Black Berkey® Elements don’t necessarily need to be cleaned every time one cleans their Berkey® system. However, this can vary depending on your area and water source. In certain areas, the water is much dirtier than normal, and will necessitate cleaning the elements more frequently; possibly even more than cleaning the rest of the system requires.

If the water you are using is murky or contains sediment, we advise pre-filtering your water by running it through some type of cloth, i.e.: shirt, bed sheet, bandana, etc. before putting it in your Berkey® system. While this isn’t necessary, doing so keeps the cleaning schedule for the elements down by collecting debris that may clog the pores of your Black Berkey® Elements. 

When is it time to clean your Black Berkey® Elements?

  • Cleaning the elements should be done when you experience a drastic slow down in your flow rate.
  • You may consider cleaning your elements on a consistent basis. For example, every 6 months. The benefit to doing so is that you won’t experience a slow flow rate. Cleaning elements on a regular schedule is at your discretion. This is a suggestion, not a requirement. 

How do you clean your Black Berkey® Elements?

  1. First, empty and disassemble the Black Berkey® Elements from upper chamber.
  2. Gently scrub the elements with a stiff brush or Scotch-Brite® pad under cold running water (never apply soap or other cleaning agents to your Black Berkey® Elements).
  3. Re-prime the elements and reinstall them in your Berkey® system.
  4. Lastly, fill your Berkey® system and perform a red food coloring test as described in the system’s instructions (see link below) to ensure your system has been assembled correctly, and that there are no internal leaks in your system.

For more information on how to complete steps 1-4 shown above, please click here to view Berkey® Water System Assembly and Usage Instructions.

If you are currently using a water softening system:
We highly recommend that you obtain pre-softened water directly from the source rather than run softened water through your Black Berkey® Elements. Please click here for more information regarding the use of the Berkey® system with softened water.