Big Berkey Water Filter Review

Access to safe drinking water is essential for good health. While 92% of all people living in the United States are served by water districts that had no reported violations in 2019, there’s still a risk of contamination when you drink tap water.

The easy fix to eliminate the risk is to invest in a water filtration system. One system that we have seen mentioned lately is the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter. So in this review, we’ll explain how it works and which contaminants it eliminates. We’ll also list the pros and cons as we see them and make a recommendation about whether this water filter is the one you should buy.

Big Berkey Water Filter

How Does the Big Berkey Water Filter Work?

The Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter is a countertop water filtration system. Once you have the system set up, you simply add tap water to the tank at the top and wait for gravity to draw it down through the filters and purify it. Water is dispensed through a spigot at the bottom of the tank.

The system does require some patience to set up. It is equipped with a spigot that allows you to pour filtered water from the bottom of the tank. It has a capacity of 2.25 gallons and can purify up to 6,000 gallons of water if you use two filtering elements. If you add an additional two elements, it will double the capacity to 12,000 gallons.

The Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter is free-standing and does not require electricity to operate. It is made of stainless steel and measures 8.5” by 8.5” by 19.25”.

Berkey Water Filter

Click Here To Check Out The Big Berkey Water Filter

Which Contaminants Does the Big Berkey Water Filter Remove?

According to the company, the Berkey water filter system removes more than 99.999% of the most dangerous substances that can contaminate drinking water. It removes:

  • Viruses
  • Pathogenic bacteria
  • Protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium
  • Trihalomethanes
  • Inorganic minerals
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs)
  • Heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium
  • Pharmaceutical drugs such as caffeine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, progesterone, and triclosan

berkey water filter review

Some of the other water filtration systems on the market do a good job removing heavy metals and minerals but don’t eliminate viruses and prescription drugs. Considering the potential health risks associated with ingesting these substances, it is essential to invest in a system that removes all of them.

How Easy is the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter to Use?

One of the biggest issues to address with any product is usability. If a product is difficult to assemble then it may not be useful even if works as intended.

We found the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter to be relatively easy to set up. It takes some time to prime the filters and it is important to follow the instructions and do it properly. There are several YouTube videos that demonstrate the process. We found this one to be useful.

The other thing that may require a bit of trial and error is the spigot, which attaches close to the bottom and allows purified water to be dispensed into a glass. The instructions call for the attachment nut to be hand tightened, then, to turn the spigot a quarter turn. It is necessary to make sure that you tighten the nut completely to avoid leakage.

Are There Accessories Available for the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter?

The Big Berkey water filter comes with everything you need to get purified water to drink and use in cooking. If you decide to use more than two filters, you will need to purchase those separately.

In addition to filters, there are some optional accessories that you may want to consider. The first is a stand that lifts the filtration unit off the counter and makes it easier to dispense water from the spigot.

where to buy berkey water filter

Click Here To Check Out The Big Berkey Water Filter

The second item you may wish to consider is the Berkey Sight Glass Spigot, which shows how much water is in the lower chamber to avoid overfilling the upper chamber.

Finally, you may want to replace the rubber elements in the upper chamber with silicon. The rubber can affect the taste of the water if it sits in the upper chamber for a while.

What Are the Pros and Cons of the Big Berkey Water Filter?

It’s always a good idea to review the pros and cons of a new product before buying it. Here are the pros and cons of the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter as we see them, starting with the pros.

  • The Big Berkey water filter removes 99.999% of the most dangerous water contaminants.
  • Big Berkey engages with outside labs to verify their results and ensure that the filtration system works as intended.
  • In addition to removing heavy metals and biological contaminants, the Big Berkey system removes viruses, pharmaceuticals, and perfluorocarbons.
  • The Big Berkey system does not require electricity to operate making it ideal if you often lose power or want to be prepared for an emergency.
  • With a 6,000 gallon capacity for two filters, the average cost to operate the Big Berkey system is about $.02 per gallon.
  • The Big Berkey system is not difficult to set up, although we do recommend using the YouTube video we linked above in conjunction with the written instructions.
  • A few people I know keep this system just as a backup in case they don’t have access to running water. The system can be used to filter water so you can clean up, cook, take a bath etc. So lots of ways this system can be used.

There are a few potential downsides to consider before you buy the Big Berkey Water Filter.

  • As we mentioned earlier in this review, the rubber elements in the upper tank have a strong aroma when you remove them from the box and may flavor the water if it sits in the upper tank for long. This is a problem that you can solve by replacing those parts with silicon ones.
  • The cost of the Big Berkey water filter system may be a deterrent to some. However, the pricing is significantly less expensive than a complete home water filtration system and this product does a good job of removing contaminants and can pay for itself over time.
  • This system isn’t intended for long-term drinking water storage. It’s designed to filter the water you drink. So if your family can’t drink all of it within 3 days it’s recommended by Berkey to empty it and fill your unit again due to possible stagnation. You could always run the water back through the top of the filter to refilter it, but just make sure you clean the lower canister really well so it stays fresh and clean. The water is good at room temp for 3 days or 72 hours and if kept refrigerated then you can keep it for 5 or 6 days or so.
If you allow the water to sit for longer than 3 days you can always pour it back through the top and refilter it but you would want to make sure to clean your lower canister really well so that it stays fresh and clean.

We believe that if you can afford the Berkey filtering system, the pros outweigh the cons. This is a quality system that eliminates the most troublesome contaminants found in municipal water supplies.

This also comes in handy when fresh, drinkable water isn’t available. You can just look at events happening right now in the news to see that it only takes one event to knock out the water supply.

How Much Does the Big Berkey Water Filter Cost?

We already mentioned that the price of the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter could be an issue for some people. We think it’s important to note that the initial cost is offset by the fact that this is a product that, if properly cared for, can last for years.

The price as of this writing is $299. The product comes with two filters. Most reviewers indicate that they only need to change the filters once every six months or so. The filters come in packages of two which currently sell for $128.

big berkey water filter

Our Big Berkey Water Filter Review Conclusion

We’ve come to the end of our Big Berkey Water Filter review and I personally think it’s a smart investment. I like the fact that the Big Berkey Water filters out 99.999% of contaminants and operates without electricity. It can also come in handy for a lot of other situations where fresh, drinkable water may not be available.

I personally hate drinking water from my tap and like many of you, I spend a lot of money on bottled water. So having access to a Big Berkey can save you a lot of money in the long run.

So if you tend to drink a lot of water or tired of spending money on bottled waters or just want to be prepared in case of a worst-case situation I highly recommend you check out the Big Berkey Water Filter.