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UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.

 
Logical Sun

User ID: 1008598
United States
02/13/2011 10:32 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Hope you got the Berkey Light with those extra filters that
take out Fluoride and other nasties and some pharmaceuticals.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1263093





The filters that remove the fluoride are thought to contaminate the water with aluminum. Aluminum is a poison just as deadly as fluoride and has been implicated in Alzheimers disease.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1091927



Where did you read that?

Is it just a "thought" or is it fact?

Please provide info to verify what you just said.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1263093

The floride filter goes right on the tap at the bottom...there is no light that will remove the floride..
Need a gift to stand out from all the rest?
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Logical Sun

User ID: 1008598
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02/13/2011 10:33 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Hope you got the Berkey Light with those extra filters that
take out Fluoride and other nasties and some pharmaceuticals.

 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1263093





The filters that remove the fluoride are thought to contaminate the water with aluminum. Aluminum is a poison just as deadly as fluoride and has been implicated in Alzheimers disease.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1091927



Where did you read that?

Is it just a "thought" or is it fact?

Please provide info to verify what you just said.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1263093

The floride filter goes right on the tap at the bottom...there is no light that will remove the floride..
 Quoting: Logical Sun

Besides its a led light...not a ultra violate..
Need a gift to stand out from all the rest?
[link to www.intricatepyrography.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1091927
United States
02/13/2011 10:41 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
The fluoride filter is based on aluminum compounds. Don't take my word for it. I dare you to read the literature.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1257685
United States
02/13/2011 10:55 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
"I want at least 20 gallons in the closet. That way I already have water for my my Ramen noodles and drinking."

Filtering water for Top Ramen...

1doh1

Really?

Seriously?
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1091927
United States
02/13/2011 11:03 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
"I want at least 20 gallons in the closet. That way I already have water for my my Ramen noodles and drinking."

Filtering water for Top Ramen...

1doh1

Really?

Seriously?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1257685





Agreed. Ramen is just another poison.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1264966
Canada
02/13/2011 11:13 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
A fired-diatomaceous earth (DE) filter (aka ceramic filter) will remove fluorides and/or pharmaceuticals depending...

Exactly which manufacturer and model of "ceramic" filter are you referring to? Take a Doulton, for example. Some are hollow (like the Black Berkey, it's HOLLOW inside). Some have a small amount of Granulated Activated Charcoal (GAC) inside and other in addition to this a tiny amount of resin (usually made to remove specific things such as lead). So it really depends on WHICH one you're referring too.

GAC is fairly effective at removing pharmaceuticals - similar in effectiveness with ozone in many cases (depends on many factors). Ozone btw, will remove about 90% of 51 types of pharmaceuticals. Even better is Powdered Activated Charcoal (PAC) which removes pretty much all known pharmaceuticals and skin care products.

Thus it's likely that a the right type of 'filled' DE ceramic filter would remove many pharmaceuticals.

As for fluorides, thats tricky. Sure you can use a inferior gravity drip and set (say) a Doulton up with a PF-4 Active Alumina (AA) filters, the equivalent to the Black Berkey's PF-2. Now out of about 40 ways to remove "fluoride" AA isn't the best especially as it will leech some trace amounts of aluminum (even the BB pamphlets indicates this, read your instructions). Gravity drips are just a poor design. After you stabilize the pH (AA's ability to remove arsenic and fluorides is sometimes dependent upon pH) and use a AA you still should run a filter at some point after which will remove the aluminum.

By fluorides do you mean calcium fluoride which is a natural form? Or sodium fluoride aka rat poison as in tooth pastes (although much of it comes from China in unmarked packages so your just ASSUMING it's sodium fluoride (real rat poison) in there)? Or do you mean things like sodium hexafluorosilicate [sodium fluosilicate] and fluorosilicic acid used in city drinking water supplies? With the latter two there is some discussion if AA filters (PF-2, PF-4) actually remove these.

Also note, MicroFiltration (MF) should only be considered for a pre-filter position (perhaps just after a sediment or rust filter). Obviously it shouldn't be the only filter -- each have unique uses, advantages and disadvantages. There is no "miracle media" which magically makes all water safe from all toxins.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1259082
United States
02/14/2011 07:38 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Have a Berkey myself. The lack of chlorine taste alone was worth it.

I read somewhere that the arsenic/fluoride filters will not work for fluoride if the water pH is alkaline.

It's also nice to know that bacteria isn't passed through the filter making questionable lake, stream, river, well and even rain catchment water safe should the need arise.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 875060
United States
02/14/2011 07:55 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
A fired-diatomaceous earth (DE) filter (aka ceramic filter) will remove fluorides and/or pharmaceuticals depending...

Exactly which manufacturer and model of "ceramic" filter are you referring to? Take a Doulton, for example. Some are hollow (like the Black Berkey, it's HOLLOW inside). Some have a small amount of Granulated Activated Charcoal (GAC) inside and other in addition to this a tiny amount of resin (usually made to remove specific things such as lead). So it really depends on WHICH one you're referring too.

GAC is fairly effective at removing pharmaceuticals - similar in effectiveness with ozone in many cases (depends on many factors). Ozone btw, will remove about 90% of 51 types of pharmaceuticals. Even better is Powdered Activated Charcoal (PAC) which removes pretty much all known pharmaceuticals and skin care products.

Thus it's likely that a the right type of 'filled' DE ceramic filter would remove many pharmaceuticals.

As for fluorides, thats tricky. Sure you can use a inferior gravity drip and set (say) a Doulton up with a PF-4 Active Alumina (AA) filters, the equivalent to the Black Berkey's PF-2. Now out of about 40 ways to remove "fluoride" AA isn't the best especially as it will leech some trace amounts of aluminum (even the BB pamphlets indicates this, read your instructions). Gravity drips are just a poor design. After you stabilize the pH (AA's ability to remove arsenic and fluorides is sometimes dependent upon pH) and use a AA you still should run a filter at some point after which will remove the aluminum.

By fluorides do you mean calcium fluoride which is a natural form? Or sodium fluoride aka rat poison as in tooth pastes (although much of it comes from China in unmarked packages so your just ASSUMING it's sodium fluoride (real rat poison) in there)? Or do you mean things like sodium hexafluorosilicate [sodium fluosilicate] and fluorosilicic acid used in city drinking water supplies? With the latter two there is some discussion if AA filters (PF-2, PF-4) actually remove these.

Also note, MicroFiltration (MF) should only be considered for a pre-filter position (perhaps just after a sediment or rust filter). Obviously it shouldn't be the only filter -- each have unique uses, advantages and disadvantages. There is no "miracle media" which magically makes all water safe from all toxins.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1264966


Canada, what brand of filter do you recommend if not Big Berkey?

hiding
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1266016
Canada
02/14/2011 09:42 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Active alumina (AA) filters can remove:
(Sometimes AAL as in Activated ALuminum)

a. Fluoride
b. Arsenic III, Arsenic V
c. Hydrogen Sulfide

d. Hydrogen Chloride
e. Alcohol
f. Ether
g. Carbonyl Sulfide
h. Carbon Dioxide

The first 3 are generally what most people buying AA filters are looking for. Keep in mind there are many types of AA, it has many industrial applications.

Aside from the size of the filter cartridge and the amount (and quality an grain size) of the media inside the factors which affect the AA are:

a. temperature
b. pH
c. water quality
d. flow rate
e. concentration of suspended solids

For the arsenic III, for example, AA is more effective across a wide variety of water pH, with arsenic V, it's not as effective on more neutral water (ie: groundwater) as the particles are not charged. At higher pH levels the material may begin to break down.

For fluoride -- again many types: calcium fluoride in nature and a problem in many nations such as the US, China, Canada and India), sodium-fluoride, and various industrial wastes they use in municipal water supplies such as hydrofluorosilicic acid.

In general AAs work better with slightly acidic water (pH range of 5.5 - 6.5 and generally doesn't work well if the water is neutral (pH = 7) or more alkaline (higher pH).

They also work better in colder water and as the temperature warms up it looses it effectiveness.

With a standard 2.5" by 10" cartridge you want to run it at less than 0.25 gpm (15 gph) although some people run them up to 0.50 gpm (30 gph). You can always "over-compensate" with larger cartridge sizes or have more than 1 in-line. In other words you might not be able to control the pH or water temperature all that well but you can always (and easily) double the amount of media material. Generally most people use 1 - example, a countertop setup.

If I remember right the 'beads' will go from bright-white (Aluminum) to a pale-yellow (Fl) - I use clear cartridges so I can observe this & get a rough idea as to how 'used up' they are.

For myself, I usually place it after a pre-filter(s) like a Doulton (fired diatomaceous earth [DE]) and after a carbon filter if I want to stabilize the pH. You can get pH strips to test at various levels if your curious.

You can always get trace amounts via leeching out later on, for instance, ion exchange media, reverse-osmosis (RO) membranes and so on. I'll have to double check but I think even a coarse micro-filtration (MF) filter like a Doulton should be able to remove it. I've even read a good ole activated charcoal (AC) filter will although I need to find the research reports and tests on this.

Sounds complex - it isn't. I just gave more information so people here can research how best to design their own water solution.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1266016
Canada
02/14/2011 10:23 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
I would suggest building your own solutions. What you do is write down your requirements and then work backwards to achieve that.

For myself I have 4 sizes (I do not sell units, this is for my personal use).

a. Travel Size
b. Drinking water
c. Shower and Whole House
d. Commercial (as I own natural springs and export water to various asian markets).

With "a." it's uses no power unless I add an optional UV-C (solar/battery) although I tend to use my trusty and much loved SteriPEN for that. As it's modular I swap out what I need according to where I am going. For example:

If I'm in a 'squatter camp' of a developing nation I might go heavy on removal of bacteria, viruses, parasites (and eggs which are hard for (say) UV-C to kill) and so on. Often you might find a pit (toilet) close to drinking water or often feces and urine in the water. Many things vector via the water such as polio. So I definitely want to have *REDUNDANCY* (two, three or more ways) at removing pathogens. This is a HUGE weakness in gravity water systems - a leak in one filter and I'm in huge trouble (and out of 20 BBs I field tested 18 had leaks). I MIGHT be worried about natural fluorides or chemicals depending where I am going (I do some homework before going). I'm not likely to worry about chlorine, VOCs, THMs, and (mono/di/tri)chloramines.

Now in the rural area of a developing nation I will change that. Much less worry about bacteria and viruses in many areas. But often-times, nitrides/nitrates are a concern from fertilizer use. Sometimes the area might have high levels of (say) calcium-fluoride. So I "pop-in" cartridges or make my own media to remove what I am concerned about.

In developing world cities, sometimes the water is cleaner than developed world cities. Again, get an idea of what is in your water then customize. Many developing nations use simple chlorine which is MUCH easier to remove. Also many developing nations don't put toxins like "fluoride" into the water (which as being waste from the nuclear, phosphate and aluminum industry is laced with 1000s of other chemicals). So I tend to 'balance' my system here. The biggest concern is being near industrial areas as chemical pollutants will play a role (thus you need the appropriate medias).

And first world nations have the sh*t water -- very tricky to clean! So you tend to require a good mix of media types. I need upgraded carbonS, for instance. (Mono/di/tri)chloramines found in many North American cities is very difficult to remove a you need special media - regular charcoal for instance, exhausts too quickly and reacts to slowly. Basically the media must first break apart the chlorine and ammonia (chloramine = 70% chlorine and 30% ammonia) then absorb he chlorine (the ammonia is a bi*ch to remove).

The simplest solution for type a. (travel) would be for backpacking or canoe camping (say) in norther Canada. Very simple medias - mostly virus, bacteria and related pathogen removal. For example a fired diatomaceous earth (DE) (ceramic) filter to remove sediment and coarse items, some GAC/KDF-55 in the middle, and maybe some ultra-filtration (UF) or nano-filtration (NF) at the end to ensure it's virus free. Doesn't hurt to have REDUNDANCY here too and use iodine drops, or a UV-C SteriPEN as well in the final product.

* The SteriPEN works great - I use that with various bottles (some use Iodine, some use ultra-filtration). Both are effective on viruses and bacteria so even in the water bottle there is REDUNDANCY. In developing world nations ALWAYS put the water you buy (even in a closed water bottle), filter it and ZAP it with the SteriPEN or add some iodine. The steriPEN can also be used in hot water, say for instant coffee, soup mix and tea. I've gotten sick that way too.

So again I tailor my filters and media to the conditions at hand. There is no one 'majick' material which does all.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1270216
Canada
02/18/2011 08:27 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
From another site:

The standard berkey filter removes only larger particulates and the black berkey elements are made of activated charcoal. Berkey has published no evidence tthat their filter can remove viruses which are usually several orders of magnitude smaller than bacteria and parasites/cysts.
Berkey also has not published comprehensive test results such as are commonly provided for RO filters. I would guess the reason they have not published such information is that their filter, unlike RO units, is ineffective against most dissolved contaminants or even very small particulates such as viruses. The lack of any such published data of their filter’s efficacy is why they cannot be sold in California.
Berkey is essentially selling a filter that they do not provide comprehensive specs for and claim that a TDS meter will not quantify its efficacy. So, that leaves a typical user with no way to test the effectiveness of the Berkey filter. I certainly would not trust Berkey any more than I would a municipal water company, and probably much less since at least the water company publishes their test data.
Berkey’s advertising material claims their filter is effective on a variety of contaminants, but they do not specify the test conditions (concentration of contaminants in the feed water among other things). The test data they released from reputable labs only address a handful of contaminants (the substances that are the easiest to remove such as E. coli and chlorine–using the activated charcoal/black berkey elements)

Also, how does the Berkey filter distinguish between “healthful” and “unhealthful” minerals/metals/substances? What it comes down to is the Berkey filter will remove a portion of the substances that are attracted to activated charcoal if the black berkey option is used, and a portion of the substances attracted to alumina if the fluoride/arsenic option is used. If neither option is used, all it does is remove the larger particulates. (It’s funny that a “minute” unquantified amount of aluminum compound (presumably mostly aluminum oxide otherwise known as alumina) introduced by their fluoride filter is harmless, but a minute amount of fluoride and other substances is a serious health hazard.) There is no evidence the Berkey filter with or without the optional elements is superior to any RO system. Since Berkey does not provide comparable test data, we have no way of knowing with any certainty though basic chemistry and the data from a simple TDS meter strongly suggests the Berkey filter is not effective against dissolved contaminants.
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1284027
United States
03/05/2011 03:45 AM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
newsflash

Now you'll need start taking mineral supplements since you're water won't have enough to keep you from developing diseases.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1250457



Berkeys do not remove the minerals so your worries are unfounded.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1253372




The thing I don't understand, is how they supposedly remove the heavy metals, but still retain the minerals. Seems somewhat unlikely to me.
DANO
User ID: 1505230
United States
08/14/2011 12:09 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
You people have wasted your money. U.S. tap water is perfectly safe and healthy as it is tested regularly and certified by the EPA. It contains a small amount of chlorine to kill germs and fluoride for stronger teeth.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1241201

But what percentage of the people out there are on a well system?
Tod Shwarze
User ID: 1394135
United States
08/14/2011 12:25 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Fresh clean water for years, best $250 I ever spent.
 Quoting: Dark Age


You could have made your own for $20, must be nice to have money to waste!
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1505551
Canada
08/14/2011 06:49 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
You people have wasted your money. U.S. tap water is perfectly safe and healthy as it is tested regularly and certified by the EPA. It contains a small amount of chlorine to kill germs and fluoride for stronger teeth.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1241201


lolsignlolsignlolsign
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1505551
Canada
08/14/2011 06:52 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
That's the same EPA that suggests you and your child drink up all that extra iodine, caesium, strontium, uranium, and so on, from Japan, in addition to the regular leakages you have from your own nuclear power plants. They say it's exactly like riding in an airplane! Because apparently when you ride airplanes you accumulate a variety of tiny but potent radioactive particles that each collect in a different spot, like in your thyroid, lungs, muscles, or bone marrow, depending on their flavor.

Don't worry folks, your EPA is on the case!
highwater

User ID: 1486381
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08/15/2011 12:09 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
You people have wasted your money. U.S. tap water is perfectly safe and healthy as it is tested regularly and certified by the EPA. It contains a small amount of chlorine to kill germs and fluoride for stronger teeth.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1241201


lolsignlolsignlolsign
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1505551


lol, do a little research on how the EPA prioritizes contaminants of concern and then come back and tell us how safe our drinking water is. Chicago recently tested their drinking water and hexavalent chromium was found at 10X the health standard set in California.

You can start with my most recent blogpost if you want more information on how the EPA is protecting our drinking water: [link to blog.highwaterfilters.com]
live modestly and prepare for inclement weather.
[link to www.highwaterfilters.com]
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1551490
United States
09/15/2011 03:13 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Well... I bought a unit w/4 black berkey filters and so far the two I've used have both leaked through the end cap while priming. It it's leaking out you know it's leaking in as well. I agree with the idea that the end caps don't seal well on the extruded carbon filters. What makes it more problematic IMO is that you have to prime the black berkey's often because they clog so easily (unless you're running tap water through them) and I suspect the priming breaks the seal on the caps. I finally took the advice to put some red dye in the water and sure enough it came out pink.

Be aware that if you run two black berkey filters for the time berkey claims they are good for, that by the time you are ready to put the second set of filters in, they may be out out of warranty. That is my case.

I spent a long time on the phone with READY MADE RESOURCES where I UNFORTUNATELY made the purchase and they would not honor the warranty because it was past two years. So I am SOL and have two unused black berkey filters still in the white box they came in that I have lost faith in and will never use. I offered to send in all four filters if I could get two white filters just to show I was on the up an up.
No dice...

There are numerous accounts lately of these black berkeys leaking lately and people were saying that berkey will honor the warranty. Maybe... they didn't in my case.

I may try a couple Doulton filters next.
highwater

User ID: 1510047
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09/16/2011 04:47 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Well... I bought a unit w/4 black berkey filters and so far the two I've used have both leaked through the end cap while priming. It it's leaking out you know it's leaking in as well. I agree with the idea that the end caps don't seal well on the extruded carbon filters. What makes it more problematic IMO is that you have to prime the black berkey's often because they clog so easily (unless you're running tap water through them) and I suspect the priming breaks the seal on the caps. I finally took the advice to put some red dye in the water and sure enough it came out pink.

Be aware that if you run two black berkey filters for the time berkey claims they are good for, that by the time you are ready to put the second set of filters in, they may be out out of warranty. That is my case.

I spent a long time on the phone with READY MADE RESOURCES where I UNFORTUNATELY made the purchase and they would not honor the warranty because it was past two years. So I am SOL and have two unused black berkey filters still in the white box they came in that I have lost faith in and will never use. I offered to send in all four filters if I could get two white filters just to show I was on the up an up.
No dice...

There are numerous accounts lately of these black berkeys leaking lately and people were saying that berkey will honor the warranty. Maybe... they didn't in my case.

I may try a couple Doulton filters next.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1551490


Try the manufacturer, New Millenium Concepts.
live modestly and prepare for inclement weather.
[link to www.highwaterfilters.com]
iMaven
User ID: 1554380
United States
09/17/2011 05:37 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
sadly, the people who say this trades one poison(sodium fluoride) for another (aluminum) is right..
however, I'd like to see any studies pointing towards the lack of removing fluorosilicic acid or sodium fluorosilicate..
PLEASE someone confirm that it does in fact remove sodium fluoride..
if it does, and doesn't remove the other 2... keep this fact in mind..
a 1992 census shows that 9% of our water was treated with sodium fluoride, 63% with fluorosilicic acid, and 28% with sodium fluorosilicate. Therefore, if the water is treated with a combination of those (or anything aside from sodium fluoride), it is unlikely berkey removes all of it (from the rumors in this thread.. please confirm where you read that it doesn't.. maybe i'll find it myself and come post back. )

pretty sad day cuz i just received my berkey with the extra pf-2 filters..

i also did the math with their data :•
PF2™ after conditioning (5 cycles): .178 ppm aluminum
• PF2™ after 10 Cycles: .037 ppm aluminum
• PF2™ after 20 Cycles: .029 ppm aluminum

(note: one cycle equals refilling the upper chamber (3.25gallons) once and allowing it to filter to the bottom completely.. correct me if i'm wrong..)

the EPA limit for public drinking water is .05ppm.. that means the first 8 or so cycles are at or above the EPA limit... definitely 3 times the limit in the first 5 cycles...
So, if you want to minimize the Al (to at least below the EPA), you'd have to wait for how long it takes to filter that upper chamber 8 or so times..
pretty lame...

but the facts are all there ladies and gents..
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 1554079
United Kingdom
09/17/2011 06:14 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
I love this thing already I just filled my first gallon jug for storage. I know the berkey can filter any water but I want at least 20 gallons in the closet. That way I already have water for my my Ramen noodles and drinking.

If you are looking for portable water, they sell or offer free with purchase two sport bottles that filter. I also have one of those UV light pens, so I think I'm in good shape for water for now.

Cheaperthandirt.com sells the regular ceramic filters that will fit berkey for $20. The Black filters are supposed to last 5-10 years. But they are $100 to replace.
 Quoting: Dark Age

the flavouring in those noodles is full of msg which is an excitotoxin (sorry if you all ready knew) but i've heard a few mention they're stocking loads of this shit for shtf supplies... jus' saying...

Anonymous Coward
User ID: 6244085
United States
12/07/2011 10:06 PM
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Re: UPS just delivered my new Berkey water filter.
Well... I bought a unit w/4 black berkey filters and so far the two I've used have both leaked through the end cap while priming. It it's leaking out you know it's leaking in as well. I agree with the idea that the end caps don't seal well on the extruded carbon filters. What makes it more problematic IMO is that you have to prime the black berkey's often because they clog so easily (unless you're running tap water through them) and I suspect the priming breaks the seal on the caps. I finally took the advice to put some red dye in the water and sure enough it came out pink.

Be aware that if you run two black berkey filters for the time berkey claims they are good for, that by the time you are ready to put the second set of filters in, they may be out out of warranty. That is my case.

I spent a long time on the phone with READY MADE RESOURCES where I UNFORTUNATELY made the purchase and they would not honor the warranty because it was past two years. So I am SOL and have two unused black berkey filters still in the white box they came in that I have lost faith in and will never use. I offered to send in all four filters if I could get two white filters just to show I was on the up an up.
No dice...

There are numerous accounts lately of these black berkeys leaking lately and people were saying that berkey will honor the warranty. Maybe... they didn't in my case.

I may try a couple Doulton filters next.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 1551490


So after eventually being told by READY MADE RESOURCES that I was in luck and that Berkey would replace the filters... they didn't AND they didn't want to call Berkey again because they were too busy. So there ya go. Two companies I'll never ever do business with again.

Crappy filters and two crappy companies.

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