This is our review of the Big Berkey Water Filter System.
Let’s face it, with so many options available in the market, finding if a certain countertop water filter is the correct choice for your house takes time. To save your precious time, we leveraged our knowledge in the area and completed an exhaustive review of the Big Berkey Water Filter to support your decision if this is the best countertop for you.
The Big Berkey is a great choice as this gravity countertop water filtration system can remove up to 99.99% of more than 200 water contaminants, doesn’t require installation, comes with powerful filters that can last years, is highly portable, and is made of high-quality materials.
In this comprehensive Big Berkey Water Filter review, we will analyze the filtration capabilities, the system capacity & longevity, its flow rate, the installation & maintenance process, and discuss customer reviews and potential alternatives for this under-sink water filter system.
Let’s get started!
Big Berkey Water Filter Overview
The Big Berkey water filter is a gravity water filter that doesn’t require electricity or being directly connected to a water line to work. You only have to fill the upper chamber with water, and through the force of gravity, the water flows to the lower chamber passing through the filters, which remove its contaminants.
Due to its size and nice-looking stainless steel design, you can have it on your kitchen countertop. The Big Berkey is a portable system, as because it doesn’t require installation or electricity to work it is easy to change its location if required.
The Big Berkey is a popular water filtration system because of the high quality of the product, as it removes more than 200 common water contaminants, reducing up to 99.99% of the contaminants present in the water.
Another good feature of the Big Berkey water filtration system is that it comes with long-lasting filters that can last years for the average-sized family, which is better than most of the competition.
This device is made of high quality 304 stainless steel which not only looks good but also ensures that the system will last longer.
We also like the fact that you can buy add-ons if they make sense for your particular needs: you can get a stainless steel spigot (to have a faster water flow) or fluoride filters if you need to deal with fluoride present in your water source.
Big Berkey Water Filter Filtration Capabilities
The Big Berkey Countertop Water Filter removes up to 99.99% of more than 200 nasty contaminants from water, like chlorine, VOCs, pathogens, heavy metals (lead, mercury, etc.) viruses, cysts, sediments, rust, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and more.
You can find here the full list of contaminants removed by the Big Berkey, according to the manufacturer.
This device is not NSF tested, but according to Berkey it was independently tested by different laboratories and their filters exceed the NSF and ANSI standards, for NSF 42 and NSF 53.
Notice that the 2 Berkey Black filters that are included in the Big Berkey do not reduce fluoride, but if this contaminant is an issue for you, there is the option to buy Fluoride Filters to target this specific contaminant.
Big Berkey Water Filter Capacity & Longevity
The Big Berkey filters have a high capacity, as each filter can purify up to 3.000 gallons of water, so this system can filter in total up to 6.000 gallons of water.
This is better than most countertop or gravity water filters, which have much less filtration capacity than Big Berkey.
Regarding capacity, there is also another metric to take into account, there is how much water can be deposited on the Bir Berkey. Because this is a gravity water filter, it is not connected to a water line directly, so you will need to manually fill the upper chamber and the filtration process happens when the water flows to the lower chamber and passes through the filters using the force of gravity.
The upper chamber has a capacity for 2.25 gallons of water, so there is the maximum amount of water that you can fill the upper chamber with.
Big Berkey Water Filter Flow Rate
When choosing a water filter for your household, it is important to consider its flow rate to know how much time it will take to filter the amount of water that you and your family will need.
The Big Berkey water filter, like most gravity water filters, is not quick to filter the water because it only uses the force of gravity to pass the water through the filters, while other systems use the pressure of the water line.
A standard Berkey Water Filter with 2 Berkey filters can purify up to 3.5 gallons of water per hour (0.058 GPM). But if you upgrade your system and decide to use 4 filters instead, you can double the flow rate to around 7 gallons per hour (0.12 GPM).
So if you compare it with other types of water filters, the flow rate of this system isn’t great, but if you use it properly it shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure that you fill the upper chamber with water before you need it, and the capacity is enough to always have clean water for an average-sized family.
Big Berkey Water Filter Remineralization
One concern that some customers have about filtered water is if some beneficial minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium are filtered out of the water.
Some powerful filtration systems, like Reverse Osmosis systems, typically reduce TDS (total dissolved solids) to 0 which implies that even these minerals are removed. Some RO systems include a remineralization stage to ensure that these minerals are added back to the water after filtration, which is good not only for your health but will also improve the water taste.
The Big Berkey gravity water filter does not remove these minerals from the water, so there is no need to use a remineralization filter to add the healthy minerals back.
Big Berkey Water Filter Installation & Maintenance
The Big Berkey Water Filter does not require a complex installation as some water filter types need, so you just need to assemble it and prime the filters at the start, and it should be ready to use.
You should be able to set up the Big Berkey by yourself in a few minutes. Watch below a short video that explains how to assemble the Big Berkey Water Filter:
Before starting to use this system, you need to prime the filters, which means running water through them because they never contacted water before and might have air inside that we want to remove to make sure that it won’t slow down the gravity filtration process when they are installed.
This is a straightforward task, as you will only need to press the priming button, turn on the cold water that should flow through the filter, and wait a few seconds after the water starts running through the filter, and then it is ready.
To maintain the Big Berkey water filter the recommended approach is to clean the filter and stainless steel chamber from time to time.
You can clean the filter when you notice a drop in performance, ie, when it takes more time than usual to filter or clean them with a pre-defined periodicity of a few months. To maintain the chambers, cleaning them every 6 months should be enough.
To clean the filters just remove them from the chamber and rub off the outside or put them through running water to remove filtered impurities.
To clean the stainless steel chambers you can use mild dishwashing soap or vinegar, to disinfect the system from time to time.
Big Berkey Water Filter Reviews
On the Amazon website, the Big Berkey Water Filter has an average rating of 4.7 with thousands of reviews, of which more than 90% are 4 or 5-star reviews.
On the manufacturer’s website, the rating is similar, with a 4.8-star rating with more than 3.000 reviews.
This is a clear indication that the customers are happy with their purchase and would recommend the Big Berkey system to other customers.
This filtration system filters up to 99.99% of more than 200 harmful contaminants without removing healthy minerals, it is highly portable, doesn’t require electricity, and it is really easy to install and maintain.