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Tag Archives: difference berkey filters

  • Help Me Choose a Berkey Water Filter System

    Intimidated by the Berkey decision? Don't be! It's actually pretty straight forward once you understand the basics. We'll bring you up to speed fast with these 3 easy steps (approx read time = 10 minutes), and you'll magically become a junior expert! :) For you anti-readers out there, this video version is great too.

    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 gets 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 filter 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 any size you choose.

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

    SystemHolding CapacityFully ExpandedFlow Rate @ Full Expansion
    Travel Berkey~ 1.5 Gallons2 Elements(Filters)~ 2.75 Gallons / Hr
    Berkey Light~ 2.75 Gallons4 Elements(Filters)~ 7.5 Gallons / Hr
    Big Berkey~ 2.25 Gallons4 Elements(Filters)~ 7.0 Gallons / Hr
    Royal Berkey ~ 3.25 Gallons4 Elements(Filters)~ 8.0 Gallons / Hr
    Imperial Berkey~ 4.5 Gallons6 Elements(Filters)~ 16.5 Gallons / Hr
    Crown Berkey~ 6.0 Gallons8 Elements(Filters)~ 26.0 Gallons / Hr
    The lineup gives an example of how the filters stack up against each other in terms of height. The 1 quart stainless Go Berkey system and the Sport Berkey portable filter are shown on the right.
    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 eight 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

    Big Berkey outside next to the sport Berkey portable water filter. Big Berkey outside next to the sport Berkey portable water filter.

    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 up 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 BPA-free plastic system.

    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 filter in the lower chamber.  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



     

    So, that's it!  You're officially a junior Berkey expert!! Be sure to brag to all your friends at the next dinner party. :)  Here's a couple other videos you may like:

     

     Begin Choosing Your Berkey Filter System HERE

    or

    Try Our Berkey System Calculator

     

    About BigBerkeyWaterFilters.com: We are the largest, and one of the oldest licensed dealers of Berkey products in the world with an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. Don't be fooled by recent opportunistic newcomers and 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.
  • The Difference Between Black Berkeys and Ceramic Filters - A Quick History and Comparison

    (New Berkey Earth Filters are covered at the end of this article)

    First, The History

    To understand the differences between the old-style Super Sterasyl Ceramic filter and the Black Berkey purification element, it helps to have a brief history on the evolution of the business. Essentially, the Super Sterasyl filters are an evolution of ceramic filter technology originally discovered in 1827 by Henry Doulton in Britain. Over the years, the Doulton company made noteworthy improvements upon the ceramic filters by introducing methods for bacteria removal and self sterilization. Once these improvements were incorporated, gravity filters became heavily used by military forces, relief organizations, and missionaries who lacked access to clean water.

    The general public also took note and the Doulton company built it's core business around this Super Sterysyl Ceramic filter technology. Eventually In 1985, British Berkefeld was acquired by Doulton and continues to sell these ceramic filters across the world to this day.

    Super Sterasyl 7" and 9" Filter side by side. Super Sterasyl 7" and 9" Filter side by side.

    Through a distribution partnership with Berkefeld, North American residents were given the opportunity to purchase the Super Sterysyl Ceramic filter product locally. This partnership built upon this filtration franchise by designing and creating the Black Berkey Element and expanding the lineup of Berkey housing systems and accessories.

    Designed in the late 90's, the Black Berkey filter element is a self-sterilizing proprietary combination of approximately 6 different types of media designed to take filtration to the next level. They exceed EPA log 7 ANSI / NSF protocols for filtration and thus are rated as water purifiers (as opposed to a rating of 'water filter', which is a lower filtration quality rating).

    Black Berkey vs Old-style Super Sterasyl Filter Comparison in Depth

    From a filtration perspective, the Black Berkey's filter out the same chemicals and contaminants that the Super Sterasyl Ceramic Filters do, but go above and beyond by removing Lead, MTBE's, and other heavy metals. In addition, since the Black Berkey's are water purifiers, they filter out bacteria to a 99.99999% level and viruses to a 99.9999% level.  The black berkeys also filter out Chlorine to undetectable levels, while the ceramics will only remove > 90%.

    The flagship Black Berkey Filter Elements The flagship Black Berkey Filter Elements

    The Black Berkeys and Ceramics are basically the same in terms of cleaning, price, and overall day to day use. However, the black berkeys have a much longer lifespan as shown below.

    • Black Berkeys last approx 6000 gallons (per set of 2)
    • 7" Ceramic Filters last approx 800 gallons or 6 months, whichever comes first (per set of 2)
    • 9" Ceramic Filters last approx 1200 gallons or 6 months, whichever comes first (per set of 2)

    This longer black berkey lifespan would equate to lower filter replacement costs. While both filters are very durable, the ceramics have a slight edge and may benefit missionaries or those who expect to place daily physical wear and tear on the filter when breaking down the system for transport.

    In conclusion, both filters are outstanding performers with a long proven track record and hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers, however the Black Berkeys last much longer, are more comprehensive in the array of contaminants they filter out, and have an advantage in their ability to remove many of these contaminants to a higher percentage.  This is why they are our Flagship filter.

    If you own or are considering purchasing the Black Berkeys and would like to remove Fluoride and Arsenic, choosing the PF-2's as an add-on will accomplish this goal. To learn more about other choosing a Berkey water filter, please read our article, Help me Choose a Berkey Water Filter.

    So, What About the New Berkey Earth Filters Then?

    The new Berkey Earth ceramic filters were released Dec. 2015. These are designed to be the best ceramic filters on the market, providing Berkey quality at a lower price point while also being an upgrade over the older Super Sterasyl ceramic filters. They are only available with the Berkey Light BPA-free plastic system.

    Cutting to the chase, 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 filter in the lower chamber.  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.

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