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Help Me Choose a Berkey Water Filter System

In this article we're going to walk you through 4 easy steps to understand and choose the perfect Berkey Filter System to fit the needs in protecting you and/or your family.  Watch this video version also:

Step 1: Understanding the Berkey Gravity Filtration System

Berkey water filter systems have an upper and a lower chamber and work via gravity similar to a Brita, Pur, or Zerowater. Your source water (tap, well, pond, river, etc) is poured into the upper chamber where it's forced through the filters via gravity making its way into the lower, "purified water" chamber. The Berkey difference is a result of it's superior filter ingredients and the extended time each water droplet is in contact with the filters. This allows for high performance filtration results that other systems simply cannot match.

These are counter top systems only, starting from the smallest Travel Berkey at 1.5 gallons (17" height) to the largest Crown Berkey at 6 gallons (30" height). The internal filtration elements, the Black Berkeys and the PF-2 fluoride filters (links list the contaminants removed), work in any of the system housing models we sell. This allows you to achieve the same high quality filtration results for each size system.

There are 6 system sizes in total (below), and all systems come standard with 2 of our newest generation black berkey filters in the upper chamber. The go berkey and sport berkey are also pictured on the right. Larger systems have the capacity to accommodate more upper and lower chamber filters thus increasing the speed of filtration. (See Flow Rate @ Full  Expansion)

System Holding Capacity Fully Expanded Flow Rate @ Full Expansion
Travel Berkey ~ 1.5 Gallons 2 Elements(Filters) ~ 2.75 Gallons / Hr
Berkey Light ~ 2.75 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 7.5 Gallons / Hr
Big Berkey ~ 2.25 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 7.0 Gallons / Hr
Royal Berkey ~ 3.25 Gallons 4 Elements(Filters) ~ 8.0 Gallons / Hr
Imperial Berkey ~ 4.5 Gallons 6 Elements(Filters) ~ 16.5 Gallons / Hr
Crown Berkey ~ 6.0 Gallons 8 Elements(Filters) ~ 26.0 Gallons / Hr
The lineup gives an example of how the filters stack up against each other in terms of height.
help me choose berkey filter system All systems come standard with 2 filters (go berkey excluded), represented by the shaded blue circle. White holes are stopped using blocking plugs (these come standard with your system), and additional filters can be inserted into these.

Step 2:  Choosing a Berkey Water Filter Size

The golden rule for choosing a size is that bigger is usually better if you have the room in your home (kitchen counter, table, plant stand) or storage space. Put simply, the larger the system, the less often you need to refill it, which ultimately translates into convenience. In addition, the higher water volume in the upper chamber increases the pressure that is placed on the filters helping to push water through the filters faster while still maintaining the same high quality filtration results.

The differences in cost between the various housing sizes is small when you consider that you will be using the same housing for 10-20+ years. Assuming a person drinks 8 ounce glasses of water/day, they will consume approximately 64 ounces/day (1/2 gallon). If you plan to use the system for cooking, you would also want to take this into account when sizing.

Here are some sizing guidelines:

Travel Berkey (1.5g) ~ 1-3 ppl

Big Berkey (2.25g) ~ 1-4 ppl

Berkey Light (2.75g) ~ 2-5 ppl

Royal Berkey (3.25g) ~ 2-6 ppl

Imperial Berkey (4.5g) ~ 4-8+ ppl

Crown Berkey (6g) ~ 6-12+ ppl

Step 3:  Choosing Your Berkey Filters

Upper Chamber Filters

As mentioned above, all Berkey Water Filter systems require 2 upper chamber filters to operate and these come standard with each system purchase (2 Black Berkey filters). Increasing the amount of filters utilized in the upper chamber will not improve filtration quality, but will increase filtration speed and the volume of water that can be filtered. For example, increasing from 2 Black Berkey elements to 4 Black Berkey elements will approximately double your filtration speed and double the amount of total life volume that can be filtered; 6000 total gallons to 12000 total gallons.

The Black Berkey filters are our flagship filters, removing contaminants to the highest of degrees, and are available with all of our systems. The Black Berkey's also meet high ANSI/NSF log 7 standards as water purifiers and show off their prowess by being able to remove red food coloring from water.

We also now carry the brand new Berkey Earth ceramic filters. (Released Dec. 2015) These are designed to be the best ceramic filters on the market, providing Berkey quality at a lower price point. They are only available with the Berkey Light.

The 3 primary advantages of the Black Berkeys over the Berkey Earths is the Black Berkey's ability to remove viruses, a faster filtration rate, and a lower long-term cost for removing fluoride as they utilize the more cost-efficient PF-2 filters.  For a more detailed comparison of the Black Berkeys and the Berkey Earth Filters, please see the Berkey Earth page, or watch this video below.

* Black Berkey last approx 6000 gallons for a set of 2

* Berkey Earth Ceramic Filters last approx 6000 gallons per set of 2

* Older Super Sterasyl Ceramics last approx 1200 gallons per set of 2, or 6 months, whichever comes first. (We no longer sell these filters and they've been replaced by the Berkey Earth Filters)

Lower Chamber Filters (Fluoride and Arsenic Removal)

The lower chamber filters are referred to as PF filters. PF = Post Filtration. There are 2 types of PF filters. The PF-2's are specifically designed to work with the Black Berkeys, and the PF-4's are designed specifically to work with the Ceramic Filters. The PF filters are easily installed by screwing them onto the stem of the upper chamber elements so that they hang down into the lower chamber of any multi-filter Berkey Water Filter system.

PF filters are optional. If your municipality adds fluoride to your water, then adding the PF-2 Filters onto your Black Berkeys or PF-4's to your Berkey Earths would be the choice to make.

* PF-2 Filters (Black Berkeys) last 1000 Gallons per set of 2

* PF-4 Filters (Berkey Earth or white Super Sterasyl Ceramic Filters) last 6 months

Step 4: Understanding the Berkey Assembly

Watch this video of the Big Berkey:

Begin Choosing Your Berkey Filter System HERE

 

About BigBerkeyWaterFilters.com: We are the largest licensed dealer of Berkey products in the world with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Don't be fooled be imitators. We offer:

  1. Same / Next Day Shipping
  2. Lifetime Warranty - For Stainless chambers and Hardware exclusive only to BigBerkeyWaterFilters.com customers
  3. 30 Day 100% Return Policy
  4. Full Time Support Staff  - We are dedicated to foster a lifetime relationship with our customers; from helping you choose your first Berkey system to assisting you in maintaining it throughout the years.
  5. VIP Discount Program - Receive exclusive discount offers and save money on future purchases such as replacement filters.

264 thoughts on “Help Me Choose a Berkey Water Filter System”

  • john

    Hi,
    My wife and I get Elgin Il water that has Floride.
    I also own a pond, which I'd hate to think about it, but what might be the best for us as an option in a crisis....

    So any ideas what us.....

    John

    Oh, and thanks for supporting truth.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi John - You best setup would be to choose any of the available systems with the black berkey elements. You also should choose the PF-2 filters as the free item to remove the fluoride from your water. You can use this system on a daily basis to meet your water requirements, and if you ever had to use your pond water in the event of a crisis, this system will purify that water also with no adjustments required.

      Dan

      Reply
  • Nelson

    Hi there.

    Great website, more organized than other Berkey dealers.

    I have already made up my mind about purchasing a Big Berkey from this site with 4 black filters and 4 PF2 filters. I only have two questions though, the site says black filters need to be replaced after 3000 gallons per filter, whereas some sites say at least once a year under light use.

    For a family of 2 consuming 2 gallons a day, the black filters would only need to be replaced every 16 years (12,000 gallons @ 2 gpd), given the set up above....is that right?

    Also, with the ceramic filters it's easy to see when to clean them b/c of the light color. However, the black color makes it almost impossible to see when to clean them. It's also hard to tell when the flow is reduced b/c it's an enclosed system...how can we tell when to clean the black filters?

    I'd really appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Nelson -

      Yes, the black berkeys last 3000 each, so your math is accurate. There can be occasions when the black berkey filters last for a shorter duration and this in entirely proportional to the levels of chemicals and contaminants in the water. 3000 / berkey filter is based upon a typical municipal/well water source, but if the source water contains very high levels of heavy metals, pesticides, or the like, this can decrease the life of the filter since the berkey media is like a sponge and can become saturated more quickly.

      As for cleaning, with both the ceramic filters and the black berkeys, the goal is to reopen the pores on the outside of the filter. Once the water enters the berkey filter the filtration begins to occur, so by cleaning, you are allowing the process to continue efficiently. Over time, you will become familiar with how quickly your berkey water filter processes the water for you. You will know it's time for a cleaning because the slow down should be evident enough to you to recognize that something's not right. Some customers need to clean their filters once every 2 months, and then there's some customers who never have to clean their filter even once over it's entire lifetime. Again, it will depend on your source water and what it contains.

      Hope this helped.

      Thanks - Dan

      Reply
  • Nelli

    We live in an apartment but planning on relocating within the next year and a half. we have 2 children living in our home at the time. which berkey system would be right for us? and can i take it with me when i move?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Nelli -

      A good fit for you and your family would be the big berkey water filter (2.25 Gallons). If you fill the upper chamber once per day, this would make available at least 1/2 gallon per day for each family member. The big berkey, like all the berkey water filters, can sit on your countertop and can be used in any future home you desire to live in. As an alternative, customers short on counter space buy three/four legged plant stands for their berkey and sit the system in a corner or another part of the kitchen.

      Thanks - Dan

      Reply
  • Scott

    I would like to say that I love my Berkey water filtration system. I have compared it to every water filter but this is best ever,

    Reply
  • Anna

    Can a water filter be over-filled or will the water stay in the upper chamber until space in the lower chamber is available?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Anna -

      If the water in the lower chamber of the berkey is at capacity, you will not want to fill the upper chamber. The system is not airtight as air needs to be able to flow in and out of the system for the gravity filtration to take place. Thus, if the lower chamber is full, water will keep filtering from the upper chamber and eventually overflow out the side seam where the lower and upper chambers meet.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Kaydee

    Hi,

    The information you have is very thorough, but after sifting through the internet for two hours trying to make a decision, it is all very overwhelming. We live in an area where fracting is common. Our water, though city water, OFTEN REEKS of chemicals--smells like lawn fertilizer. We have been buying bottled water for almost 2 years and we are tired of it.

    In addition to the chemicals that are surely in our water, I am also interested in something that will be portable in the event we have to quickly evacuate. In addition, something that kills viruses and e-coli. Can you please email me back and help. I am ready to purchase, but can't make a decision. BTW, thanks for the AJ discount ;)

    Kaydee

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Kaydee -

      The berkey water filter using the black berkey filters will remove e-coli and other bacteria from the water at 99.99999%. This is considered water purification by NSF standards. Test results can be viewed on the black berkey water filter page.

      The filters have also just been tested for the MS2 and Fr Coliphage viruses this summer. Click here for berkey virus removal test results.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Angela

    We live in an area with chemical manufacturers and there are reports that our ground water is or will be contaminated with multiple chemicals from petroleum, and other chemical plants. How much and which chemicals will the Berkey filter out? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Pat

    We are a family of two and have a rainwater collection system that is pumped back into the house for our water use. What is the best Berkey water filter to use to reduce/eliminate aluminum in our water supply (the rainwater is collected from a metal Galvalume roof)?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Pat -

      Any of the berkey water filter systems using the black berkey filters will be effective at removing aluminum up to 95% as well as purifying out bacteria that may have collected on the roof and washed into the system. You just need to decide what size of a system you would like in your house. For only 2 people, you could choose a Travel Berkey, Berkey Light, Big Berkey, or even a Royal Berkey if you'd like some extra capacity storage.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Camille

    We are looking into getting a Berkey for our family. I understand what it draws out of the water - but does it also remove the essential minerals?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Ed

    We have a brackish pond by our house. Will the Berkey remove salt content?

    Reply
  • Heidi

    HI
    My mother is 76 and still living alone, She has a shallow well which tested safe by district standards but it leaves a terrible brown stain on everything from the dogs dishes to the toilet bowl. Also it has a terrible odor, like rotten eggs sort of. Will the Berkey filters help with this issue? I would like to buy her one for her birthday.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Heidi -

      This is most likely sulfur and possibly some high iron levels. The berkey water filters will reduce both sulfur and iron to a significant extent, but will not eliminate it completely.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jason

    Hello, I'm an Alex Jones listener in the middle of a SERIOUS budget crunch right now, and need the most affordable option to remove fluoride from the tap water at my apartment.

    Thanks,
    Jason

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Jason -

      The travel berkey that comes with the black berkeys is our least expensive system. You would need this berkey filter system and then the PF-2 fluoride filters that go in the lower chamber. Use the code "alex jones" during checkout.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • john cohen

    Dan:
    If the filters in the top chamber are vertical, does a small amount of water left at the bottom of the top chamber (when most of the water has flowed down into the bottom chamber) get less filtration than water flowing down when the top chamber is full?
    Thanks,
    John

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi John -

      No, the water tests are based upon all the water that is filtered from the upper chamber. It does not decipher between water filtered from the top and/or bottom.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • wendi

    I love your site! Its very informative and well thought out. Thank you!

    I am a little confused though, Is the difference between the Berkey and the Imperial is the size? The filters and reduction of everything is the same?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Wendi -

      The imperial berkey is a 4.5 gallon version of the berkey model. There are a total of 7. All the berkey systems use the black berkey filters standard, and thus quality is the same regardless of system chosen.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • mandy

    Hi there- I would like a very effective filter that I don't need to replace, but can maintain by cleaning (ceramic) and a system that does not use plastic (stainless steel or ceramic). Do you carry anything like this. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Mandy -

      All filters need to replaced at some point as the media will reach a level of saturation. We have both black and ceramic berkey filters that you can get in a stainless chamber. A set of black berkeys last 6000 gallons and a set of 9" ceramic filters last 1200 gallons. Both can be maintained by cleaning the outside of the filter until full saturation is reached.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Sam

    Are there things that the combination of (Black+PF4) eliminates that the combination of (Black+PF2) would not?

    Thanks,
    Sam

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Sam -

      The PF-4 filters only work with the berkey ceramics as they are designed specifically for those filters. The PF-2's only work with the black berkeys. The PF-2/Black Berkeys are the best filtration combination.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Alex

    Hello,

    I want to purchase the Big Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 PF-2 filters. Will that work? Plus, how long would it last before I change the filters? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Alex -

      The black berkeys would last 600 gallons of water and the PF-2 filters would last 1000 gallons or 2 years, whichever came first.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
      • Teresa

        I think that's a typo. From previous comments, the 2 Black Berkeys would last 6000 gallons of water, not 600.

        Reply
  • Tonia

    We are a family of 4 looking for a water filtration system to use in case of emergency. We are at the base of a mountain and have a stream that runs off the mountain, the length of the property. There are just one or two houses above ours. What system would make the stream water safe to consume in the event of an emergency and interuption to our water supply. 2 adults and 2 children. We are currently at the end of the city water line and would be interested in filtering our city water supply as well.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Tonia -

      Any of the systems with the black berkeys will fit your needs for both the stream water and the city water. Given the size of your family I would recommend the big berkey, royal berkey, or the berkey light. Any of these systems equipped with 2 or 4 black berkey filters will perform as desired.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Charles

    I plan to buy a Berkey filter unit but I have a question. In one of your posts you recommended specific units and also recommended "equiped with 2 or 4 black berkey filters".
    My question is: Say I buy the Big Berkey, how many black berkey filters do I need?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Charles -

      2 black berkey filters will work just fine. You can purchase 4 if you would like faster filtration and the longer life that comes with 4 black berkeys.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Richard

    Hi Dan,

    Would the black berkey filters work in a whole house pressurized system? If not, do you have any recommendations for a whole house filtration system? I have well water and want to set up something to filter the water before it hits the tap. I plan on purchasing a berkey system for the times when the power goes out. No water equals third world status very quickly. Also, if I have to use pond, lake or river water through the system is there any special cleaning or sterilization needed of the system once we return to a cleaner source of water? Would it be recommended that we replace the filters once we have used the system with obviously contaminated water or do we just go back to every day use without any concern?

    Thanks,
    Richard

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Richard -

      No, the filters are only designed to work in a gravity filter system. As for water becoming third world status, in the events of hurricanes, flooding, water would be become third world status very quickly as the clean water distribution systems and other potable water supplies become contaminated. The filters are designed to be used in this regard, so, there is no need for cleaning the filters or replacing them post a filtration of contaminated water. If you feel tentative in doing this, you can perform a red food coloring test on the black berkey filters to confirm they are operating as designed.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Benjamin

    Hi,

    I am interested in the Berkey filter system. One question I have is, do the systems filter out sulphur content? The water in our area has a multitude of gas wells which, from my understanding, have allowed sulphur to seep into the water system.

    Regards,
    Benjamin

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Benjamin -

      Yes, the filters will reduce sulphur conten however because it is a competing comtaminant, it cannot be guaranteed to remove it completely.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Joyce

    I'm sensitive to both coconut and corn, and am wondering if the black filter uses charcoal with coconut as the source for it. Will the ceramic filters be corn and coconut free as well?

    Reply
  • Wayne Godfrey

    Are you saying the Berkley Black filters will make harvested rainwater drinkable? I'm in the process of starting a harvesting system for my home in SW Florida and one knows not what the future holds and water is precious.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Wayne -

      Many customers use the berkey system for rainwater harvesting, but we cannot make a blanket statement that this will work for all setups. This is because if it it being collected from a roof, the roofing shingles can contain chemicals that the filters have not been tested for. We can only speak to what the filters have been tested for and in many rainwater collection systems, the water is only coming in contact with plastic, aluminum, etc; and in these cases we know the system is sufficient.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • christy

    Hi I am looking for a system which will clean the water for the whole house including for showers. Is the Berkey system a whole house system. Mainly I want to use it to remove the chlorine and fluoride in our water.

    Thanks Christy

    Reply
  • Erin

    Hi there. We have five people in our family and use a lot of water for drinking and cooking. I'm thinking of getting your biggest model and, if I understand correctly, getting four of the black filters will give me the fastest filtration. Also, how will I know when the filters need to be replaced? Is there some visible sign? Also, I would like to use this filtered water (I would be buying a separate one) for our animals on our family farm. Is there a way to hook up a hose instead of using the spigot? Thanks so much!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Erin -

      No, there is no way to attach as hose to the system. The biggest model is the crown and that can hold up to 8 filters in the upper chamber, thus that would provide the fastest filtration. The filters need to be replaced approx every 6000 gallons per set of 2, so you can keep a rough idea of your usage by how many times you fill the 6 gallons system per week and then extrapolate that usage estimate out over time. Also, you can perform a red food coloring test at any time on your filters to make sure they are still filtering as designed. http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/wordpress/water-filters/the-black-berkey-red-food-coloring-test/

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • andy j

    Hi,
    I just got the imperial berkey, and i love how my water tastes. The only problem is that it leaks from the seam (where the upper and lower chamber meet). Is there a way to tell how much water is in the lower chamber without adding too much to the upper? I don't have the glass spigot. Perhaps there is a way to seal the seam and still allow for air to be released?

    Please help, as this is quite an annoying (and really messy) problem. The water is always leaking on my table.


    Thanks,
    Andy

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Andy -

      The lower chamber is not designed to be filled past the seam, so you always want to be careful not to add water to the upper chamber if the lower chamber is filled. The sight glass spigot should help you keep an eye on this. Like you mention, that seam between the 2 chambers allows the air flow to come in and out, and is the only means of transfer, thus you do not want to block that.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Valerie Kanatas
    Valerie Kanatas April 24, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I was told that all carbon and charcoal filters are recommended by The World Health Organization to be changed every year regardless of how much water they they filter. My sister was told by your rep that 4 black Big Berkey filters would last up to 16 years! What is the truth here?
    Also I was told that the stainless steel Berkey does not come with a base and yet i see in your video that it does? Thank you for answering my questions., Valerie Kanatas

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Valerie -

      We are not familiar with this WHO recommendation and if you could email us at customerservice@bigberkeywaterfilters.com and point us to it, we'd appreciate it. A couple things to keep in mind though is that the black berkey filters are made up of more than 6 different media, and not solely based on charcoal and/or carbon. This is important as there is a self-sterilizing feature to the black berkey elements that possibly is not accounted for in this WHO recommendation. I would also note that a charcoal/carbon media of 16 ounces would last much longer than a media that was only 2 ounces, so there is also some distinguishing points in that all filters are not created equal. With that being said, the ratings of the black berkeys are based on usage of tap/well water. The more contaminated the water (pond, lakes, puddles, etc) the less gallons they will be able to filter, because like a sponge they will reach a saturation point quicker due to the higher concentrations of contaminants.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • mark

    I was buying filtered water as we traveled on our camping trip. It was hassle always looking for a place to buy water and fill our 6 gallon stainless steel dispenser. Looks like your system will do everything for us and more.

    Reply
  • Hello

    Does your system filter calcium carbonate or would an additional softener be needed?

    Reply
  • Anna

    I live in China. All of our water must be filtered or we must buy bottled water. We have high levels of chlorine and metals in our water....among many other things, I'm sure. In your opinion, would the Berkey system work for us? Do you have locations in China that you sell your filtration system? Thanks for any information?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Anna -

      Yes, any of the systems with the black berkey filters would fit your needs. There are no distributors in China, however we do ship there.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Andrea

    We would like to order one of the Berkey Lights to keep in our barn (just for human drinking water), but I wasn't sure what the acceptable temperature range for the plastic would be. Is it possible the temp could get so cold in the winter that the plastic would easily crack? We are in the Colorado mountains so the temps can get very cold. Thanks for your help!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Andrea -

      You do not want to expose the filters to freezing temperatures, nor high temps over 120 degrees.Since the black berkeys are the most sensitive to temperature, you would want to make your system decisions based on this. The plastic will be fine throughout this range.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • sue

    I live on the bayous of Louisiana....I was wondering if in an extreme emergency that I could filter that water and drink it.

    Reply
  • Teresa Caudill

    How long should I expect the first filtration to take? It's been one hour and fifteen min. Water not yet up yo site glass

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Teresa -

      Once you've primed the black berkey filters fully, for a system like the big berkey - if you fill the upper chamber to the top - in the first hour you would get approx 3/4-1 gallon.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Gloria Porter

    We are planning to live year round in the wilderness for the next 3-4 years. What berkey system would be best for 2 people? I am concerned about freezing temperatures in the winter. We would have a stove in the tent during the worst part of the winter.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Gloria -

      Any of the systems with the black berkey filters would suffice. Please be aware that if the filters freeze when they are wet, it will most likly damage them, so you would want to prevent this.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Patri

    I moved into the city last year (from a country home with spring well) and I can smell the chlorine in the water (unfortunately we have fluoride too). Synchroncity was at work when I checked your site out a while back, then looked at the very expensive Enagic Kangen machines and then circled around back to your Berkeys! I will definintely purchase your Royal model with the PF-2 filters after the winter holiday calms down and I find a location for it in my small kitchen. BTW, do you ever run sales on the black and PF-2 filters? Thanks for supplying a much needed product, Dan.
    Patri in Port Chester, NY

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Patri -

      We are not permitted by the manufacturer to run sales on the items lower than what we currently offer. We only can provide bulk discount pricing and 5% off with the "alex jones" code on ceramic filters.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Stephanie

    Copper is our challenge in our house. So much so that our kitchen sink has a blue stain where the water drips. It is also in the showers and toilets! Drinking water is my main concern first. If we purchased the Berky Light, which filters would you use for copper removal? Thanks Stephanie

    Reply
  • Robin

    I live in a suburb of chicago w/ chicago water. I have been investigating RO systems, as my understanding was that this was the only way to eliminate flouride. I've just come across your site and I am now totally confused. I have an undersink filter system, but it does not filter out the flouride (which I understand in prevalent in our chicago water).
    can you clarify, if possible, about your system. Do I want RO?
    also, does your system sit on the countertop? is there a stand?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      hi Robin -

      Yes, it sits on a countertop and can filter fluoride from the water with the add-on PF-2 filters. There is a stand(the plastic one used for the berkey light), or alternatively you can use a wooden plant stand or leave the spigot over the corner of your sink or hanging off the counter side as some other options.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jody

    I live on the coast without a reliable source of fresh water in an emergency. Do you have any desalinator products? Thank you.

    Reply
  • Jess

    Hi, I'm wondering if the filters can be stored for a long time frame. If I bought extra when I bought the system would I be able to store them and they would be ok in a year or two. Thanks!

    Reply
  • kathy Walson

    I am 74 yrs old and have been recently diagnosed with a lead and thallium toxic levels in my body.

    We have a well water. The original well was put in in 1937. Replaced with a new well in 2007. Water testing done in 2007 showed no problems. (local water testing site).

    also home was termite treated extensively in 2006.

    does you filtration system take care of heavy metals--ie lead and thallium?

    thanks

    kathy

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Kathy -

      Yes, the black berkey filters we recently shown in testing to reduce lead by over 97.5% and Thallium over 99.75. Let us know if you need anything else.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • goji

    We have to put salt in our well water holding tank. Will the berkey remove this?

    Reply
  • Karen

    Does this system filter out chlorine? And what is the limitations? What does it NOT filter out besides salt?

    Reply
  • Mike Sasaki

    How do you clean the black filters?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Mike -

      Details on cleaning the black berkey filter and other maintenance tips can be found here:

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/blog/berkey-water-filter/anns-helpful-hints-for-berkey-water-filter-systems

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Rhiannon

    I am looking at purchasing a berkey. I live in an duplex in Maine.
    I am looking to filter both my drinking water as well as my shower.

    I was looking at the berkey crown. Is it able to filter the water that I shower with? If so, is the insallation permanent (as in, could I install it in my duplex without damaging anything, so when we leave there is no damage)

    Thanks!
    Rhiannon

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Rhiannon -

      No, the Crown berkey would only be used for drinking water. The berkey filter systems are countertop systems and do not get installed into your plumbing. With that being said, we do have a shower filter that you can install (and remove if moving), that goes in between the pipe coming out of your wall, and your existing shower head. So, you could purchase a countertop berkey system for you drinking water, and then a shower filter for your shower.

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/shower-head-filter.html

      and a shower filter that comes with a massage head attached:

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/shower-head-filter-w-massage.html

      Also, the crown is the largest system and will most likely take up too much space in your kitchen. You should most likely be looking at the travel berkey to royal berkey size range. Let us know if you need anything else.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Steve

    I have a salt water type pool that has a chlorine generator. In an emergency, would the filters make the water drinkable?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Steve -

      Yes, the filters will remove chlorine from the pool water, but if the levels are very high, it may take more than 1 run through the berkey system. Also, be aware that if there are other chemicals in this pool water, the filters may or may not remove them, so you would need to take a look at this.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Sheila

    Hi there,

    I've read all the comments above but would like to ask directly -- for a family of 2 adults 2 children that do a lot of cooking and drinking what size system would you reccomend?

    Thank you

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Sheila -

      I would recommend the Big Berkey, Berkey Light, or the Royal Berkey. The Royal Berkey is on sale currently, so probably your best option.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Shana

    We ordered the Crown Berkey a couple of weeks ago and couldn't be happier. The service was great, the system arrived in excellent condition, the set-up was quick and easy. In a couple of hours we were drinking the sweetest, best tasting water I have had since drinking my granny's sweet spring water as a little girl. I do have one caution, however. I have three daughters, and find it hard to get near the filter for the crowd around it admiring their reflections in the "mirrored" steel finish. :) Great product, will recommend it to everyone I know!

    Reply
  • Sumit

    Hi there,

    Few questions:
    a) Does it remove Flouride ?
    b) Does it remove Chloramine ?
    c) What is the pH of the water ?
    d) Do you have test results pre and post filteration ?

    Thanks,
    Sumit

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Sumit -

      1) Yes, the filters address fluoride with the PF-2 filters.
      2) They have yet to be tested for Chloramines.
      3) The filtered PH will be dependent on the starting water PH, so there is no general answer for this.
      4) All test results can be found here: http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/helpful-resources/test-results

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • saskia

    Hi there. What are major differences between the berkey light and the big berkey. Could you also travel and camp with the big bekey?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Saskia -

      This article will help you:

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/blog/berkey-water-filter/a-stainless-or-plastic-berkey-water-filter

      And, yes all systems are portable and can be used outdoors.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Mike

    When testing for parts per million (ppm), what value does this return?

    Reply
  • Eleanor Snyder
    Eleanor Snyder July 18, 2013 at 12:17 am

    Dear Dan

    We have had our Berkey since Y2K so that's at least 13 years. I use only the top chamber on top of a ceramic holding vessel with a spout (like they use for bottled water). I would like to purchase the Berkey with the black filters. What is the diameter of the various sizes?

    Just saw a newer one at a friend's house. My things have changed!!!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Eleanor -

      The black berkeys are the same in dimensions as the older 9" ceramic filters as they are meant to be interchangeable. There is only 1 size of black berkeys and they are 9" in length and 2" in diameter.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Bradley Clemens
    Bradley Clemens July 24, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    I purchased the Royal Berkey and love it, the taste of the water beyond comparable to any bottled water. I also got the PF-2 filters with my order and I lifted the top tank off the other day and the lower tank was full..... therefor the PF-2 filters were under water. (My question is do the filters lose their purpose if they are completely submerged?)

    Thanks,
    Bradley

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Bradley -

      All water that goes into the lower chamber must go through the PF-2 filters as a course of flow, so they are still effective when this is occurring.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Rebecca Smith
    Rebecca Smith July 26, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Dan- I have been drinking MV bottled water since 1976 after I discovered our city water had red worms. I am thinking of ordering the Royal Berkey...looks big enough, but want it big enough for all my family in case of a sudden emergency? I would order the PF-2 filters too for the chlorine (and arsenic if any), plus extra black filters...to store...for future. You say the chlorine being removed is undetectable, (the odor), but is it completely removed?

    Many thanks, Rebecca

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Rebecca -

      Yes, the black berkeys will remove the chlorine to undetectable levels so you will not have any of that taste or smell. The PF-2's would be used for fluoride and arsenic. The Royal Berkey is good for up to 6 people, so that might be fine for you. Extra filters, from 2 to 4 black berkeys, can also significantly speed up the filtration in the time of emergency.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Janina

    Love your ideas :)

    Reply
  • Tammy

    Hi,
    Would the berkey system make ocean water drinkable? We live on a island so that would be our biggest water source in the event of an emergency.

    Thanks,
    Tammy

    Reply
  • Kirt Germond

    Hi,

    I have been using glacier water from an ro machine and putting minerals back in. Would I need to put minerals back in with the Berkey water, does the filtration remove all minerals?

    Thanks,
    Kirt

    Reply
  • Virgil Cory

    I well is contaminated with salt (1500+ppm). Will the Berkey remove the salt?

    Reply
  • Dawn R

    I really want a Berkey water filtration system. I can't afford one, so it would be great to win one. Thanks and God bless you. Dawn R

    Reply
  • Gerri Brooking

    Does your filtration system remove iron eating bacteria? Our well water has it and it is not pleasant at all. IIt stains toilets and sinks etc. I am worried about what it does to our bodies.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Gerri -

      The filters have not been tested for such, so we cannot specifically comment as to their effectiveness. The filters have been tested for other forms of bacteria and they do remove it to 99.9999%.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Roxanne Smart

    I value a good cup of tea and have (for years) been distilling my well water because I don't like the film that forms in the cup or the resultant residue that is left on the cup sides and bottom from undistilled water. Would a Berkey filtration system leave that same evidence? Thanks, R

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Roxanne -

      It's hard to exactly say, but the berkey filters do not remove calcium, so if this is the film being left, it would still be there.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Brad

    I just bought a cabin on the lake this year and I am going to purchase one of your filter systems but I want to know if I by extra filters will they and the filters that have been used and then left to dry out be able to make it over the corse of the winter. It gets to around -40c where I live.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Brad -

      If the black berkeys freeze with any moisture inside them, they will be damaged. We would recommend you taking the filters with you when leaving the cabin to avoid the potential for this.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • patryk

    Hi,

    What will happen if I order to europe and will have any problems with filters, if they will have to replaced will I have to ship them back or/and pay for shipping of new ones?

    Patryk

    Reply
  • Erika

    Where do the PF-2 filters go ? I understand the Black basic filters go in the top of the device - but do the PF-2 's also go in the top ? So would I have two black and two PF-2 , for a total of 4 filters ?
    and how does all the water go through all the separate filters since there are different filters .

    Erika

    Reply
  • Kelly

    Can the big berkey be stored in the refrigerator or will this damage the filter over time?

    Reply
  • Ian r

    Has the issue with the separation of the black element and the plastic base been resolved? If so, when, and what happens if I receive a defective filter? I am very interested in getting this system but am afraid my water will be compromised.
    Thanks,
    Ian

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Ian -

      The black berkey filters issues you have heard about happened with a batch that had a higher than average defective rate (3-6%), produced in November 2010. To prevent this from happening again, the manufacturer redesigned the filters so that they are machined on in addition to a new stronger glue, such that if the glue even were to fail, the machining still keeps them functioning as designed. We ship directly from the manufacturer and have been shipping the new designs since 2nd qtr 2011.

      All black berkeys have a 2 year pro-rated warranty in 6 month intervals. In other words, if there's a problem in the first 6 months, it's fully replaced. If there's a problem in the 2nd 6 months, it's 75% covered, etc.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Linda Crumley

    Is there a Burkey system that removes (or greatly reduces) the amount of calcium in high-calcium well water?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Linda -

      No, there is not. The berkey filters are designed to leave in beneficial minerals purposefully, so we do not have a filter that would accommodate this request.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Patty Shrivers

    We have a very large spring but are afraid to drink the water. My husband and I drink a lot of water a day. What system would you recommend to us?

    Reply
  • Matthew P

    Are there water level markers on the top and bottom? I am wondering if it is awkward to , say if he bottom half is half full to top it off, without causing the bottom chamber to overflow?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Matthew -

      No there is not unless you have the berkey light and can see inside. To alleviate this issue, the stainless systems have a sight glass spigot add-on for additional purchase so that you are able to view the water in the lower chamber.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Pat

    Dan, Can old filters be disposed of with the rest of the household garbage or are there special requirements for disposal?

    Reply
  • Alex Modehn

    I am interested in the Travel Berkey for use in an emergency/disaster situation. I live in south-west Arizona where a water supply would be very scarce in a long-term power outage. I am looking for 2 gallons a day for at least 1 year.
    1) Would the unit make water from an untreated sewer pond drinkable?
    2) In extreme situations, would it filter urine and make it drinkable?
    3) I find various types of filters and other items listed; which filters and any other accessories would be required to go with the unit?
    4) How often would any such filters and accessories need to be cleaned and/ or replaced?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Alex -

      1) It would filter any bacteria/viruses from the water to make it potable.
      2) It hasn't been tested for urine, but given urine's makeup, it would purify it, yet leave the salt.
      3) No other accessories are required unless you want to use the fluoride filters.
      4) The black berkeys are good for 6000 gallons/set of 2. Cleaning is only required if they become clogged.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Karl

    Hi Dan, if I had the Royal Berkey with the black filters and the PF-2's, would there be any plastic on the inside that is in contact with the water? I'm trying to avoid possible contaminants in plastics and the Berkey seems like a good way to do it.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Karl -

      In the lower chamber, where your filtered water would be, it would only be the small opening to the spigot. This is a non-BPA food grade plastic.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Emilie

    If the bottom chamber is full of filtered water, can unfiltered water be added to the top chamber, leaving both chambers full? Or do you have to wait for the bottom chamber to be empty before refilling the top chamber?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Emilie -

      You can never add more water to the upper chamber than the lower chamber can accommodate. So, you do not have to wait until the lower chamber is empty, but you do not want to overflow the lower chamber either.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Janet

    Which filters would you recommend for filtering any possible radiation contamination?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Janet -

      The best filters we have are the black berkey filters and we know they remove radon 222. However, they have not been tested specifically for radiation removal of all forms, so we are unable to state that it will remove all dangerous forms of radiation from the water.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Rebecca

    Hi,
    We have well water and a water softener, but we have 1 indoor & 2 outdoor faucets that are not hooked up to the water softener. Which water source would be better to use?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Rebecca -

      The softened water may have a tendency to shorten the life of the black berkeys, however the hard water may clog up the filters over time, so it would be a toss up. I would personally use the softened water as it will require little to no maintenance.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Janis

    Do you water filters remove fluoride?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Janis -

      Yes, the berkey filters remove fluoride with use of the PF-2 fluoride and arsenic filters that go in the lower chamber of the system.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Wendy

    I have read ALL of the questions and answers before asking this:

    If there is only ONE of me, and I drink 8-12 glasses of water per day, AND I want to use BOTH the black filters and the fluoride filters, would getting the size larger than the Travel system be recommended? I'm concerned (1) that there is enough room for all the types of filters possible, and (2) if I go through the water too slowly, can some bacteria GROW in the damp filters? because water is not being run through the system daily or even every other day, etc. (I really need clarification on this!!!) For example, could I filter water and then let the wet filters stand unused for even 5 or 6 days without bacteria growing in them, or in that case do you recommend REMOVING them and putting them in the refrigerator? And lastly (3) I'm disabled; do you have any additional discounted prices for those living on disability or seniors? I would be interested in purchasing all the types of filters possible for my unit (using the black ones) as well as a glass spigot, and HOPING to come up with enough for extra filters, unsure. THANK YOU.

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Wendy -

      If you drink alot of water we always recommend sizing up. So, the Big Berkey may be your best bet, especially if your adding the Pf-2's in the lower chamber. The filters are self-sterilizing, so you do not have to worry about bacteria growth. For discounts, we would provide "alex jones" for 5% off all ceramic filters systems.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jay

    I have a deep well that has hard water and sulpher. It leaves a black fuzzy coating in my toilet that easily brushes away. Would one of your systems clean this water up as far as taste? If not is there a filter you would recommend as an alternative to or for use in conjunction with the Berkey?
    Thank you.

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Jay -

      The filters will not remove the calcium, but will reduce some of the sulfur. There is not one filter to recommend as they all have pros and cons, but whole house systems may be better at reducing some of this. I would recommend researching some of these companies.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Carol

    Dan
    I've read the entire response trail and you have cautioned about exposing the filters to freezing temperatures when wet and even in storage. What about the shipping during these cold winter months? Should I wait to purchase until spring?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Carol -

      No. The real issue with the cold is that if they are damp in any manner, the water will expand during freezing and could damage the integrity of the inside of the filter. They are shipped dry, so this is not an issue. The long term storage avoidance of freezing temperatures for unused filters is just a recommendation in that room temperature temps would always be preferred over freezing temps for storage of any survival equipment if that option is available.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jae

    I'm seriously considering this system since water is the main beverage we all drink throughout the day. We are not satisfied with the PUR unit attached to the faucet that we are using right now. Your Berkey filters were recommended to me from a friend. She uses the filters in her home with a homemade unit. Since I am not that handy, I will need to decide on a size and buy an entire unit. I have a family of 2 adults and 2 teenagers. Would the "BIG" size be the right one for me to purchase?
    Also we are a military family on a budget, so I wondered if you had a military discount. That would help A LOT since my husband is currently deployed and I am not working. Thanks!

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Jae -

      We would lean towards the Royal over the Big Berkey simply because you'll appreciate that extra gallon in size for your family or 4. Military families should contact us directly for available discounts. customerservice@bigberkeywaterfilters.com

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Charles

    Dan,
    Is it possible to get too big of a Berkey? i.e. the Crown?
    My wife and I are looking to get one for an emergency situation,
    and maybe use it some along the way. Maybe never an emergency.
    But who knows who would show up in an emergency. All the rest of the family.
    Anywhere from 4 - to who knows?
    Would the oversized model still work efficiently for 2 persons?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Charles -

      No, a larger system would not be a problem. Just be aware of the larger size and weight for transport purposes and and issues that may arise on small countertops.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Ian

    Hi Dan, do you deliver to China and what filters would you recommend for use over here? Also, do you've any idea what delivery to this part of the world might cost?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Ian -

      Yes, we do. The black berkey filters would be appropriate. The cost would be dependent on what you ordered. If you add the items you are interested in, into the cart, and then goto the shopping cart page, you can enter you postal code and get a shipping estimate.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Joan

    I already own a Berkey and have the white ceramic filters and the bottom filters that go with them to filter out the flouride in our water. We use our filter daily for regular tap water and have only cleaned the ceramic once due to rusty buildup on the outer shell. But since using the filter now for almost two years, I may need to buy some new filters for this Berkey.

    We will be moving to a new home in the Coastal plains with a golf pond behind us. I was wondering if we had a hurricane and had to use the pond water and filter it what would be the best filter for this purpose? I would assume that there would be all kinds of lawn chemical run-off in the water. I noticed that the black filter lasts longer than the ceramic filter, but does it filter better than the ceramics??

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Joan -

      We would choose the black berkey filters. they last longer and filter out chemicals and bacteria to higher degrees, so they would be the better option.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Barbara A W

    How will I know when the filters need to be replaced? I understand 6 months for for the PF; but how do I guesstimate the gallons w/o writing it down?

    Reply
    • admin

      Hi Barbara -

      The PF-2's are 2 years or 1000 gallons whichever comes first. The best way to approximate would be based upon how often you fill your system. If you have the big berkey and you fill it once per day, you would be using approx 2 gallons per day, etc.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Kiwi

    Hi Dan,

    So I've been reading these comments and I had two questions:

    1.) you mentioned once filtering water again - would filtering the water twice be twice as efficient? Is it possible to remove /all/ contaminants with multiple filtrations?

    2.) Also, just how dirty water can the filters clean? Will it work on third-world country water? For example, a river or stream in India, Lebanon, Indonesia, etc? If the water is brown, will the sediments clog the filters? Will it make water from a water source in which fish live (and die) in safe and drinkable?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Kiwi -

      Yes, these black berkey filters are specifically designed to filter non-potable water like ponds, etc and make the water potable. As for multiple runs through the filters, yes it would remove more with each flow though. This is not typically required as the filter purifies the water on the first run, however you can filter this water as much as desired.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Robin

    Hi Dan,

    I'm interested in purchasing the Berkey Light and have a few questions: 1) Should I be concerned about the fact that the container is plastic? and 2) If I decide not to purchase the LED lights to go in the bottom now, is it possible to buy them later?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Robin -

      1) The plastic is a food grade non-BPA plastic.
      2) Yes, you can purchase a LED lighted base in the future, but the lights are not sold separately if you wanted to install them in the existing base.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Derek Sharpie

    best water purifier i've tried and i'm sticking to is berkey water filter. Instantly purifies water from any source including stagnant water.

    Reply
  • Chidori

    Can it filter BPA contaminated water? Like bottled water that were stored for many years or been baked in the sun.
    Thanks

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Chidori -

      The filters have yet to be tested for BPA removal, however they are looking into these tests and should hopefully have them within 6 months.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • TM

    Can the Berkey remove chlorine, trihalomethanes or volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). Does it remove any of the inorganic minerals? THX

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi TM -

      Yes, the filters remove those items. For more detailed info on what the black berkeys remove and leave in, please visit the product page here:

      http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/black-berkey-filters-2.html

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Trish

    Question: How does the fluoride get absorbed so quick or rather how does one know how long the water has to sit in the bottom part of the Berkey so the fluoride is absorbed.. ? Not sure how this works just sitting the filters in the bottom?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Trish -

      The water must go through the fluoride filters after passing through the black berkey filters. This 2nd stage of filtration puts the water in contact with the fluoride filter media. Once in contact, the fluoride is adsorbed/absorbed out from the water. The fluoride filters sitting in the lower chamber is not part of this filtration process. The filtration happens initially as the water passes through them.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
      • Trish

        Thanks for answering- Dan.. So are you saying the water itself isn't available until it comes through the fluoride filter? Do the black filters connect directly to and seal to the fluoride filter & it's content? I'm a little confused on how it goes through the fluoride filter media. Are you saying the water goes from top of fluoride filter until it finally drips from the bottom of the fluoride filter? Is it just absorbed through the sides? Can you post a pic as to how this works?

        Thanks so much for your awesome help.

        Reply
        • Dan DeBaun

          Hi Trish -

          The water goes through the black berkeys first in the upper chamber. The PF-2's are connected to the bottom stems of the black berkeys and hang in the lower chamber, so after the water passes through the black berkeys, it goes directly into the PF-2's as the 2nd stage of filtration. It'll then pass through the PF-2's out through the bottom of those filters into the lower chamber where it is ready for consumption.

          Thanks
          Dan

          Reply
  • Leila

    Hello,
    we are a family of 2 plus 5 pets. the water we use is well water. there are farms around us and lots of new constructions. living near a river .we are in south Louisiana. I had the water check when we bought the house 7 years ago. it was a basic testing. i do not recall the results. My husband is being treated for hi levels of lead and other toxic metals. which of your systems would you recommend for drinking, cooking? and which one does remove lead and other toxic metals? thank you for your answer.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Leila -

      We'd recommend the Big or Royal Berkey depending on how much water your pets drink on a daily basis. The standard systems with the black berkeys will remove what you mentioned.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Sandy

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on Berkey water filter. Regards

    Reply
  • Ron

    I live on a sailboat and the water I would be filtering would be rain water. I wanted to know if any test on chemtrails has been done ,does the system remove these chemicals ad well?

    Reply
  • William Kotheimer
    William Kotheimer October 25, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Do the Berkey filters filter protozoa such as giardia and amoeba?

    Reply
  • Jacquelyn

    I already purchased a Propur water filtration system. After reading the reviews I am wishing I purchased a Berkey sytem instead. Is it possible to add Berkey filters to my Propure systems until the Big or Royal Berkey cannisters become available?
    Thanks!
    Jacquelyn

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi JAcquelyn -

      Yes, the black berkeys fit the larger Propur systems (same diameter filter stems). They are 9" in length however, so you have to make sure the upper chamber of your system has this height clearance to accommodate them.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Josh

    Hi, what contaminants does the go berkey water bottle filter remove?

    Thanks, josh

    Reply
  • Tomas A Simon

    Just wondering which bb would be best for me. I live in las vegas nv. I dont know if there is fluoride in the water but I would like the option to add those filters in case I move. I know that there is plenty of radio active contaminants seeing as it is nevada. I live with another person and would like to use the water for cooking, water my plants, water for my pets etc.
    Thank you for the help if you could email me with your suggestion I would be very appreciative
    Tom

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Tomas -

      You can always add the fluoride filters later if you do not decide to initially. I would recommend the big berkey for your needs given your planned use.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Julie

    How do you prepare the filters for long shutdowns? Want to keep at my second residence which is only used occasionally. Should you also have a restart procedure?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Julie -

      You can just let them dry out as normal. You can also just start using them when you return, however if there is debris that has dried on and clogged up the filters, you may need to clean and re-prime them.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Beth

    Hello! I am sold on a Berkey after experiencing one at a friends house. I am a 1 person household. Would use the water for coffee, drinking and some cooking. Which size would you recommend? Thank you!

    Reply
  • Connie Pierce

    I'm not sure what size I would need or which one I need. There are up to seven people in my home at any given time. But only three that live here permanently. We have well water. It has an odor to it and a bag taste also. I have used a Pur treatment on the faucet and it works so so. Can you please give me some advice?

    Reply
  • Wendy William

    Can Berkey filters filter protozoa such as giardia and amoeba?

    Reply
  • peter

    i like to keep my filters topped off. since this one is not see through, how can i know how much water to add? do i fill it a quarter, a third, half etc. i don't want to overflow it but i don't want it to get low because then there is less pressure. i would have bought the see through one, which would have been perfect but on reviews it said they keep cracking after a few month and start leaking. currently using a zero water system and wanting to upgrade.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Peter -

      The sight glass spigot is your best option. I know you've read somewhere about problems with this SGS product, but this is not something we've experienced at all and we've sold thousands of them. We can confidently recommend them to solve your problem.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Leo

    Hi,

    I live in South Florida, and I was wondering if I can keep the Travel Berkley in a fridge. Sometimes I would take it to two different warehouses, and due to moldy conditions in the summer, I was wondering if keeping it in the fridge all the time is an option. Thank you very much!

    Reply
  • Beverly

    Hi

    I want to buy a berkey water filtration but not sure which would best. I am concerned about the rubber ring on the bottom of the Big Berkey in that one of the reviews mentioned a strong petroleum smell from it. I am very sensitive to strong smells. If it does have a strong smell, can it be removed? Thanks.

    Reply
  • Julie

    Can the travel berkey accommodate fluoride filters?

    Reply
  • Emely

    Hola Dan! I was told that if considering a larger berkey system for my household to not overdue it on the size, because the water is good for about three days once filtered. Makes sense in the sense of consuming the filtered water asap instead of having so much of it sitting in the lower chamberng. Is this correct? Don't want a small one either. Your site also mentions the bigger the better as far as faster purification process... Thanks!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Emely -

      As long as you are using the system on a daily basis, you do not have to worry about water sitting in the lower chamber, as it's continually moving through. And yes, larger means faster filtration due to more water pressure in the upper chamber.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Brighty

    With buying the black filters, is it still recommended to get gliuride and arsenic filters too? And shower head, is it already equipped with flouride/ chlorine/ filter?
    Going to get the big berkey .
    Thank you

    Reply
  • Ava

    Hi again Dan,
    I saw that the test removed 17 pharmaceuticals so I guess I would like to know which were in the test?
    Thanks again.
    Best,
    Ava

    Reply
  • bruce

    Does the Berkey fluoride filter completely remove fluoride?

    Reply
  • Barbara

    Any plans to make available a hot and cold Berkey?

    Reply
  • Linda

    I have two questions that don't seem to be answered as I read thru the comments.
    1. Does the Berkey have to be sitting level to work properly?
    2. How tough is the stainless steel for air travel? I'm wondering about the possibility of getting dented and then not working properly.

    Thank you for responding.

    Linda

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Linda -

      1) Yes, we would recommend it being relatively level for us.
      2) The stainless steel is relatively tough, but if you're traveling you can wrap it is some older rags or some other type of cushioning for better safeguarding.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Camper

    I was interested in buying a Berkey that will be used once a year for a 12 day camping trip. In most cases we will have access to well water. Should I buy the air primer pump? I will not have access to faucets were I will be camping and will travel 2-3 days to get to the site. After the trip, do I simply dry out the black filters for 4 weeks and store for next year? Should the dry filters be stored in a Ziplock bag or other container? Finally any tips for packing the Berkey for the trip? I look forward to your response.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Camper -

      you can get away without and primer pump, and may not even need to reprime the filters at any point in time. However, you may still desire this item in the event that your filter get clogged while camping and you need a quick re-prime to flush out any matter that may have clogged them up. It would be an easy and quick fix if that situation were to arise.

      And yes, you can just dry the filters out and store them in ziplocks until next year. It shouldn't take more than a few days for them to fully dry out.

      As for packing, I would just wrap the filters up in some sort of padding so they do not get inadvertently damaged during travel.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jessica

    We want to buy something for emergencies, if we didn't have access to water besides a lake or a backyard pool. Which types of filters would be best for these scenarios?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Jessica -

      Any of our systems are already designed for some of these sources. The black berkeys that come standard will filter lake, river, or even stagnant pond water. We do not have guidance on pools as there are a number of different chemicals that may be used, and we have not tested for all potential pool chemicals.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Ruthann

    I have a Royal Berkey and have two used black filters that are dry. They've been used for less than 2 years for a family of two so there should be a lot more life in them. Can I soak them in plain water and reinstall them like I do with new ones?

    Reply
  • Dave Knave

    We are on municipal water that supposedly does not have fluoride in it. I understand that the fluoride filters remove a few other things besides fluoride and would like to have the most effective system.

    Are there any drawbacks to using these filters if you don't necessarily need them, besides added cost?

    How much do they affect the flow rate?

    Reply
  • Kathy Smith

    We have an ice maker that we use for all our drinking water. We live in Florida and like cold water with lots of ice.. Wouldn't we be defeating our purpose if we use ice from our freezer (goes through a PUR filter)? Also, we have a water conditioning system that uses salt and citric acid.

    Reply
  • Laurelee

    I've been comparing the different models and am wondering about the Burkey Light. It seems to hold more water and cost less than the Big Burkey.
    Does the Big Burkey have advantages over the Burkey Light? Does the stainless steel hold up better? Is the BB more portable? Thanks

    Reply
  • sandra

    Hello
    I read an article about using pool water as a last resort in case of emergency for drinking water and was funneled to this site as a filter that would work for this. What kind of system would you reccommmend and how many filters...say 6 month emergency....8 people.... and or any info to buy to treat pool water before placing in a system for filtration. any info is appreciated!

    Reply
  • Danielle

    We have well water, We are having to clean our black filters regularly for the to filter the water. What would be the best filters? We currently have two black filters. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Joshua

    We have 4 kids so total 6 of us. We live in a small place and still deciding whether should go with Royal or Imperial and how m any black filters should we get. Thanks for the advice.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Joshua -

      We would lean towards the Imperial. The standard 2 black berkey filters should be fine. You can always purchase more down the road if desired.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Gary C.

    I am interested in a whole house water filter system. Do you have a system, or plans to offer a system that can plug into incoming water source for whole house filtration?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Gary -

      No, we do not. Our technology is based upon slow gravity filtration, and we would be unable to achieve the high filtration rates we currently do under a pressurized whole house setup.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • April Thiel

    All set to buy but with one question: Is there some type of indicator that tells me when the filter needs to be replaced or do I need to somehow keep track of the gallons filtered?

    Thank you,
    April

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi April -

      No, there is not indicator. You would just need to keep a rough estimate of gallons used based upon typical daily consumption. Also, you can perform a red food coloring test on the black berkey filters at any time to verify that they are working to design specs.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Eleonor

    Do you have anyone who's selling your products in the Philippines?

    Reply
  • Steve

    Dan,

    I'm considering buying a Big Berkey system w/ two black filters. I believe that there are four holes in the upper chamber, two of which would be used for the filters and the other two would need to be "plugged". I've read a number of reports that the plugged holes can, and do, leak! Do I need to be constantly running the food coloring test to check if the plugs are leaking? I really would prefer not to have to buy an additional two filters just to plug those other two holes!

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Steve -

      It may happen that a defective plug is received and this would be addressed upon setting up the system, but this is very rare, and we would not been too concerned with this. Once you receive your system, you can check you seals quickly just by placing water in the upper chamber and looking for leaks. A red food coloring test is always a good idea in the beginning also to check the filters, but this would also tell you if the plugs are leaking. Once you're up and running, we would not worry about the plugs leaking, however periodic red food coloring tests can give that peace of mind for the plug seals and filter performance as often as you seem fit.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • David Gillespie
    David Gillespie March 24, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    I'm looking into this for SHTF usage. I have 2 questions.
    Question 1: I bought four 250 gallon water totes, 2 that contained guargum (a food additive) and 2 that had a type of soap. Both were fda safe if consumed by humans. The company pressure washed them for us before purchase but there is an obvious taste to the water because of leeching into the plastic. Although the water is safe, I want to remove the taste. Will the Berkey filters do this and do I need the Earth or the Black?

    Question 2: If the heat goes off can I remove the filters and drain them, so freezing temperatures don't crack them?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi David -

      Q1) - The black berkeys would be the best bet for this. While it is likely to remove the taste, without testing it out for ourselves, this is not something we are able to guarantee.
      Q2) - Yes, you can always remove the filters and let them dry out so they do not freeze.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • bonnie

    In your video you only say '' The filter for this size removes fluoride and arsenic." When you talk about other sizes you only say these filters remove fluoride. Do some sizes not remove arsenic?

    Thanks.

    Reply
  • Laci

    We are a family of five looking to find a solution for high arsenic levels in our drinking water. (11ppb) We also tested cautionary for aluminum and lead (95ppb and .5ppb respectively). We live in an area where the arsenic should not occur naturally and we have a shallow well. On top of all the medical bills we are facing we are looking for an economical solution. What system should suit our family & budget?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Laci -

      All systems come standard with the black berkey filters. The black berkeys will remove these contaminants for you. You would just need to choose a size. For a family of 5, we would recommend a Royal Berkey.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Jenni Gudino

    Hi -Does the Berkley filter out BPA?

    Reply
  • Elaine

    I've read reviews of rust problems. Has that been corrected.

    Reply
  • Lorelei

    I need a filter that will get rid of bacteria and viruses, heavy metals, chlorine and fluoride. I need water for home, office, and when I travel. Can you make some recommendations? Thank you!

    Reply
  • Judy

    I'm looking for a filter for well water that has nitrates, nitrites, arsenic and hexavalent chromium. My landlord sprays roundup extensively on the property, so it may have leaked into the well water. Also, my neighbors spray pesticides and chemical fertilizers. I drink 8-12 glasses of water a day and prefer stainless steel. My family has experienced a lot of cancer, so I want the purest water available, for a good price, as I am 70-years-young, on a budget. What do you recommend? Thanks.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Judy -

      A list of what the filters remove can be seen here: http://www.bigberkeywaterfilters.com/black-berkey-filters-2.html

      I would say the Big Berkey is a good bet for you.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Barbara

    I just ordered a Big Berkey with two black berkey filters. Now I'm thinking I may want to switch to the white ceramic filters someday. Are the black and white filters interchangeable in this model? And just for the heck of it, while I'm asking, could I use one of each?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Barbara -

      Yes, they are interchangeable. You would not want to use one of each. The black berkeys provide the higher quality of filtration, so combining 1 black berkey with a ceramic filter would prevent that higher level of filtration.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Dianna

    I have a family of 5 and I want the ability to filter. Otherwise only city water but emergency river or pool water. What system would be best for us and how do I know when we need to clean or replace the filters? Thank you for your time.

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Dianna -

      We would choose the Royal Berkey. You would replace the filters depending on the number of gallons being filtered. The black berkeys need to be replaced approx every 6000 gallons per set of 2.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
  • Deb

    Can the berkey be purchased in Australia?

    Reply
  • Jeffrey Hagedon
    Jeffrey Hagedon March 6, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    I just ordered the Royal Berkey. I use ultrasonic humidifiers in the winter months (NYC) and have a problem with white dust deposits caused from the minerals in the tap water. If I use the filtered water from the Berkey in the humidifiers, will it reduce the white dust?

    Reply
    • Dan DeBaun

      Hi Jeffrey -

      If the dust is from minerals as you mention, then no. The berkey filters do not remove minerals from the water, so this would still exist.

      Thanks
      Dan

      Reply
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