If you purchased your Berkey unit as a preparedness resource or to use infrequently for camping or a remote location, one of the main quandaries that you might face is how to prime the Black Berkey filters without water pressure, which is necessary any time they dry out for storage. You could use the “straw method” we posted about here, or purchase one of Berkey’s priming bulbs here… but there is actually an easier tool than either of these methods! This handy little tool makes priming the Black Berkey filters easy as pie.
The key to priming the filters is of course water pressure. The standard faucet method uses the pressure from your home’s faucet assisted by the synthetic washer, to create a good seal and force water into the filter. The Berkey priming bulb draws water through the pores using pressure from the bulb portion. The “straw” method uses mouth pressure to do the same, drawing water through the pores of the submerged filter with the pressure from your mouth. The priming syringe works much the same as the faucet method, by inserting water in the stem of the filter until the tell-tale “sweating” occurs all the way up the shaft of the filter.
To use the priming syringe, place your filter and syringe near a water source, or fill a glass or bucket with water, to draw from with the syringe. Fill the syringe with water, and then place the spout against the open stem of the Black Berkey filter. Press firmly as you then inject the water into the stem. Repeat this process 3-4 times, or until the filter element “sweats” along the entire surface of the filter.
Once you have observed this sweating along the entire surface of the filter, your Black Berkey filter is primed and ready to be installed! Easy as can be!
Be sure you have one of these syringes as part of your Berkey kit!