Black stuff in your PUR water never looks appealing, and can leave your filtered water tasting bitter and course. Luckily, black particles in PUR filter water has an innocent and simple explanation, and an even simpler fix.
Black particles in your PUR filter water are caused by carbon dust or carbon particles that have dislodged from the filter. Removal of trapped air bubbles and correct pre-soaking and flushing of your PUR filter will stop the filtered water turning black.
The best way to keep black particles out of your filtered water is to ensure your PUR water filter is in good condition. This article covers everything from what causes the black stuff to appear in your filtered water, if it’s harmful to drink, how to properly pre-soak, flush and maintain your PUR pitcher, dispenser, and faucet filters so it doesn’t keep happening.
What are the black particles, and are they dangerous?
Almost every major home water filter brand uses some form of activated carbon in their filter, and this includes PUR water filters (both their faucets and pitcher filters).
PUR in particular uses activated carbon made from coconut shells, which “boasts pores that are even tinier than other types of carbon filters” according to the Director of Advanced Technology at PUR, Mike Mitchell.
This activated carbon layer is an ultra-porous substance, designed to capture unwanted particles and contaminants, while letting the water flow through. New filters will often have loose particles of this activated carbon layer that have broken off and can seep into the filtered water.
Activated carbon particles are not dangerous if consumed. Carbon in drinking water is unregulated by the EPA and has no official maximum amount that you cannot consume – another words it’s safe to drink. In fact, there is some public belief that activated carbon provides health benefits such as cleansing the blood and whitening your teeth, though none of this has been scientifically proven.
Activated carbon may affect the taste of the water, and of course drinking black water isn’t particularly appealing.
Luckily, preventing the carbon from getting into your drinking water is fairly simple. PUR filters require pre-soaking and flushing to get rid of the carbon particles as well as any trapped air bubbles. The ability of your PUR filter to remove contaminants will be reduced if you don’t pre-soak and flush your filter properly, plus you may get black carbon in your filtered water.
The pre-soaking and flushing method does varies between the PUR faucet filter and between different PUR pitcher filter types.
How to Remove Loose Activated Carbon Particles
Pre-soaking, flushing, and removing trapped air bubbles from your filter removes loose carbon, allows the water to flow more evenly through the filter, helps remove more contaminants during use, and extends the lifespan of the filter.
PUR pitcher filers
There are two types of filters that contain activated carbon and are made for PUR pitchers and dispensers, including:
- PUR PLUS filter with Lead Reduction
- PUR Basic filter
The PUR PLUS filter should be pre-soaked by submerging in cold water for 15 MINUTES, followed by rinsing under cold tap water for 10 SECONDS.
The PUR Basic filter only needs to be rinsed under cold running water for 15 SECONDS.
Doing this will effectively remove any loose activated carbon particles. It’s very important that the water is cold, as water hotter than 82°F/28°C can damage the pitcher filters.
For both filters, it’s always a good idea to check for any trapped air bubbles, which can cause loose carbon particles to remain inside. If your filter floats after pre-soaking or flushing then it’s likely there are some trapped air bubbles.
To remove air bubbles from either filter, submerge the filter in an upright position and very gently tap or squeeze the filter to remove any trapped air. Try the float test again and repeat this process if necessary.
PUR faucet filters
PUR manufacture two types of faucet filters that contain activated carbon, including:
- PUR Basic and Classic faucet filter
- PUR Mineral Core faucet filter – Also known as MineralClear faucet filter
PUR faucet mount filters require running cold water through the new filters for 5 minutes, with the device in a filtered position.
As with the PUR pitcher filters, make sure you run only cold water through your faucet mount, as temperatures above 100˚F/38˚C can permanently damage the filter.
When flushing, make sure the water pressure is not too high. High water pressure can cause aerated water to run through your PUR faucet filter, which can cause any loose carbon particles to remain in the filter and make it run slowly throughout it’s lifespan.
It’s normal to initially see cloudy water flowing from your PUR filter when flushing. However, it’s best to simply allow the water to flow smoothly through and not add more air into the filter by simply NOT opening it to full stream.
If you are still getting black particles from your new PUR filter after 5 minutes of steady flushing, remove the filter and try soaking it for at least 15 minutes in cold water. Hold it in an upright position and give it a gentle tap to remove any trapped air bubbles.
Black stuff coming from old filters
If the filter is not new, then black particles may mean it is time to replace the filter.
Changing your filter is easy and inexpensive – Here are the PUR replacement filters you can now buy on Amazon.
How to clean a PUR water filter pitcher
Cleaning your PUR water filter pitcher is an important process for keeping your filtered water clean and crisp.
First, disassemble your PUR water filter pitcher or dispenser. You should end up with the components of the dispenser/pitcher (the primary container), the pour tray, the filter capsule, and the lid.
The dispenser/pitcher container, pour tray and lid can all be washed by the same method. Simply hand wash these elements thoroughly with mild soapy water. Make sure to rinse and dry each component thoroughly before reassembly.
If the water filter capsule is new, it may be worth washing it to extend its life. If it is 2 months or older, you will likely need to replace the filter capsule. To wash it, simply soak the filter capsule in cold water for fifteen minutes (for the PUR PLUS filters) or rinse under cold water for 15 seconds (for the PUR Basic filter).
With everything washed, all that is left to do is reassemble your PUR water filter pitcher or dispenser.
How often should you wash a PUR water filter pitcher?
You should aim to wash you PUR water filter pitcher or dispenser around once a month. Doing so will greatly extend the life of your filter capsule, saving you money on new ones.
At the very least, you should aim to wash your PUR water filter pitcher/dispenser every time you replace your water filter capsule – which will be roughly every 2 months.
Doing this is important for keeping your filtered water clean, as not washing the elements of your pitcher or dispenser will allow a build-up of dirt and sediment inside the container, affecting the purity of your drinking water.
How to clean a PUR water filter faucet mount
Cleaning a PUR water filter faucet system is simple, but is an important process of keeping your filtered water pure, and extending the life of your PUR faucet mount and its filter capsule.
First, you will need to de-attach the faucet mount from your faucet. This can be done simply by unscrewing the mount from your faucet connector. For a deeper clean, you may also want to unscrew the faucet connector from its thread to wash that too.
Next you will need to remove the filter capsule from the canister. Simply twist off the cover and remove the filter. If the filter is fairly new, simply wash the filter capsule by rinsing it in cold water – no soap! If the filter capsule is more than three months old, it will probably need replacing.
To clean the canister, use a damp sponge or soft cloth. You can also use a mild dish soap for the canister, but it is important not to use any harsh soaps or harmful chemicals, as these could permanently damage the housing system. If you decided to remove the faucet connector, also wash with same damp sponge and mild soap, and dry it thoroughly.
Next, leave the faucet mount to dry. Once dry, it is best to rinse again under cold water for 5-10 minutes. This will help remove any dirt or sediment that may be left loose inside from your initial clean.
Once everything is dry again, you can reassemble your PUR water filter faucet by placing the filter capsule back into the canister, re-screwing the connector onto the faucet, and then screwing your mount back onto your faucet
How often should you wash a PUR water filter faucet mount?
You should aim to wash your filter faucet mount every month, as this will increase the lifespan of your filter. At the very least, it is best to wash your PUR water filter faucet mount every time you replace the filter, which should be roughly every 3 months.
Is the PUR water filter pitcher dishwasher safe?
No elements of either PUR’s water filter pitchers, or their faucet mounts are considered dishwasher safe. The filter capsules should especially never be put in a dishwasher, as the high temperatures will completely destroy the capsules.
As the PUR faucet mounts have electronics, they should definitely never be put in a dishwasher. PUR water filter pitchers similarly are not considered dishwasher safe, as the high temperatures and water pressures of a dishwasher could melt, scratch, or otherwise damage the different components of the pitcher.
All PUR water filtration products should be hand-washed.