If your flow rate has slowed, your first plan of action should be a simple cleaning procedure. More often than not this will have an immediate helpful effect on your flow rate.
You will need:
-A Scotch Brite (or similar) all-purpose non-metal scrubbing pad (a toothbrush works, also)
Empty any water from the Berkey unit and carefully remove each filtration element. Under cool running water (if possible; if not, submerge the filter under water), use the scouring pad or toothbrush to scrub all over the surface of the filter. With the Berkefeld ceramic filters, cleaning should be performed evenly by working from the threaded mount down. Always brush away from threaded mount, taking care not to contaminate the mount.
Never use soap or detergents on any filter/purification element! Never use any metal or very harsh object to scrub them! This will result in damage.
Re-prime the purifiers (applies to Black Berkey only).
Re-install the elements in your system and you’re done!
How often should you clean your filters? It’s not a bad idea to have a regular cleaning schedule (about every 6 months) to stay on top of any build-up and to prevent slow flow rate. This will get much of the particulate off the outside. However, you’ll never be able to clean the inside of the filter. Eventually, when cleaning doesn’t help, it’s likely time to spring for a new set of filters. We can help you with that here, with FREE shipping on all orders over $50!
2 thoughts on “How to Clean Berkey or Berkefeld Filters”
I used a little bit of soapy water! Is my element ruined?
Thank you for the inquiry! Berkey advises to never use soap or detergents when cleaning the Black Berkey filter elements. This can also void the warranty, unfortunately. In this case, to determine if your filters are still working properly, we recommend performing the red dye test. You can find instructions for how to do so here:
In the event that your filters are no longer working properly, feel free to give us a call at 205-202-9235 and we’d be happy to assist you in ordering a new set.