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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A good family water filter is one of the last preps I have held off on. Yes, I know. I do have 2 of the LifeStraw Family units, and several of the singles. There are a many other options, and the more I research, the more I feel overwhelmed. I am happy to spend the money, but do not want to waste it. The best price I have found so far is Big Berkey, with priming unit, and 2 extra filters for $547 shipped. Are there better/cheaper options out there? I want a unit that will last. Sell me on it, or tell me I'm wrong.

Here is the site I am looking at

 

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I have the Crown Berkey w/ 8 filters and it works great.

Here is a 'blem' Crown Berkey w/ 4 filters and charger for $596.


use coupon SAVE10 for 10% off = $536.40 + free shipping.

This is what I found with a quick search. I am not an affiliate.

I recommend going w/ this set up so you can eventually add 4 more filters. Also the larger the container, the faster the water will go through the filter due to greater hydro-static pressure.
 

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Wrong Side of Heaven
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I have not used one, I have a katadyn

There are a lot of threads here I have read through and early on Berky got good reviews, but I believe now they have lost some of that zest here
 

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A good family water filter is one of the last preps I have held off on. Yes, I know. I do have 2 of the LifeStraw Family units, and several of the singles. There are a many other options, and the more I research, the more I feel overwhelmed. I am happy to spend the money, but do not want to waste it. The best price I have found so far is Big Berkey, with priming unit, and 2 extra filters for $547 shipped. Are there better/cheaper options out there? I want a unit that will last. Sell me on it, or tell me I'm wrong.

Here is the site I am looking at

I had the same questions I did a lot of research but nothing that applied to my wants and needs, my water is fine now but it is filtered but I wanted something a little better I don't plan to be drinking from a creek or a mud puddle. I settled on Brita with 7 cartridges and if things get tough I can pre-filter with my Sawyer.

As far as Berkey you can find plenty or good or bad reviews I even read not to use the Berkey filters, I still don't know if Berkey is right or what I did but it shouldn't hurt. Sorry I'm no help.
 

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Michigander
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AquaRain here, been using for 20 years. Basically the same as Berkey, but smaller.
IF you aren't happy with the results of the Berkey you can always try different filters in it. BUT, that will give you a GREAT container no matter what.
I've been VERY happy with my filtered well water. It takes the rust/orange and taste out, PLUS the coffee pot no longer clogs up!
 

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I have never used mine. I bought several generic ceramic filters about 5 years ago, put into 5 gallon plastic bucket and stored in the basement next to our food. We do have rain barrels for water off of two metal roofs which we now use for the garden. It should be drinkable as is but will probably put the water through the filters. Total cost maybe $50.
 

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Katadyn Ceradyn drip (urn) filter; $295 - $340 at various vendors. Lowest price in link to allfilters.com:
Switzerland based Katadyn has been in the water disinfection/filter business for over 90 years. Adhering to very rigid & well tested Euro-standards of performance. No shady components from China.

Gas Circle Plastic Fashion accessory Cylinder




I've got several decades of field experience (recreational & military) utilizing various of Katadyn's back packing models (to include their $350+ Pocket Filter). Always well satisfied with reliability and performance. Naturally, when I eventually went looking for a big urn drip filter (for countertop & camping use), I checked out Katadyn's offerings.

When I was researching drip urn filter options about a decade ago, I considered several brands. Read reviews & discussions. Watched videos. Compared features/pricing. I wound up going with Katadyn's drip Ceradyn urn filter.

I chose the anti-bacterial silver cored ceramic filter candle version (Ceradyn) over their version that combines activated charcoal & ceramic (Gravidyn)... because I wanted longer useful candle life (the ability to scrub clean and continue to use the 39,000 gallon life-span candles). Not having to more frequently replace the much shorter lived (6 months of use) activated charcoal hybrid candles.


I also wanted a softer plastic urn body (rather than metal) that would handle impacts, dropping, dents, & dings during vehicle travel or campsite use. I was looking for long term SHTF performance... not looks.

After conducting due diligence, I completely dismissed competing Berkey versions for what I considered then (and now) serious concerns about their filter element sourcing (China) and "lab testing". YMMV.

In any event, Katadyn's drip urn filters, while expensive, are a little bit less expensive than Berkey's... but have a reliably historical reputation as gold standard products. I'm well pleased with mine.

BTW: You can make your own similar filter for a hell of a lot less money than either Katadyn or Berkey charge. This by purchasing plastic buckets, inexpensive & minor hardware store plumbing/fitting parts, and quality filter candles from places like Doulton or Katadyn. Internet videos abound showing how to DIY.
 

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Berkey used to be the benchmark for water filtration. However, since they abandoned the white filters a few years ago for the engineered plastic/carbon filters, they have gone down hill. The new filters are not as good as the old ones. If you can find a surplus of the old bone style filters you'll be in good shape. I found a place in GA that had them on ebay for around $100/filter. I spent $1k that day.

I'll postscript this with my anecdotal evidence of this claim. My daughter is severely allergic to corn, corn derivatives, and all corn by products. Eating a dorito in the same room as her would swell her throat shut. She can't use regular crayola crayons because the glue that binds the wrapper to the wax has a corn byproduct in it. We have a HEPA filtration in our HVAC for late July/August when the corn fields over 5 miles away tassel. So we bought a Berkey about 12 years ago (she's going to be 13 next month) to filter our city water. We now have well water so we don't filter and its great. But when we go away to camp we drink lake water that is prefiltered by the association water authority. That requires chem treatment. We always do our 'tests' in the summertime on her yearly few weeks off of school (homeschooled) to see if there is any new food or soap/laundry etc that she can withstand. We tried the new black filters at camp and she reacted almost instantly. We dumped all the water and installed the old style white filters and after giving her some compounded benadryl and calming her down, she was fine with the water. My wife has spent over a decade researching corn allergies, and if you dig deep enough you find that this is potentially one of the most common allergens, but the science is squashed by the govt and big ag.

This is only our unique take on the Berkey though, and the new black carbon filters may work just fine for you and your family, but I can say with 100% accuracy that they do not filter out everything that is corn based. That leads me to believe that they are also not filtering out other dangers as well.

Edit: I use a life straw with no issue myself, and I can use katadyn, but my daughter can't use either. We've tried 4 or 5 other brands, and nothing works the way the old Berkey filters did for her. So if using as a medical device like we do, you may have to trial and error a bit to get what you need.
 

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I had the same questions I did a lot of research but nothing that applied to my wants and needs, my water is fine now but it is filtered but I wanted something a little better I don't plan to be drinking from a creek or a mud puddle. I settled on Brita with 7 cartridges and if things get tough I can pre-filter with my Sawyer.

As far as Berkey you can find plenty or good or bad reviews I even read not to use the Berkey filters, I still don't know if Berkey is right or what I did but it shouldn't hurt. Sorry I'm no help.
Same, I have a few Brita pitchers, and 20+ replacement filters. We pick up a few more every month. Won't filter everything, but close enough, should we need it. Otherwise we just use the fridge's filter for normal use.
 

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Same, I have a few Brita pitchers, and 20+ replacement filters. We pick up a few more every month. Won't filter everything, but close enough, should we need it. Otherwise we just use the fridge's filter for normal use.
Similar here as well. Used Brita for about 10 years. Now use a Zero. Have several replacement filters in stores.

Serious filtering in a SHTF would be via an MSR Guardian purifier.- then into the Zero.
 

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Always Loaded
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thanks guys. Looks like I'm looking into a Katadyn Ceradyn. I'm glad the Berkey filter thing ws cleared up. I swore that 10+ years ago when I was looking, the filters looked very different and were cleanable. Makes sense now.
 

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Desperta Ferro!
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I have a REAL Big Berkey, made in England using British steel. It came with the real, legit, non-china WHITE candles. I also bought the metal spigot, but kept the plastic as a backup.

For my use, this is for countertop only, not to be transported anywere. It sits up high enough on the countertop that the risk of dents is minimal to none. The Berkey is only removed from its original shipping packaging and set up when needed, however, the unit is configured and ready to use. I already mounted and primed the candles (you can use 1 to 4 at a time; IIRC I opted to use only two at a time, with plugs stopping up the other two holes). I ran an initial run, which you are supposed to discard, in case of micro particles from the candles.

I tested my water supply both before and after.
I bought a soluable solids meter, pH test strips and a few other specialty testing kits.

My water supply tested as good, although the methodology and testing equipment is extremely limited with its inability to give definitive results .
Microbial content had no test, etc. Some metals were tested for in the kits, which contained mutiple tests in each kit.

I love my Berkey, but also own several other brands of water filters. I also like the Katydyn and plan on acquiring one ASAP. Many different tools in the toolshed to hopefully accomodate whatever lies ahead.
 
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