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How To Prime Berkey Filters For Clean Water

By Jeff Wise March 25, 2020 2 comments

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 filters.

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 filtration 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

How To Prime Berkey Filters With 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.


Using The Berkey Prime Rite

Finally, there's a third option for priming your elements. This option uses this Berkey filter priming kit.

Many have found this method helpful if they find themselves without a primer pump, priming button or just want an easier way to prime their filters.

Many people who have a larger faucet with a spray attachment absolutely love using this because they are unable to use the priming button.

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


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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  • Hi Leslie – Yes, please clean and re-prime your filters before using again.

    Jeff on

  • I primed the two black filters. Then, life events got in the way, and they laid on a clean towel for a week or so. I’m ready to put them in and do the red dye test again. Do I need to prime again because they’ve been sitting dry on a towel, or should they be fine to use?
    Thank you.

    Leslie on

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