Just wanted to let people know about defective Berkey black water filters. I've had 4 bad filters now since I bought my Berkey Light in April.
One of the two filters lasted about 2 months when I noticed it really wasn't filtering the water as in "dripping" it through. Instead was just allowing the water to free-flow pour straight through down-spout because it was leaking in between the plastic piece and the filter piece.
What I found was that the plastic down-spout piece is glued to the filter portion with a clear kind of silicon glue. But it wasn't completely sealed all the way around, so water eventually got in there and delaminated the silicon glue and the filter fell apart.
I wrote to DecoSpace.com who I purchased it from, and they promptly shipped me 2 more new filters. This was back in July. So I had 3 good filters and 1 bad one. I used one of the new filters with my remaining original. Well, after about another month my 2nd filter from the original purchase delaminated as well. Since then I had been using the 2 new filters DecoSpace had sent me for free...well, the other day both fell apart while I was trying to clean them.
I decided to write directly to the Berkey company and they replied to me with this email:
We are just one of many distributors of Berkey products and cannot locate an order using your name. If you could please provide us with an order or invoice number we will reference your order to see exactly what items you have and gladly take care of any problems or concerns you are having.
So anyway, just wanted to let all out there who have purchased Berkey filters in the last year that you could have defective filters. If you've had any fall apart, or if you noticed that the water is no "dripping" slowly through your filter but is instead flowing through it very quickly then you have a leaking filter and the water you would be drinking has not been filtered properly for your safe consumption.
I told the guy who replied to me from Berkey that I understand it is a defect, so if they would be willing to replace all my filters then I would purchase the fluoride filters from them as well. We'll see if they go for it, but I should at least get 2 new free filters from them for this.
If anyone else has had this same problem and has had any success or failures from Berkey or other suppliers in getting your filters replaced I'd like to hear about, and maybe the email I received from them can help with your issue.
Really appreciate the info. A tip of the hat to you.
I just heard back from customer service about the bad batch of filters. The directed me to the manufacturer who I just got off the phone with. They will replace the filters, piece of cake. Here's the info in case anyone needs it now or in the future...if you use the black filters and have purchase them within the last 12 months you should check them because they may have the defective silicon adhesive that my defective filters had.
customerservice[at]berkeyfilters[dot]com to me
show details 2:21 PM (2 hours ago)
Yes, the manufacturer (New Millenium Concepts 1-888-803-4438 www.berkeywater.com) had a problem with the second batch of filters and they were still coming unglued. They have since redesigned the filters and have a new adhesive. You can go back to the place where you were doing business or I have enclosed the manufacturer's information for your convenience.
I hope this information helps you to resolve this issue.
Customer Service Representative
So I called the toll-free number above and they were very cool and easy going about it. They said the filters have a 2 year pro-rated warranty (which is nice, so actually you can check your older filters out and maybe get them updated/replaced).
Goto this link: https://berkeywater.com/FAQs/10r_Returns.html or try this link which is the pdf of the return forms you will need to download, fill out, and send to them with your defective filters.
The rep said to fill out everything on the forms as best as possible and send everything back to them. They will swap them out for free, but some small charges may apply. Hey, new filters, so who cares if there's a little extra charge for something right?
Ok, so not a lot of replies to this, but keep it in mind if you have any filter issues...you will be able to get the phone number, links, and RMA pdf's here anytime!
I'm gonna pick up 2 of those fluoride filters now too and max out my Berkey!
If you don't have a Berkey yet, don't let this filter issue stop you. It really does filter great and I use my exclusively now every single day for everything. I highly recommend getting it, and if you've been thinking about it don't keep putting it off, because these things seem to keep getting more expensive all the time.
When I bought mine last April it was 179.99 I think and it also came with 3 of their filter water bottles for free which are about 25 bucks a piece. Now I'm seeing the same Berkey Light systems for anywhere from 200 to 300 bucks! And they don't always offer the freebies like they did last year, so get one soon before the prices get totally ridiculously high.
If anyone has any questions just reply here and I'll get back to you.
P.S. here's a photo I found online of exactly what the issue is with this bad batch of filters so that you know what it looks like on the inside. This is exactly what my filters looked like. You can see that the silicon glue (they told me it's "food grade" silicon glue whatever that means, lol) wasn't evenly distributed all the way around the filter. That left a opening for the water to seep in between the silicon and the plastic over time which causes it to fall apart.
If your filters haven't come apart yet you should be able to tell if they haven't been glued/sealed all the way around properly just by looking for any area around your filters where you don't see the silicon. If you have any gaps you can bet that filter is going to fall apart eventually so you should just get it replaced. You could most likely just pull it apart very easily with just light pressure because once you're using them and they soak in water they get very weak.
Thanks for the thanks! I've updated the post with more info. I just spoke to the manufacturer and posted all the info I got on how to replace any defective filters. Everything is there to get them replaced if anyone has a filter issue like mine.
Have a good one!
I had the same issue in October. We were moving at the time and I didn't take apart the Berkey because one million other things needed disassembled. I thought I caused the problem myself.
Where it gets good is when I tried to 1) heat the old glue by quickly hitting it with a MAP gas torch. Not to smart here! 2) peeled all of the old glue off and attempted to use my wifes three dollar craft store glue gun to glue it back on with craft glue.
I am hoping that I didn't throw them away, my wife is like a packrat and may have kept them.
I agree that they work great and are an awesome product, I have the big berkey and the travel berkey for camping and both work awesome no matter the water I put in.
You should be in good shape...they have admitted to the defect and the links I've posted above are everything you need to contact the manufacturer and get the ball rolling to replace them.
I have shipped my 4 bad filters back as of this past Thursday...the manufacturer is in Colorado, so hopefully there's a quick turn-around time and I get my new filters soon.
At least I have 3 Berkey water bottles to drink out of and can fill all three and then squeeze them out into a larger container for more water until my filters get here. Takes a lot of time though!
Hope the information helps you out.
Unfortunately California doesn't allow the sale of Berkey filters. Crazy state. Not sure about Katydyn either. Anyone have any work arounds (besides moving to a more sane state)?
Seriously? You mean no Berkey products can be shipped into California no matter where you order them from online? If so, that's just one more thing to add to the craziness that is California. Well, if you have any friends or family in another state just have them order it for you. Once they get it they can ship it to you privately. There certainly can't be a law against that, and if there is, screw 'em...do it anyway. What is the reasoning for this law, do you know?
Seriously. It has to do with expensive certification requirements, so Berkey said FU CA!
Well, I wasn't totally sure if I'd get all my filters replaced. I called the manufacturer (name and number above in my previous posts), and I shipped all 4 of my defective filters back to them about 2 and a half weeks ago.
I never received any kind of correspondence from them after that, but today my 4 new black Berkey filters showed up! I've been drinking bottled water all this time, so I'm glad to finally have the filters back in action.
They definitely look different from the 4 I shipped back. The black material that the filters are made out of was courser than the others which felt very smooth compared to these. These seemed more porous from the look and feel. And the plastic down-spout or through-spout is shaped differently as well.
They may be more porous because the water filter through them at a much quicker rate than the old ones. The old ones dripped slowly which kinda gave me the feeling they were working better. Too bad they fell apart nearly right away.
These filters bring the water through much quicker...at a steady stream rate right away...no slow drip. Which conversely makes me think they may not filter as well, but there's really no way to tell other than the taste and site test. So far the water looks good and does taste very fresh...the regular tap water here in Florida can be yellowish and have a sulfur smell to it on bad days...other days it just tastes like shit because of all the minerals and who knows what else in it.
But these new filters seem to be doing the trick nicely. And if they filter just as well as Berkey says they do but now at a faster rate then I don't have to wait as long to start filling up my pitchers and bottles with fresh, pure water...bonus!~
Anyways...that's the deal. If anyone has any questions about their filters, how to tell if they're bad/defective, or how to contact the manufacturer to send them back you can read above for the contact info or write to me here. I'll be glad to help because it all seemed to work out very well in dealing with them.
It's pretty straightforward to get a Berkey in California. The State Laws are basically a shakedown for cash from the Company to the State. They are also completely useless in their stated goal of protecting people from their own actions.
But I've done it. You can too.
So consider it an intelligence test in figuring out how to get one. You have three things going for you. First, you're from California. Second, you know about the Berkeys. Third, you're a member of tfmetalsreport.com.
As a person who is obviously gifted with intelligence, I'm sure you can appreciate that it's not wise to spell all of the ways to get a Berkey out in public. The only thing that would do is justify some Bureaucrats job, and paycheck, in trying to chase down the ways they might interfere with. So let's keep those ways quiet, OK?
Now, there are two guaranteed ways to get a Berkey, that the useless Bureaucrats can't stop.
The first way is to have it sent to a friend or relative who lives out of State. Then, have them send it to you. Not only should you pay for the shipping, but be absolutely certain to send them a nice gift afterwards, for their kindness. Like a really good bottle of fine California wine. Be certain to make that effort, as you may need their help in the future, and you always want to stay on their good side.
People in other States are more than willing to help. It makes them feel superior that their local Government isn't as screwed up. And hopefully this will help convince them, and many others, not to move here.
The second way to get it is to book a room in Vegas for the weekend, and have it sent there. Make certain that the Hotel knows about the package in advance. Not only do you get a Berkey, but you also get a mighty fine time. And there is nothing, absolutely nothing, that a Bureaucrat who is trying to justify his or her paycheck can do about it.
With all of the cuts in local government that are going on, I really don't expect much enforcement of this law. But I do expect them to try to justify the importance of their jobs, given the cuts going on.
My understanding is to test the filters, put some red food coloring into the top water chamber. Just enough to turn it pink. The filters should remove the color. If you see any pink in the lower chamber, one or more of the filters are leaking.