Product: Big Berkey
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
Size of Container: BK4X2 – Storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters). Stands 19.25″ in height with a diameter of 8.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13″ in height. Configured with four Black Berkey purification elements the system will purify up to 7 Gallons (13.3 liters) per hour.
Average Customer Review: 4.2 Stars out of 5
My Rating: 8 out of 10
Water filtration these days is extremely important and picking out a good water filtration system without going broke, well that’s a feat. I looked into a lot of water filtration systems and a lot of them were systems that either went under your sink or next to it, too big, cleaned water through several chambers so could take hours, electric, not easily transportable, and really expensive. Then I read an article from Natural News talking about a study they did with water filters and how Big Berkey outperformed leading water filters such as ProPur. Click Here for the water lab results.
I was intrigued so I went to the Big Berkey website and it appeared that not only does Big Berkey remove over 95% of harmful heavy metals and toxins (including arsenic and lead) from tap water, but you can add fluoride filters on it to remove fluoride. Fluoride is a huge problem in the United States. This is a known neurotoxin that studies show does absolutely no good for you to swallow. In fact, it is a poison when swallowed. I was extremely happy to find out that Big Berkey filtered out fluoride so I bought the same system I have posted here with the two charcoal and two fluoride filters.
Before using your new Berkey, I’m going to admit that priming this thing was a huge pain, but well worth it in my opinion. You have to hold the primer (which they give you) very tightly on the filter and flush both ends of the charcoal and fluoride filters with cold running water for several seconds. Then you’ll notice the fluoride filters give off a watery milky substance. I don’t believe this is harmful as I drank some of it and was fine. It doesn’t taste the greatest. Nothing I could find online said this was harmful either, but the Big Berkey takes about 10 gallons through your filters in order to clear up the milkiness and foul taste in your drinking water caused by the fluoride filters. Priming the units 8 times, both ends, for 30 seconds each is suggested. A pain, I know, which is why I rate this an 8 out of 10. I still use it though because, to me, it’s the best water filtration system out there right now. I do look forward to more advanced systems that don’t require all of the prep beforehand.
Putting the system together is easy as long as you follow directions. Very important to follow directions! Make sure to tighten the spigot as the directions indicate and not too tight as to go through the screen of the fluoride filter. Be mindful not to overfill your Berkey either. If it’s not completely empty, you’ll want to exercise caution in adding more water to filter.
Once you’ve primed, assembled, and filtered~ voila! Pure drinking water that is better than tap and most bottled water. Tastes great too! In fact, my daughter has noticed that the tap water in her school tastes worse than our filtered Berkey water so she brings her own water to school. You’ll definitely notice the difference. I know I have.
PROS: Uses gravity to filter water, contains fluoride filters, easy to assemble, depending on water quality the filters can last up to a year, affordable, compact and doesn’t take up much room, made of stainless steel. Water tastes great. If you receive anything damaged or are unhappy with the performance of a filter, the company is great at replacing items at no extra charge. The customer service Big Berkey offers is great.
CONS: Beforehand prepping of the system and removal of the fluoride filter sediment and taste can take awhile. Requires priming more than once throughout the year. When the system starts to slow and doesn’t purify the water as fast, this is an indicator that it needs primed again. The system needs cleaned on a monthly basis so just a good idea to prime it 2-3 times for 10-15 seconds each end of each filter when you clean it. Must be used everyday or bacteria will accrue in dry filters. If you know you are going to be gone for awhile and won’t be using the Big Berkey, leave the filters out to dry.