Choosing to enhance the water that you and your family drink is always a wise decision and a countertop water filter can certainly play a big role in that. There are many to choose from in the marketplace but some are definitely better than others.
I feel that the Big Berkey Water Filter is one of the better ones and with the large number of people that purchase it each year I seem to not be the only one that feels that way. With that being said, there are other countertop water filters out there that I like almost as well.
That’s why I will put my many years of water filtration experience to good use as I do a thorough Big Berkey Water Filter review for you. You will then know better if it’s the right countertop water filter for you or not.
In this review, I will do an overview of this product, discuss the good and bad points of the Big Berkey Water Filter, and supply you with some other interesting and useful information about it.
Table of Contents
Overview of Big Berkey Filter
Berkey is a water filtration systems maker that seems to go above and beyond with the water filtration products that they make. This gravity-fed water filter made by them is no exception. It seems to perform at a higher level than most countertop water filters do.
It all starts with the above average water filter cartridges that are placed inside of them. Simply put, the list of contaminants that this countertop water filter removes or eliminates is very impressive. That list includes over 200 impurities that are commonly found in tap water.
This water filtration product is also durable and good-looking due to its stainless-steel outer shell, boasts some nice filter life, and even has a higher water capacity than most filters in its class.
There are some add-ons you can purchase for this product too. These come in the form of additional fluoride filters. They are great for use if you have tap water that comes from a municipal supply that adds fluoride (60% of USA municipal water supplies do this) as a tooth-decay preventative.When it’s all set up it weighs 7 pounds and is just over 20” in height and 8 ½” in diameter.
One of the more unusual aspects of the Big Berkey Water Filter is that it surprisingly cannot be purchased in the states of California or Iowa. More on that can be read about here.
- Reduces or removes over 200 contaminants
- 3000-gallon filter life
- Large 2.25-gallon capacity
- Durable stainless-steel construction
- Easy setup and maintenance
- Generous 3.5 GPH flow rate
- Comes with third party certifications
- It’s fairly portable
- Lifetime product warranty
- Filters come with a 2-year guarantee
- Expensive replacement filters
- Cannot be purchased in California
- Some report an occasional off taste to the water
- At 21” high may not fit under some kitchen cabinets
What to Consider Before Buying a Countertop Filter
For those that think that every countertop filter is basically the same, rest assured that’s hardly the case. Each manufacturer usually does a little something different than the others that makes their particular countertop filter stand out.
Since that’s the case, it’s best to take a look at the most important traits of countertop filters to get the one that’s just right for you. He are the characteristics of countertop water filters that you should focus on when shopping for one:
- Types of contaminants that the filter will remove or reduce
- Unit Price and the cost of replacement filters
- Ease of setup and maintenance
- Filtration Rate
- Size and capacity of the unit
- Filter life
- Look for 3rd party certifications (ANSI, WQA, NSF)
Main Features and Benefits of Big Berkey
Here is what I like best about the Big Berkey countertop water filter:
Reduces or Removes Over 200 Contaminants
The Black Berkey Filter cartridges that come with this unit are definitely its main feature. As was mentioned, they can filter out over 200 of the most common contaminants that are found in tap water.
It comes with not one but two filters and each is made using high-grade coconut shell carbon filters which also contain 5 other proprietary types of filter media. The manufacturer claims that this is what enables the Big Berkey Water Filter to remove or reduce some 203 tap water contaminants in all.
Among the most important tap water contaminants that the company claims it can remove or reduce include viruses (99.9%), pathogenic bacteria (99.9%), pharmaceuticals (99.9%), and many heavy metals.
The manufacturer also boasts that it can eliminate or lessen Chloramines (below lab detectable limit), several forms of Benzene, Acetone, Arsenic (>99.9%), E. Coli (>99.9%), petroleum products, and Nitrites (>95%).
Although it comes with no NSF, ANSI, or WQA certifications, the company claims that its Black Berkey filter cartridges have been rigorously tested by state and EPA accredited laboratories and that they meet or exceed NSF/ANSI standard 53 certification requirements.
NSF/ANSI standard 53 is a certification by these reputable water standards testing groups that ensure all of the components that are found inside of a water filtration device contain no lead or other potentially harmful materials inside of them.
Some of the groups that were responsible for testing the Berkey Black Filter cartridges include the Department of Toxicology and Environmental Science at Louisiana University, the University of Phoenix, and Spectrum Laboratories.
Even with all of the advanced filtration found inside of it, this countertop water filter still produces enhanced drinking water at a very generous 3.5 gallons per hour.
There is even an option where the Big Berkey Water Filter can be purchased with 4 filter cartridges instead of two to increase its filtration process to up to 7 GPH.
3000-Gallon Filter Life
Yes, it’s true, at around $150 per pair it’s pretty costly when it’s time to replace the filter cartridges on the Big Berkey Water Filter. You have to keep in mind how long these water filters last.
You and your family will probably never even use the 2.5 gallons of water it can produce at one time each day. So, say that you fill and use it every day, with a filter life of 3000 gallons that means you can get up to 1200 days or over 3-years of filter life.
Of course, the manufacturer recommends changing the filter cartridges every 2-years so you would not do that. But even at 2-years that is much longer than the 6-months that the filter media on most countertop filters lasts. So that replacement filter dollar amount is a little misleading.
Durable and Good-Looking Stainless-Steel Construction
This is one very durable countertop water filter thanks to its quality stainless-steel shell. That means it can take much abuse and still keep on working. Even the busiest countertop areas will not impact a Big Berkey Water Filter’s useful life very much.
All that stainless steel that it’s made from has another benefit too. That helps it complement rather than take away from the looks of the countertops that it’s placed on.
Lifetime Product Warranty
There are two major reasons why I look at the warranty with any product that I buy. The first is how long do I have peace of mind with a product as far as material defects and workmanship concerns.
The other reason I look at a product warranty, is even more important I feel. That’s to see how much confidence a manufacturer has in its product’s durability and its ability to do what the manufacturer claims.
These are the reasons that I am so impressed with the lifetime warranty that is attached to the Big Berkley water Filter.
Heck, even the filter cartridges come with an outstanding 2-year warranty. So there is a high level of comfort that comes with the length of the warranties on this Berkley product.
Big Berkey Setup & Maintenance
There is nothing very challenging at all with the setup of the Big Berkey Water Filter.
As you can see below, setting it up involves just inserting the filters into the top half of the unit and then stacking that component on the purified water storage component which makes up the bottom half of the unit.
Filter cartridge replacement is just as simple as inserting them into the water filter when setting it up. You just pop out the older Berkey Black Filters (2) and replace them with new ones (2). This only has to be done after 3000-gallons of use or every two years.
Big Berkey Social Proof & Review Consensus
An overwhelming amount of the reviews that I have read on this countertop water filter are very positive. The other aspect of the reviews that I read that I thought was peculiar was that users either rated this product 5-stars or something far less.
There were not many in-between reviews on the 100’s of reviews that I looked over.
Those users that really like this water filter talked about how it’s simple to use and the taste of the water it produces is a big improvement over that of straight tap water. It was also noted that it looks good and is a very sturdy water filter.
Users who were less satisfied with the product talked about an occasional rubber taste in the water and some missing parts in the package which took time to get sent to the customer.
A Few Final Thoughts on the Big Berkey Water Filter
I would definitely say I am a big fan of this Big Berkey countertop water filter. Even putting my opinion aside, it’s easy to see that it’s a water filter that has much to offer those that purchase it.
The extensive list of pros and few cons I presented only verify this fact.
Is it a perfect product? The answer is no. It may not fit in all areas of your kitchen where you want it to go because of its tall size and some users have detected a slightly bad taste to the water at times (most likely when the filters are new).
The bottom line on the Big Berkey Water Filter is that it reduces or removes a significant amount of the contaminants that are commonly found in tap water, it has a good-looking and durable stainless-steel shell, and it’s longer filter life is a bonus too.
It really is no surprise that the Big Berkey Water Filter sits at the top of our best countertop water filters list.
On the other hand, if you want to see all of Berkey’s models check out our Berkey water filter reviews page.