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How & When to Clean Black Berkey Filters

The use of clean water filters is vital to a healthy lifestyle. One of the reasons Black Berkey filter elements last so long is their ability to maintain their integrity during a thorough cleaning. Berkey water filter elements, regardless of their variety, boast this quality. The unique composition of the Black Berkey purification element creates a pore structure so small that minute particulates become trapped on the very outermost surface of the filter. Over time, like all filters, this will cause the flow rate to decrease. At this time, people will find themselves having to shop online for replacement water filter systems. There is no need to buy a replacement with Black Berkey filters; in fact, as part of a regular maintenance routine, our black filter elements can be cleaned up to 100 times before the need to purchase a replacement.

How often should you clean Black Berkey Filters, or How do you know when they need to be cleaned?

If you are using well water

If you are using well water, the "turbidity" - the silt and sediment in the water - may gradually build up in the exterior layer of the filter element until it blocks the water from going through. You will know this happens when the flow rate diminished to the point where the water no longer goes through the filter. At this point you should clean your filters - see directions below

If you are using city water

If you are using city water there is no "turbitidy" in the water - no silt or sediment to clog the pores. In this case the flow rate will never diminish. However, the filter media will reach it's capacity at some point, and when it does the great taste of the Berkey water will change back to the taste of chlorine, like pool water. When this happens, it is time to purchase new filters.


When cleaning Berkey water filter systems, it is important to keep some things in mind. While this system can effectively purify untreated pond or river water, always use the cleanest, clearest source possible when cleaning the Berkey filter elements. As an additional precaution, if using water that may contain high concentrations of bacteria or viral contamination, add 16 drops of household bleach to every gallon of water being used. Then filter water through your Berkey system.

Cleaning Instructions for Black Berkey Filters

  1. Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.
  2. Remove the top container and set it on its side on a solid surface like a table or countertop.
  3. Remove the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.
  4. Hold each filter under running water
  5. Scrub the black surface of the filter element for several minutes. You will feel the granular surface coming off.
  6. Rinse the filter, then re-install it into the Berkey system.
That's it!

Don't hesitate to call with any questions: 877-702-4433.
Information on how to assemble and care for you Berkey Water Filter System.