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5 Questions for Gravity-Fed Water Filter Elements

When comparing water filter systems, it’s important to understand the capabilities

 of the elements (filters or purifiers) inside the system. 

Here are 5 questions to ask:

1. What Contaminants Do They Address?

All elements are not created equal, and specific removal capabilities may vary by manufacturer. You can find this information on the product’s website, marketplace product listings or packaging.

Black Berkey® Purification Elements address over 200 contaminants—removing up to 99.999% of viruses and 99.9999% of pathogenic bacteria, while also removing or dramatically reducing: protozoa, trihalomethanes, inorganic minerals, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides, VOCs, petroleum products, perfluorinated chemicals, rust, silt, sediment and even radiologicals.

Customers often ask us about fluoride reduction. Most carbon-based filters on the market (including ours) will initially reduce fluoride, but experience a decline in their effectiveness within the first 50 gallons or less. In order to ensure long term fluoride reduction, a separate fluoride reduction filter (such as the Berkey® PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Element) is required to provide the proper amount of media and proper contact time in order for effective long term fluoride reduction to take place. Read our in-depth article “Fluoride and Water Filters: Understanding Effective Reduction” to learn more.

2. Is There Testing to Back Up Performance Claims?

You’d be surprised how many product listings claim that an element removes certain contaminants from your water, yet there is no published documentation to prove it.

Berkey® systems used several different independent labs, took multiple samples and even performed Extreme Testing for lead and PFCs in order to review the effectiveness of our Black Berkey® Purification Elements. View the test results on our website.

3. How Many Gallons Will They Treat?

All elements are designed to treat a certain number of gallons before needing replacement; that specification varies by manufacturer.

The effective lifespan of the Black Berkey® Purification Elements is 3,000 gallons, or 6,000 gallons per pair. Each additional pair gives you an additional 6,000 gallons. So if you maxed out one of our larger Berkey® systems with four pairs of elements, you could purify a whopping 24,000 gallons before the Black Berkey® Purification Elements need replacement!

4. Is There a Time Limitation?

In addition to (or in lieu of) a gallon limitation, some manufacturers recommend that their elements be replaced at certain time-based intervals—3 months, 6 months, etc. After that, a process known as “growthrough” can occur (when the bad stuff that the filter has captured starts growing and multiplying inside the filter—eeeew!).

Like your car warranty, element lifespans can sometimes be a “whichever comes first” situation. So, you may reach the element’s month-based expiration date way LONG BEFORE you purify the number of maximum gallons advertised.

The good news is that you don’t have to worry about that with Black Berkey® Purification Elements. They are powerful, self-cleaning and specially designed so that you can easily purify the advertised number of gallons of water (6,000 per pair) with NO time limitation.

5. How Do the Elements Perform Over Their Lifespan?

As stated earlier, the ability for carbon-based elements to remove certain contaminants is reduced over time (we’ll spare you a long science lesson). So, we conducted several key contaminant tests with multiple readings—such as when the filter was brand new, and after various intervals/gallons of use—to demonstrate the long-term reduction power of our Black Berkey® Purification Elements.

Authentic Black Berkey® Purification Elements are the Right Choice for Your Loved Ones

Available in 7 sizes, Berkey® water purification systems are made for the extreme, yet enjoyed every day. They can easily purify ordinary tap water and well water, yet are powerful enough to efficiently purify raw, untreated water from freshwater sources such as remote lakes, rivers and streams.