Red Food Dye Test for Black Berkey Water Filters

Artificial Red Food Coloring for testing your Black Berkey water filters.  

Its getting more difficult to find artificial food dye in grocery stores today. Most food coloring dyes available in grocery stores are made from organic materials.

The Red Food dye we offered in our store is artificial and is certified for red dye tests of our Black Berkey filters.

You receive 1  x  1 oz (30ml) dropper bottle with artificial Red Food Coloring.

Using 1/2 teaspoon or up to 1 teaspoon of red food coloring per gallon of water. (Do not use over 1 teaspoon per gallon)

The Ingredients in McCormick Culinary Red Food Coloring are:

  • water
  • FD&C reds 40 and 3
  • Propylene glycol
  • Propylparaben (as a preservative)

  1. Start with an empty system (upper and lower chamber) and remove any Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters(if installed). The Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters must be removed prior to performing a red food coloring test in order to stay in compliance with the six month warranty on the Berkey PF-2™ Fluoride and Arsenic Reduction Filters .
  2. Place the upper chamber only (with the elements installed) on similar- sized cups directly underneath each Black Berkey® Purification Element. This will help isolate which filter may be exhausted and which is still purifying effectively.
  3. Fill the upper chamber with water and add up to 1 teaspoon of red food coloring for every gallon of water. (1/2 teaspoon is sufficient)
  4. Allow the water to run through to the bottom chamber.
  5. If the red food coloring is removed entirely, your purification system is working properly.
  6. If the water in any of the cups is red or has a pinkish tinge, then that particular black filter is defective or exhausted.



  1. Are the wing nuts on securely? Please do not tighten the wing nuts using any tools; they should be hand tightened to a snug fit, but not more. If the wing nuts are on too tight, this could cause stripping on the threads of the stem, preventing a correct seal. If you have inadvertently stripped the threads on your element, please contact our Customer Service Center for assistance at 888-803-4438.
  2. Are you using actual “red food coloring” or another color or type of color? Red food coloring is the only type recommended for this test.
  3. Is the washer for the stem inside the upper chamber and is the wing nut secured at the bottom? If the washer is on the outside of the chamber with the wing nut, you will not have a proper seal, which will cause your system to fail the test. Place the washer on the inside of the upper chamber and re-run the test.
  4. Are the blocking plugs properly sealing the unused holes without elements? Are the plugs installed tight with a washer on each side? If the plugs are leaking, this will cause the system to fail the test. Tighten the plugs more securely and re run the test.
  5. Are you re-testing an element that you think may have failed the test? If so, rinse off and re-prime the element first. Additionally, make sure you pour any excess water out of the bottom tank. Also, if you are using the lower chamber to catch water, run clean water through the spigot to clean it out as well. Now you are ready to repeat the test.
  6. If you’ve done everything and still have a filter that fails the red food coloring test, please contact our Customer Service Center at 888-803-4438. Our Black Berkey® Purification Elements have a two-year prorated warranty. For more information, please refer to our Warranty and Return Policy on our website at

 NOTE: For visual aid, please view our video on performing the Red Food Coloring Test here.