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Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters
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- Includes Big Berkey stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower, Lid and spigot etc.), 2 Black Berkey Filters, and 2 Fluoride Elements.
- Holds 2.25 gallons of purified water. Designed for home use for 4 to 16 people
- The Big Berkey is made with High Grade 304 Stainless Steel and measures 8.5"D x 21"H when assembled
- Each (1) Purification Element has a lifespan of 3,000 gallons. That's 6,000 gallons for a two-filter system.
- Each (1) Fluoride Filter attaches onto the stem of the Black Element, as a post filters, and can filter up to 1,000 gallons (3,785 liters).
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INCLUDES: Big Berkey stainless steel housing (Upper, Lower & Lid), 2 Black Berkey Filters, 2 Fluoride Elements, 2 Hole Plugs, 1 knob, 1 easy flow spigot, and 1 set of easy to follow assembly instructions. When drinking water that’s been filtered using a Berkey purifier, you can rest assured that your water is clean and safe for consumption. In fact, Black Berkey purifier elements are far more powerful compared to competitors’ water filters. When tested Berkey water filter elements removed 100% of pathogens, allowing them to be classified as purifiers rather than simply filters. The included two (white) Berkey fluoride filters attach to the bottom of the Berkey Purifiers and hang in the lower chamber. Berkey fluoride filters reduce the amount of fluoride in your water UP TO 95%. Each Fluoride filter has a lifespan of 1,000 gallons and each purifier can filter up to 3,000 gallons. The Big Berkey is constructed from High Grade 304 Stainless Steel, and can accommodate up to four Berkey Purification elements and four Fluoride filters, however only two of each are included with this package.
From the Manufacturer
The versatile Big Berkey system is the ideal system for use at home with small or medium sized families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for everyday use, outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. The Big Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance. Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with four purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 2.25 gallons (8.5 liters) and when in use it stands 19.25" in height with a diameter of 8.5". The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 13" in height. Configured with four Black Berkey purification elements the system will purify up to 7 Gallons (13.3 liters) per hour.
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Our unfiltered tap water was generally acceptable by the lab with the following notable exceptions:
1. Arsenic: 2.5 parts per billion (ppb) - lab considered this reason for "caution"
2. Uranium 238: 3.1 ppb - also "caution"
3. Aluminum: 94 ppb - caution
4. Fluoride: 0.8 parts per million (ppm) - EPA has not established levels for this category
Here are our results with the Big Berkey (using 2 black filters and 2 fluoride/arsenic filters):
1. Arsenic: less than 1 ppb - lab considers "acceptable"
2. Uranium 238: less than 1 ppb - acceptable
3. Aluminum: 19 ppb - acceptable
4. Fluoride: 0.4 ppm (I wonder if we used 4 fluoride filters instead of 2 if the fluoride would be removed completely)
Items of note, the lab that tested the water is a professional lab (not a home kit) and there are three levels of interpretation: acceptable (safe), caution (consider filtering) and unacceptable (contact municipality and consider alternative sources). The lab uses ICP-MS method to test the water.
Hope this helps. Disclaimer: I have no relationship to the company....I just wanted to know whether or not the filters work!
Cons: If you're putting this together for the first time remember to prime your flouride filters. I recommend you repeat the priming process 3 or 4 times! Don't use what they suggest (30-60 second intervals). To remove the bitter taste I had to disassemble my unit and prime each filter 4 times for 90 seconds on each end. That, in theory, is a total of 8 priming attempts! As you switch from end to end you will see a glimpse of milky water. Repeat until you do not and don't skimp on the duration. I still taste an extremely minor bitter hue to the water, but again it's not noticeable. If you want to save yourself some time and frustration, bite the bullet and prime these filters BEFORE HAND. The Black Berkey filters, however, prime wonderfully according to the instructions.
NOW ONTO THE SPIGOT. I came home to a soaked floor three or four times. The beveled washer will not sit flush as easily as they depict. Remember to visually line up the washer so that you can see no gaps when tightening it. I also recommened you tighten it a quarter turn as they say, but tighten the nut inside the unit as much as you can. I got fed up on the last attempt. I woke up to a wet floor, grabbed gloves, and fiddled with the nut while water was still in it. This way I could MAKE SURE it didn't leak. Long story short you need to overtighten the internal nut in order for it to not leak. If you don't get lucky lining it up then you will have water everywhere.
Update: the filters are held together by cheap, thin plastic. They are very easy to snap when you're filling the heavy tank. Two days of owning the system and it's already useless. Customer service did not care, so here's your well earned 1-star review, Berkey.
Although I did not do any scientific testing, my taste tests between tap and filtered are definitely in favor of the Berkey. I have a standing reminder on my calendar to disassemble and clean it with soap and water once a month and I haven't had any problems with gross water or rust. Is it my favorite chore? Absolutely not, but it's totally worth the time to have clean and easy water filtration for the next month.
Pro tip: the filtration slowed waaaaayyyyyy down and after about 8 months the water would just sit in the top half of the Berkey and take hours to filter. I used the rubber washer on the black filters to "re-prime" them (like you do during first assembly) and the filtration was fast and amazing again! Now I prime them during the monthly cleaning and haven't had any trouble since.