Faq Sections

Black Berkey® filter elements
What is the composition of Black Berkey® water filters?

The composition of the purification elements  Black Berkey® used in Berkey® systems is an exclusive, patent-protected formulation based on the assembly of six different types of specific media, including very high quality activated carbon. Assembled in a very compact matrix containing millions of microscopic pores, they allow the creation of a "tortuous path" through which the water will pass but not the pollutants. Indeed, these channels are so fine that all undesirable elements are inevitably captured. Through absorption and adsorption, even submicron viruses are blocked, which other water filters cannot achieve without chemicals.

The activated carbon block is impregnated with an ion exchange resin. Activated carbon adsorbs or chemically binds to organic compounds, such as petroleum-based fuels and solvents, many pesticides and pharmaceuticals. Ion exchange resin removes many dissolved metals from water by exchanging toxic heavy metals (such as lead, mercury and cadmium) for lighter, essentially harmless metals (such as sodium, the main component of table salt). All this allows for a complete and extremely efficient filtration.

Furthermore, the manufacturer Berkey® New Millenium Concept Ltd. confirms that no graphene oxide is used in the composition of the elements.

More details can be found on the page dedicated to the operation of Berkey® water filters.

Do Black Berkey® water filters contain silver?

That's right! Silver is used as an anti-microbial so that each Black Berkey® element can self-sterilize. Analysis was performed by an independent laboratory to ensure that the silver used does not dissolve in the purified water and this is exactly the case. The analysis concludes, "All control samples, including stock samples, positive and negative analytical controls, and the negative control collected prior to plating gave appropriate results and were accepted. Results for the leaching control samples (effluent sample spiked with MS2 and R. terrigena and analyzed at two time points) were quite similar, suggesting that no active antimicrobial agents dissolved in the treated water."

You can check the results in this full report.

Is the Black Berkey® water filter base BPA-free?

Yes! BPA is not present in any Berkey® system or any part of it. No BPA in Black Berkey® filters and no BPA in the Berkey Light® or Sport Berkey® Filter Bottle either.

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Berkey PF-2™ filters for fluoride and arsenic
Why prime Berkey® PF-2™ water filters?

When assembling, handling and shipping the filter elements, they may become loaded with a small amount of dust or harmless fine particles. For this reason, we recommend priming the Berkey® PF-2™ filter elements at both ends to remove the dust and before installing them in your Berkey® system. If this is not done properly, turbidity may occur during the first few water cycles.

The filter elements should be primed for approximately 30 seconds at both ends. It may be necessary to repeat this process up to ten times to remove all dust. An analysis was conducted to determine how turbidity decreases with the number of washings. A summary of the results is available below:

- One wash: turbidity reduced by > 94%.
- Two washes: Turbidity reduced by > 96%
- Three washes: turbidity reduction of a value > 98%

You can read the complete result of this test here

Turbidity will continue to decrease with each filling cycle of your Berkey® system. Although turbidity can be unsightly, it has no adverse health effects.

Berkey PF-2™ filters contain activated alumina. Is this the same as aluminum?

Berkey® PF-2™ water filters reduce fluoride and arsenic from water using aluminum oxide (activated alumina). What is important to know is that pure aluminum and aluminum oxide have very different characteristics. Pure aluminum is water soluble, highly reactive and has adverse health effects. On the other hand, aluminum oxide is not soluble in water, is inert, very stable and has no adverse health effects.

It should also be noted that aluminum oxide is not treated with cyanuric acid.

Learn more about aluminum oxide.

How do I store my Berkey PF-2™ water filters?

If the filters have already been used:

Berkey® PF-2™ elements can be stored in a refrigerator, within a short period of maximum 10 days (but not in a freezer). Remove the filters from the system, place them in a sealed plastic bag, and place them in the least cold part of the refrigerator so they do not freeze.

If you store them in the refrigerator, we recommend priming them for at least one minute, running water in both directions, before using them again.

Berkey PF-2™ elements should not be left in the open air to prevent the possible growth of certain bacteria in the holder.

If you have never used your filters:

If the elements are still in their original packaging and have not been opened, be sure to store them in an area that does not have strong odors, such as a laundry room or garage. Among other things, the elements contain carbon that could absorb odors from the room in which they are stored, such as soap or laundry detergent.

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Berkey® Sport Bottle Filter
What is the composition of the plastics that make up the Sport Berkey® filtering bottle (bottle, cap and straw)?

All plastics in the Sport Berkey® filter bottle are food grade, Bisphenol A (BPA) free.

- The bottle is made of low density polyethylene

- The cap is made of high density polyethylene

- The straw is made of polypropylene.

Why shouldn't I let the filter of the Berkey® Sport Bottle freeze?

To refresh the water in your bottle, you may want to put your Sport Berkey® filtering bottle in the freezer for about 20 minutes. ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!

We formally advise you against letting the filtration elements freeze. We also advise against storing the elements (even unused ones) in very cold climates. Indeed, very cold or frozen water may expand inside the filter and consequently increase the size of the pores, which would make the filtration inoperative. Whether the elements are unused or used and completely dried, a small amount of moisture may still remain inside the filter, especially in predominantly humid climates. This moisture could expand inside the element and render it unusable.

This recommendation applies to ALL of our Berkey® filter elements. Freezing your element and rendering it unusable will void your warranty coverage.

What is the maximum temperature that the Berkey® Sport Bottle can be subjected to?

In certain situations, your Sport Berkey® filter bottle can be subjected to high temperatures. This is the case, for example, if it is left in the trunk of your car in the sun...

You should therefore remember that your filtering bottle should not be subjected to temperatures above 46°.

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Berkey® Light Water Purifier
Are there phthalates in the Berkey Light® water filter?

No, there are no phthalates in the chambers of the Berkey Light®. Berkey® plastics are copolyester and guaranteed BPA-free.

In addition, the Black Berkey® purification element reduces certain phthalates, including butylbenzylphthalate and diethylphthalate.

Find detailed test results for Black Berkey® purification elements.

What are Berkey Light® systems made of and do they contain Bisphenol A (BPA)?

Since 2008, the Berkey Light® is no longer made of polycarbonate as it was before, but on the basis of a copolyester (elastomers based on thermoplastic polyester) which does not contain Bisphenol A, and which is also very solid, resistant to scratches, stains, shocks and odors.

What is the recommended maintenance for the Berkey Light® water filter?

The Berkey Light®, like all other Berkey® water purification systems, requires little maintenance.

It is essentially a matter of cleaning from time to time: we suggest washing the lower chamber once a month with soapy water (washing-up liquid). In areas with hard water, lime deposits can build up on various parts of the system after prolonged use. To remove it, soak the affected part(s) in vinegar or a 50-50% vinegar/water mixture for about 15 minutes. Finish by cleaning with soapy dishwater, then rinse.

After prolonged use, it is possible that the flow rate of your system may decrease. To correct this, simply scrub the outside of each  Black Berkey® purification element with a stiff brush or ScotchBrite® pad and reboot the elements.

We also recommend keeping the Berkey Light® out of direct sunlight.

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Use and maintenance of Berkey® water purifiers
How do you assemble and operate your Berkey® water purifier?

See the assembly document for a diagram and specific instructions on how to assemble your Berkey® stainless steel water purifier.

This document also contains instructions for placing the filter elements.

For more details, you can consult the specific Black Berkey® element priming document.

Assembly Verification Test

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.

The purpose of this test is to confirm that the system has been assembled as intended and that there are no internal leaks in your system. We recommend performing this test after the first assembly of our systems, after the removal or replacement of Black Berkey® components, or when using the system for the first time after drying and storing the components for an extended period.

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.


- 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 of the volume indicated below:


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) :

1/8 teaspoon (10 drops) for 4 litres of water:
- Travel Berkey® - 4 litres of water, 10 drops
- Big Berkey® - 8 litres, 20 drops
- Royal Berkey® - 8 litres, 20 drops
- Imperial Berkey® - 8 litres, 20 drops
- Crown Berkey® - 8 litres, 20 drops

- 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.


- 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.
When you carry out the test for the second time, remember to take a video of what you did (mixing the dye, filling the high tank, filtering in independent containers). Proof must be provided in the event of a positive test and a complaint.

What is the most convenient way to fill the upper chamber of my Berkey® water purifier?

Most people use a carafe or pitcher to pour water into the upper chamber. If you have a faucet with a hose on your sink, this can also be a good solution.

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Top 10 frequently asked questions
How long do Berkey® filters last?

The service life of Berkey® filters has been calculated according to laboratory tests. It is different depending on the type of filter.

What are PF-2™ filters for?

PF-2™ filters are optional filters, placed underneath the Black Berkey® filters in the lower tank and are specifically used to filter out arsenic, fluorides and heavy metals from the water. Although the Black Berkey® filters themselves perform well on this type of pollution, a high concentration of these pollutants could saturate them before their normal life span. To determine if these filters are necessary for your system, refer to the analysis of the water you are filtering.

More details on these filters can be found in the product sheet.

What is the Berkey® system's filtration fineness?

Black Berkey® filters act in a "mechanical" way by retaining pollutants in the millions of micro channels that compose it and also thanks to other layers, such as the ion exchange membrane or activated carbon. For the purely mechanical part, it is estimated that the filtration fineness is below 24 nanometers (0.024 microns) which corresponds to the size of certain viruses that are effectively filtered such as MS2 or Fr Coliphage.

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I got my Berkey®!
Checking your package

When you receive your package, take out the delivery note and check that you have the items you ordered. If you forget or make a mistake, contact us immediately via the contact form so that we can correct your problem as soon as possible.

Your package always contains an invoice and all the necessary instructions in your language.

After unpacking, I found a product in my package is damaged.

Your package was delivered to you in normal conditions and was perfectly intact but when you unpack it you notice that one of the articles is damaged!

You must contact our customer service immediately via our contact form, specifying the problem and attaching a photo. We will solve your problem as soon as possible.

The importance of reading your instructions


Assembly and maintenance instructions are provided in your language for every purchase from our store. Please read them carefully and keep them in a safe place. They will help you with the installation but also contain information for the maintenance of your system.

It is essential to take note of them, they contain important steps that must be carried out chronologically so that your system can be put into service correctly. Installation or commissioning without reading these instructions may result in malfunction or damage to your Berkey® system. You can also find videos to help you with the installation by following this link: Installation videos

Orders and deliveries
I have not received an order confirmation

When your payment is confirmed on our site, an order confirmation e-mail is automatically sent to you within a few minutes. If you do not receive this email, you must check a few points:

- Look in the spam folder of your emails to check if it has not been discarded by your email provider

- Check the email address you entered in your customer file by logging into your account. If you can not connect to your account, you can find information in this topic: I can not access my customer account. Change your e-mail and contact us via the contact form so that we can send you your order confirmation e-mail.

- If none of the two previous points allows to find the reason of not receiving your order confirmation email, please contact us via the contact form, we will answer you as soon as possible.

I have a problem paying online

If you encounter a problem during the payment of your order by credit card via the E-transactions platform, we invite you to contact us via the form by specifying the error encountered and your name. We will be able to tell you how to solve your problem.

If it is a PayPal payment, please contact PayPal customer service.

Withdrawal terms

IYou may have changed your mind and wish to withdraw from the contract. This possibility is offered to you during the 14 days following the reception. Several conditions are required and are detailed in our Return Policy, which we encourage you to read carefully.

Please note that Berkey® systems are classified as sanitary and hygiene equipment and as such are not eligible for the "money back" guarantee unless they have been assembled and/or used. You should know that this rule comes from a European directive and is applicable to all Berkey® certified retailers, even if this is not always explicitly detailed.

Your request must be made by e-mail to our customer service. No returns will be accepted without prior agreement.

Please make sure that your return package is well protected so that your product does not suffer any damage during transport, otherwise your return will be refused.

We cannot accept returns if the product has been opened, handled or used, a team checks each return. If your product had a seal, it must be intact.

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