Berkey Water Filter Review Should You Buy It Or Not [2023]

Berkey Water Filter Review: Should You Buy It Or Not? [2023]

To create this guide, we installed, tested, and evaluated the Big Berkey filter in our own home. In this Big Berkey water filter review.You can learn about the Big Berkey’s essential performance features, how it stacks up against similar competitors, and the ideal situations in which to use it.

The Big Berkey is the best option for those looking for a countertop water filtration system that is simple to set up and use, requires little upkeep, and is highly effective at removing impurities to produce drinking water of the highest quality.

For more specific information, keep reading.

Overview of the Big Berkey Water Filter

A stainless steel portable water filtration system made for use by up to four people is the Big Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter. More than 200 contaminants are removed by the system by forcing water through filter media using gravity.

You don’t have to attach the Berkey water filtration system to your faucet, in contrast to many of the countertop water filters we’ve used. It’s easy to use the Berkey: just fill it up with water and let the filter do the work.

The Big Berkey can be kept wherever it best suits you. The kitchen counter tends to be where most people place it. This Berkey system is 19.25″ tall and 8.5″ – so it’s not particularly compact.

Because you don’t need to connect the Big Berkey to your sink, it has the advantage of being a more portable option. However, this isn’t always a bad thing. Gravity filters, like this Berkey filter, are notoriously slower than filters driven by water pressure. Your preferences are all that matters.

Small travel units and large counter systems are both available for the Berkey countertop filter. The Big Berkey water filter is the most popular model on the market right now, so we purchased and reviewed it.

Let’s begin with a quick overview of the Big Berkey’s key features:

Big Berkey’s Key Features

Stainless Steel Filter Unit

The Big Berkey can hold up to 2.25 gallons in the lower reservoir and is roughly four times larger than the typical water pitcher. Although some customers have complained about rusting; more on that later—it is made of stainless steel, making it sturdy and BPA-free.

2 Black Berkey Elements

With the Big Berkey, you receive 2 Black Berkey purification elements that, according to Berkey, have undergone testing in an EPA-approved laboratory and have been determined to meet NSF/ANSI Standard 42 (for chlorine, tastes, and odors) and 53 (for contaminants with health effects). The filter’s flow rate, which is roughly 7 GPH (gallons per hour), is about average for a countertop drinking water system.

The Berkey Filter Package: What’s Included?

When you buy a Berkey purified water filter system, you’ll get:

  • Upper and lower stainless steel chambers
  • Stainless steel lid
  • 2 Black Berkey purification elements
  • 2 washers
  • 2 wing nuts
  • Plastic spigot
  • Rubber gasket
  • Priming button

How to Assemble a Berkey Filter?

Whether you have the Big Berkey water filter or one of the larger or smaller options, assembly follows the same process:

  1. Wash your hands first, then clean the device and all of its parts (but not the filters).
  2. The Black Berkey purification components should be removed and put on a spotless surface.
  3. Don’t use tools for this; instead, screw the lid knob screw into the lid and fit the lid knob in place before tightening with your hand.).
  4. Activate the Black Berkey filter components.
  5. Each filter element’s threaded section should have a sealing washer on it before being screwed to the bottom of the upper chamber with wing nuts. Blocking plugs should be inserted into any empty element holes to stop water from passing through (for example, if you only purchased 2 filters despite the fact that your unit can accommodate 4).
  6. The outlet tap or spigot’s threaded section should have a rubber washer placed on it before being attached to the unit at the side of the lower chamber. The second washer should be fastened to the spigot thread and secured with a nut.
  7. After adding the lid, place the upper chamber on top of the lower chamber. The system is now accessible for use.
Berkey Water Filter Review Should You Buy It Or Not
Berkey Water Filter Review: Should You Buy It Or Not?

Priming the Filter Elements

In order to begin using Berkey water filter systems, it is imperative that you prime the elements.

The elements have trapped air inside of them when you buy them, which raises surface tension. Due to the gravity’s inability to release the trapped air, you’ll have trouble sending anything through the filter.

Cleaning the Filters

The filters need to be cleaned as well as primed.

As advised by Berkey, we established the practice of cleaning the filters every six months.

Because it performs more tasks than most other countertop/filter pitcher brands, Berkey is among the most widely used water filter systems.

Yes, the cost of Berkey systems is higher, but the Berkey water filter elements are more durable, filter a wider variety of contaminants from drinking water, and are supported by rigorous testing.

Despite being, in our opinion, one of the best gravity-fed water filtration solution out there, the It is important to be aware of the remaining setbacks for Berkey. See our list of advantages and disadvantages below.

Big Berkey’s Pros and Cons


The Big Berkey is the ideal size for use in a home and meets all of your needs for drinking and cooking water. It’s the perfect size to fit on your countertop and still big enough to supply enough water for an entire family quickly.

We also appreciate how easy the system is to use thanks to its straightforward design. All you have to do is pour water into the top chamber and wait for it to emerge at the bottom.

In case you were wondering, the filter components used by all Berkey systems are the same. Therefore, you can continue to use your old units until they have used up all of their capacity to save money if you ever want to upgrade (or downgrade) your unit.

Speaking of money, a gallon of Berkey-purified water is practically free. This is so that they can have long lifespans and large capacities (of about 3,000 gallons).

The only time your costs will slightly increase is if you decide to use the additional fluoride components, but even then, they will still be much less than the price of bottled water.

Additionally, the Big Berkey won’t eliminate any beneficial minerals from your water (and won’t lower the TDS reading).

Additionally, we appreciate the appearance of stainless steel. 304 stainless steel also stands for longevity.

Additionally, Berkey systems do not require electricity, which will save you money and make them the best option in SHTF situations. Additionally, you can use just about any water source as your feed source.


Like every other water filtration system the Big Berkey, too, has its drawbacks:

  • Replacement parts are not exactly inexpensive. Positively, they will last a lot longer than the majority of cartridges offered by the competition.
  • Upon filling the lower chamber, the filtration continues. To prevent a flood, take care not to overfill it.
  • How much purified water is still in the lower reservoir with the standard version cannot be easily determined. To look inside, you must lift the top chamber.
  • The plastic spigot began dripping for some customers.
  • It can become monotonous to constantly re-prime. This also holds true for the PF-2 fluoride components, which, if improperly (re)conditioned, can cause your water to become cloudy or have a bad taste.

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Berkey Water Filter Problems

Although the product is generally excellent, there are undoubtedly some Berkey water filter issues. The majority of them have to do with how the water is distributed, not the filters.

The lower chamber can first be overfilled. When we first purchased our Berkey, we believed that by keeping the top chamber filled, it would continue to filter water into the lower chamber until it was full before stopping, providing us with clean drinking water all day.

The water in the upper chamber will continue to filter down until it is empty and will overflow the bottom chamber, so that is untrue. Consequently, take care. Put nothing more than what will fit in the bottom at the top.

Second, it’s difficult to tell how much clean water is still in the lower chamber. A tank made of stainless steel. Therefore, the only way to see is to lift the top chamber up and take a peek inside. If your Berkey is hidden under a cabinet or something, this may be difficult.

A Water View Spigot is available from Berkey. Between the lower chamber and the spigot, there is a tall sight glass. It measures the volume of water still in the lower chamber and is as tall as that chamber. The level of the water in the sight glass and the chamber will be the same. You can always rely on fluid dynamics!

This cost an additional $40 at the time, so we decided against buying it. If more information was required, we figured we could raise the top chamber and take a look.

Another strange occurrence that occasionally occurs is that when I open the spigot to fill my cup, the water just trickles out and almost stops, despite the fact that there is purified water in the lower chamber. A few other Berkey owners have experienced similar events. We all came to the conclusion that there is a suction problem preventing the flow rate.

It appears that the bottom chamber is being overburdened when water is still being filtered from the top chamber. The tiny opening between the top and bottom chambers is also sealed off, preventing air from entering. You can solve this by inserting a small piece of plastic (such as the cut-open milk jug’s ring) into the hole. either to let air in or to simply wait for the water to all filter out.


The post focused on Big Berkey Water Filter review. 

The Big Berkey Water Filter system is much more expensive and less practical to use than alternatives, and it lacks independent certification.

So, after reading the post, have you made a decision on buying the product. 

Below are some common questions about the product, continue reading.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Berkey Not NSF Certified?

It is for these reasons that Berkey did not feel it was necessary to certify its systems to the NSF standard, not because they would not meet the expected results. In terms of performance, longevity, and cost per liter, Black Berkey filters outperform other straightforward NSF-certified water filters by a wide margin.

Does the Berkey Water Filter Really Work?

The Berkey filters showed strong performance on lead-contaminated drinking water. In our test, lead levels were reduced from 170 ug/L to just 0.12 ug/L, far exceeding the NSF/ANSI certification requirement of 150 ug/L to 10 ug/L or less.

What Do Berkey Filters Not Remove?

Berkey removes >95% of nitrites but does not remove nitrates. More than 99.9% of all harmful pesticides and herbicides are removed from water that has been filtered with a Berkey. Petroleum pollutants, such as those from crude oil, diesel, gasoline, kerosene, mineral spirits, and refined oil, are reduced by Berkey by more than 99.9%.

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