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Old 11-08-2009, 05:44 PM
stonecypher stonecypher is offline
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Default Aquarain vs. Big Berkey vs. Katadyn TRK



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I've read the valuable threads here on buying a gravity counter-top water filter/purifier, and I've done a lot of research on the Net. After wading through all the information, my choice is the Aquarain. (I'm ducking in case Big Berkey owners want to throw things at me.)

Here's why (from a sample report I've attached):

1. American-made
2. Filter ratings based on "end-of-life" performance, not new
3. Ceramics are made in small, computerized kilns for uniform consistency and reliability
4. Coconut-shell carbon outperforms coal-base carbon
5. Silver is incorporated in the carbon bed
6. Pore size down to .1 micron (near absolute)
7. Slower filtration rate for higher quality
8. Ceramics will withstand 200 cleanings
9. Stainless-steel housing with handles and overflow safeguard
10. Exceeds EPA purifier standards for bacteria and protozoa removal
11. Less expensive

This thread is not meant to start a flame war about the "best" filter system but merely to share what I found out. Please feel free to chime in why you think the Big Berkey or Katadyn TRK would be a better choice.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Differences in Systems.pdf (18.8 KB, 431 views)
Old 11-08-2009, 06:02 PM
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As happy as I am with my Big Berkey, I'm open to superior alternatives (no need to duck ) . I googled around for just a minute or two, so I haven't seriously researched this yet, but if the Aquarain filters are better than the Berkey's, it looks like I could simply purchase a few and install them in my Berkey housing,right?
Since you just sifted throught the available info, would you mind briefly comparing and contrasting the two for us ? Like I said, if the Aquarain filters are better, I'd happily get a couple for us here. I already have 2 extra black filters and 6 extra ceramic filters, as back-ups, and because I had planned on making a couple home-made units for less-prepped family should the S hit the F.
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Old 11-08-2009, 07:26 PM
stonecypher stonecypher is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MIL-DOT View Post
As happy as I am with my Big Berkey, I'm open to superior alternatives (no need to duck ) . I googled around for just a minute or two, so I haven't seriously researched this yet, but if the Aquarain filters are better than the Berkey's, it looks like I could simply purchase a few and install them in my Berkey housing,right?
Since you just sifted throught the available info, would you mind briefly comparing and contrasting the two for us ? Like I said, if the Aquarain filters are better, I'd happily get a couple for us here. I already have 2 extra black filters and 6 extra ceramic filters, as back-ups, and because I had planned on making a couple home-made units for less-prepped family should the S hit the F.
Yes! That is the absolutely COOL thing I got out of all the techno-babble in the report I attached. You CAN just substitute the "higher quality" Aquarain filter elements in your Big Berkey!

Here's their quote: "Will the filter elements designed for the Aquarain System fit into the housings and replace the British Berkefeld and Katadyn filter cartridges? Yes, the elements may be used as high performance replacement cartridges for both of these gravity water filter systems. The elements mount in the housings in the same manner as the original filter cartridges."

I should add that this report does NOT appear on their website and appears proprietary since they sent it to me as a "secured" PDF file, which meant I couldn't copy and paste the damn thing into my post.

Please let us know if you decide to order a couple of the Aquarain cartridges and if they fit into your Big Berkey as described. And if the taste and quality of the water is any different! (And thanks for not throwing anything at me.)
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Old 11-08-2009, 10:16 PM
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Great thread, guys!
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:00 PM
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Default Can't Decide

Hi Everyone,

I have read the the top post and the attached pdf file, along with posts on other boards, but still can't make up my mind. The biggest problem is that I can't find anyone using the Katadyn system. It looks like a toss up between the Berkey, which I think is the same as the British Berkefeld mentioned in the AquaRain article, and the AquaRain. It seems to come down to cost between those two.

Does anyone have any experience with the Katadyn? Also, if someone could give me a strong compelling reason to choose one or the other between the Berkey and AquaRain I would be very appreciative.

Thanks, in advance.
Mark
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:04 PM
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Aquarain looks like a quality filter and it is priced well.

Thanks for the post Stonecypher!
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Old 11-25-2009, 12:09 PM
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I need some empirical evidence showing me the superiority of the aquarain filters. Otherwise I am sticking to the black Berkey filters.
Old 11-25-2009, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BJJ_Grappler View Post
I need some empirical evidence showing me the superiority of the aquarain filters. Otherwise I am sticking to the black Berkey filters.
Why are they gonna stop shipping the black filters to California?
Don't they meet specs?
Old 11-25-2009, 01:13 PM
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I have owned and used a lot > a Katadyn drip and hand filter, a Berkey Light and a Big Berkey. I like the Big Berkey best especially with all of its stainless steel. I also bought it for only ten bucks at a garage sale early this year (brand new still in the wrapping with even a couple extra ceramic filters) and I used it everyday on my mtn place as shown here with 60+ new pics > http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=84562
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:45 PM
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I don't have any experience with the Katadyn or Big Berkey filters, but I have to say that I really like my AquaRain. I am very impressed with the flavor of the water that comes out of the AquaRain and the speed that the water is filtered.

I'm sorry that I don't have any scientific facts or comparisons... I can only say that I am very happy with my purchase.
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Old 11-27-2009, 11:54 PM
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Watch out!!! A rock is headed your way. I'm a Berkey owner. Haha.
It really dosen't matter as long as we own something that will make dirty water drinkable. I own three Berkeys and am happy with them. I've never even heard of the Aquarain until I read this thread. I also own a couple of small, pump style Katadyns which are in BOBs right now.

Last edited by ActionJackson; 11-28-2009 at 11:30 AM..
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:02 AM
sherrieallen sherrieallen is offline
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I do like that it's made in the USA and had I known of it before I ordered my Katadyn, that would have swayed my purchase. However, I didn't know of it and I love my Katadyn for the water quality. My only argument is the cost of the replacement filters. AquaRain's are only slightly less expensive ($42.00 -vs- $50.00). What is curious to me is that these filters claim they can filter thousands of gallons of water, yet when you get them you get a warning to change the filter every 3 months which for me means hundreds of gallons not thousands. My other problem with the Katadyn is that the top lid does not seal. It lightly sits on the filter housing. I used this filter on a camping trip this summer and ants got inside. If ants can get in then I'm sure dust can. I am now duct taping the lid on the filter to make it air tight. That's a pain in the patoody but I don't see filtering water if contaminants can get inside. NOTE: ants got into the water chamber that holds water to be filtered - not into the filtered storage chamber.

I sure wish I could find the filters for less than the $50.00 each I'm spending. That's $150.00 every 3 months if changed as often as they say. I felt a little ripped off as I'm not getting near the 11,000 gallons they advertise per set of filters. I generally filter about 15 gallons per week. To be honest, I take them out, wash them good and put them back in.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sherrieallen View Post
AquaRain's are only slightly less expensive ($42.00 -vs- $50.00). What is curious to me is that these filters claim they can filter thousands of gallons of water, yet when you get them you get a warning to change the filter every 3 months which for me means hundreds of gallons not thousands .
Good point,Sherri. I'd say that settles the issue right there. I'm sticking with my Berkey set-up.
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Old 11-28-2009, 11:28 AM
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I love this thread! Thanks! After receiving my FREE Sport Berkey from the wonderful BerkeyGuy, I've been toying with the idea of buying a Royal Berkey. Just need to do more homework on the longevity of the black filters. Keep posting about your experiences with water purifiers folks!
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Old 11-28-2009, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rafter View Post
Keep posting about your experiences with water purifiers folks!

OK.... my brother's family is running a Big berkey with ceramic two filters,I'm running mine with two black filters, but these set-ups are simply because those are the filters that came with the deal each of us got. I also have several spare ceramic filters.
My brother's filters have been cleaned once in the same time I've scrubbed my black filters three or four times ( partially'cause he's so friggin' lazy, but they seemed to still drip at decent rate, up till I eventually cleaned them.) After not too much time, I notice the black filters slow down considerably, and need cleaning, the ceramics seem to go much further on a cleaning.
In one of the conversations I had with the two companies we got them from, I was told that the black filter was finer, and better for normal household tap filtering, and that the ceramic filter was more popular with people using them in 3rd world countries (missionaries,etc.) for filtering very dirty, high sediment water.
I've picked up several extra ceramic filters from James Filter for about $62 a pair,shipped. Each filter comes with the big plastic screw and rubber seals, so along with a food grade bucket,a minimum of $62 could have you up and running.
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Old 11-28-2009, 01:16 PM
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Do the Aquarain filters have the 3 month replacement requirement? I'm not liking that part at all.
Old 11-28-2009, 03:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by River Rafter View Post
I love this thread! Thanks! After receiving my FREE Sport Berkey from the wonderful BerkeyGuy, I've been toying with the idea of buying a Royal Berkey. Just need to do more homework on the longevity of the black filters. Keep posting about your experiences with water purifiers folks!
My Royal Berkey will arrive this Tue. Looking forward to it's arrival. It's the last important item for my BOL. Bring it on!
Old 12-01-2009, 01:47 PM
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My understanding is that any filter which uses carbon is going to need to be replaced every three months, due to the properties of the carbon.

Can anyone confirm this?
Old 12-05-2009, 09:19 PM
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I don't know about the Berkey against those others; I only know that it works well. Our water comes directly from a lake. Our rural water company has been fined 500 dollars a day for about 10 years over water quality but, apparently, the costs of the filtration system are more than the costs of the fines. If we accidentally drank our tap water uncooked, you could just about count on getting sick. The Berkey serves us well. We haven't had to buy any bottled water since buying it a year or so ago. That's not to say we don't buy bottled water; but now it is a choice, not a necessity. We use the Berkey for all of our water consumption in cooking and food; we just use the bottles for convenience in drinking because they're also our short-term water storage and we want to rotate them.
Old 12-05-2009, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ozarkeagle View Post
Why are they gonna stop shipping the black filters to California?
Don't they meet specs?
Important Notice to CA Customers - Due to recent signed government
regulation that goes into effect on January 1st 2010, All Berkey systems,Berkey sport bottles, and Berkey replacement filters will no longer be able to be shipped to California starting Jan 1st , 2010. This new law burdens the manufacturer with additional expenses and is not clear in it's requirements. Time will be required to review and get clarification on the law, followed by a determination on how to absorb the additional expenses into the business. As a result, we recommend CA customers interested in new Berkey systems or replacement Berkey filters, to place their orders by Dec.
21st as there's a possibility of this California shipping freeze to be permanent.
ThanksDan DeBaun - OwnerBigBerkeyWaterFilters.com
877-992-3753


http://www.berkeywater.com/FAQs/10p_...rnia_Lead.html

Last edited by Smith; 12-05-2009 at 10:13 PM..
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