My Berkey Water Filter Elements have slowed down, what do I do now?
The following case studies are from actual events from our interaction with customers and our own personal use
Case Study 1.
Hi, my Berkey Elements have slowed down and not flowing anymore
How long have you owned your Berkey?
12 months now
When was the last time you cleaned the Black Berkey Elements?
Are you supposed to clean them?
Build-up of sediment and turbidity from the water over time on the surface of the Black Berkey Elements causing the tiny micro pores to be blocked
Remove the Black Berkey Elements and wash under water with a “New” green scotch brite or hard bristle “New” scrubber (New to avoid contamination of food stuffs being pressed into the surface of the elements causing further blocking)
Clean briskly till some charcoal is noticed to be coming away to renew the surface of the element (The Berkey Element wall construction is 14.5mm thick, small amounts of charcoal removed causes no harm or effects the purification process, the element is quite sturdy in strength)
Once the Black Berkey Element has been cleaned, reprime the element as done when first assembled to ensure best water flow results, this also gives opportunity to release and surface particles to be flushed away
Reassemble and Berkey Purifier System and fill with water, observe now the new flow rate over the next hour.
For further Berkey support video instructions on how to clean and prime the elements, please click HERE
Case Study 2.
Hi, my Berkey Water Purifier slows down after I open the spigot to fill a cup, the flow is ok at first but then slows down and my sight gauge spigot is showing half full but the bottom reservoir is only one third full, makes no sense
Let us first check and see if spigot mechanism is the problem for the flow, please open the sight gauge spigot all the way backwards in the full open unassisted position, this may need you to angle the spigot lever to one side to make this possible. (This only applies to a sight gauge spigot, the standard spigot does not go all the way over but does have a full open unassisted position and 304 stainless steel spigot is a standard position tap)
Yes, the water is flowing well but is slowing again and all the water in the sight spigot sight glass has drained out.
What is the water level now showing after the spigot is turned off?
It has risen to near the same place and is indicating it is above the actual level of the reservoir?
Have you overflowed the Berkey recently with water from overfilling?
Yes, a couple of days ago
Lift the top reservoir up off of the bottom reservoir for just a brief moment
Yes, the water level in the sight gauge spigot has now dropped to indicate the correct level of the water in the bottom reservoir and water is flowing out of the spigot with no problems
With the water level having had contact with the stainless-steel contact surfaces between the upper and bottom reservoirs (too neat a finish on the contact joining point of stainless steel surfaces), the water has created a seal (air lock) preventing air flow from exiting or entering the bottom chamber causing slow water flow from the top chamber into the bottom chamber and the slowed water flow from the spigot.
The water pressure available is only .434 psi per 12inches (30.5cm) of water head pressure in the top chamber at the lowest point of entry on the 9” Black Berkey element, this is actually one of the strengths of a gravity system that holds back so well the contaminants on the filter media plus the contact time that the whole water filtration industry talks about as a necessary requirement for best purification results, gravity makes all the difference.
Simply lift the top chamber off of the bottom enough to break the water seal and the water film will reside away and return back to normal. (When the warmer months returns it is most unlikely to happen)
Case Study 3. (This is a conversation and events of a new Berkey Water Purifier purchase)
My old system I would like to replace is a pressurised system and well know brand, I generally get about 6 months out of the filters as the water slows to a dribble and I have no other choice but to purchase a new filter kit
It sounds like the area you live in has a sediment problem more than anything
There are more reasons I want to but the Berkey and I believe it will be more economical than spending $500 per year on replacement filters
Ok then it is worth trying out the Berkey because the Black Berkey Elements are cleanable and do a great job at purifying water, plus there is a solution we can use if your sediment becomes an issue
Customer; (1 week after purchase of new Berkey Water Purifier System)
Can you send me the link so I can purchase the .5 micron carbon block pre-filter as my Berkey has slowed down very quickly in the span of a week, it appears the sediment is a definite problem in our suburb and also may have been the cause with my previous pressurised system, but now this solution only requires an inexpensive replacement .5 micron carbon block silver impregnated filter whenever I need it that only cost’s just over $20.00, plus I still maintain all the good minerals I want in my water and now I am looking forward to not having to clean my Berkey Water Elements only a possible rare occasion. Click HERE to see the .5 micron carbon block pre-filter (Optional Extra)
It appears that some suburbs may have a sediment problem, especially if there is any new developments taking place or main water pipe supply change outs in progress.
We ourselves can have a few months of not having to clean our elements and then just a couple of weeks later we have experienced them slow down and upon inspection of the water quality using a white container it is found that the water is brown, not that we have to but we have chosen to pre-filter to avoid such and also enjoy no element cleaning, plus being practicing raw plant based vegans for many years we have vegetables still muddied from the farm show up in our shopping that we can clean away the mud with the carbon block pre-filter that is either installed in the kitchen at the faucet or in the laundry using an inline connector fitting with our washing machine cold water hose (no plumber required)
But we always finish off cleaning our vegies with Berkey Purified Water before we use them for our juicing or cooking
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