Proper Placement of Water Filter Gaskets:
The NTM Tech Center has received reports of problems with water filter gasket placement. This is for most types of water filter elements: MCR5, Black Berkey, and ceramic water filters. It is important that the gaskets be placed directly on the bottom of the water filter canister BEFORE being placed into the filter bucket, then tightened in place with the wing nut. Please see the photos below:
In addition the MCR5 and Black Berkeys come with a “Priming Button”. This is not a gasket, and is only used to help create a seal when priming a new MCR5 or Black Berkey using a water bottle or other clean water source. Please do not use the “Priming Button” as a gasket. Please see the photos below.
Old Black Berkey Base:
The early Black Berkey element was glued to its base. After a few years it was found that the glue had a tendency to release from the plastic base, allowing water to seep around the filter. A new base was designed in 2011 which incorporated ID and OD static seals in a press-fit configuration. The new bases were tested through destructive analysis and no failures have been reported since incorporating the change. All of the Black Berkey filters shipped from the NTM Tech Center have the new base.
The new base has a significantly different look, as seen in the photos. If you have an old base, you must test it regularly with red food dye. Please note some types of red food coloring will pass through a properly working filter. Make sure you use enough (1/4 tsp) to notice if some dye passes around the filter and into the drinking water. Filters with the new base do not need to be tested.