Leaky BIG Berkey water valve

Discussion in 'Survival & Emergency Preparedness' started by tizlefritz, Jul 8, 2011.

  1. tizlefritz

    tizlefritz Member

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    We bought a big Berkey water filter a few months back and it leaks around where the valve goes through the tank wall. We've replaced the valve and rubber washers, but it still leaks. Does anyone out there have a fix for this, which won't contaminate the water? Is this a normal problem for Berkey's? I have never noticed it mentioned on my searches for Berkeys. Thank you very much.
     
  2. Explorer

    Explorer Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is the nut holding the valve tight?

    Finger tight? Use a wrench.
     

  3. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've never had a problem with mine or heard of anyone with this problem. You may just not have it tight enough, or it could simply be a defect in manufacturing. I'm sure if you contact the supplier they'd at the very least send you a new valve setup and if that didn't work maybe trade for a new unit. I don't have any other advice, sorry. Good luck!

    P.S. If all else fails (though I can't imagine them not standing behind the product), you can purchase another valve kit. This is where I bought my Berkey, great service and $10 for a replacement kit. http://www.jamesfilter.com/accessories.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2011
  4. Harry Chickpea

    Harry Chickpea Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Never had a problem either. A cheap fix might be the spigot off a boxed wine container and some glue.
     
  5. Goldie

    Goldie Well-Known Member

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    Try oiling the outside part of the washer with some vegetable oil. That would be the washer on the outside of the Berkey that fits next to the Berkey wall. It only takes a very light coat. That did the trick for me when faced with the same problem.
     
  6. Catshooter

    Catshooter Well-Known Member

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    I had the exact same problem.

    Use a wrench? On a plastic pipe with a plastic nut? There's a good idea, but I did anyway. You gotta be very careful. I also use a bit of silicone caulk. The caulk is what did the trick and it won't contaminate the water.

    Goldie's idea of vegetabel oil is a good one. If I'd thought of that first I probably would have tried that.


    Cat
     
  7. tizlefritz

    tizlefritz Member

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    The oil did the trick!!! Thanks
     
  8. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Glad you got it figured out! :)
     
  9. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Just read over at survivalblog that they are having lots of problems with the plastic Berkeys leaking and being non repairable and to stay away from the plastic Berkey.Or buy an Aqua-Rain stainless steel made in America,mine is fine quality.
    ------------------------------------------------
    http://www.survivalblog.com

    Letter Re: Berkey Light Water Filters
    Permalink

    Dear SurvivalBlog Readers:
    I purchased a Berkey Light water filter system last year in the spring with my tax refund. The Berkey Light system is the all-plastic Berkey. I also bought the plastic base offered in connection for the unit, for the convenience of it.

    Just short of one year later. I noticed a leak at the bottom of the water spigot. After dumping out the water, cleaning all the parts, I tried re-seating the spigot again, but the leak persisted. Finally, I noticed a small tear in the plastic at the bottom of the hole for the spigot.

    I contacted the retailer who sold me the unit and they graciously sent me a replacement bottom reservoir (this part has the hole where the spigot is located). However, upon putting all the parts back together, this time the base unit cracked in several places. The cracks are such that it's not completely un-usable, but it bothers me that I spent $209 plus extra for the base for a product that really didn't last longer than about a year. It could be faulty design. There doesn't seem to be much reinforcement , on or near the areas that get the most use - especially at the bottom of the spigot hole. Additionally, the plastic base unit now is "brittle" and easily cracks.

    Needless to say, as soon as I am able to afford it, I intend to replace this unreliable but necessary system, with an all-metal one. Please alert your readers before they make the mistake of buying a plastic Berkey Light. Save the extra money necessary and buy a stainless steel Berkey.

    Sincerely, - P.J. in Oregon
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2011
  10. Sharon

    Sharon Well-Known Member

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    What a timely thread...mine has been leaking for awhile and we have it sitting on a pan to keep it for dripping everywhere. I just drained it this morning and was going to replace it with a new spigot I purchased as a back-up. However, after reading this thread, I'll try the vegetable oil first and see if that works and also look for cracks. I have a Berkey Light and it isn't all that much fun to take apart and reassemble, so hopefully the oil will do the job. Thanks for this post!
     
  11. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm not sure what the draw is for the Berkey Lights. I just don't like plastic anything and would rather pay more for steel any time. This info just makes me even more glad I went with the stainless. I've been using mine every day for almost three years now and haven't had a lick of trouble out of it.

    I have a Berkey Royal model. I was going to buy a Big Berkey, but at the time I bought mine they were having a special, with an automatic upgrade from the Big to the Royal for the same price, plus a free gift...I got two Berkey Sports for free, as well as free shipping. I figured that was a heck of a deal for $250, and I was right, best prep item I've ever bought, hands down.

    I keep one Berkey Sport in the truck at all times for emergencies and carry the other one with me wherever I'm going, whether it's running errands, out in the garden working or whatever. I just wish they were stainless instead of plastic too, lol, but they're holding up well. (I've noticed they're now selling a stainless sport version, may have to get one!) Then of course I use the Royal Berkey to filter all household drinking and cooking water, plus water for prep storage. I bought mine through James Filter, at the link in my post above.
     
  12. Sharon

    Sharon Well-Known Member

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    I found a crack next to where the spigot connects. We have had our Berkey Light since 1999, so it has served us well. I ordered a Big Berkey today--no more plastic for me! I'm glad I read this thread though, or I may have never noticed the crack.
     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    Indeed! We all learned our stock advice of recommending the berkey was flawed and to not recommend the plastic version anymore until we hear otherwise that its sturdy.

    We bought a couple 1 gallon plastic BPA free water bottles for 8 bucks each and dropped one and it shattered,wonder if the BPA is what made them not brittle and if thats possibly related to Berkey story and crummy plastic.
     
  14. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    That's an interesting concept Booboo, and you may be right! Like I said, I hate plastic anything, but I liked the idea of the Berkey Sports to carry around with me. I think now I'll be replacing them with the stainless version as soon as I can, now that they have them available!

    P.S. I went and did some more research on the stainless Sport size bottles, but they don't filter, just portable water bottles, so I won't be buying them after all. I already have stainless bottles. I thought they filtered too, darn it! :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2011
  15. mypatriotsupply

    mypatriotsupply Well-Known Member

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    This is so odd, I've used the same Berkey Light since late 2008 and never a problem. I've replaced the black filter elements, of course, but I love the darn thing.

    But soon we will be carrying all of the metal ones as well, so people will be able to have a choice!
     
  16. calliemoonbeam

    calliemoonbeam Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks Matt! I'll definitely hold off and order my extra parts from you, as I'd rather do business with you than the other companies! :)