Your Berkey water filter assembles easily in minutes and with no tools!

Filter Assembly Diagram



  1. Remove the filter elements and parts from their protective packaging, checking each item against the diagram. Note: The number of filter elements supplied will depend on the type of unit ordered:
    • Standard Berkey: 4 Filter Elements
    • Big Berkey: 4 Filter Elements
    • Imperial Berkey: 6 Filter Elements
    • Crown Berkey: 8 Filter Elements

  2. Extreme cleanliness is important. Wash hands before proceeding. Assure that contamination of the components does not take place during assembly.

  3. Fit the knob (1) onto the lid (2) by inserting the screw (3) up through the hole in the lid and screwing on the knob. Hand tighten only.

  4. The Black Berkey filter elements must be primed prior to installation. Place the tan rubber washer just over the end of the fastening screww at the end of the filter. Place the filter with the washer up against the sink faucet and turn on the water. The filter will fill with water and the pressure will force water through the micro pores of the filter. You will begin to see water and small bubbles come out the filter element. Continue this process till no more bubbles appear on the surface of the filter.

  5. If you have no water pressure available to condition the filters see the instructions below

  6. Place the large sealing washer (10) over the threaded part of the filter element (5).

  7. Place the element (5) into the hole in the base of the upper chamber (4).

  8. Secure element in the chamber base by screwing on the wing nut (11) onto the threaded mount. Repeat #5 & #6 until all filter elements have been installed. Hand tighten only.

  9. Place one small washer (8) onto the threaded part of the outlet spigot (7).

  10. Insert thread of spigot (7) through hole in the side of the lower chamber (6). Place the second small washer (8) over the thread within the chamber and secure in place with the nut (9). Tighten securely by hand only.

  11. Put the upper chamber (4) on top of the lower chamber (6) and place lid (2) in position.
berkey assembly

How do I prime the Black Berkey® Purification Elements, in the field, when water pressure is unavailable?

The micro pores on the Black Berkey® purification elements are extremely small, in fact they are small enough to filter red food coloring out of water. The benefit from having such extremely small pores is greater efficiency at removing pathogenic bacteria and other contaminates. The downside is that too much water tension can require that the purification elements be primed before they will flow properly. When you receive the purification elements, they are dry and air is trapped within the tiny micro fine pores. In certain parts of the world, water has more water tension than in other places and this can change from season to season. The higher the water tension, the more difficult it is for the water to force the air out of the micro fine pores using gravity alone. The pores that have air trapped within them do not allow water to pass through and therefore become an inaccessible passage for the water. This then can cause the system to either filter very slowly or not at all.

Before traveling to the field or using the system in an area without water pressure, we recommend that the purification elements be primed using the priming button method. If water pressure is not available to use the priming button method, the elements can be field primed approximately 50-75% by using the below method. In other words by using this method, the elements will not purify as fast as they will by using the priming button method however they will run significantly faster than if the elements have not been primed at all. The field priming method is as follows:

STEP 1: Fill the lower chamber with water, then place the purification elements into the water in the lower chamber, upside down with the stems facing upward. Put a ceramic coffee cup (or something else that will hold them under the water) on top of each purification element stem to force the element down under the water.

Or, install the elements upside down in the upper chamber so that the elements are on the exterior of the bottom side of the upper chamber facing downward. Then place the upper chamber onto the lower chamber so that the filters are forced into the water within the lower chamber.

Let the purification elements soak in the water for 30 to 60 minutes until they fill up with water. NOTE: Make sure that the opening in the stems of the purification elements are not underwater as the water must be forced through the pores of the element and not allowed to enter the element through the hole in the stem.

STEP 2: When the inside of the purification elements are full of water they will be significantly heavier. Next, assemble the purification elements into the upper chamber while keeping the stems of the elements facing upward. It is important to keep as much water on the inside of the purification elements as is possible. Next, fill the upper chamber with water as quickly as possible. Hint: the fastest way to fill the upper chamber is to pour the water from the lower chamber into the upper chamber. Then place the upper chamber onto the lower chamber.

When the purification elements have water within the bore (inside core), more force is generated to draw water through the purification elements. This is because the water that drips out of the purification element also hydraulically pulls new water into the element as it begins to work like a siphon. Thus, in addition to the "Push" of gravity, there is also a hydraulic "pull" and this drastically improves the ability of the water to force the air from the micro pores. The above method is less efficient than priming the purification elements with the priming button but should be about 50-75% effective in clearing the blocked micro pores.

The water from the first purification cycle that is collected in the lower chamber run to waste. Next, refill the upper chamber with water. Your Black Berkey® elements are now FIELD primed and your Berkey® system is ready for use.

Note: If the water used to field prime the elements is from a contaminated or suspect source, if possible use a container other than the lower chamber to immerse the elements. If this is not possible then use the water that collects in the lower chamber from the first purification cycle to make a soapy dishwater. Then wash thoroughly the inside of the lower chamber and discard the soapy water. Next, purify more water and use it to rinse any remaining soap from the lower chamber. Your Berkey® system is now ready for use.


Ensure that the spigot (7) is in the "OFF" position.
The Berkey water filter is now ready to use - enjoy!

Note: If the filters are left to stand for more than 3 days, then it is recommended that water be run to waste for 1 minute before using. When installing filter elements for the first time or replacing a used element with a new one, it is important to condition the new filters using the above procedure.


Its stainless steel construction and easy to assemble design has made it the choice of thousands, including missionaries, campers, home owners, emergency agencies and the preparedness community.

Filter Life

Each filter element will provide efficient water filtration between 3,400 gallons to 19,500 gallons, depending on water quality.

  • Heavily contaminated water would result in shorter filter element use, i.e. swamp water, filthy river water or heavily chlorinated* water.
  • Filtering cleaner water, such as clear lake or stream water, snow or rain results in longer filter use.

*Chlorination levels vary greatly from area to area and may vary daily in the same water system.

Many users of British Berkefeld filters will purchase one or more spare filter elements, just in case one of the durable filter elements accidentally becomes damaged by negligence at some future date.

For generations, health-conscious people around the world have recognized that the foundation to a healthy life and healthy body is clean, fresh drinking water. This important essential element is the basis for enjoying your longest, healthiest life.  No amount of vitamins or supplements can substitute for the vital life-sustaining properties found in nourishing, healthful drinking water.  It is truly the foundation of life.

Unfortunately, securing your access to good tasting, sparkling, wholesome drinking water can be harder than you might expect.  Water is often laced with chlorine, lead, high levels of harmful bacteria, and other unwanted chemicals and contaminants.  Frequently these produce unpleasant tastes and odors.  Even bottled water can contain these same contaminants, and moreover it is very expensive.  Other filtration systems are inferior. Most do not remove pathogenic bacteria and many remove the beneficial minerals that your body needs.

Perhaps that’s why Berkey® systems have long been recognized as the world’s ultimate in water purification.  This simple, highly effective method of using gravity was developed almost 200 years ago... yet it still produces some of the finest, most healthful drinking water available.


Help Me Choose – BUYERS GUIDE
Water Quality Issues - ARE YOU AT RISK?
Technical Information about the - BLACK BERKEY FILTER
Testimonials (rave review really) from BERKEY USERS


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