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How To Set Up a Berkey Water Filter System

By Jeff Wise May 02, 2022

Water is water, right? 

Wrong. Whether you get it from the tap or a bottle, how these water sources are processed and purified makes a huge difference.

Actually, there's a lot of stuff in our water that we might not always be aware of. According to an analysis performed by the Environmental Working Group (EWG), water utilities' testing has consistently found pollutants in Americans' tap water.

We have the solution for you. With Berkey's water filter system, you can enjoy the benefits of clean and pure water. It can purify up to 20 gallons of water in an hour.

Do you find yourself thoroughly convinced and eager to learn how to set up a Berkey water filter? Look no further than this guide-- we'll walk you through the ins and outs of setting up and maintaining your clean water filtration system. 

How To Assemble Berkey Water Filter System

Why Is Purified Water Superior to Bottled Water? 

In addition to improving your health, Berkey water filters can also help you save money. Purified water is not just healthier and tastier; it is also cheaper.

Need proof? We got it. The cost of bottled water is $1.22 a gallon, while the cost of purified water is just $0.07 a gallon.

Also, purified water does not need to be replaced often, unlike bottled water, which needs to be replaced every 6 months. It does not make sense to pay more for water that is not as healthy and eco-friendly as purified water!

Benefits of Using a Berkey Water Filter

When you are drinking or cooking with tap water, you are ingesting chemicals and micro-organisms brought into your home by the water you have used before filtering it.

The tap water in your area may contain dangerous levels of chemicals, nitrates, pesticides, bacteria, and parasites, among other things. These can put you at risk for several health problems, including some types of cancer, endocrine disorders, and organ failure. When you drink water that is not pure, you also run the risk of developing kidney stones, skin problems, and other problems.

When using a Berkey water filter unit, you can rest easy knowing that it reduces a whole pile of contaminants, including: 

  • Herbicides that can cause DNA damage and act as endocrine disruptors in human cell lines
  • Pesticides that can cause¬†stinging eyes, rashes, blisters, blindness, nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, and death
  • VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) that can¬†damage the central nervous system and cause cancer¬†
  • Organic solvents that¬†can be carcinogens, reproductive hazards, and neurotoxins
  • Radon 222 that can increase your risk of lung cancer
  • Trihalomethanes that can cause bladder, rectal and colon cancer

A Berkey water filter system can help you purify tap water, as it comes with two units: a Black Berkey water filter and a PF-2 Fluoride filter. These purification Elements far exceed EPA and ANSI/NSF protocols for reducing viruses up to 99.999%. We think that's pretty amazing. 

Black Berkey Filters can be used on almost any water source. However, we do recommend always using the cleanest water source possible for your own safety. Black Berkey Filters are not designed for salt or softened water, so keep that in mind when looking into your next water filter or filter cartridge. 

Black Berkey Water Filter

The Black Berkey water filter is certified to purify bacteria, viruses, and cysts down to 0.3 microns. It is also certified to filter harmful chemicals such as fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, and heavy metals.

Berkey tests the filters with more than 10,000 times the concentration of harmful pathogens per liter of water than is required by industry-standard test protocols. After using the Black Berkey Filters, zero pathogens were able to be detected. They can even remove food coloring from your water without removing the beneficial minerals your body craves and needs to stay healthy.  

Because the versatile filters fit most other manufacturers’ gravity water filtration systems, your generic or off-brand gravity filtration systems can be upgraded to a better purifier. Simply replace with Black Berkey Filters to remove unwanted water contaminants.

PF-2 Fluoride Filter

The PF-2 Fluoride filter is certified to remove up to 99.99% of fluoride and also other harmful chemicals that can bring fluorosis to your body. Berkey developed this filter to address the concerns of fluoride added to city drinking water. This is an add-on option that attaches to the black filters and resides in the lower chamber of the tank. 

Replace each set of the two Berkey PF-2 fluoride water filters after 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters), or one year (whichever comes first). 

Wondering how to conceptualize this? If you refill a 2-gallon filtration system two times a day, this would equate to using four gallons of water per day. This means that your Berkey PF-2 fluoride water filters would last you 250 days, or approximately 8 months. 

Remember: try not subject to freezing temperatures, high heat, or boil the fluoride water filter elements. To avoid breaking, don't turn more than 8 times when installing into the unit. 

Keep in mind that under normal circumstances the Berkey Fluoride Filters PF-2 canisters reduce the water filtration flow rate of most Berkey filtering systems by 15-20%.

How To Set Up a Berkey Water Filter

Setting up a Berkey water filter is easy; you only have to follow some simple steps. You can read the manual first, or just follow the outline below. A Berkey water system contains: 

  • Lid Knob
  • Lid
  • Knob Washer
  • Knob Screw
  • Upper Chamber
  • Black Berkey Filters
  • Hole Plugs
  • Berkey Fluoride Filters (optional)
  • Lower Chamber
  • Spigot
  • Rubber Base Ring
  • Priming Button

Double-check your inventory, and roll up your sleeves. Once you wash the lid, upper chamber, lower chamber, spigot, and hole plugs, you'll be able to start putting everything together. 

1. Parts Assembly

First, you need to move the two units of your Berkey water filter to a clean and elevated place. Assemble the lid and the base ring onto the unit, and install the hole plugs. 

Next, attach the spigot and check for leaks. 

2. Prime & Install the Filters

To install the Black Berkey Filter, place the black rubber washer onto the stem of the Black Berkey Filter after priming with the blue "Universal Primer."

Insert the stem of the Black Berkey Filter into an empty hole on the inside of the upper chamber. Thread the wingnut onto the stem of the Black Berkey Filter on the bottom side of the upper chamber.

If you wish to test these filters, do so now.

If you've purchased the optional Berkey Fluoride Filters, you may install them after the Black Berkey Filters. Prime the fluoride filters before attaching them with the blue “Universal Primer." You'll find those instructions separately with your primer. 

To install the fluoride filters, pour out any remaining water in the upper chamber and turn it upside down on a flat surface. Screw in the fluoride filters onto the stems of each Black Berkey Filter at eight full rotations. 

Once you have completed this, attach the upper chamber to the lower chamber, so that the fluoride filters are now hanging down inside the lower chamber.

3. Prepare the System for Use and Fill the Chamber

Place the upper chamber onto the lower chamber and make sure the spigot is in the closed position.

Next, you need to fill the top unit with water and make sure to fill all the way to the top.

Make sure that you're filling the upper chamber completely with cold or room temperature water and covering it with a lid. Discard the first batch of filtered water to make sure everything is clean and working properly. 

Refill the upper chamber and allow the water to filter to the lower chamber.

4. Enjoy Your Filtered Water

If you want to store the water for future use, you can then transfer the purified water to a storage container. To drink the water now, you can just open the top spout and drink the water directly.

Now-- was that so hard? It's not supposed to be! Berkey water filters are easy to use and can help you purify tap water to make it safer and healthier.

For printable instructions please click here.

Video: How To Assemble Berkey Stainless Steel System

Drink Clean

These days, the supply of water is full of contaminants that are harmful to your health. To ensure the highest quality of food and drinking water, it is better to invest in a quality filtration system that removes almost everything from the water you drink. The Berkey water filter is the most reliable and trusted water filtration system that can help you enjoy purified and clean drinking water at home. 

Interested in taking your clean water on the go? If you've learned how to set up your Berkey water filter and are ready to learn more about other available and convenient products, browse our inventory today. 


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