Berkey® water purifiers are two-chamber units, configured with one chamber on top of the other and connected by two or more Black Berkey purifier elements. Unpurified water is poured into the Berkey unit’s upper chamber and moves by gravity pressure through the elements into the system’s lower chamber. Black Berkey elements have microscopic pores that trap pathogenic bacteria, parasites, chemicals, sediments and even viruses (up to 90 nanometers), leaving only beneficial minerals to filter through with your pure water. Spigots for dispensing water are located on the lower chamber. Because of their simple design, Berkey systems are economical, portable and require no electricity!
Choosing a System
Consider the unit’s height, capacity, and how fast you’ll need water to filter when selecting a Berkey system. You’ll need to decide if you want it only for emergencies or if you’ll use it for all your cooking, drinking and pets. Remember that there is no difference in the efficacy of purification by using four elements as opposed to using two, using four will simply cut the time in half to filter the same amount water.
Stainless Steel Berkey Purifiers
The Crown Berkey is the largest of the stainless steel water purification systems. The Crown model can process thirteen gallons of water per hour if four filters are used, and stands 30” tall. Six gallons of pure water fill the bottom chamber.
At almost 26” tall, the Imperial Berkey water filter stores 4.6 gallons of purified water. With four filters installed, it can purify eleven gallons of water per hour.
The Royal Berkey has a storage tank capacity of 3.25 gallons and is 23” tall. This unit purifies 8 gallons of water per hour, with four filters.
Just like the Royal, the Big Berkey processes up to 8 gallons of water per hour, with four filters. It’s 19.25” tall, holds 2.25 gallons of pure water in its lower storage tank, and is our most popular size.
At 18” tall, the Travel Berkey is a compact option that uses just two elements and has a flow rate of 2.75 gallons per hour. The lower storage tank holds 1.5 gallons of filtered water.
The Go Berkey is extremely compact, uses only one element, and stands 17” tall. It fits into an included travel bag and can be used for traveling and camping because it only weighs 2-1/2 pounds! The Go holds 1 quart of purified water.
Berkey Light® Berkey Purifier
The Berkey Light® water purifier is made of BPA-free Tritan™ 50-mil thick copolyester. The Light® can be illuminated from the base with an optional LED lighting system, in either blue or white lights. The LED light can be solar-powered with an MP solar charger (sold separately) for emergency situations, and is bright enough to not only guide users to the unit in a dark room, but also gives enough light to read nearby. Using the same purification technology as the stainless systems, the Light® can purify up to 8.5 gallons per hour with four elements or 4.25 with two elements, and holds 2.75 gallons of pure water.
If you need a portable, personal water bottle purifying system for outdoor adventures and travel, the 20-oz Sport Berkey® portable water filter is your solution. One Black Berkey element is included and can last for up to 640 refills of municipal water, or 160 refills from polluted or questionable water sources. Replacement filters are available.
Ceramic vs. Black Berkey Elements
Ceramic elements filter the same contaminants as the Black Berkey elements, but do not filter lead, MTBE's, and other heavy metals. They might be preferred because they’re silver-impregnated to inhibit mitosis and bacteria growth, and they’re slightly more durable if they’ll need to be transported.
If you have a stainless Berkey purifier, the sight glass spigot is a popular accessory that can replace the system’s standard spigot, conveniently allowing you to gauge the purified water level and refill your top chamber before it runs out.
PF-2 fluoride/arsenic reduction filters attach to the bottom of black Berkey elements and will treat 1,000 gallons of water before they should be replaced. These are optional, and their necessity is determined by your local water supply. The PF-4 filters serve the same purpose, but for our ceramic filters.
Berkey elements must be primed (i.e., saturated with water) before their first use. This can be done at home, near a forceful water supply such as your kitchen faucet. However, if no water pressure is available (if you’re camping, for example) you will need to use the black Berkey primer to prepare your filters for use. Read more about these primers, and other .
Maintenance & Replacement Parts
are available at Pleasant Hill Grain, including elements, filters, spigots, plugs, priming buttons, kits, rubber bases, lids and knobs. A pair of Black Berkey elements will typically purify 6000 gallons of water. Note that elements need to be cleaned with a Scotch Brite pad under running water occasionally, and it is recommended to clean your system’s lower storage tank with hot, soapy water once a month.
Berkey Water Purifiers at Pleasant Hill Grain
Water is a necessity and pure drinking water is a healthful and better-tasting choice. It’s a comfort to know water purification systems like Berkey units are available when there’s so much we can’t control in our water systems. Our
can help you choose the perfect Berkey system to meet your needs! We’re happy to answer your questions, so please call if you’d like help choosing the best water purifier for your personal needs.