How to Prime the Black Berkey Elements

When you first receive your black berkey elements, it is important to prime them to saturate the pores and remove air. They should also be primed after routine cleaning which helps to backflush the elements extending their lifespan. A priming button (large beige washer) is included in the box with each set of elements. Be sure to keep this in some place safe so that you can re-prime your element when needed.


To prime the Black Berkey Elements: 

  1. First remove the black wing nut and black washer from your Black Berkey Elements. Install the black wing nut back to front (reverse) with just enough thread to place the beige priming button on. *Installing the wing nut backwards provides a flat surface for the beige washer to press against during priming creating a better seal. 
  2. Hold the Black Berkey Element upside down and place it firmly against your faucet/tap. Turn the water on so that it is just a trickle. Low pressure is better as the Black Elements may not prime properly if you use too high water pressure. The water will go into the Black Element, fill the internal chamber and  then slowly force through the pores to the outside. Water will start flowing out. If water sprays everywhere, either the water pressure is too high or a better seal is required. You may need to use another household tap (laundry, bathtub etc)
  3. Allow the water to flow back through the Black Element for about 20-30 seconds, then turn off the tap and place your finger over the thread opening and give the Black Element a gentle shake to dislodge any internal air pocket and then re-prime a second time for another 20-30 seconds. 
  4. Remove the beige washer, re-install the black washer and then install the Black Berkey Element into the Berkey water filter system using the black wing nut.

The optional Berkey Primer Hand Pump can make this task easier. Please see the accessories section on our website.

Discard the first 1-2 batches of water you put through the system so that the tap water used for priming is completely removed from the elements The elements will self sterilize after 1-2 batches.