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Your Guide on How Often to Replace Berkey Filters

By Jeff Wise November 05, 2021

Having access to clean water anywhere and everywhere is freedom. Whether you are looking to live off-grid in an RV or tiny home or just need some extra water for a backyard wedding, Berkey water filters make it easy to enjoy purified, safe, and great tasting water wherever you need it.

Most people are familiar with using some type of water filter at home to filter out any contaminants found in their tap system. But for filters to remain effective, filters need to be changed periodically.

Wondering how often to replace Berkey filters? There are many different Berkey systems available, so it depends on which one you are using. Keep reading to determine how often to change Berkey filters for maximum effectiveness.

How Often To Replace Berkey Filters

How Berkey Water Filters Work

Berkey water filters can remove virtually all pathogenic bacteria, viruses, heavy metals such as lead and mercury, chlorine, and many other contaminants. Many times, these contaminants can be found coming out of the faucet in your kitchen.

Other contaminants live in water sources such as lakes and rivers. But a Berky water filter can make short work of it all, without removing the good minerals, like calcium.

It does this by letting the water remain in contact with the Berkey filter for an extended period. This happens because Berkey home filtration systems are gravity fed, rather than pressure fed. 

Filters let water through, without letting pathogens through, thanks to the porous material. The pores on the filters are so small that only water can make it through them. No unwanted guests will fit. 

And thanks to proprietary absorption media, pollutants are also absorbed out of the water.

So a Berkey water filter will provide you with the cleanest, healthiest cup of water to drink, make coffee with, and cook with. And the best part about Berkey filter replacement? The filters can be cleaned so that they last way longer than traditional disposable water filters. 

Types of Berkey Water Filters

There are three main types of Berkey water filters you may encounter across their many products. The most common filter is the Black Berkey filter.

These have been tested and approved by State and EPA accredited laboratories. You can replace the filter of any Berkey system using one of these filters. And you can also install them into other gravity-fed filtration systems you might have. 

They self-sterilize as you use the filter and can be cleaned to ensure they last a long time.

PF-2 fluoride filters are an additional level of security. These filter out both arsenic and fluoride. For Berky filtration systems, they are intended for use in conjunction with the Black Berkey filters. They typically sit just below the Balck Berkey filters to finish the purification process.

Fluoride is intentionally added to urban water supplies as a dental health supplement. But studies show that fluoride in drinking water does more harm than good. 

And the Sport Berkey filter is used in the small, portable, 22-ounce bottle. 

So how often do you need to replace Berkey filters? Each filter has a different lifespan, discussed below. 

Here's How Often to Change Berkey Filters

Water filters are only effective when changed regularly. So how often do you have to change Berkey filters?

Replacing Sport Berkey Filters 

With the small Sport Berkey filters, it depends on your water source. If filtering from a well, it will provide you with up to 640 refills. For other, more questionable water sources, it may provide up to 160 refills.

If you drink a gallon of water per day, a Sports filter should be replaced every one to four months, depending on your primary water source.

How Often To Replace Sport Berkey Filter

Replacing Black Berkey Filters

Wondering how often to replace Black Berkey filters? The Black Berkey filter can filter up to 3,000 gallons of water. Two Black Berkey filters are often used in a single filtration system, meaning you can get through 6,000 gallons before needing a replacement.

If you are a single individual, you will likely use about two gallons of water a day between drinking, cooking, and making coffee. A single Black Berkey filter can last for up to four years before needing a replacement.

But say you have a family of four that consumes about eight gallons of water per day. A single Black Berkey filter would last about one year.

How Often to Change Berkey Fluoride Filters?

Wondering how often to replace Berkey filters that filter out fluoride? Pf-2 Fluoride filters are used in pairs. Each pair of fluoride filters can purify up to 1,000 gallons of water.

If you use two gallons of water per day, the fluoride filters will need replacing every 16 months. If you use 8 gallons of water per day, you should replace these every four months. 

How Often To Replace Berkey Fluoride Filters

What Lowers Filter Lifespan?

In a perfect world, you would know exactly how much water a filter can purify. But many factors exist around the country that makes this difficult to determine.

The number of pathogens, bacteria, metals and other pollutants found in your water supply will affect the lifespan of the filter. The more pollutants found in your water, the harder your filter needs to work to purify it.

This decreases the longevity of your filters, requiring more frequent replacement. You can research the quality of tap water found in your area by searching for your zip code on mytapwater.org. The information can help you determine if your filters will be working extra hard. 

How to Know if It's Time to Change a Filter

Can't remember when the last time you changed a filter was? Totally understandable, since the filters last incredibly long. Luckily, you can perform a quick, simple test at any time to evaluate the effectiveness of your filter.

Berkey filters should be filtering out all food coloring. So you can test your filter by performing the food dye test.

Just add some water, colored with red food coloring, to the upper chamber. If any red is making its way into the lower chamber, then that means contaminants are also making their way into your drinking supply.

It's time to change the filters. 

No red in the lower chamber? Your filters are still working as they should, and a replacement isn't necessary just yet. 

Pick Up Some Spare Filters

So how long do Berkey filters last? For most people, they can last many months, if not years at a time, before you need to buy replacement filters.

It helps to keep track of when you last made any replacements, though you can perform the food dye test anytime in case you forget.

Now that you know how often to replace Berkey filters, be sure to stock up on some extras so that you are always prepared ahead of time. 


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