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A Complete Guide to Berkey Replacement Filters

By Jeff Wise June 23, 2022

We all need water to live, but how many of us have access to clean water? Even though there's a legal limit on contaminants in drinking water in the US, as determined by the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are still over two million Americans living with polluted water.

No wonder water filters have become part of our norm. And one of the best filtration systems on the market is the Berkey Filter. Even the Berkey replacement filters are just as essential and effective.

Berkey's high-capacity system can provide clean and safe drinking water, and its replacement filters are convenient and easy to install. Keep reading to learn more about Berkey replacement water filters, how they work, and how you can benefit from using them.

 Black Berkey Replacement Filters

What Is a Berkey Water Filter?

What stands out about the Berkey water filter system is that it's not just a filter but a water purifier. Unlike conventional water filters, it's designed to remove 99.9999% pathogenic bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chlorine, and other impurities from your water. 

How Do Berkey Water Filters Work?

The water enters the stainless steel upper chamber of the Berkey system. With the help of gravity, the water goes through a gamut of Black Berkey Purification Elements to be filtered and is eventually emptied into a bottom compartment ready to drink.

The purification components manage to trap and absorb contaminants (arsenic, chromium, lead, mercury, etc.), while its ion exchange blocks waterborne pathogens and viruses from sneaking into your water. 

This purification process makes Berkey more effective than the other water filtration systems, which rely on pressure to push water molecules through various filtration stages.

Plus, Berkey filters retain healthy minerals in your water, such as calcium and magnesium. Other systems, like reverse osmosis and distillation, tend to remove both the harmful and beneficial stuff. 

In addition, the Black Berkey Elements filters can remove fluoride and arsenic from your drinking water by up to 99.9%. However, it loses its efficacy after purifying a few hundred gallons.

So you will need to include a post filter, such as the Berkey PF-2, to work alongside your primary filter. The PF-2 can extract fluoride and arsenic from up to 1,000 gallons of water.

Berkey Water Filter Replacement Options

Berkey offers two types of primary filters: the Black Berkey Purification Elements and white Super Sterasyl Ceramic Elements. Each Berkey filter comes standard with either two Black Berkey Elements filters or two Super Sterasyl Ceramic Elements, which are placed in the upper chamber of the system. 

Additionally, Berkey systems accommodate post filters that work in conjunction with the main filter. The Berkey PF-2 can be used with the Black Berkey, and the PF-4 works with the Super Sterasyl filters. These post filters are responsible for removing fluoride and arsenic from your water. 

And finally, there's the Sport Berkey Replacement Element for the portable Sport Berkey water bottle so you can drink filtered water on the go.

Here are further details on each replacement filter option to give you a better idea of what you need for your Berkey system to continue working at an optimal level.  

Black Berkey Purification Elements

This top-quality, gravity-fed water purification is made up of more than six different media types, which all fit in a compact space, comprising millions of microscopic pores. This powerful filter can withdraw bacteria, parasites, and viruses from the water you drink.

Black Berkey Elements are typically sold as a set of two. They can improve most gravity-fed water filtration systems. And they can be cleaned and are self-sterilizing.

Super Sterasyl Ceramic Elements

The Super Sterasyl Elements can be used in all Berkey systems as the primary filter. These ceramic filters employ granulated activated carbon to minimize chemical and organic compounds in your water.

Like the Black Berkey filter, the Super Sterasyl filter can be used in any Berkey filter system and is re-cleanable and self-sterilizing. However, they differ from the Black Berkey in a few ways. The ceramic filters cost less but don't filter viruses like Black Berkey. 

Berkey Fluoride and Arsenic Removal Water Filter (PF-2 and PF-4)

These filters are constructed to use simultaneously with the Black Berkey Elements filters for the adsorption of fluoride, arsenic, and other remaining heavy metal ions.

Composed of safe, BPA-free, non-leaching Polypropolene #5, the PF-2 and PF-4 have a new and improved high-yield aluminum oxide media specifically developed to extract fluoride and arsenic from your drinking water.

You can purchase the PF-2 or PF-4, depending on your primary filter, in a set of two. It's best to purge these post filters before use to avoid turbidity in the water

Berkey Replacement Filters Info Graphic

How Often Should You Replace Your Water Filter?

The best way to know how often you'll need to replace your water filter is to keep track of the number of refills you make per week. Then, multiply that number by the number of gallons your Berkey system holds. That figure will reveal how many total gallons you use per week.

Now, divide your filter's maximum capacity by your weekly amount of gallons used. The maximum number of gallons for each Black Berkey Element is 3,000. And since all Berkey systems require two upper chamber filters, you should have a maximum capacity to purify up to 6,000 gallons.

Once you divide those numbers, you should end up with the total number of weeks until it's time to replace your filters. And finally, calculate the date for replacement and write it down for future reference. Here's an example to help give you a better idea of how to determine your filter replacement date.

Suppose you use around five gallons daily, or 35 gallons a week. You may not need replacement filters for 1200 days, or around 171 weeks, which is over three years.

Note: The PF-2 fluoride filters need replacing every 1,000 gallons.

How to Test Your Filter to See if It Needs Replacing

Even though the Black Berkey Purification Elements can still reduce other contaminants beyond their capacity, you should replace your filters when they have reached the maximum gallons to avoid heavy metals lurking in your water.

But if you're not entirely sure that you need a replacement filter, there are a few things you can do to be sure. 

Check the Water Flow

You can observe the rate of the water flow. If the filter needs changing, you will start to see the water flow slow down significantly. That's because contaminants may be clogging your Black Berkey Elements.

Fortunately, the Berkey filters can be cleaned. Once you remove it from its compartment and lightly scrub it with a cleaning pad under water, your water flow should return to normal.

However, if you notice your water flow has not been restored, it may be time to replace the filter.   

Perform the Red Dye Test

This simple test will let you know if your filter is still purifying your water because artificial food dye acts like a contaminant that the Berkey filters should remove. 

To administer the test, pour red food coloring into a glass of water and add the dyed water to the upper chamber.

You should see clear water flowing into the bottom compartment. However, if there's any sign of red dye in that lower chamber, it's time to replace your filter. 

You can perform this test at any point during the filter's life, especially if you have doubts about whether your system is working correctly.

Remember that you should always mix the artificial red food coloring in water before pouring it into your filter. And always remove your PF-2 or PF-4 filter before doing the test.   

Four Black Berkey Replacement Filters

Benefits of Using Berkey Filters

Besides having a high capacity and long lifespan, Berkey filters can save you money, time, and the inconvenience of replacing filter cartridges every month. It's also environmentally friendly. Here are some other advantages of using Berkey filters. 

It Provides Healthier Hydration

You're aware that Berkey provides purified drinking water by reducing the contaminants and viruses in your water. Its ability to improve your water quality while maintaining the beneficial elements is why you receive healthier hydration with Berkey than with its more mainstream competitors.

It's Highly Cost-Effective

The Black Berkey Purification Elements' superior capabilities to purify up to 3000 gallons of drinking water makes Berkey highly cost-effective. And because of its longevity and the amount of water it holds, with some of the bigger systems holding more water, you can save money on costly replacements. 

It Offers Better Tasting Water

You may notice a difference in your water's flavor after using Berkey filters. Once those toxic chemicals and metals are removed, your water may have a crisper, smoother, and cleaner taste.

It's Powered by Gravity

The Berkey Filter doesn't need to be installed under or above your sink, nor does it require electricity to work. Instead, it relies on gravity to power its purification process. And all you need to do is place it on your countertop or wherever you want clean drinking water.

It's Portable

Berkey water filters come in different sizes, and they're all portable. That makes it easy to enjoy purified, great-tasting water anywhere you go. So whether you're camping with your family or having a backyard gathering, you can rely on your Berkey filter to supply the best-filtered water.

Where to Get Berkey Replacement Filters

Finding Berkey replacement filters shouldn't be difficult if you need to change your filter elements. You can find them at the lowest price right here.

Replacing the Berkey filters is pretty straightforward and should take very little time to install. Call us at 1-800-392-3321 if you run into any problems, and we'll gladly help. 


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