Berkey filtered drinking water

I just filled our tea kettle and a couple of water jugs from our Berkey water filtering system. We've had our own filtered water from the Berkey for a couple of months now, but I still feel like jumping up and down with happiness whenever I remember that I don't have to fill a cart with re-filled jugs of drinking water every time we go to the grocery store!

We live in town, so the water from our faucets is city water. The city water here is horrible! Sometimes it smells very strongly of chlorine. Other days, it smells like dirt. Yes -- clear "clean" water that smells like dirt! Sometimes the city issues warnings about not consuming the tap water during periods of high levels of nitrates in the water.

Taste issues aside, we have never drank the city water here due to health reasons. We bought gallon jugs at the grocery store and each week, we refilled our jugs at the refill station. Refills were about 40 cents each -- much cheaper than buying bottled water or pre-filled jugs of water.

As time passed and our family size increased, we were consuming about 2 gallons of water every day just for drinking water (not cooking water unless it was soup!). The carts at the grocery store aren't made to hold 14 gallons of water plus some groceries. Our car trunk was always packed when we went grocery shopping.

And if we somehow forgot our huge string of empty jugs, we'd have to run back home and get them and refill them... because we couldn't go longer than about 8 days without getting water.Tongue out

I had looked into other possibilities, but they all seemed too costly. Expensive startup costs, filters that were costly, renting equipment, or having the water delivered from Culligan -- nothing seemed like the right choice. So week after week, we toted our jugs to the store and back.

Then one day, my friend Crystal posted about the new water filtering system they had gotten. Filtered drinking water was something on my mind frequently (at least once a week! Wink) and my heart lept when I read about her new filtering system. Seriously! Okay, try dragging 14 gallons of water to and from the car every week... then you'll understand!

I had no idea how expensive this "Berkey" thing was, so I clicked on the link while holding my breath... just over $200. But -- the company was offering a limited-time promotion of 10% off! So this was something we could actually afford! After all, we were spending about $25 a month on our jug refills as it was.

 

 

The Berkey water filtering systems are a countertop unit with filters in the top section and a filtered water reservoir underneath. They require no electricity. The filters will last for 6,000 gallons of water (they can be cleaned). The units with 2 filters inside will filter water at the rate of 4 gallons per hour. The filtered drinking water ends up costing about 1.6 cents per gallon!

Joshua will attest to the fact that I very very excitedly told him about the new water filtering system that Crystal had recommended. We did some research and reading to determine if the Berkey would adequately filter our water. Soon we were convinced of the quality and safety of the Berkey water filtering systems, and I very thankfully placed an order for one!

We decided to order the Big Berkey rather than the Berkey Light that Crystal had gotten, since the prices were comparable. We were more comfortable with stainless steel than plastic for health reasons, and we also wanted something very durable. And while I would never pay extra money just for a "look", the stainless steel is beautiful!! (You can see in the photo at the top of this page how shiny and pretty it is!)

Our order was placed, amounting to $225. This included free shipping, along with a free gift of our choice (Update from 2012: More Than Alive no longer offers a free gift with Berkey purchases.), and we chose the arsenic and fluoride filters. From the moment I clicked on "submit", I started counting down the days until we could stop buying jugs of water at the grocery store!

However, we were informed that Berkeys were on backorder everywhere -- including the company with which we had placed our order, MoreThanAlive.com.

Berkeys are especially sought after for emergency preparedness and off-the-grid lifestyles since they do an extraordinary job of filtering water, all without electricity.

MoreThanAlive.com contacted us and said that the Big Berkeys were backordered, but that if we wanted to upgrade to the Royal Berkey it would only be $22.50 more. Upgrade we did -- and I haven't regretted that decision in the least.

Finally, our Berkey arrived! I washed it and assembled it easily and within 15 minutes. I ran a huge container of our icky tap water and poured it into the Berkey.

Since we had been accustomed to drinking reverse osmosis water, I was prepared for a period of adjustment to the taste of the Berkey water. And when I poured that awful-smelling tap water inside, I was really hoping that this thing worked!! Wink

Thankfully, it did! It exceeded my expectations and hopes! The filtered water did have a slightly different taste from the reverse osmosis water, since the Berkey water has beneficial minerals still in it. However, it was a taste I knew I could easily get used to within a week.

The addition of the arsenic and fluoride filters (our free gift with our order!) made the water taste even better. I think it tastes quite similar to the reverse osmosis water and the taste adjustment (for me) took only a couple of days.

www.morethanalive.com

And the company, MoreThanAlive.com -- I cannot say enough good things about them! Their shipping is fast. They try to ship every order the same day it was placed, which is ideal for the impatient folks like me! Wink They return phone calls and answer emails. They're just all-around friendly and helpful! I have been amazed by their customer service and would not hesitate to order from them in the future.

I just received an email from Joy at MoreThanAlive.com and she informed me that their stock of Berkeys has once again been replenished. (I was waiting to share my excitement until the Berkey systems weren't all backordered!Wink) She also has very generously offered to allow me to be a part of their affiliate program and earn 10% of every order placed!

I asked Joy if there was a possibility of passing some savings along to you, my blog readers, and she said "sure"!

So for the next three days only (Wednesday - Friday) you can get 10% off of any order at MoreThanAlive.com by using this code at checkout: tr4u9q

Okay, I know this is a long post, but I'm just still so happy with our Berkey... and we've already had it for 10+ weeks! :)

Just one last note. I thought that the Big Berkey, which holds 2.25 gallons, would be big enough for our family's needs (2 adults, 3 small children). We ended up upgrading to the Royal Berkey, which holds 3.25 gallons -- and I'm so glad we did! Since the filters are inside the unit, the water capacity is slightly reduced. Also, we seem to go through a lot of water now that I can use it for cooking, too. While a smaller unit would still be functional, a bigger unit is convenient. :)

Do any of you use a Berkey water system? I'd love your input! Which unit do you have, what are your likes and dislikes, and would you get the same thing again in the future? :)

Comments

That sounds wonderful!! I hear you about city water, we have the same here, so we never drink it either.

That is wonderful, Tammy!! ~Tanya - mama to 5 :)

Aren't they the best? We bought the Berkey Light 2 years ago, and it's so wonderful having such clean water. Granted I would have liked to have the Big Berkey (FOR looks reasons!) but hubby said the light was fine for the price. We have saved soooo much money, as at least once a month we were replacing our faucet filters ($25 each time), so we have more than made up our money. We haven't had to replace the filters yet, and we drink sooo much water. We have to refill it twice a day! Our city water has the same problem..once day it smells like a swimming pool, and the next day it stinks. A few weeks ago the water was brown...and I mean dark mustard BROWN. Yet the city issued a statment that said even though it is discolored, "it is safe for consumption"...umm, sorry, no. The Berkey handled it, turning it sparkly clean in a few hours!

My biggest seller after I bought it confirming how good of a decision it was, is that they have you test it after assembly to make sure all the seals and everything are tight. They have you place red food coloring in the top water to be filtered, and make sure it comes out clear at the bottom. I was skeptical, but the water filtering was PERFECT! And another great advantage was whenever the water flow seams to slow filtering out, just scrub the filters with a toothbrush. And make sure you have a strong stomach, cause the black slimy stuff that scrubs off can be pretty icky! But it is nice knowing that stuff isn't being drank in your water anymore!

Ok, I'm gushing too much, but can you tell I love this thing? lol. I do have a question for you Tammy...are the arsenic and fluoride filters different than the normal ones that come with it? Do they filter fluoride? If that is the case we might just go ahead and replace our filters with those because they are better!

Alright, I'll stop now..glad you are enjoying your filter Tammy!

Holly (Mommy to 5, and wife to Matthew)

Holly, thanks for the input! Sounds like you totally understand my exuberance over the Berkey. :) 

The arsenic and fluoride filter is separate from the black berkey filter.

The black filters attach in the top of the unit. The fluoride and arsenic filters attach and hang below the black filters -- so they are in the bottom of the unit.

We thought that the arsenic and fluoride filter improved the taste of the drinking water and made the taste very similar to the reverse osmosis water we had been buying... I would not hesitate to order them in the future, although they don't last as long and can't be cleaned (see their website for details).

I am soo EXCITED to see this.

We are currently in the same position you were in and I have been diligently researching some less expensive avenue to obtain good, healthy and tasty drinking water.

I've already sent your links to my hubby to start a discussion and fact finding mission to see if this works for us. ( I suspect it will!)

Thank you so much for being so generous with your experiences and knowledge!

Nancy

We have the Berkey Light, and are SO glad we got it! My main reason for getting the Light was so I could see the water level and remember to fill it. We fill ours about twice per day (currently 1 adult and 3 children [the 4th is still nursing] with dh deployed) now that we are making ice with the water as well. If I'm making broth or something like that and know I'll be using lots of water I'll just add a pitcher or two whenever I'm nearby and notice there is room.

I think the Berkey is one of the best investments we've made for our health. (And I'm not earning anything by saying so! ;) )

Tammy, may I ask where you keep this filtering system? Does it need to be near the water source, as I would think its quite heavy to move. Just thinking where I would fit one in my kitchen. We don't carry jugs of water anymore, but the Pur water system on my faucet I'm not happy with, and is very expensive. Oh, another question, how long do you think your filters will last you? thanks Anna

What has worked for us is to keep the Berkey on a countertop located on our enclosed porch. (Any sturdy table or counter would work.) We like our water at room temperature, so we fill our glasses right from the spigot. :)

The Berkey is heavy when full, though I am sure that Joshua could carry ours (3.25 gallons) easily. :)

I actually run tap water into a pitcher and pour it into the top of the Berkey. So, I never move the unit.

It doesn't need to be near the water source, because it is a stand-alone filtering system. This is a huge plus for us since there's no ideal location in our kitchen, but the enclosed porch is out of the way while still being convenient. :) I'm sure every home is different though! :)

Oh, also -- the black Berkey filters will last for 6,000 gallons of water. We use 3+ gallons a day,and they should last 5+ years for us.

We have been looking for a water filtering unit, I will have to talk to hubby and see if this is something he would like to invest in! Thank you so much for sharing.

We got one after Crystal mentioned it too! We got the light because we were being conservative with our finanaces. We have cistern water and eventually I hope to use the filter on that water. Right now, our gutters are in deire need of repair, so I will wait until this fall when hubby has a chance to complete that project. In the mean time, I fill up jugs at my in-laws every couple days and filter them at home. We love it! I just can't wait until we can start using the water we collect in our cistern! I tease my husband about how "green" we will be then!

We have the Berkey Traveler, the smallest stainless steel one. We love it. We had been using an electric distiller for many, many years and I was tired of using electricity for it and how slow it was. We could only get three gallons a day. With the Berkey, it is quiet, no electric, and makes a lot of water quickly. We have four five gallon containers and about 15 one gallone jugs that we keep filled and rotate. We have a water dispenser that the five gallon containers are used on. So, we have 35 gallons of water at all times. With the distiller, every time it was time to fill one of the big containers, it would take days to get caught up. With the Berkey, I am caught up the day we need it. :-D I just love it! We are planning on (one of these day) setting up a rainwater catching system and we will filter that through the Berkey. Can't wait! :-D

How do we make sure you get credit thru the affiliate program when we do order? I beleive we will be ordering tonight or tomorrow. Hubby is deployed so he told me to research and decide!

Nancy

We will get referral credit if you use any of the links in my post. :)

We did a lot of research about water filters and ended up purchasing the Berkey Light about 15 months ago. It has been wonderful. We, too, live in a city, and the water is way chlorinated and tastes gross. We got our Berkey Light from http://directive21.com, and it came with 3 sport water bottles, each with its own mini-purifier. They work great, too--we take them everywhere.

Melissa
http://anxiousfornothing.blogspot.com

Thank you so much Tammy. We had all ready planned on buying one but had not decided where to order from. After seeing your blog I just placed an order and am so very excited. We live out in the country and our well water is rusty and tastes salty. I am thrilled that my Berkey will soon be here and I won't have to lug gallon jugs 30 miles home from the grocery store any more!

We have had one for about 3 years. Recently we upgraded to a stainless steel one because we are concerned that the Berkey Light is made of #7 plastic (leaches bisphenol A). We love the filter!

Tammy,
We have been using our Big Berkey for 10 plus years and we have been very pleased. When we placed our original order, we ordered extra candles. I'm so glad we did, because we did not have to wait until an order arrived to replace the filters. I believe we changed the candles (filters) after about 5 years. We use the filtered water for drinking and cooking.

We took it to the beach one year and my dear mil laughed when she saw it because she "had no idea we drank that much coffee!" She thought we had brought a coffee urn with us. <>

She soon tasted the best beach water she had ever had in all her years vacationing at the beach.

I'm so glad you all are enjoying yours.

Peace,
Lynne in NC

I'm curious to know if there is any way to keep the water cold? You said that you like it at room temp, but we like our water cold (and I don't like to put ice cubes in my drinks).

I think the easiest way to achieve cold filtered water would be to run the filtered water into a pitcher or jug and put the pitcher in the fridge. :)

I also should add -- if you put cold tap water into the Berkey, the filtered water will be cold as well (until it warms up from sitting in the tank at room temperature). We prefer our water room temp. but I have had some glasses of cold water from when I filled it the Berkey and drank some of the filtered water right away! :)

Hi Tammy.
We totally agree with you on this city water. Ick! We got the Berkey Light and love it. Our children were unwilling to drink water before the filter and now they are quite happy to. We all noticed the difference in taste immediately.
I like being able to see the level of the water. I also like that it's raised up enough to put a cup under the tap while it's pushed back far enough that little hands can't play with it all day. (unless they pull a chair up to the countertop...;o) )
We have ours next to the sink and have a sprayer on the faucet that reaches up high enough to fill directly. It's very convenient.

We also bought the Big Berkey a couple of months ago. The problem is, we have soft water and the Berkey does not remove the soft water taste. I have talked to them about it and because of the dissolved salt in the water, it will not remove it. Our water currently goes through an Iron Filter and then the water softener. Then I asked if we could put our well water right through it (it is very very high in iron) and it would not remove the iron because that is a mineral. My husband just wants me to sell it, but I want so badly for it to work.... I am also tired of carrying water from the grocery store. Any suggestions?? (we are using the black filters)
Thanks, Diana in Illinois

Hi Diana,

I don't have another way of contacting you so I'll just reply here. :)

I emailed Joy at More Than Alive, where we purchased our Berkey, and asked for her input since she's much more knowledgeable about Berkeys than I am. Here is her reply:

Hi Tammy,
A couple of things come to mind regarding your inquiry...

1. We have received many Berkey praises from customers that live in the "iron range" in MN, WI, etc. The water in that region is reddish orange due to the heavy iron content. The Berkeys do a great job at removing all the excess iron. The only complaint is that the elements need to be cleaned very frequently as the excess iron quickly builds up on the outside of them. That is what we have heard from a number of our customers.

So, I wonder how this family came to the conclusion that the Berkey would NOT reduce the iron to their satisfaction. Did they actually filter the water straight from the well to see how the Berkey performed? Do they have access to the water after it goes through the iron filter but before it goes through the softener? I would use that water, if available. If not, then I'd try the water straight from the well. I would expect the Berkey to do a great job at removing all the excess iron but the elements would need to be cleaned quite often.

2. Was this Berkey purchased from us? If so, did they contact us about this issue? They should contact the source where they purchased it or the manufacturer (www.berkeywater.com).

BTW, here is one of the many notes we received about this:

"Hello Joy, I have had my Imperial Berkey system about a month ago. I LOVE it. I was sick of paying for water.

You see I live in northern Minnesota. A.K.A. The Iron Range (very well named). Our water is pure orange when it goes into the Imperial, and comes out BETTER than bottled water. I have too clean the filter every other day (because there is so much iron). That is how good it is at catching every nasty thing in the water. I wish I knew about this Imperial years
ago!!!!!!!!!!!!"

- - - - - -

God bless,
Joy

 

Diana, let us know if you have any more questions! :)

Tammy (and Joy), Thank you SO MUCH for the information. We bought the unit from James Filters. Further information was obtained through Pleasant Hill Grains (suggested by a blogging friend). I will immediately try our well water through the Berkey.
We truly want this to work for us!
Thanks again for trying to help me!!
Blessings on you!
Diana in Illinois
(quilt4u @ verizon.net -omit spaces)

We have a Berkey Light and love it. We bought it when we lived on a farm that had terrible water. When it came out of the faucet it was brown in color and tasted like you were sucking on a piece of metal! I had to clean the purifying units about 2-4 times a month. Now we live in town but still use it all the time. We will actually have to start thinking about getting a larger one soon. We love ours and I wouldn't give it up for anything!

Oh, Tammy, I am SO happy to report that we have run our first batch of well water through the Berkey and it is AWESOME!!!! I cannot tell you happy I am! It is totally clear and tastes wonderful.... and my very particular husband agrees!
I am so glad I commented on your blog and that you then went the extra mile to get information from Joy. You have really blessed me! I promise to visit Joy's site and look to her for any future purchases.
Thank you both so much!
Diana in Illinois
(quilt4u @ verizon.net no spaces)

Lee and I had been discussing Berkeys for nearly two weeks before you posted this and Lee had just decided that he was going to put an order in that weekend :). Between the free gift with purchase and the code you shared, the website you directed us to was a good bit cheaper than where we had been looking so when I showed Lee he went ahead and ordered it right then and there, as well as filters for the showers while he was at it. After reading your post we went with a bigger one than we were originally looking at and I am really glad we did. The water does taste wonderful! Even better than the water we had been filtering through a faucet filter. We've also figured it up and we will be saving thousands of dollars in the long run by no longer needing to replace the filters for the faucet, even when you figure replacing the filters in the Berkey! We like our water cold but it isn't a big deal to just fill up a couple of pitchers to keep in the fridge. It was interesting to find a workable spot for it, our counters are getting quite full! Thanks so much :)!

Shelby, that is great to hear!! :D I am so glad you were able to get one -- we love ours! :)

I didn't have any place on the counter where mine would fit, so we have our Berkey on a counter top out on our enclosed porch. :) I didn't want it on the kitchen table, which was the only place in the kitchen we could put it! 

After years of longing for a water filter (on my part) we bought the biggest Berkey available earlier this year - I think it's the Crown Berkey. After ordering, also from More Than Alive, I could not wait for it to come. It came very fast and we immediately set it up and filled it up. The water is so good, and I am so glad to have a non-electric, portable (should we ever move) source for drinking water.

With our large family, we have to fill it twice a day to meet all of our drinking and cooking needs. On bigger cooking days, we'll fill it even more often. The five oldest kids each have a day when it is their turn to fill the Berkey - morning and evening.

Our kitchen space is limited, but we did have one small wooden, rolling stand that held some miscellaneous things. Those things were removed and the Berkey took their place.

Susan

I'm assuming our British Berkfield filter is the same thing as yours. We purchased ours in 1999 or 1999 in preparation for Y2K. We used it for ten years and loved it. Last year we purchased a refrigerator with a filtered water system, so the Berkfield is in the attic. We actually have two in the attic as my mil purchased one as well, then decided not to use it. I think I will order new candles and gift my daughter with the mil's. She just had her second baby and needs to drink lots of good water.

Anonymous comment: Hi Tammy! My husband showed me the grossest thing today...a layer of black-green had developed on the bottom of our Brita water filter. I have had that filter for 4-5 years, but given that it's plastic and obviously not effective against biological organisms (not to mention some chemical nast). So I'm in the market for a water filter! I've heard great things about the Berkey but have a few questions. First, for your Royal Berkey, how many filters do you have? Second, where do you store it in your kitchen? Our current Brita sits on the counter, but I have cabinets above that I can still open (well, if I move the blender, lol). But I wouldn't be able to put the Berkey there, since it's so tall and would be too heavy for me to move. Last, please let readers know if you ever get or hear of another promo code. I'd like to be able to use your affiliate link! Thanks! And happy 4th of July! My response: In our Royal Berkey, we have two black filters (those both came with it; there is an option to use 4 black filters at one time in it, but two provides sufficiently quick filtering for our family of 5). We also have two white fluoride/arsenic filters, which were a free gift from More Than Alive when we ordered (we could select various gifts and that was the one we chose). I currently store the Berkey on a kitchen counter, beside the sink where the cupboard is high enough, and the spigot can hang over the edge of the counter. At our house in Ohio, I stored the Berkey on a countertop on our enclosed porch. I have also heard of folks buying a wooden water dispenser stand (like what would hold a big Culligan jug) and using that to hold the Berkey, or if your kitchen has an island, setting it there, or storing on top of the clothes dryer... I think every house is probably a little different and what works best for you might be something totally different! :) I will definitely let everyone know if I get another discount code from More Than Alive. I would love to be able to offer readers a discount again!!

I ordered our Royal Berkey through your site. We've only had it for several days and we love it! We keep ours next to the wall on a cheap Walmart wooden stool. It puts it at a nice height for a short person to refill it and also allows for an overhang to put your glass under. ;-)

We also bought the water-view spigot. Our spigot is hanging off the edge of the stool and there has NEVER been any dripping onto the floor.

The water tastes great! We are totally pleased! I highly recommend it. It's worth every penny.

Thanks, Tammy!

I hate the jugs of water, but we've had to for years. Can't imagine what life would be like if we could have Berkey. Never have liked the quality of other systems and would love to be able to do better. I'm crossing my fingers. Good luck to one and all who enter!!!

Hi Tammy~ I hope this comment makes it in the drawing to win the Berkey as I'd LOVE to have the chance to try it out! Everything you wrote sounds sooo good and perfect for our family. Please enter me! Deb debgiro at wildblue dot net

We wanted to get a water filtration system last year with our tax refund, but wasn't able to do it after all. I've grumbled here and there about jug-lugging but after I checked your review for the Berkey, I'm glad we didn't buy one last year, as we had not heard of the Berkey. I googled water filtration and oddly enough, Berkey never showed up!

After reading your review and checking into the website, I'm convinced this is the system for us. I showed my husband today and extolled all the virtues of this lovely thing and hopefully I'll be ordering soon. I'll be sure to order through your site! Thanks for the review (:

Yay! And thank you! :)

And... if you can wait a couple weeks, I will have a discount code (10% off) for you as well. Email me (tammysrecipes AT gmail DOT com) or else keep watching this site and I will announce the discount when it's available! :)

My Big Berkey got here Wednesday, and even though I had the plague and felt absolutely miserable, I was still out there in the kitchen setting it up because all I wanted was some of that good Berkey water! My only complaint is that the priming instructions for the PF-2 filters are not up to date, as I found out when I called More Than Alive the next day to see whether there should be sediment in the bottom chamber and a funny taste (no, and no). But, after priming properly and running 2 cycles of water through, the 3rd cycle of water came out clean, clear (I had put food coloring in to make sure it was working properly and glad I did as I had a leaky plug which I fixed easily) and absolutely delicious. I"m so glad I found this review of the Berkey system...thanks so much for doing it! Bummer that I missed the discount code but it is worth every penny I paid for it and then some...no more jug-lugging, no more RO water, no more storing water in plastic jugs....LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!!

Hi Tammy! I am in the process of deciding if the Berkey system will be something my family could benefit from. We currently go through about 3-24pack cases of water a week, which cost us about $12 a week!! I like to research items if it's something expensive, and get the best deal possible for my money. After reading your review, I wanted to ask if the water is okay for a baby who is on formula to drink? Also when I decide to order is there a coupon code to put in for you to receive commission?

As far as I know, Berkey-filtered water is safe to use for baby formula. :)

At $12/week for bottled water, you will quickly recoup the cost of the Berkey water filter! :)

If you place an order through the links on my website, I will receive credit for the order. Thanks for asking! :) Also, I wanted to let you know that there is going to be a discount code available next week -- February 10-11 -- where you can get 10% off your order! The discount will be announced on my blog (home page) so keep an eye out if you think you may want to order soon! :)

Hi Tammy, I'm glad that I found your post, this make me feel more confidence of purchasing Berkey Water System. I'm really exciting of knowing Berkey. In fact, there are a lot of Water Filter Systems and variety of brands in my country, most of them are RO water system. From my understanding, RO water is definitely bad for drinking and it is an acid water; some other water filter system included electric compartment which cost a lot of money to own one and their maintenance cost is way too high; some even quite complicated on scheduling the replacement of filtlers... ETC.

Luckily I found Berkey online. The best things I like about Becky: Affordable, Easy to Maintain, give us clean & healthy water, NOT RO, durable Black Berkey Filter, Natural (Not electrical, Not plugged to water system... etc). I think it's truly amazing!!

I'm going to own my very first Berkey Light soon, but I still have some questions that I need to know. (Mostly regarding the PF-2 filters):

1) I live in Malaysia, I do not know whether necessary to get the PF-2 filters. From my understanding, our country's tap water contains fluorite, the Black Berkey can filter up to 95% of fluorite and PF-2 filter the rest. But I don't know about the % it contains in the water. Is there any method to test it?
2) Will the 5% of fluorite affect our health for long-term?
3) Also, I don't know whether my country's tap water included ARSENIC... Is there any way to test it as well?
4) Some people said, after putting on the PF-2 filters, the water TASTE like RO water. My concern is... Does it really become RO water after we filter the water using PF-2 filters?

From the article online says, TWO PF-2 filters can last for only 1,000 gallons. If we filter twice a day using Becky Light, the PF-2 filters need to replace twice a year. It's quite expensive!!

5) I need your advise on whether should we put on the PF-2 filters? -or- It's actually not very necessary? Why? -and- the advance & disadvantages of using PF-2 filters.

Thanks for your time, hope you can help :)

I will answer your questions as best I can! :)

1 -- I'm not sure how one would test their water for fluoride percentage. I would contact the city or water company for more information. :)

Here in the U.S. (at least where we've lived), about once a year the city or water company sends out a notice/leaflet that includes all of the city water test results and the varying percentages of what it contains. For example, if a city tries to have the water contain .01% of something, the actual range could be from .005% to .015%, but usually there is a "maximum allowed" amount of contaminants.

The actual amounts can also vary slightly from day to day, or week to week.

2 -- I really can't say what or how severe the health effects could or would be from the amount of fluoride that does go through the black Berkey elements. :)

3 -- I don't know how you could test for arsenic. I would ask about that as well, when you contact the water company or city. :)

4 -- The PF-2 filters do NOT turn the water into reverse-osmosis water. RO water is a very different process. When we started filtering our water through the Black Berkey elements with the PF-2 Fluoride and Arsenic elements, we thought the water tasted very, very close to the RO water we had been drinking (i.e. very clean, pure, "only water" taste). :)

5 -- I think there are many advantages to using the PF-2 filters on the Berkey, but I agree -- they are more expensive.

When we lived in Ohio, we thought the PF-2 elements made a BIG difference in the taste of the water. (The water there was not very good!)

Now, we live in the Seattle area and the water tastes a lot better and we haven't replaced the used PF-2 filters, so we are just using the original black elements right now.

I do plan to get more PF-2 filters at some point, and I would definitely choose those as the "free gift" when ordering a Berkey, if filtering city tap water (they are not necessary for well water). And if the particular city's tap water is pretty horrible, I would definitely, DEFINITELY not go without those filters as well, as in my experience (and some family members' experiences, who I have talked with firsthand) they make a BIG difference with bad city tap water!! :)

We keep getting slow flow from our berkey, even after cleaning with scotch brite and re-priming. any suggestions? Thanks,
mike r.

Hi Mike,

If you've cleaned (I use a clean, stiff-bristled plastic scrub brush -- like for scrubbing vegetables) and re-primed -- was the water running through during the re-priming?

I've talked to a couple people (and done it myself!) where they hadn't primed or re-primed the filters sufficiently, and when they did so the Berkey then filtered at a good speed.

Other than that, I would suggest contacting the company where you bought your Berkey water filter and asking them for assistance. :)

I just bought a Big Berkey after others recommended it and I'm sadly disappointed in the taste. We have city water that tastes of chlorine and chemicals, and while the Berkey water is better it still does not taste pure and clean like spring water. The instructions said to throw out the first batch of water because of possible impurities and this is only the second batch. I really don't want to have to take it apart and prime everything again (because of our faucet, it sprays everywhere when we do this), but I will if that will help. The instructions said to prime for 20 seconds or until the water ran clear, whichever was longer, but your response above said 60 seconds or more. Are the instructions wrong? Do I just need to dump a couple more containers? This was a big expense for us and I was really excited, but I'm kind of bummed so far. Thanks for any help you can give me!
~Alicia

Hi Alicia!

First, have you read through the comments on this post? There are lots of tips and suggestions. :)

...one of which is: did you purchase (or get as a free gift) the white fluoride/arsenic filters to go with the black berkey filters? Those make a BIG difference in the taste and quality of filtered city tap water in my experience! :)

Also, I wouldn't say the instructions are "wrong" about the 20 seconds of priming vs. 60 seconds... just that I've had the experience of not priming (or re-priming after cleaning) well enough and find it works better to do it for longer than 20 seconds. :)

I hope this helps! :)

Have you done a comparison, 'taste test' to see if water from the countertop Berkey system and water from the sport bottle...'taste' the same?

Tip: we figured out a way to get our elements working at their best...which was after scrubbing & re-priming them, we laid it down in a dishpan of tap water. Keeping it submersed in water while the other elements were being prepared (scrubbed & primed). Once all the elements are ready, we take them out of the water & install them into the Berkey chamber.

We figured when we'd place an element upright & then worked on the next one...the prepared one may have water starting to go out of it. Once we kept the element submersed in water, while it waited for us to get all elements prepared...it solved our issue of the elements filtering slowly.

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