When we review water filters we do so with emergency preparedness in mind, not regular home use. So even though the Big Berkey can be a great home water filtration product, we do not rate it against such companies as Brita, Culligan, and Pur.
The Big Berkey is the most popular filter in the Berkey line of products. Berkey keeps it pretty simple and has produced filtration products that correspond to how many people can use the filter. The smallest Berkey filter is the Travel Berkey (rated for 2-4 people) while the largest is the Crown Berkey (rated for up to 150). We have chosen to review the Big Berkey because of its popularity and fit (8-16 people depending on how many internal filters you put on it).
How does it work?
Berkey filters are gravity fed, which simply means you pour water into the top of the unit and the force of gravity will pull the water down through the filters. It’s a very easy process, and it has several advantages over other types of filters that use pumps or electricity. Pumps can break down and there may be times when you don’t have access to electricity.
The Big Berkey can filter water at a rate of 3.5 gallons per hour, which should be plenty for most applications and family sizes. It removes bacteria, parasites, herbicides, pesticides, solvents, nitrates, nitrites, lead, mercury, chlorine, VOCs, and even fluoride. Obviously, the dirtier the water you put through it the longer it will take and the more frequently you will have to clean the filters.
Berkey products are made from 100% stainless steel, which will hold up better than plastic or composite. It may scratch, but it’s only cosmetic. The Big Berkey is about the same price as other comparable filters but packs in the most features and actually has the lowest cost-per-gallon rating of any of the gravity-fed filters.
If you don’t have a water filter, you need to get one. It’s that simple. The average human needs many gallons of water each day for drinking and sanitation–and there is no way you can store that much water. As long as you have access to some source of water, the Big Berkey can get you through a natural disaster or even social unrest.
- 2.1 gallon storage capacity
- 8.5″D x 21″H
- 7 lbs. empty
- High quality stainless steel container
- Easy flow spigot
- Complete assembly and maintenance instructions
- Compatible with the Berkey PF-2 Fluoride Filters
- $258.00 with two Black Berkey Purification Elements
- Produces up to 3.5 gallons of purified drinking water per hour
- $358.00 with four Black Berkey Purification Elements
- Produces up to 7 gallons of purified drinking water per hour
Berkey offers free shipping on orders over $50 inside the continental USA. The company has a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied and a two-year warranty on the purification elements and the housing units. Even more amazing, if you choose to register with Berkey, the company will replace the unit if it fails in any way due to workmanship or materials–for life!
Also, if you search for Berkey water filters on Google you may see some sites pop up that aren’t the actual company. A few resellers have been allowed to use url’s with Berkey’s name in it. For the actual company, just go to www.berkeyfilters.com.