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Black Berkey® Purification Elements


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2 Black Berkey Filters ($120.00)

4 Black Berkey Filters ($240.00)

6 Black Berkey Filters ($360.00)

8 Black Berkey Filters ($480.00)


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Black Berkey® Purification Elements

*The Black Berkey® Purification Elements are made and assembled in the USA


  • Black Berkey® Purification Elements are the leader in gravity-fed water purification, backed by independent testing
  • The Black Berkey® Purification Element formulation has been tested by State and EPA accredited laboratories to exceed NSF/ANSI Standard 53
  • Includes: Two 9″ Black Berkey® Purification Elements with 2 washers, 2 wing nuts, and 1 priming button
  • Installs in the upper chamber of any Berkey system. Elements can also be used to upgrade most other gravity-fed water filter systems
  • Sold as a set of 2 elements
  • Durability: Each Black Berkey® Element is designed to purify approximately 3,000 gallons of water before needing replacement; 2 elements in a Berkey system will purify approximately 6,000 gallons of water before replacement is recommended
  • Re-cleanable and self-sterilizing during the life of the element
  • Elements come with a 2-year, pro-rated warranty


No need for expensive disposable filters. Black Berkey purification elements are re-cleanable. This advanced technology was developed, refined, and proven through years of diligent, investigative research and testing performed by water purification specialists, researchers, and engineers.

The flow rate or time of exposure through the exclusive Black Berkey elements has been calculated to yield the greatest volume removal of toxic chemicals and pathogenic bacteria found in nature and caused by pollution from industry and agriculture.  It is excellent for everyday urban, rural and survival water purification.


Each Black Berkey Element is designed to purify about 3,000 gallons of water before needing replacement; 2 elements in a Berkey system will purify about 6,000 gallons of water before replacement is recommended


Black Berkey purification elements are so powerful, they can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other filtration element can duplicate this performance.


Note: Black Berkey purifying elements are upper chamber elements. They do not work simultaneously with upper chamber Ceramic Super Sterasyl elements. Only one technology is designed to operate in the upper chamber at a time. These filters will work in the British Berkefeld systems and other many other gravity water filter systems on the market. They can also be chosen as a upgraded filter to replace the ceramics.


The powerful Black Berkey purification elements also remove or reduce the following:

  • Pathogenic Bacteria and Cysts (E. Coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoltella Terrigena, Bacillus Atrophaeus) – Reduced to > 99.9999%
  • Viruses (MS2 – Fr Coliphage) – Reduced to > 99.999%
  • Parasites – Reduced to > 99.9999%
  • Herbicides and Pesticides
  • Pharmaceuticals – See Table Below – Reduced to > 99.9%
  • Chlorine – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
  • Chloramines – Reduced to > 99.9%
  • Perfluorochemicals – Reduced to > 99.9%
  • BPA – Reduced to > 99.9%
  • Detergents
  • Nitrites – Removed to > 95%
  • Glysophate > 75% (75% was reporting limit of testing equipement. Removal rate may be higher)
  • Organic solvents
  • THM’s (Trihalomethanes – Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
  • MTBE’s (Methyl tert-Butyl Ehter) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
  • Other VOC’s – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
  • MBAS (Methylene Blue Active Substances)
  • Cloudiness
  • Silt
  • Sediment
  • Radiologicals – See Table below – Removed up to 99.8%
  • Selenium and Thallium – 95% and greater
  • Heavy metals – 99% and greater
  • Iron
  • Foul tastes and odor


Priming the Black Berkey Purification Element


Household Priming Method

The micro pores on the Black Berkey® purification elements are extremely small, in fact they are small enough to filter pathogenic bacteria and other contaminates. But the high water tension created by the micro pores requires that the purification elements be primed before water will flow through them properly. When your elements arrive, they are dry and air is trapped within the micro fine pores. Use the following procedure to prime your elements for use.



Step 1) Place the washer and wing nut onto the Black Berkey element as shown.  Press the tan colored rubber priming button onto the stem of the Black Berkey purification element with the small end facing the element.



Step 2) Place the stem of the Black Berkey element between your fingers and using the wing nut for grip press the large end of the priming button against the faucet.



Step 3) While holding the priming button against the faucet, turn on the cold water slowly, gently allowing water to fill the cavity of the element.

Step 4) Allow the exterior wall of the element to sweat beads of water for about 5 seconds.



Step 5)  And rinse the dust fines from the exterior of the Black Berkey purification element.

Note: Do not discard the Priming Button but save it for future use such as re-priming the elements after cleaning, if the elements have dried out or if re-priming is necessary when traveling.


No Water Pressure Priming Method


In some parts of the world, the water has higher water tension than in others, which can change from season to season. The higher the water tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micro pores using gravity alone. The pores become air locked and do not allow water to pass through. This causes the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.

Before traveling or using the system in an area without water pressure we recommend that the purification elements are primed using the priming button method. However if it is not possible to prime them prior to leaving and there is no water pressure available to use the priming button method, the elements can be primed  in the field by using the method below.

Precaution:If you are traveling abroad or to an area known to have no pressurized water service, we recommend that you take along water in plastic bottles. You can perform this priming method without purifying the water but only if you are sure of the quality of the bottled water used other wise add 16 drops of chlorine bleach to each gallon of bottled water. Again be absolutely sure of the quality of the bottle water or purify the water with chlorine:  1 Pint add 2 drops, 1 Quart add 4 drops, and 1 Gallon add 16 drops.



Step 1) Place black washer onto the elements stem, next thread the plastic nut onto the stem as if you where installing the element in your filter but only until the tip of the stem protrudes slightly through the other side of the nut. Place the tan colored Priming Button on to the protruding stem.

Step 2) Quickly place an opened bottle of water over the Priming Button covering the hole of the Priming Button completely with the bottle’s mouth. Keeping a firm seal between the bottle’s mouth and the Priming button gently begin to squeeze the plastic bottle until its contents are emptied into the Black Berkey element. The element should now be significantly heavier with the addition of the water and depending on the size of the plastic bottle may now be beading up with water in which case it is fully primed. However another bottle of water maybe required to completely fill the element and force all the air from within its pores. If water is not beading up on the outside of the filter element then repeat the above procedure with another bottle of water. Repeat as necessary until all filter elements are primed and ready for installation into your filter system.

Note: This method may be more easily accomplished with the help of another man or woman.  Alternately, a Sport Berkey® maybe used to prime the filter, simply insert the straw from the Sport into the hole of the Priming Button and squeeze until beads of water can be seen on the outside of the element.



Black Berkey® Elements


 How do I know when it is time to replace the Black Berkey® elements in my system?

Each Black Berkey® purification element is capable of filtering 3000 gallons so the best way to gauge when to replace the filters is to do the following:

  1. Determine the Total Gallons Filtered by multiplying the number of filters inyour system by 3,000.
  2. Next keep a track of how many times you need to refill the upper chamber inone week. Now multiply the number of refills by the capacity in gallons of your particular system (e.g. the Berkey Light™ system is 2.75 gallons) to determine Total Gallons Used per Week.
  3. Divide the Total Gallons Filtered by Total Gallons Used Per Week the result will tell you how many Weeks of Use before the elements should be replaced.
  4. Next calculate the Element Replacement Date (52 weeks per year) and write the date on a sticker and attach it to the bottom of your system for future reference.

If you are already using your system, calculate the Weeks of Use and just be sure to count forward from the date when you purchased your system.

To give you an idea of how long your filters might last under everyday usage take for example: if you have a family of 4 and each member uses 3/4 of a gallon of water a day that would be 3 gallons per day for your entire family. A typical system is configured with two filter elements which will last about 6000 gallons under normal usage. Divide 6000 by 3. This gives you 2000 days before you need to replace your filter elements. Now divided 2000 days by 365 days per year this would be equal to 5.5 years of filter life! This is far superior to the typical filter pitcher or faucet attachment which can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars to provide filtered water for the same time period. Your Black Berkey® filter elements will never stop working; the filtration rate just slows down.


Do the Black Berkey® purification elements have a warranty?

Yes, see Berkey® Warranty page for details


What is the Micron Rating of the Black Berkey® purification elements?

With respect to the micron rating, we do not use or publish a micron rating for the Black Berkey® elements for the following reasons.

There is much confusion with respect to nominal and absolute micron ratings. An absolute micron rating is one that states the maximum pore size expected within an element. The nominal micron rating is the average pore size within the element. This means that if 90% of the pores are .02 microns and ten percent are 2 microns, one could claim the nominal micron rating as .2 microns, which would imply that pathogenic bacteria and parasites would be totally removed. But in reality the bulk of the water would channel through the larger 2-micron pores and thereby allow both bacteria and parasites to pass through. Therefore a nominal micron-rating claim can be very misleading.

With respect to the absolute micron rating, there is also confusion because there are two different standards to determine absolute; in the US the standard is 99.9% removal, but the international standard in 99.99% removal or 10 times greater removal.

Clever marketers of products can use the confusion over the above differences to make product “A” appear to be better than product “B” when product B may be far superior in reality. For example, we used to report an absolute rating using the international standard because we have a large international customer base. Several years ago we published a rating on our ceramic filters. A particular company began to publish that our elements were .9 microns whereas theirs were .2 microns. However, our micron rating was based on absolute (international) while theirs was based on a nominal (US) rating. When tested at Spectrum Labs, it was found that at the .2 to .3 microns range our filter removed more particulate than the other brand. Unfortunately many people make there purchasing decisions based on a micron rating that can be legitimately distorted and to a significant degree.

We soon became weary of trying to explain the above to our customers and so we decided not to participate any longer in publishing a micron rating. Rather, we think an absolute pathogenic bacteria removal rate is a far better gauge because it is far more difficult to abuse. Based on that criterion, the Black Berkey® elements remove greater than 99.9999999% of pathogenic bacteria such as E.coli. To our knowledge, no other personal filtration element can match that capability. In fact, the Black Berkey® elements are so powerful, they are unique in their ability to mechanically remove red food coloring from water.


What is the expected shelf life of Black Berkey® purification elements?

The shelf life of the Black Berkey® elements is indefinite so they will be viable until you need them. However for long term storage, we recommend that you put them into a zip-lock bag. Because they are powerful enough to absorb contaminants from the air, it will reduce their life expectancy if you have a lot of airborne contaminants in the area they are being stored in. Storage in a zip-lock bag will prevent this from happening.


I have another brand name of gravity filter and it is time to replace my filter elements but I was wondering will the Black Berkey® elements fit my system?

Yes, both the Black Berkey® purification elements and PF-2 filters are interchangeable with other gravity systems.


There is a slight dimple in one of my Black Berkey® elements, is this filter flawed?

No, the Black Berkey® purification elements are about twice as thick as are standard gravity filter elements. This is a built in redundancy so a minor dimple in the filter should not cause any decrease in the elements efficiency. However to check its performance, make sure the wing nuts are on tight and run a Filter Test as described here.



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