When Should You Replace Berkey Replacement Filters?

A standard Berkey Water Filter already comes equipped with two filters located on the upper chamber.  But larger systems require more sieves, which is crucial to know when it is time to buy Berkey replacement filters.

A Berkey Water Filter will help get rid of bacteria, toxic metals, and even parasites using gravity and filtration technology. The technology removes the contaminants without the beneficial minerals like sodium, calcium, and magnesium. The number of filter elements and the volume of water will affect the flow of water.

Buyers have the impression that the more Berkey replacement filters you install into the system, the higher the quality of the water.

Your water quality remains the same no matter how many filters you install. Instead, what you will be doing is to speed up the filtration process. This is ideal for larger systems with six to eight filter elements on the upper chamber.

When Should You Buy Berkey Replacement Filters?

The filters are different from the stagnant water, which should be drained every after three days. However, you can extend the schedule to one week in a cold environment. The explanation for this is that bacteria multiply quicker in warmer climates, which can contaminate the water.

According to the manufacturer, each filter is designed to purify an estimated 3,000 gallons of water. Do not wait for that cycle to end before you buy your Berkey replacement filters. It might seem like 3,000 is a short span, but the US  Environmental Protection Agency estimated that the average household in the US uses about 300 gallons per day. But a large volume of this is wasted from flushing the toilet, washing dishes, or taking a bath.

The average American, meanwhile, drinks about 58 gallons of water per year. So, it gives you an idea of how long does the 3,000-gallon cycle lasts.

But what happens after the 3,000-gallon cycle?

You can still use your Berkey filters but understand that it will impact their effectiveness. The first to be affected would be heavy metals since some contaminants may seep through.  The 3,000 gallon refers to each filter.

If you have a system with two filters, it means that you can purify approximately 6,000 gallons. You add another 3,000 gallons to the cycle for each filter that you install.

What About Fluoride Filters?

 Fluoride in water is beneficial if it is within the recommended limits. There are states that source groundwater where fluoride is prevalent. Several factors will cause this, such as the warm climate or crop irrigation. When you have too much fluoride in your drinking water, it will lead to skeletal fluorosis and dental fluorosis, which is bacteria-caused tooth decay.  Skeletal fluorosis, meanwhile, can be a crippling condition as calcification will deform the bones.

The process of cleaning fluoride from groundwater before distributing it to homes is extremely expensive. However, there are cost-effective household solutions, such as PF-2 fluoride filters.

These special filtration elements, however, have a shorter lifespan compared to the standard Berkey replacement filters. You need to install a new set after every 1,000-gallon cycle. For example, if you have a large household and consuming 10 gallons per day, you need to replace them every 100 days or three months.

Never Recycle Your Filters

Whatever you do, avoid recycling the filters. The material used to manufacturer the filtration elements is mostly Polypropylene. It is the same material that is used to make medicine and catsup bottles, or yogurt tubs. Polypropylene itself is known as Recycle Code 5. Technically, Polypropylene can be recycled into bicycle racks, pallets, brooms, car battery cases, and trash bins. But this is rarely done since it is more cost-effective to make them from scratch.

Unfortunately, there is no classification for the Berkey filtration elements. There are two reasons for this: first, the system is sealed and secured, and second, it is designed to filter out contaminants and toxic heavy metals.

It would be time-consuming to cut open the filters and then extract the materials inside to use the shell. You have no way of knowing what types of contaminants that the filters have captured without sending the samples to a lab for identification.

The best way to dispose of your Berkey filters would be to throw them in the trash rather than trying to recycle or upcycle the elements. But you can also contact your local recycling center for some recommendations. Maybe they will accept the filtration elements since they are better equipped to handle them.