Storage Tips for Berkeys
How to store your Berkey? The best storage tips for Berkey water filters. Find out what to do if you're not going to use your Berkey for a period of time.
Many people have a Berkey for everyday use that sits on the counter in the kitchen, and also have a Berkey tucked safely away in storage. What procedures are best for keeping your Berkey in great shape while you're not using it everyday?
What to do if you're going to be...
Gone for a weekend:
Nothing, leave it alone. Your Berkey is fine to sit where and how it it is without doing anything to it. If you're not going to use your Berkey for less than three days there is no need to do anything to it.
Gone for more than 3 days, but less than 30 days:
You have three options for storing your filters if you're going to be gone for a week or so. The first and easiest option is to store the filters wet in a container (something like a gallon Ziplock bag) in the door of the refrigerator. Empty the Berkey chambers, disassemble, place in a container that will retain moisture, and place in the fridge. We recommend putting the filters on the shelves in the refrigerator door, because the filters are less likely to freeze if stored in the door. If the filters freeze it will permanently damage the internal structure and filtration ability. Black Berkey Filters can stay in the fridge for up to 30 days. When you get back, reassemble, and refill.
If you have the Fluoride Filters, they CANNOT dry out. Fluoride filters need to stay wet! To temporarily store, place the wet Fluoride Filters in a zip-top bag in the door of the fridge, for up to two weeks. After 14 days the Fluoride Filters need to be re-primed before they can be put back in the fridge for another 14 days, repeat this cycle as needed so they do not dry out. Do not allow Fluoride Filters to freeze or dry out.
Option two is to let the Black Berkey Filters dry out completely. We recommend emptying your chambers, disassembling, and laying the black filters out to dry on a towel. It usually takes 3-5 days to dry out. To speed up the drying process, use the Black Berkey Primer to purge the interior of the filter completely of water. When you return, prime the filters, reassemble, and refill.
The third option is only for truly diehard and dedicated Berkey fans. Have a 'Berkey babysitter' come over and run water through your system every couple of days. Have them empty the lower chamber (bonus, use that water for your plants or pets) and fill the upper chamber. This keeps the filters wet and activated. This option can be used for both the Black Berkey Filters and the Fluoride Filters. No need to re-prime either filter when you return because it'll be like you never left.
Gone for months to years:
Disassemble and let the chambers, washers, wingnuts, and Black Berkey Filters dry out completely. If you think the filters are dry, wait a little longer and let them dry some more and then add an hour to that. Very important to have the filters be 100% dry if not going to be in use for a while. The Black Berkey Filters typically dry out completely in 3-5 days when set out on a towel. Purging the filters with a Black Berkey Primer dries out the filters faster. Once everything is dry, dry, dry, package the Berkey up in a safe container to be put away. We like using the original packaging or a Berkey tote. The chambers nest inside each other to make a smaller footprint for easier storage. If you're traveling with your Berkey, take care to protect the stems of your Black Berkey Filters so that they don't break. Store the filters in a temperature controlled (don't let the filters freeze or get too hot), dry place away from strong odors or fragrances. The carbon material of the filters can sometimes absorb the smells and then make your water taste weird. Whenever you're ready to start using your Berkey again, prime the filters, reassemble, and re-enjoy the great benefits of Berkey water.
*The Fluoride Filters cannot be stored for longer than two weeks. They must remain continually saturated.
The Black Berkey Filters are truly incredible because they can last for so long! The filters can be wet, then dried out, stored for years, then be used again. The amount of times that they can be completely dried out and then re-primed is indefinite. If concerned about your filters still working, do the Red Dye Test. We recommend replacing Black Berkey Filters after two years of continuous use. A pair of Black Berkey Filters typically lasts up to 6,000 gallons. If you've lost track of how long you've used your Berkey or have no idea how many gallons of water have gone through your filters, you can do the Red Dye Test to check. If the filters pass by only allowing clear water through--your filters are still in great shape!