Choosing a good water filter system for the kitchen can be overwhelming. There are so many options on the market! So I’m going tell you about the water filter I chose for our home and also why I use a Berkey water filter in the kitchen!
Why Use a Berkey Water Filter in the Kitchen?
I first became interested in keeping a natural home and kitchen when I was diagnosed with advanced Lyme disease, nearly 10 years ago. It made me stop and reconsider many things in my modern lifestyle and specifically, what I put into my body.
Around that time, I learned the surprising truth that approximately 70% of our immune system is found in our gut. And I also discovered that over time, drinking water could have negative effects on my gut health. So I began looking for a good water filter that would get rid of the chlorine, fluoride and everything else that finds it’s way into our water systems!
At first, I used a Brita filter. And while the water tasted better, I wasn’t convinced it was doing a thorough job. Later, I lived in a home where the family used a Reverse Osmosis filtering system. But it always left their water tasting slightly salty and I later discovered it also strips all minerals from the water.
After doing some research, I finally settle for the gravity fed, Berkey water system. And I’ve never looked back!
What Is a Berkey Water Filter?
Before we jump into this, let me briefly tell you what the Berkey water filter actually is!
- The Berkey water filter is a simple system that is designed to sit on a kitchen countertop.
- It consist of 2 stainless steel canisters, Black filters, optional PF-2 filters and a spigot for releasing filtered water.
- Unlike many filters on the market today, the Berkey filtering system is gravity fed.
- When you compare the taste of filtered water from a Brita, Berkey and Reverse Osmosis system, the Berkey always wins (in my opinion).
- According to my research, the Berkey is one of the most effective and affordable water filters on the market today, primarily because it’s filters are top quality!
The 8 Benefits of Drinking Berkey Water
There are many amazing benefits that come with drinking Berkey filtered water. Let me walk you through some of the key aspects I really love and reveal why I use a Berkey water filter in the kitchen.
It’s truly an amazing countertop system!
1. Berkey Water Filters Remove Chlorine from Your Water
According to tests run by Berkey, their Black Filters remove 99.9% of the chlorine from your water. This is an incredible number! Just by running water through their filter, you can protect your gut from this chemical that would otherwise wear down your immune system over time.
I say yes to the Berkey just on this front alone. 🙂
2. Do Berkey Filters Remove Fluoride from Water?
When it comes to removing fluoride, Berkey states that their Black Filters are only highly effective for the first few hundred gallons of water (read article HERE). If you live where water is treated with fluoride, you should also look into purchasing the PF-2 filters. The PF-2 filters attach to the underside of your Black Filters and are effective at removing arsenic as well.
3. The Berkey Removes Viruses and Bacteria
When my man and I were first married, we lived in the prairies and our water was piped in from a dugout. Because I’d never lived where water was unsafe, I forgot to use the drinking water we hauled in and brushed my teeth with good old tap water.
What a big mistake! Where I grew up, we referred to the resulting sickness as “beaver fever.” It’s more commonly known as Giardia. And it was no joking matter!
How I wish we’d had a Berkey then! It would have saved on time, money and the hassle of hauling our drinking water. Because here’s the deal: Berkey Black Filters will remove viruses and bacteria from water.
In fact, I have friends in 3rd world countries who use the Berkey to filter their drinking water. No boiling needed! Because the Berkey does such a thorough job, it’s often referred to as a water purifier.
4. Berkey Water Filters Remove Heavy Metals
Another wonderful thing about the Berkey Water Filter system is that it removes heavy metals from your drinking water. The list includes the following.
- Arsenic (use the PF-2 filter for best results)
- And more! Get the full list HERE.
5. Berkey Black Filters Remove Chemicals and Contaminants from Your Water
It’s no secret that older municipal waterlines were often constructed with materials that are now considered harmful to the human body (like lead). Unless you’re on a private well or spring, the best way to ensure you’re protecting your home and family is to filter your water.
With the Berkey, I think!
Here’s a brief list of the commonly known contaminants that the Berkey filters out.
- Petroleum contaminants
- And read about MORE HERE.
6. Berkey Filters Leave Minerals In Your Water
Unlike so many water filters on the market today, Berkey water filters are designed to let healthy minerals through. On their website, they specifically mention calcium and also, magnesium.
And this is partly why I prefer the Berkey over a Reverse Osmosis system. This and because Berkey water tastes waaaaay better!
7. When You Have a Berkey, You Can Skip Boil Orders
Just a year ago, our community water pipeline cracked and all households were put on a boil order for drinking water. But not this girl! I had total peace of mind with our drinking water. Yes, because of the Berkey!
We kept sending our tap water through the Berkey like usual, and I didn’t have a single concern about it.
8. Filtering Water Through the Berkey Puts Your Mind At Ease
When we changed over to the Berkey, I suddenly realized I had peace of mind. And the funny thing is, I wasn’t even aware that our water situation had been weighing on me!
But now, I knew.
I knew that I was protecting my gut from chlorine’s slow damage. That we weren’t getting heavy metals from our water. And I had assurance that harmful toxins were being filtered out.
I also knew I’d found a filter that gave us the best tasting water ever!
Oh yes. I’m a quite a snob about my water now. In my opinion, nothing measures up to the Berkey. Unless is a cold, mountain spring, that is!
Q & A on the Berkey Water Filter
Now that I’ve given you all the reasons why I use a Berkey water filter in the kitchen, let me take a moment to answer a few questions you likely have about it.
What Are Berkey Filters Made Of?
- The body of a Berkey consists of two canisters and a lid that’s made from quality stainless steel.
- Black filters are made from 6 different components. While the company doesn’t publicly list them all, they do share the one the purification elements is “high grade coconut shell carbon” (see source HERE).
- The PF-2 filters….well. Let me just give you a quote from the site itself: “PF-2 filters contain high-grade activated alumina (Al2O3), which currently is the most efficient media available for extracting fluoride from water. The activated alumina is inert” (see source HERE).
- Other working functions on the Berkey (like nuts, bolts, spigot and plugs) are made of “polypropylene, FDA grade silicone and FDA grade rubber.”
You can read up on all the components HERE.
What Kind of Filtration System is the Berkey?
The Berkey is one of the most effective, gravity fed water filtration systems on the market today. In functionality, it’s very similar to a Brita water pitcher.
To filter water, you simply remove the Berkey’s stainless steel lid, pour water into the top canister and let it slowly find it’s way through the Black filters, where it then drips into the second canister below.
And when you want a drink of water, you simply open the spigot on the bottom of the Berkey and access a flow of pure, filtered water.
The system is gravity fed, the whole way!
What Size of Berkey Do I Need?
The size of a Berkey Water Filter is gauged by the size of canisters and also by how many filters fit in a system. I have the Big Berkey in my kitchen with 4 Black filters in place. At times, I wish I’d purchased the next size up, simply because I have to refill ours 1-2x per day.
But choosing something too small is probably better than choosing something too large. Berkey states that for best results, water shouldn’t sit in the lower canister for more than 3 days at a time. Take this into account when choosing your water filter.
- Travel Berkey
- Holds 1.5 gallons
- Provides drinking water for 1-3 people
- Has space for 2 filters
- Big Berkey
- Holds 2.25 gallons
- Provides water for 1-4 people
- Has space for 4 filters
- Royal Berkey
- Holds 3.25 gallons water
- Provides water for 2-6 people
- Has space for 4 filters
- Imperial Berkey
- Holds 4.5 gallons
- Provides water for 4-8 people
- Has space for 6 filters
- Crown Berkey
- Holds 6 gallons
- Provides water for 6-12 people
- Has space for 8 filter
Watch and See How a Berkey Water Filter Works!
How Long Do Berkey Filters Last?
As with most water filtering systems, both the Black Berkey and also PF-2 filters do need to be replaced after a while. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know (read more HERE).
Black Berkey Filters (2 per Berkey): good for 6,000 gallons of water
Black Berkey Filters (4 per Berkey): good for 12,000 gallons of water
PF-2 Fluoride Filter (2 per Berkey): good for 1,000 gallons of water
Every women uses varying amounts of water in her kitchen. To discover when you need to change the Black Berkey filters, approximate the gallons of water you use for drinking and cooking each day.
Let’s just take my kitchen and Berkey as an example.
- I have the Big Berkey with 4 Black filters (good for 12,000 gallons).
- I average 4 gallons of water per day.
- 4 gallons x 365 days= 1,460 gallons per year.
- 12,000/1,460 gallons per year=8.2 years
Thus I know my 4 Black filters will do their job for 8 years.
The Cons of a Berkey Water Filter
As with everything in life, there are a few things about the Berkey water filter that cause some people to decide it isn’t for them! Here are some of the cons that come with a Berkey Water filter.
- While Berkey water filters are top quality, they aren’t cheap and if you’re used to using a Brita, the price can be difficult for some to pay upfront.
- Berkey water filters do take up valuable counter space in the kitchen!
- You’ll have to manually fill your Berkey.
- Your Berkey canisters should be washed with soap and hot water every 6 months or so.
- Black Berkey filters will need to be scrubbed once in a while to remove sediment and speed the filtration.
- The Berkey filtering system is hosted in a silver canister, which doesn’t necessarily suit everyone’s kitchen theme!
How to Get a Deal on a Berkey Water Filter
You know this was coming, right? There are several different ways to you can get a deal on a Berkey water system! Let me walk you through the 4 basic options.
Local Buy-and-Sell Groups
Did you know that you can sometimes find used Berkeys for sale? If your community or area has an online, buy-and-sell page, keep your eyes open. I have a friend who just snagged one for herself at a great deal!
Because here’s the thing: some folks may decide the Berkey just isn’t for them. Maybe they prefer a faucet filter. Or perhaps their family has outgrown their Berkey and they need to purchase the next size up!
Regardless, used Berkeys do appear on the market from time to time. And while you may need to replace filters, it can be an excellent way to get a Berkey for cheap.
Scratch and Dent Sales
Most companies selling Berkey water filters offer a discount on returned or slightly damaged goods (my brother got his large Berkey this way). It might be a scratch on the stainless steel canister. Or a dent in the lid. But these water filters are still 100% functional and come at a wonderful discount.
Use My Discount Code
After using the Berkey for 6 years, I realized it was something I often recommend. And it wasn’t infrequent that followers would ask “what’s that silver thing on your counter?” I didn’t realize how often it appeared in photo and videos! And when I had friends looking for a good water system, they often asked about mine.
So finally, I reached out to Berkey and asked if I could become an affiliate and also, get a discount code for my readers. They said yes!
If you’re on my email list, you’ll receive a discount code when this post first goes live! And you can use it at any time.
Maybe you don’t want to join my email list, but you’d like to receive the discount code? Leave your email below and I’ll send it right to you!
Take Advantage of Special Sales
Join my email list, and I’ll let you know every time Berkey has a special sale going. Black Friday and Christmas is usually a prime time to buy, with excellent discounts!
You can GO HERE to sign up to receive weekly emails I send out to folks who love simple living, natural homes and snippets of life in the countryside!
Where to Buy a Berkey Water Filter
If you would like to buy a Berkey water filter, the best place to source them is online! Buying direct from the company will usually give you the best rates.
Should you live in the USA, you can access Berkey HERE.
My Canadian readers can access Berkey’s official site and (usually) get free shipping HERE.
Steps to Walk Through When Buying a Berkey
To buy your Berkey, just walk through the following steps.
- Choose your Berkey size based on the information I shared above.
- Decide if you only want 2 Black filters (they come with) or add 2 more to your cart for a total of 4.
- If you also want fluoride filters, be sure to purchase one for each Black filter (they don’t come with).
- Apply the coupon code traditional10 for your discount (USA only)
- And click purchase!
Are Berkey Water Filters Worth It?
After all that, you still might be wondering…are Berkey water filters worth it? Six years later, here are some of the reasons I use a Berkey water filter in the kitchen today!
- Because of their excellent filtration system, the Berkey removes chemicals that would otherwise slowly wear down my gut health over time.
- Using the Berkey in my kitchen gives me peace of mind; I don’t have to wonder if our water is clean. I know!
- In comparison to other water filters, the Berkey is fairly priced and the filters are long-lasting.
- The taste of Berkey filtered water is incredible! I’ll never go back to a Brita or Reverse Osmosis.
- Berkey water filters are simple to assemble and they look nice sitting on the kitchen counter too.
- I love having a Berkey because it gives me peace of mind on so many levels.
To conclude, I think Berkey water filters are worth their weight in gold. To the best of my knowledge, this is one of the best water filters on the market today. And while everything has it’s pros and cons, I’d highly encourage you to give the Berkey water filter a try.
Jamie Mason says
To me a Berkey makes sense if you are in a place where you don’t have water pressure like camping or in an outage of the water system, but for daily kitchen use a reverse osmosis system makes a lot more sense–they are better at purifying and are half the price or less. It is true that they also remove good minerals such as calcium and magnesium, but those are easily added back with a remineralizer stage which you can buy for 20 to $30 (it’s just another tube you connect between the output of the reverse osmosis system and the faucet. I actually like my water extra mineralized so I have two remineralizers in series. I also put in another tap before the remineralization stages so that I can get actual pure water for things like my iron where the minerals are not desired.