Startup of Berkefeld water filter : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I've had my Berkefeld for some time. Very decorative asset to the sunroom. Last week I decided to break it in. First mopped off the filter candles as instructed. Filled it up and waited. The first fill of filtered water tasted noticeably soapy. Dumped it and refilled. The second tankful tasted the same way. Dumped that too. And a third tank. No change. Hmmm.

Thought about washing the two tanks with detergent. Decided instead to mop the whole interior with vinegar (not touching the candles, of course). Used a clean rag soaked in apple cider vinegar. The cleaning rag picked up some black smudge from the lower tank, nothing from the upper. Used another clean rag soaked with water to rinse out the vinegar.

Eureka -- the next batch tasted just fine.

Just wondering if this is unique- or is it a common occurrence?

-- Tom Carey (, June 23, 1999



Had the same experience with my Big Berky last month. I had decided to buy one and after reading/performing what the instructions said, boy, was I disappointed. I called the guy who I bought it from and he told me a few other people had the same comments!!! Time for a instructional update from manufacturer ( ya think?). I ran about 10 cycles and 2 filter cleanings before water tasted any better, not cloudy. I am now beginning to fill drums with cooking/cleaning water for non drinking use. I am going to taste test again tomorrow and see if running the filters for a while has improved the water taste quality ( as manuf. had told distributor it would ). If not I might just try your suggestion (vinegar). I am going thru the (slow) process of filtering all water that will be put in drums. I hope to be done some time this millenium!!!

My reason for buying this unit was a bit more long range than just buying r.o. bottled water which we need to do in the southwest (water is awful from tap). I wanted to have the security of filtering tap water once power does finally get restored, however not sure the fluoride switch at the water dept. will be cooperating as it should and I don't want to have to find out the hard way that fluoride really is bad for you!!! It was a big expense but one I hope will pay dividends in the not so certain future. Also, I am putting into each drum the Aerobic 07 Oxygen Stabilizer which keeps water oxygenized. That to is expensive stuff, but hey, I considered the alternatives! Hope this info might help the next person.

P.S. If your getting 55 gal. drums, don't forget to buy bung wrenches, funnels that screw on, couple extra bungs: both threads types, hand pumps: get the best one's you can the cheap ones are junk.

-- rob (, June 23, 1999.

I don't really understand. We got one, threw out the first two runs, and everything was fine. Also, why filter BEFORE you put into barrels? It's a terribly SLOW way to go. If you need the water later, run it through the filter THEN. There'll ALWAYS be bacteria in the drums, so you're really not accomplishing anything. (EXCEPT wasting your time...)

-- Dennis (, June 23, 1999.

Add a little pure bleach to the drum water. If you have to drink it, then filter it. If you are just washing with it, who cares?

-- y2khippo (, June 23, 1999.

I've been using mine for two months. I had no trouble whatsoever getting it going, just made sure I followed the directions in terms how to install and intially clean the filters.

The only little problem that I have come across (its not a bug, its a feature!) is that if you have it completely filled up on the bottom unit (i.e., the water that has been filtered), then add water to the top unit (i.e., water to be filtered), it will seep out of the top unit, making a mess.

Also, FYI, the filter certainly does the job that it is supposed to. My tap water, from my well, has a technically unsafe level of Coliform, which my Big Berkey nicely removes (had both tap and filtered water tested). Also, it gives the water a nice, sparkling taste which my well water does not have (slight irony taste).

-- Jack (, June 23, 1999.

SINCERE=QUESTION=can water br [naturally] filtered thru sterile=sand-charcoal-& filter-floss used in aquariums??

-- al-d. (CATT@ZIANET.COM), June 23, 1999.

ROB SAYS: "P.S. If your getting 55 gal. drums, don't forget to buy bung wrenches, funnels that screw on, couple extra bungs: both threads types, hand pumps: get the best one's you can the cheap ones are junk."

Rob, which funnels, bungs (both thread types), & hand pumps would you recommend?

-- I'm (, June 23, 1999.

*IF* I understand your question Al-d:

Yes, running sterile water through an aquarium pad of activated charcoal will help "finish" the water and make it taste better.

No, running suspect water water through an aquarium pad will not remove biological contaminants.

To Anybody: Considering that the active ingredient in Aerobic 07 is chlorine dioxide, seems to me that this is just another chlorine source that costs one heck of a lot more than bleach (wet or dry). Can anybody explain this to me?

-- Ken Seger (, June 23, 1999.

Ken- I agree with you Ken, and our assumptions probably coincide as well. re; solar oven etc, I will get those drawings posted yet, I had an important date with a couple of Cascadians yesterday. Great fun!

Al- This is exactly the way many municipal water utilities filter water before it reaches our taps.

PS. adding some more junk first, though, floride, chorline.

Im, or others:

Found a super source for plastic food grade 55 gal drums. No metal, no smell, no personal profit, no problem. We saw maybe fifty stacked up, as well as some metal, and non food grade ones. I have some thoughts about the pump issue if you care to hear them.

-- Michael (, June 23, 1999.

Mike says: "Found a super source for plastic food grade 55 gal drums. No metal, no smell, no personal profit, no problem. We saw maybe fifty stacked up, as well as some metal, and non food grade ones. I have some thoughts about the pump issue if you care to hear them."

Mike, yes no need to ask...please tell all!

-- I'm (, June 23, 1999.


Re: your questions, I had to much time on my hands a few months ago, so, I educated myself on water storage/ products here in Phoenix. I found one supplier that handled the accessory items I mentioned. Since I"m doing lots of barrels I got a funnel(s) that had threads to install into bung holes to make it easier to fill. The bung wrenches are a no brainer unless you have never seen one or know that you need them. They are a tool to make install/remove of bungs easy. Hand pumps - I have seen two types, one looks cheap and liteweight and other looks more industrial strength. Pretty simple decision there. Extra bungs - do we have to go there? Lose, dog's new chew toy. etc.!! Aerobic 07 - expensive way to treat water that is stagnant for long periods but good insurance policy!

I keep in touch with above company and they tell me hardly anybody buys extra stuff when buying barrels, and I can't figure out why? Bad Sales Dept.????

If you need supplier info email me to let me know. Or look under storage containers (water) in your yellow pages.

P.S. I also bought extra 5 - 6 1/2 - 15 gallon buckets for transporting smaller quantities of water to different locations once removed from barrels, i.e. shower, cooking, washing cars (just kidding), whatever else you can think of. Also be sure to get some GAMMA lids which are screw on/off lids for smaller buckets to keep dry goods from bugs/whatever. AND an item called LID-OFF which makes it easy to remove small bucket lids without ruining your fresh manicure!! I'm sure there are some excellent past threads that deal with all this water storage stuff and do a far better job than me explaining all the tricks to buy and use. I just came upon this site recently and wanted to share info I learned. Hope it helps the next person. Thanks.

-- rob (, June 24, 1999.

OK, I wanna get me one, but there are lots of companies that have Berkefelds, all for the same price. Can anyone suggest where I should get mine? Someplace that definitely has them in stock and quick delivery?

-- y2kbiker (, June 24, 1999.

Y2K biker: see my page below for various sources of Berkefield filters. Avonsoft has the best price at $150 US!

Anyone have any ideas for catching rainwater to be used to flush toilets? I mean how to get it from the catchment barrel outside to the toilet inside. Perhaps via a normal garden hose.

See my y2k page at http :// Hints, tips, and sources for heat, food, water products, solar powered stuff. Find all the best prices on the internet from one spot!

-- Chuck (, June 24, 1999.

We have Berkefeld filters in stock at Four Star Foods. (

-- Rex Pierson (, June 25, 1999.

Hi Rex! That's in Hillsboro, Oregon -- a do-it-yourself canning place too. Rex, your info is up at Bob's Red Mill :-)

-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (, June 25, 1999.

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