The Black Berkey™Purification elements are powerful enough to remove red food coloring from water. Performing a red food coloring test on your Black Berkey™ Purification elements allows you to ensure that your system is operating properly.
- We recommend this test be done upon first use, and then every three to six months to ensure the Black Berkey™ elements are working properly.
- The red food coloring test is only designed for the Black Berkey™ Purification elements and NOT for the ceramic or other filter elements that do not filter out food color. This test is also not recommended for the Sport Berkey® water bottle.
- Please make sure the food coloring is RED. Red food coloring (unlike the other colors) doesn’t have any minerals, so the element recognizes it as contaminant.
- The red food coloring test should be done after priming your Black Berkey™ elements.
PERFORMING THE TEST
- Start with an empty system (upper and lower chamber) and remove any Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters(if installed). The Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters must be removed prior to performing a red food coloring test in order to stay in compliance with the six month warranty on the Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters .
- Place the upper chamber only (with the elements installed) on similar- sized cups directly underneath each Black Berkey™ element. This will help isolate which filter may be exhausted and which is still purifying effectively.
- Fill the upper chamber with water and add I teaspoon of red food coloring for every gallon of water.
- Allow the water to run through to the bottom chamber.
- If the red food coloring is removed entirely, your purification system is working properly.
- If the water in any of the cups is red or has a pinkish tinge, then that particular black filter is defective or exhausted.
IF RED FOOD COLORING IS DETECTED, PLEASE CHECK THE FOLLOWING:
1. Are the wing nuts on securely? Please do not tighten the wing nuts using any tools; they should be hand tightened to a snug fit, but not more. If the wing nuts are on too tight, this could cause stripping on the threads of the stem, preventing a correct seal.
2. Are you using artificial liquid red food coloring? Artificial liquid red food coloring is the only type recommended for this test. Other dyes contain minerals and natural colors which may pass through the Black Berkey Elements. If the red food coloring is organic, has blue in it or has citric acid in it, it may not pass the test. Be sure to use simple red food coloring from the baking aisle in your local grocery store. Preferably McCormicks brand.
3. Is the washer for the stem inside the upper chamber and is the wing nut secured at the bottom? If the washer is on the outside of the chamber with the wing nut you will not have a proper seal. This will cause your system to fail the test. Place the washer on the inside of the upper chamber and re-run the test.
4. Are the blocking plugs properly sealing the unused holes without elements? If you have a multi-part screw style plug, verify that the plugs are installed tight with a silicone washer on each side. If you have the cork style hole plugs, make sure they are installed with the narrow end inserted first through the inside of the upper chamber. If the plugs are leaking, this will cause the system to fail the test. Tighten and secure the plugs and re run the test.
5. Are you re-testing an element that you think may have failed the test? If so, rinse off and re-prime the element first. Additionally, make sure you empty any excess water out of the bottom tank and cups. If you are using the lower chamber to catch water, run clean water through the spigot to clean it out as well. Now you are ready to repeat the test.
6. If you’ve done everything and still have a filter that fails the red food coloring test, do not throw away the filters. Contact our Customer Service Center for further assistance. Black Berkey™ elements have a two-year prorated warranty.