I am so excited to be able to again offer all of you a discount code from MoreThanAlive.com! This is the Christian company that carries Berkey Water Filter systems, and I highly recommend them. We have been using our Berkey Water Filter for almost 2 years and it is such a blessing!
(See the bottom of this post for giveaway details!)
First, I'll answer a few reader questions about the Berkey Water Filter:
We just moved to a new town and discovered our water is nowhere near clean. In short, we want to purchase a water system and have looked at the Berkey, since I've seen it on your site. But I'm a tad confused by all the different types on the More Than Alive site.
Do you ever have to replace the filters? I see you can just scrub them, but do you ever replace them? If so, how much do they cost?
The black Berkey filters (two of which came in our Royal Berkey unit) will filter 6,000 gallons of municipal tap water before needing replaced. Since we use about 3 gallons a day, we're estimating that they will last us almost 6 years!
I haven't bought replacement filters yet, since we've only had the Berkey 2 years. The replacement filters are $99 for two black filters, last I checked, so not cheap!
However, we had been spending about $5 each week on gallons of drinking water, so we figured that after 1 year, the Royal Berkey unit we purchased would have "paid for itself" and the next ~5 years of drinking water would be "free". Or, as I've seen estimated, our drinking water would be costing $0.016 per gallon over the life of the filters!
Which size is appropriate for a family with everyday use? We drink and cook with lots of water, so this would be used all day.
As far as which size is best, I think it really depends. Our Royal Berkey holds 3 gallons at a time, and filters up to 4 gallons per hour. I fill it about once per day. I think this size will serve us well even as our family grows, since it filters quickly and we'll just end up filling it twice a day instead of only once. The larger units are taller/bigger, so I think it also would depend on the size of your counter/kitchen/etc.
We have been using the Berkey for all of our drinking water (and most of our cooking water) since we got it almost 2 years ago, and it has been great!
We are considering buying a Berkey water filter, but I was wondering how much maintenance it requires. How often does it need to be taken apart and washed?
We've used our Berkey for city tap water (i.e. nasty-smelling at times, but fairly "clean") and it requires very little maintenance. I think it was at least a full 12 months before I scrubbed the filters for the first time. We've scrubbed then 2-3 times now, which takes less than 20 minutes start to finish (i.e. taking off the filters, scrubbing, and replacing again).
Are their any pros/cons you could share with me? I would really appreciate hearing from another busy mom who has owned one for awhile before making the big purchase.
My opinion hasn't changed since the first review was written! We love the water, love not having to buy jugs of water from the store, haven't had any issues or problems with the unit or filters, and would definitely make the same buying decision if we had it to do over. :)
One thing I didn't really realize then we first ordered ours: if your water has calcium or other GOOD minerals in it, it doesn't filter those out, which is actually healthier for your body than drinking water with no minerals in it. (It does filter out iron, from what I've read, though we haven't used it with high-iron water personally.)
Discount available for this week only:
More Than Alive gives free shipping and a free gift with all Berkey orders. This week only (April 26-30, 2010) you can also get 10% off of any order from More Than Alive when you use this code at checkout: t8c4n9
More Than Alive is also offering a giveaway to five winners: 1/4-pound of any (your choice) of their bulk foods, spices, herbs, or herb blends! To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post letting me know you'd like to be entered. Entries are open April 26-April30, 2010. Five winners will be randomly drawn and announced on Sunday, May 2, 2010.
Full disclosure, as usual: I have always maintained that any product review I write will be completely honest. I would never recommend that anyone purchase anything that I wouldn't spend my own hard-earned money on. After we purchased our Berkey, we loved it so much we wanted to review and recommend it to others. More Than Alive asked us to be part of their affiliate program, and we earn 10% of purchases made through the links in this post.