If you have used your elements:
If you have used your elements, you should fully dry them before storing. The best option is to leave them on a window sill for several days and allow them to air-dry. The key is to ensure they are bone-dry before storing them, to prevent any potential bacterial growth.
For long term storage, we recommend sealing the elements. This can be done with a storage bag such as a sealable gallon sized sandwich bag. The elements are extremely powerful and can absorb odors and smoke from the air. By sealing them in a storage bag, they should not absorb any odors from the air.
When you have re-installed your elements it may take about 24 hours for the flow rate to increase. You may speed this process up by scrubbing them clean with an abrasive sponge such as Scotch-Brite® or a stiff brush. In theory, the shelf life of the Berkey Earth® elements is indefinite.
It is also best to empty both chambers before storing them. Anytime water is still, it can become stagnant, which means it can produce bacteria. We recommend washing your Berkey® system chambers with soapy water before leaving them to dry.
If you have never used your elements:
If the elements are unopened and in their original packaging, please ensure you do not store the elements in an area that also has strong smells to them, such as a laundry room or garage. The elements have carbon as one of their components so it is possible for them to absorb the odors of the room they are stored in. For example if they are stored in a laundry room, it is possible for the media in the elements to pick up the odor of highly fragranced items such as powdered laundry soap.