USA Water quality is supported by its audience. If you buy something through our links, we may earn money from our affiliate partners. Learn more

How Long Do Berkey Filters Last? Quickly and Effortlessly

Fact checked by Stephen Conklin

How Long Do Berkey Filters Last

For years, Berkey Water Filters have proven to be one of the world’s most cost-effective water purification systems for your home. Berkey filters utilize gravity water filtration and can remove sediments, bacteria, and chemicals without electricity.

From home filters to travel-sized ones, Berkey has all these and more – ensuring customers of clean filtered water anywhere at any time. It may seem that Berkey filters are the epitome of ingenuity and convenience – but how long do Berkey filters last?

Table of Contents

What Is a Gravity Water Filter?

As one of the earliest water filtration systems, gravity water filters are basically two containers stacked on top of each other with several types of filter mediums in between. Water is poured from the top, and gravity pulls it to the bottom. As the water gradually passes through the filters, all the contaminants are removed.

Gravity water filters take their time in filtering water, so patience is vital. The slow but sure filtering process is due to the microscopic matrix of pores installed with these systems. It’s like reverse osmosis systems, where pressure is applied to water as it passes through a semipermeable membrane. Only instead of a forceful pressure, the water can trickle down at gravity’s pace.

What Are the Different Types of Gravity Water Filters?


The variations of gravity water filters mostly involve their housing since they still function similarly. However, their different materials still have an overall effect on the filter system itself.

One of the earliest gravity filters was ceramic gravity water filters. These are ideal for those who are sensitive to chemicals. Meanwhile, stainless steel gravity water filters have been dominating the market and are available in various sizes. These gravity filters are portable and sturdy – ideal if you are always on-the-go.

In the topic of portability, gravity bag water filters take it up a notch by being the perfect portable water filter for anyone who loves traveling and the outdoors. They’re built to be collapsible and are easy to carry around, making them the ideal water dispenser for your next camping trip.

What is a Berkey Gravity Water Filter?

Berkey is currently one of the leading water filter brands, working better than most filters on the market today. What makes Berkey stand out as a water filter is its ingenuity of utilizing no electricity – just pure gravity.

Manufactured for easy set-ups, Berkey Water Filters do not need to be installed into your plumbing system. Also, because of their eco-friendly ingenuity, Berkey filters are the perfect filters for many scenarios – including the worst ones. In case of emergencies, Berkey filters will be able to purify untreated water from questionable sources.

Berkey Water Filters are available in seven different sizes. Their largest model, Crown, stands 30 inches and can store six gallons. Their most portable model, Go, stands 14 inches and can hold a quart of water. All of their filters use the same Black Berkey Purification Elements, which are custom-made carbon filters.

What can Berkey Gravity Water filters remove?

As the leading brand in gravity water filters, Berkey filters have been proven to remove up to 99.9% of lead, arsenic, iron, mercury, chlorine, and a long list of other contaminants.

You can owe this effectiveness to Berkey’s purification system, which comprises more than six different types of filters. This system includes a layer of activated carbon made from high-grade coconut shells and a layer that’s a compact matrix that houses millions of microscopic pores.

Berkey water filter’s micropores matrix is small enough to prevent bacteria, viruses, and even food coloring from passing through. These intruders stay trapped in the micropores – and since there are millions of these pores, it will take a while for the filter to get fully clogged.

Although Berkey filters may seem very strict in excluding all types of dissolved solids, they leave an exception for calcium and magnesium. A safe amount of these minerals are allowed to pass through using Berkey’s specially designed filter medium. While other sediments are filtered out, the useful minerals – without which the water wouldn’t taste the way it should – are allowed.

Can Berkey Water Filters Remove Fluoride?

Water fluoridation has been said to improve certain municipalities’ dental health, reducing the population’s tooth decay problems significantly. However, an excess of fluoride has been known to cause many health problems – especially if ingested continuously throughout many years.

Many popular water filters are not designed to remove fluoride, but Berkey Water Filters are among the few that do. The specially-crafted Black Berkey Purification Elements have been proven to reduce 99.9% of the fluoride in tap water.

This efficiency against excess fluoridation will deteriorate after a few hundred gallons, though – which is why Berkey provides additional post-filters such as the Berkey PF-2 Elements. A set of these will be able to remove fluoride for 1000 gallons.

How Long Will my Berkey Filter Last?


The lifespan of your Berkey filter will depend on its size and capacity. One Black Berkey Purification Element will purify around 3000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced. If your Berkey filter has two elements, then it can filter up to 6000 gallons.

If you use your Big Berkey to filter around five gallons of water a day, then the filter will last you about 1200 days – which is three years.

You’ll know when your Black Berkey Filter Purification Elements need cleaning when the flow rate starts to slow down. Ideally, you should clean every six months.

It’s also recommended that you wash your Berkey filter’s lower chamber once a month using dishwashing soap. For the parts with chalky residue because of the hard water, you can soak these in a 50:50 water and vinegar mix for about 15 minutes. After that, you can then wipe them with a soft sponge, wash with dishwashing soap, and then rinse with water.

How Do I Clean my Black Berkey Filter Purification Elements?

The filters should first be removed from the filter system and scrubbed gently under cold running water. Afterward, you should re-prime the filters. This process involves using a specifically made priming button that comes with the product. You can learn more about priming your Black Berkey Purification Elements in this instructional video.

After cleaning and re-priming, reassemble your Black Berkey Filters back into the Berkey system. You can then test its effectiveness by filtering water with food dye. For more detailed instructions, the Berkey website offers a step-by-step guide on cleaning their purification elements.

Are the Berkey Filters Recyclable?

Unfortunately, it is not recommended that Berkey Water Filters be recycled. There is no fixed recycling code for these filters because the micropore matrix is too complicated to classify under one material type.

By the time these filters need to be replaced, they will have accumulated all the contaminants they have been filtering. They are not only difficult to clean but are also very toxic. Berkey recommends that used filters be disposed of right away.

Keeping Up with Berkey

A little patience goes a long way, and Berkey proves that by being one of the most effective water filters on the market. It is an eco-friendly way to provide your household with clean, tasty, and healthy water. As long as you put in the minimum effort for its maintenance, your Berkey Water Filter will last for years.

How long do Berkey filters last? Now, you know the answer to this question. Share this post with friends today!

5/5 - (1 vote)