FAQs

Berkey Water Purifiers (10)

How do I transport my Berkey system?

Prior to transporting or moving any Berkey® system, the Black Berkey® Purification Elements must first be removed. Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. Place the elements in secure and water-tight packaging. The top and bottom of the stainless steel systems nest within each other for easy transport (remove spigot from lower chamber).

Please note: Failure to remove the elements from the system can result in broken stems. This is not covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.

What is the most convenient method for filling up the upper chamber of my system with water?

Most people use a pitcher to pour water into the upper chamber; however, if you have a spray hose on your sink, using it to refill the system is a very convenient method.

How should I clean my stainless steel chambers?

Follow these two steps:

  1. Wash lower chamber once per month with soapy dishwater.
  2. In areas with hard water, calcium scale may build up on spigot and chambers after prolonged use. To remove, soak affected part(s) in vinegar or a 50-50% mix of vinegar and water for about 15 minutes. Wipe away calcium scale with a ScotchBrite pad or soft brush then wash with soapy dishwater and rinse.

I want to be extra safe. What can I do to disinfect the water before filtering it?

The Berkey water purification systems can efficiently purify raw untreated pond, lake and river water. However, always use the cleanest and clearest water possible. As an additional precaution, if using a source of water that you believe might contain extreme viral and bacteriological contamination, it is recommended by the CDC, EPA and other organizations that approximately sixteen drops of plain bleach (sodium hypochlorite) or iodine per gallon be added to treat the source water before purifying. This should kill minute pathogens such as viruses, within 30 minutes. The disinfectant will be removed from the treated water entirely with the Berkey system, including any odor or taste.

For more information about disinfecting water, please reference the following links. cdc.gov or  water.epa.gov

How do I collect a water sample?

When testing a water sample, we recommend using this standard testing protocol.

What type of steel is used for the housing of Berkey® systems?

New Millennium Concepts, Ltd. uses only the highest quality, highly polished AISI 304 grade stainless steel, known for its high corrosion and heat-resistant properties, in our Berkey® Water systems. It is equivalent to high quality 18/8 stainless steel cookware.

When I boil or freeze water from my Berkey® system I see white floating things in the water. What is this?

This is an issue that mostly occurs with hard (heavily mineralized) water. The healthiest water has a higher PH level because it has less acidity. When the PH level of the purified water is raised, the acidity of the water goes down and the water is no longer able to hold as many minerals in solution.  When this happens the minerals begin to precipitate out over time and,  depending on the mineral composition,  they will either sink to the bottom or float to the top.  This process is known as flocculation and the precipitated minerals are usually referred to as “white floaters”.  The bottom line is that this is nothing to be concerned about. The white floaters are minerals that were already in your water; they are now simply visible whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form.

The water in the upper chamber of my Berkey system does not drain all the way. Is this normal?

Yes, it is normal and not unusual for the last 1.3 cm. to 2.5 cm. of water to remain in the upper chamber. By design, the water must pass through very fine micropores within the elements in order to pass from the upper chamber to the lower. The lower the water level in the upper chamber, the lower the pressure available to force the water through the micropores. You may have noticed that the system purifies much faster when full than when half full. That’s because there is more water pressure. The only way to remedy this problem would be to enlarge the pores of the filter elements. This would, of course, reduce the efficiency of the Berkey purification system. During each cycle, the water left from the previous cycle mixes with the water from the current cycle and is then purified. There is no need to be concerned about excess water during normal use. Should you, however, discontinue using your filter for a period of time such as during a vacation, it would be best to empty both chambers before departing and leave them upside down to dry on the dish rack.

How Important is Having Potable Water During an Emergency?

Star Advertiser uploaded an excellent article detailing the necessity of having clean water in the wake of natural disasters.  We definitely giving it a read to know the best ways to be prepared for a lack of clean water. Read the full article on the PDF below.

Can I use my Berkey® system to purify water from my dehumidifier?

Dehumidifiers that use refrigeration will have cold metal tubes to turn water vapor from a gas to a liquid. According to the EPA, stagnant condensate water can harbor biological contaminants, including mold, mildew, and algae, especially if the collection bucket isn’t cleaned regularly. These contaminants have the potential for causing diseases such as hypersensitivity pneumonitis and humidifier fever. Evaporation trays in air conditioners, dehumidifiers and refrigerators should also be cleaned frequently. Moreover, the condensate can contain lead and other metal residues from the component parts of the dehumidifier. Unlike distilled water, dehumidifier water is never sterilized through boiling.

The Black Berkey® Purification Elements are capable of removing the various potential contaminants that are typically found in dehumidifier water. However, NMCL always recommends using the cleanest water source possible and does Not recommend using dehumidifier water in your Berkey® system on a regular basis. However, IF no other water source is available during an emergency, the water from a dehumidifier could be used, on a short term basis only.

Cited Source:

Don’t Drink the Water (From Your Dehumidifier)