand new Berkey but have a metallic taste? We can help - Find tips to remove the initial metallic taste that some people occasionally report with their Berkey. 

If you are reading this article, it’s likely that you are one of a small number of customers who report experiencing a metallic taste in the water from their new Berkey water filter system. While this is naturally concerning for anyone, there is probably nothing wrong with your filter. By following the proper procedures for initial system setup, we will show you how to get your Berkey water filter system producing the cleanest, best tasting water you can get.

Fluoride Filter Setup

The most common cause of the initial metallic taste is failure to fully prime the PF-2 fluoride filters. The granular nature of the fluoride-capturing media in the Berkey PF-2 filter naturally results in some finer material being present. This harmless process dust is an unavoidable part of the manufacturing and shipping of the filters and is easily removed from the filter media by priming. 

With the blue end caps in place, start by gently washing the outside of the filter with soap and water. Then, remove the end caps and put the tan purging button on one end of the filter. Press the opening of the filter against the end of the faucet. The priming button will help form a seal against the end of the faucet and facilitate priming. Slowly turn on the cold water and let it run until the water runs clear out the other end of the filter. Now, turn the filter over and repeat the process in the other direction. 

After three repetitions of this process, all cloudiness and metallic taste should be removed. If the problem persists, rare instances have required up to 10 priming cycles to completely eliminate all taste. This process requires a little bit of patience, but the payoff is well worth the work.

Berkey little girl

Full System Flush

Whether or not you are using PF-2 filters, it’s a good idea to perform an initial system flush when setting up Big Berkey water filters or any Berkey water purification system. 

To begin, wash both upper and lower chambers with soap and water and rinse thoroughly. Completely prime the Black Berkey filter elements according to the instructions. After proper priming, install the filters according to the instructions along with any fluoride post filters (prime as described above). Finally, fill the upper chamber. When all the water has collected in the lower chamber, throw it away. Repeat this process at least three times for a full system flush. In the vast majority of cases, this should eliminate any and all issues with a metallic taste. 

Berkey Filters on counter

Red Dye Test

If a metallic taste persists even after the measures described above, the best thing is to check whether the Black Berkey filter elements are working as they are designed to. A very handy feature of Berkey purification systems is that they can remove red food coloring from water; a feat not many water filters can claim. This fact gives us visible feedback on how well our filter elements are working. 

To do the red dye test, start with an artificial red food coloring like Mccormick’s food coloring into the upper chamber. It is important to use only artificial red dye, because that most closely simulates the contaminants that the filter elements target. 

The red dye test only pertains to the Black Berkey filter elements, so the fluoride post filters will be set aside during this test. 

The idea is to position the upper chamber so that the water flowing through each filter element will drip into its own individual glass. In this way, you can get a read on each element and identify any potential problems. 

Any tinge of redness in the water that drips through into the glasses set below the upper chamber indicates an issue. For more in-depth instructions on how to perform a red dye test, as well as a helpful video, click here.  You will also find a troubleshooting guide on how to proceed in the event of a positive result. 

Nobody wants to open up their brand new water filtration system and find they have an issue with an off taste in the filtered water. We get it. However, like many other sophisticated technologies, a high-quality water purification system requires a break-in period to function at peak performance. By following these simple procedures for initial setup of your Berkey water purification system, you can avoid any issues and start enjoying great drinking water from the start!

Does Berkey Remove
Chromium 6?

While most water filters don’t remove chromium-6, the good news is Berkey filters remove >99.8% of Chromium-6.

Does Berkey Remove Minerals?

Learn more about beneficial minerals in your water.

Do Berkey Filters Change Your pH Level

Depending on your water, Berkey may change the pH level