How To Clean Berkey Water Filters in the Sink or a Bucket

berkey-black-filters

How To Clean Berkey Filters

(Sometimes called black Berkey filters, filter elements, ceramic filters, or candles)

If you have a countertop / tabletop water filter system such as the Berkey or other brands that use ‘filter candle’ elements, every once in awhile you will need to clean the filters themselves. Eventually the water flow slows down as they get clogged.

I own two Berkey countertop water filters. One for the house, the other for the RV. I’ve owned them for MANY years. They have been a great investment! Clean, pure drinking water is #1 !

   

Berkey Water Filter System

Even though the Berkey water filters (elements) themselves will filter thousands of gallons (apprx. 3,000 gallons each), periodically they will require cleaning due to the contaminants of the sourced water which will adhere to the surface.

Note: You may simply need filter replacements (good to have spares) :

Berkey Purification Elements (Black)
Berkey Ceramic Elements (White)

Difference between the newer Berkey ‘black’ filters and the white ceramic:
Berkey Black Filters vs. White Ceramic

For your interest (PDF download) :
Specifications for Berkey’s black filter elements

 

How To Clean Berkey Water Filters In The Sink

how-to-clean-berkey-filter
image: BerkeyFilters

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 the filter under the running faucet, with the exit hole pointed up.

Note: Do not allow contaminated water to enter the core of the Berkey filtering element. This can be prevented by placing your finger over the hole where the water exits the filter.

5. Using a new ‘Scotch-Brite’ type scrubbing pad, carefully scrub the black surface of the filter element for several minutes.

6. Set the elements aside and wash your hands.

7. Reassemble the unit

 

How To Clean Berkey Water Filters In A Bucket

how-to-clean-berkey-filter-element
image: BerkeyFilters

Note: All water used to clean the filters and the unit must be free of harmful contaminants prior to proceeding.

Note: Do not allow contaminated water to enter the core of the Berkey filtering element. This can be prevented by placing your finger over the hole where the water exits the filter.

 
1. In a clean bucket, basin, or other similar container, add clean water. If you are forced to clean your Berkey system elements with compromised water, add 16 drops of household bleach or iodine for every gallon of water being used to clean the elements.

2. Empty all of the water from your Berkey system.

3. Remove the top container and set it on its side on a clean solid surface like a table or countertop.

4. Remove the filters by unscrewing the wing nut that secures the Black Berkey element to the container.

5. Using a new ‘Scotch-Brite’ type scrubbing pad, carefully scrub the outer black surface of the filtering element, rinsing it as needed in the clean water.

6. Clean all filters as described above and set them aside on a clean surface.

7. Empty the container and add more fresh, clean, bleach-treated water as described in precaution above.

8. Submerge the filters in the fresh, clean, bleach-treated water, and set them aside on a clean surface.

9. Wash your hands with soap.

10. Reinstall the filters in the system.

 

Tips

During the winter when I’m not using the trailer, I remove the Berkey and bring it inside the house because the filter elements could potentially crack under freezing conditions.

Don’t drop the filter elements! They are expensive!

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