Frequently Asked Questions

Q1) Why is my new filter a different size than before?

If you have purchased a Stainless Steel British Berkefeld system and have just ordered your replacement doulton filters, you may notice a difference in the shape and size. The original ceramic filters that came with the system are the standard 'berkefeld' Doulton ceramic filters. We stock a shorter, wider Doulton filter that is made specifically for our systems to provide better surface area and flow rate. The 'Durand' Doulton supersterasyl will fit the stainless steel system and provide the same great quality drinking water. The filters will remain completely submerged for longer during the filtration process and thus the filtration rate is (on average) increased.

Filter Size

'Durand' Doulton --  Berkefeld 'Doulton'

Q2) When does a ceramic filter element need cleaning?

We recommend cleaning the outside ceramic wall every 2-3 weeks if necessary. This reccomendation will vary depending on the type of water supply you are filtering. Once the flow out of the filter becomes noticeably less than normal, it needs to be cleaned. When using alternative water supply (tank, dam etc) the filter may require cleaning more often to remove the suspended solids.

Q3) How do I clean a filter candle?

Use a scouring pad (similar to 3M "Scotchbrite"). Ensure that the end of the plastic mount does not come into contact with unfiltered water and dirty hands. Rubber gloves are recommended to be used during cleaning and NEVER use soap or detergents! Make sure to pay special attention to the ceramic wall near the bottom or mount as this area collects most of the impurities.

Q4) My filter candle blocks up too regularly, what can I do about it?

In some water conditions, there is so much particulate or turbidity in the water supply that the filter element becomes blocked much quicker than in normal conditions. You can wipe the filter more regularly with a scouring pad or use a pre-filter upstream of the ceramic candle. This prevents the candle from becoming blocked too quickly, and so extends the life of the ceramic filter.

Q5) When does a ceramic filter element need replacing?

This depends on the type of candle being used:

Super Sterasyl™ Doulton 2000 Filter.

Doulton 2000 Filter

- Height 5" or 12.5 cms by width 2 ½" or 6.7cms

This filter needs to be replaced every 2000 litres.

This is our most popular size filter, supplied with all Original Durand Systems. We had this size made by Doulton to fit our systems. It is slightly shorter and much wider so there is more surface area under water.

The particulate and turbidity concentration in the water supply govern the life of the ceramic. This means that the life of the ceramic might or might not exceed the capacity of the carbon media depending on the water quality. Whichever point is reached first - the 2000litre usage or the ceramic becoming blocked to the extent where cleaning does not restore the flow - governs when the filter element requires replacing.

Doulton Ultracarb™

 Doulton Ultracarb Filter

- Height 10" or 25.5cms

The Doulton Ultracarb™ needs to be replaced every 2,244 litres.

Doulton Ultracarb Pressure System

This filter is designed to work under pressure, and will not work with a gravity system.

This filter has a solid carbon core and ion exchange media to reduce heavy metals. We offer the Doulton Stainless Steel Countertop system for housing of this filter.

The 'life' of the carbon filter elements is determined by the concentration of chlorine and/or volatile organic compounds in the water supply. The particulate and turbidity concentration in the water supply govern the life of the ceramic. Where cleaning does not restore the flow - governs when the filter element requires replacing.

After this amount of water has passed through the filter element, the filter will need to be replaced to guarantee optimum performance.

Q6) What happens if I leave the filter unused for a period of time?

If normal use of the filter is interrupted by holidays or vacations, growth of harmless heterotrophic bacteria may result in a 'flat' or 'stale' taste for a period of time when use of the filter resumes. If you plan on being away from your system for more than two weeks we recommend removing the Doulton filter and allowing it to dry. When ready to use again, clean your system before re-installing the filter. If you have already experienced a difference in taste, we reccomend that you 'flush' the filter out by discarding the first few batches of filtered water and you will likely notice the taste will subside. 

Q7) Will my Doulton® filter element remove Aluminium?

The Doulton® range of ceramic water filters are only suitable for the removal of aluminium in particulate form. They are not proven to be suitable for treating dissolved aluminium. To treat water containing soluble aluminium, ion exchange resin, distillation or reverse osmosis must be used.

Q8) Will my Doulton® filter element remove Arsenic?

No, Arsenic is likely to be in a dissolved state, to remove arsenic passage through activated alumina is the best method. The Berkey PF-4 element will reduce Arsenic. 

Q9) Will my Doulton® filter element remove Lead?

The Doulton Ultracarb with ion exchange resin is able to adsorb lead.

This filter will not work in a gravity system.

The ATS media used in the Ultracarb filter will adsorb lead, even in the presence of calcium and magnesium ions. This is proven in the NSF certification testing.

Q10) Will my Doulton® filter element remove Chloramine?

Chloramine may be removed by passing through a bed of activated carbon, but requires much greater contact time with the carbon than chlorine, so a slow flow rate through the carbon must be ensured. Unfortunately although the Doulton® or British Berkefeld® Super Sterasyl®, Supercarb®, and Ultracarb® filter elements contain activated carbon, they may reduce levels but will not remove chloramine entirely because there is insufficient contact time with the carbon.

Q11) Will my Doulton® remove diesel, petroleum or MTBE?

The ceramic part of our filter elements will not take out any of these organic materials. The activated carbon in the Supercarb® and Ultracarb® filter elements will have some effect. However, to remove these types of materials requires much greater quantities of activated carbon and much longer contact time than our filters can provide. The Berkey PF-4 element will reduce MTBE.

Q12) Will my Doulton® filter element remove Fluoride?

No. The Fluoride salts added to town water, are soluble in water. To remove dissolved fluoride, passage through activated alumina is the best method. The Berkey PF-4 element will reduce Fluoride by >95%.

Q13a) Will the pH of my drinking water increase when I use my ceramic filter?

There is a slight increase in the pH of water passed through the ceramic filters is due to the presence of the mineral Wollastonite in the ceramic. Wollastonite is slightly soluble and alkaline, so may partly dissolve in the water as it passes through the filter causing a minor pH shift.

Q13b) I have found that when I boil the water or freeze it into ice cubes, I sometimes get little white floating things in the water. What is this?

With respect to the little white floaters in the water, it is not bacteria but rather a problem that sometimes occurs with hard (heavily mineralized) water. When the PH level of the purified water is raised, the acidity of the water goes down and the water is no longer able to hold as many minerals in solution. When this happens the minerals begin to precipitate out over time and depending on the mineral composition they will either sink to the bottom or float to the top. This process is known as flocculation and the precipitated minerals are usually referred to as "white floaters". The bottom line is that this is nothing to be concerned about, the white floaters are minerals that were already in your water; they are now simply visible whereas they were previously invisible due to their suspension in an ionic form.

Q14) What is the difference between temporary and permanent hardness in water?

Hardness is caused by the presence of positively charged metal ions. Total hardness is measured as the equivalent of milligrams per litre of calcium carbonate. Temporary hardness only contains metal carbonates and bicarbonates, the most typical being calcium carbonate. Temporary hardness is precipitated from water when heated and is responsible for the furring of heating elements and metal pipes. Permanent hardness consists of non-carbonate based metal salts, and does not precipitate out on heating.

Q15) Does FICL manufacture the Berkey filter range including the Black Berkey filter element?

British Berkefeld is an FICL trademark. Berkey is not an FICL trademark. FICL manufactures all British Berkefeld branded filter products. FICL manufactures some British Berkefeld branded Super Sterasyl grade ceramic filter candles, which are used inside certain Berkey filter systems. FICL is not involved in the manufacture of Black Berkey filter elements or any other Berkey branded filter products.

Q16) How do I make the water colder?

The Durand Water Filter will keep your water naturally cool, an ideal temperature for drinking. If you do require chilled water, simply add ice to the filter container. (The ice does not need to be made from filtered water as it will be going through the filter anyway.) The unique design of this system will allow the ice to keep your water very cool, as it sits down inside the storage area. The stoneware material will keep the temperature cool as a thermos would. Important- If you are going to add ice make sure your system is placed on a protective cover on your bench or table, as condensation will occur on the outside.

Q17) What if my system or tap is leaking water?

If the water appears to be coming from the bottom of the system itself:

  1. It can be coming from where the tap is fitted to the container. To tighten your tap:

    Turn the tap so it is in an upside down position. Then grip the nut on the inside of the container, and hold the tap on the outside, tighten the nut until firm but not to tight. Then hold the nut, and turn the tap to the upright position. The tap should now be secure. 

  2. If it is not your tap it may be due to condensation, especially if you have added ice to your system or the weather is getting cool at night. If this is the case, ensure you have your system sitting on a protective cover on your bench or table. note; there should not be much water in this case, just as much as a cold glass would leave on your table. 

  3. If you find it is not the tap or condensation;

    Have you just set up your system? The system may have been broken or damaged. A hairline crack can result which is hard to detect. Contact your store, dealer or us immediately.

    Have you broken the system yourself? Contact your store, distributor or us for replacement parts.

If the water is dripping out of the end of the tap:

Simply tighten the cap on the top of the tap in a clockwise direction.

Parts of the tap

Stainless Steel Tap

Each tap comes with two washers one fits to the outside of the system and one on the inside of the container. There is a nut on the inside that seals the tap securely.