Do you use a Berkey? (failed filter tests)
” I don’t know how to explain this, and don’t know where to go from here. They will no longer replace our filters because for them the filters worked perfectly.”
Filters generally can only remove non-soluble contaminates. They cannot remove soluble contaminants like food coloring.
To filter out soluble containments you need to use a high pressure reverse osmosis system, or make the containments non-soluble (ie apply Ozone treatment). Some soluble contaminents can be removed using an actived charcoal filter, but it won’t remove all contaminates, and they need to be frequently replaced. Only a Reverse osmosis system won’t need frequent filter replacement because the contaminates don’t get stuck in the filter, they just get flushed out. Generally a Revese osmosis system will have a pre-filter that will trap sediment & non-soluble minerals that can deposit and stick pipe walls.
You can add a small reverse osmosis system that fits under your sink and uses a separate faucet for just the purified water.
If your looking for an emergency filter, than get one of those high pressure hand pumped units sold for campinghiking.
“Even our kids much prefer to drink spring water from a gallon rather than our Berkey water.”
Water Filters can remove minerals that are present in spring water that make it taste better. Pure water will have no taste at all. It also helps if the water is kept cold or chilled after filtering (at least in my opinion).
Even our kids much prefer to drink spring water from a gallon rather than our Berkey water.
I know there’s got to be a reasonable explanation for this, but I have no idea where to go from here…
As mentioned before, the taste of spring water has little to do with the lack of contaminants. A better test would be Berkey water vs tap water. With that test, only if tap water tastes better would I suspect that something is seriously wrong.
About the Berkey, I would suggest you consider the ProPur G2.0 9″ filters, which fit the Berkey housing. I only used them for 1.5 months before performing the last dye tests with them, but so far they haven’t failed. There aren’t that many gravity filters to choose from.
Filters generally can only remove non-soluble contaminates. They cannot remove soluble contaminants like food coloring. To filter out soluble containments you need to use a high pressure reverse osmosis system, or make the containments non-soluble (ie apply Ozone treatment). Some soluble contaminents can be removed using an actived charcoal filter, but it won’t remove all contaminates, and they need to be frequently replaced.
I don’t know the science involved here, but I do know that both Berkey and ProPur give a dye test for their filters in the respective manual and tell you to consider defective any filter that fails a properly done test, so I guess they must be confident enough that there’s something wrong with what you said. I’ve also seen both brands actually pass the dye test.
Hi Peakers (Prosperers?),
I just talked to Berkey because I’m looking at getting my first filtration system. I asked them about the issues you discussed in the forum here. The representative told me that they were using a defective adhesive and they have since switched and do not have the problem anymore. I’m hoping this is the case because I’m about to drop $300 on one of these!
She also confirmed that the Berkeys can take off brand filters, but recommended calling in to verify compatibility before purchasing them. Total win.
Just an update – I’ve become a lot more stringent about red dye testing my black Berkey filters since reading this thread. This spring, I ordered new filters and tested them – both failed. So the old filters (2+ years old) went back in and were tested – one failed, but not as badly. So I ran only the single good filter. After a bit of a slow turnaround (a few weeks), New Millennium Concepts (who I assume are the stateside distributor who does warranty claims) got me a new set of filters that both passed. So I’m happy again, but will need to be more vigilant in the future about testing. Perhaps I got the bad adhesive batch the Danni mentioned above.
Also, here’s a good article on backpacking filters that gives some independent lab testing data on a bunch of filters, including the black Berkey element – it gets high marks across the board, including a very good (but not perfect) score on virus removal.