ASSISTANCE AND TIPS
McCormick® red dye
recommended by Berkey®
Black Berkey® filter test
Ensures correct fitting
Validates filter efficiency
Not compatible with PF-2 filters
Follow the instructions for use
Berkey® Recommended McCormick® Dye - 10 ml
McCormick® dye, specially imported from the USA, is the dye recommended by the manufacturer Berkey®.
It is the dye to use when testing your system, partly because it is red and artificial, and partly because it does not contain glucose, E330 and thickeners, or other types of dyes such as E110 (derived from yellow) which can distort the results.
When should I test my system?
At the end of the life of your Black Berkey® filters: after calculating the estimated life of your filters (see the calculation method in our FAQ), you can proceed with the test to find out if your filters need to be changed.
To ensure that your installation is properly sealed: if the test fails, it can reveal insufficient sealing of the blocking plugs (for models with 4 or more holes) or incorrect tightening of the butterfly nuts, or a faulty butterfly nut. If this is the case, carry out the checks as outlined in the instructions available here.
If you are filtering water other than tap water: If you have decided to filter water from your well, water collector, borehole or any other source, you must ensure that the filters are correctly installed and working properly. You should also take note of the manufacturer's recommendations for this case (available in our FAQ).
Capacity: 10 ml
Composition: Water, Propylene Glycol, FD&C Reds 40 & 3 and Propylparaben
Black Berkey® water filters are so effective they can remove red food coloring from water. This is a foolproof way to test your system and make sure it's working properly.
We recommend that you perform this test the first time you use your system and every three to six months thereafter.
The staining test is designed only for Black Berkey® purification elements. It should not be done for the Berkey® Sport Bottle Filter or the PF-2 filters.
The food coloring must be RED and LIQUID. Red food coloring (unlike other colorings) does not contain minerals, so your filter will consider it a contaminant and filter it out.
You can find this food coloring in small bottles in specialty stores or hobby and craft stores. You must choose a liquid colorant and not a gel, and check its composition: it must not contain any sugar, glucose or thickener. The dye must not be E120 Carmine (cochineal) or E162 Betanin (beet).
You must therefore check that the dye used contains either E122 (Crimson), E123 (Amaranth), E124 (Ponceau), E127 (Erythrosine), E129 (Allura Red) or E180 (Ruby).
The red food color test should be performed after priming your Black Berkey® purification elements and WITHOUT THE PF-2™ FILTERS.
TO RUN THE TEST:
- Start with an empty system (upper and lower chambers) and remove all Berkey PF-2™ fluoride and arsenic reduction filters (if installed). If they remain in place, the warranty on these filters will no longer be valid.
- Take only the top chamber (with the Black Berkey® elements installed) and place it on containers (glasses, cups, vases, etc.) of similar size so that there is a container under each filter. This will isolate any defective filters.
- In a separate container filled with water, add the dye in the proportions indicated below. Mix well. DO NOT pour the dye directly into the tank. Prepare a mixture with as much water as the upper tank will hold.
DOSING THE COLOURING European Brand :
1/4 teaspoon (3-5 drops) of red food colouring for a Travel, Big or Royal Berkey®, or 1/2 teaspoon (5-10 drops) for an Imperial or Crown Berkey®.
DOSAGE OF MCCORMICK COLOURING recommended by Berkey® (Available on our shop) :
1 teaspoon per 4.5 litres of water, as following :
- 1 teaspoon for a Berkey® Travel
- 1.5 teaspoons for a Big Berkey
- 2.5 teaspoons for a Royal Berkey
- 3.5 teaspoons for Imperial Berkey
- 4 and a half spoons for a Crown Berkey®.
- Let the water run into the containers.
If the red food coloring does not appear in any of the cups, your purification system is working properly.
If the water in any of the containers is red or has a pinkish tinge, the filter in question is defective or exhausted or the seal is not properly secured.
IF YOU FIND DYE IN ANY OF THE CONTAINERS, PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING:
- Are the nuts secure? Please do not tighten them with tools. They should be tightened by hand for a perfect fit. If the nuts are too tight, it could cause the threads to deform, preventing a proper seal.
- Did you use "red food coloring"? Red food coloring is the only type recommended for this test.
- Is the washer positioned on the stem inside the upper chamber and the nut attached below? If the washer is on the outside of the chamber with the nut, you will not have a proper seal, which will cause your system to malfunction. Place the washer inside the upper chamber and retest.
- Are the locking plugs properly sealing the unused holes (without a filter element)? Are the plugs installed and tightened with a washer on each side? If the plugs leak, the test will fail. Tighten the plugs more firmly and retest.
- If you are testing an item that has already failed, flush it and reboot it previously.
If, despite all these precautions, you find that a filter fails the stain test, please contact us.
To help you, you can watch our video on how to perform the stain test.