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How To Install Berkey Filters

By Jeff Wise November 06, 2023

If you are a new Berkey owner, it's important to know exactly how to install Berkey filters to have the tastiest, cleanest water possible.

It may feel overwhelming to learn how to install a Berkey water filter, but it's actually quite easy.

The ease of assembly is just one reason why so many people love Berkey systems.

How To Install Berkey Filters Infographic

The First Steps of Berkey Filter Installation

Upon receiving your Berkey system, you'll notice that Berkey filter instructions are included.

These instructions share exactly what items will be found in your Berkey system box.

Assembly instructions will also be included.

After unloading the Berkey contents, be sure to thoroughly wash your hands to avoid any extra, unnecessary bacteria that could be transported to the parts of your Berkey.

Carefully check to make sure none of the items are missing from your box before you install Berkey filters.

Installing Berkey Filters is the Most Important Step

Installing the Berkey system is fairly simple, and step-by-step instructions are included to make it as easy as possible for Berkey owners.

While proper installation of the system is key for the function of the Berkey, the most important aspect is the installation of the Berkey filters.

Without proper installation, the Berkey filters will not be able to eliminate 200+ water contaminants.

For many, this is the sole reason for owning a Berkey, therefore it is essential that they work properly.

Before Installation

Before installing your Berkey black elements, they should be correctly primed.

Here's a quick video on how to prime Berkey filters with a priming button. It's easy and only takes a few minutes!

You never want to clean your Berkey filters with soap.

If they're brand new, there's no reason to scrub them.

But as they become a little older, if you notice the flow rate is slow, you can scrub the sides with a clean, green scotch pad to clean off any sediment or build-up.

Priming Berkey Filters With Prime Rite

Now Everything Is Ready!

Once your Berkey filters are primed, the system has been washed, and the spigot is in place, the filters are ready for installation.

Lay the top chamber of the Berkey on its side, being careful that it doesn't roll.

Place one of the large sealing washers on the stem of the filter and then insert the stem into one of the holes from inside the chamber.

Screw the wingnut onto the stem from the outside. Be sure to hand tighten only. You don't want to over-tighten the wingnut.

Repeat this process with each of your Berkey filters.

If you only have two filters, but your system has room for more, be sure to place your filters diagonal from each other.

Use the provided plugs to stop up the other holes so water doesn't leak through them.

Install Primed Black Berkey Elements In Your System

How to Know if Your Berkey Filters are Properly Installed

Once you've completed the Berkey filter installation, check your elements to make sure they’re properly filtering.

Add water to the top chamber and hold the chamber over your sink.

This will help you determine if water is sufficiently filtering through.

It'll also indicate whether or not water is leaking through the plugs.

Another common test is the Berkey red dye test, which ensures that the Berkey filters are functioning as they should.

Berkey filters are able to remove red dye from water, as well as 200+ other contaminants.

Mix red food coloring into a large jar of water. Pour the colored water into the top chamber.

Hold the chamber over the sink or a bowl and watch as the water filters.

If the water filters clean, the Berkey elements are working properly.

If it does not, and red dye leaks through, there may be an installation or priming issue.

Try priming and installing again first. If the problem persists, there is likely a defect in the element, and the manufacturer will need to be contacted.

After Berkey Filter Installation is Complete

Once your Berkey system and filters are installed and in working order, you'll want to allow the filters to run through 2 or 3 cycles so that any sediment particles are removed.

Dump that water. You may even wish to reclean the system base before pouring more water in, as there can be a cloudy build-up due to the filter cleansing.

Finally, your Berkey water will be ready to consume and enjoy!

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