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How To Prime Berkey Filter Elements For Clean Water

By Jeff Wise March 25, 2020

How To Prime Berkey Filter ElementsBerkey filter systems provide the cleanest, freshest tasting water possible.

But before you can enjoy the luxury of drinking it, you'll need to know how to prime Berkey filter elements.

If you've recently received your Berkey system, proper cleaning and priming is required before use.

The priming process is important and necessary because it removes air from the microscopic pores of the elements, allowing a faster flow.

If you've had your system for a while, sometimes you may notice the water purification flow is slowing down.

This is also a time to take apart the system, remove the elements, and prime them so that the flow speed will increase again.

Priming can Sometimes be Challenging

While it's not a long or complicated process, priming can sometimes be a bit tricky. Berkey has taken steps to make it as easy as possible for their customers.

There are several methods to help you prime your Berkey elements. Choose which one you want to try. 

Berkey Priming Button

Using the Priming Button

Your system will include a priming button in the elements box to help you. It's a small, tan, donut-shaped device.

Place the priming button onto the threaded stem of one of your elements.

Then wrap your fingers around the base of the stem of the element and use your thumb to press the primer and the element directly under your faucet tap.

Slowly turn on the cold water and let it flow into the element. You'll notice the element starts getting heavier and warm.

Then the element will start to "sweat" and water will drip from it. Make sure the majority of the element is sweating before you turn off the water.

At this point, the element has been primed. Repeat this process for all the elements. 


Using the Black Berkey Primer Accessory

How to prime Berkey filter without priming button is a question sometimes asked.

Some also say they don't like using the included primer button because it can get messy.

Berkey has another option that many say is easier and cleaner. For a small cost, they offer a Black Berkey Primer accessory that uses air instead of water to clean out the element pores.

It also is very useful if running water is not currently available or if you have a short sink. Here's a video to show the Black Berkey Primer accessory in action.



Bottled Water Works Just as Well for Priming

Finally, there's a third option for priming your elements. This option uses a bottled water and can be used at home, if you feel it's easier and cleaner, or outside.

Many have found this method helpful if they find themselves without a primer button or the Black Berkey Primer.

Maybe you're camping in the woods or just can't seem to find where you put the button.

Watch the video below to see how you can just as easily prime your elements with a bottled water. 


Whichever priming method you choose to use, you're sure to be well on your way to clean and quick-flowing water.

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