There are many water filters to choose from, but one of the most reputable is Berkey Water Filters. I was sent a Royal Berkey Water filter to review almost a decade ago – and we’re still using it to filter our tap water today.
If you’re shopping for a water purifier for your family, here are some of the questions you should ask yourself before purchasing one.
Tips for Choosing a Water Filter
There are many factors to consider when purchasing a filter to improve water quality.
1. Does it require electricity?
For us, it’s important to choose a filter that does not rely on electricity to function. We have a lot of power outages in the winter due to weather and summer due to fires.
We need to have a reliable filtered water supply option, even during a natural disaster. The Berkey filter uses gravity to filter the water, so no power is needed.
2. Has it been tested?
Berkey filters have been through extensive testing to be sure they completely remove harmful contaminants from the water while leaving the beneficial minerals that your body uses (see the full list of contaminants removed). On each product page, you can actually review the test results yourself.
3. Can it remove fluoride?
The standard setup does not remove fluoride, but you can add up to 4 Fluoride and Arsenic Filters to the lower chamber of this system if you want to be able to remove those contaminants from your drinking water. Two elements will last for 1,000 gallons of water or one year.
4. Is it well constructed?
The Royal Berkey Water Filter System is made of polished 304 stainless steel unlike filter pitchers. I have found it to be very durable and hold up to a lot of use over the years.
One negative is that it definitely shows fingerprints so it has to be wiped down regularly. A good microfiber cloth does it best.
5. Are the filters easy to replace?
The system we have comes with 2 Black Berkey purification elements. However, you can expand it to 4 purification elements.
With 2 elements, it can purify up to 4 gallons of water per hour. If you upgrade to 4 elements, it allows you to purify up to 8 gallons per hour.
6. Do you have the space?
There are several different sizes of Berkey water filtration systems ranging from 1.5 to 6 gallons. Depending upon how much space you have and how many people you have in your family, there is an option that should work for you.
The Royal Berkey system works great for our family of 4. If we had more space, I’d upgrade to the Crown Berkey system.
7. Is it cost effective?
I know a lot of people look at the initial cost of a Berkey system and think it’s too much. If you break it down this way, you’ll see it’s actually quite inexpensive…
A set of 2 Black Berkey Water filters last up to 6,000 gallons. If your family drinks 5 gallons of water per day, that equals 1200 days or over 3 years.
To break it down even further, at that rate of use, 1 gallon of water purified with a Berkey filter costs you less than 2 cents!
If you add the fluoride and arsenic filters, the price per gallon will go up since those filters have to be replaced more frequently. With 2 fluoride filters added, 1 gallon of Berkey water will cost you less than 10 cents.
Compare that to bottled water, and it’s a no brainer even with the cost of replacement parts.
8. Is it easy to set up?
Getting the system set up is relatively easy. First, you just wash everything out really well to make sure you’re starting with a clean environment.
Then you attach the handle to the lid and the spigot to the lower chamber. Screw the filter elements to the upper chamber and cap off the 2 holes where you can expand the system unless you’ve purchased the extra filter pieces.
Then place the upper chamber on top of the lower chamber and fill it with tap water. Put the lid on and wait about an hour and you’ll have clean drinking water!
9. Is it simple to clean and maintain?
The only maintenance you really need to do with a Berkey water purification system is to replace the filters and keep the system clean. Fortunately, you can actually clean the Black Berkey Filters up to 100 times before they have to be replaced.
10. What about shower water filtration?
We have the Berkey shower head filter installed in our bathroom. One of the first things I noticed when we installed it is how amazing my hair felt. It’s one of the best investments we’ve made.
11. Where to Buy a Berkey Water Filter?
There are several models of Berkey Water filter options. Visit the Berkey Filters website today to get the one that’s right for your family. Ours has been going strong nearly a decade!