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There are some kits out there that sell something like a berkey filter, 2 - 5 gallon buckets and spigot.

What would happen if you took 2 - 5 gallon buckets, put a single black berkey filter in the top bucket, then filled the top bucket with sand?

Drilled a hole in the lid of the bottom bucket, set the top on the bottom.

Would the sand extend the life of the black berkey filter?

Or would the sand reduce the life of the berkey filter?

Each black berkey filter has a rating of somewhere around 3,000 gallons. I am going to guess that is with clean water. So would running the water through the sand to help clean it increase the the life of the filter?
 

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any type of pre-filter as a rule will extent the life of your filter, maybe not much, but extend it for some length of duration it will, depends on the type of pre-filter and the tpe of filter and the source of the water
 

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My Temperature is Right
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I use a sand filter with my ceramic filter cuz I get water from the big muddy and without a prefilter I would be stripping down and scrubbing the filter every other bucket of water. but I made a sand filter and let the water drain through a sieve into the top filter bucket then I just have to replace the sand when it gets silted up. I stock bags of play sand for the filter.
 

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Rogue
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The sand would extend the cleaning time interval as it would act as a prefilter. However, the carbon aspect of the black berkey is what requires you to replace it so often and the sand would do nothing to extend the lifetime of the carbon.
 

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Son of the Republic...
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Given the reported problems with the Black Berkey filers...Have you considered perhaps using a bucket full of activated charcoal, instead of sand? I'm thinking about making my own pre-filter using a 5 gallon bucket of straight activated charcoal. And then running that water through my regular Berkey filter elements. What I'm trying to figure out, is how to contain the small particles of activated charcoal, to keep them from running through the holes, into my bottom bucket? Maybe I could use the regular Berkey filter elements, and surround those with the activated charcoal? Hmm...

http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-lb-Pound...278?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27c129042e

Zulu Cowboy
 

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Alert Today~Alive Tmrrw
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I can understand using sand or charcoal as a pre-filter, but doesn't the filter sock that's typically enclosed in these kits serve the same function?

The Texas Baptist Men have enhanced their Just Water Ceramic Filter by also developing a pre-filter sock and a spigot.

The sock, which fits over and protects the filter, can be secured with a rubber band. It’s used in areas with extremely turbid water that has contaminants such as fish scales or fecal matter. And the spigots provide a handy, easily installed faucet


With ceramic water filtration kits like the one below, there's no reason people in third-world countries have to drink unpotable water anymore. I should market these in mexico

 

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I find my sand filter to be lacking. I have a good large sand pool filter(filter sand changed yearly) and, if I run some green algae water through it.. it blows out green water after filtered. I'm sure that any prefiltering is going to help the final filters life but, I would try charcoal.
 

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VA / NC
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Why not have the two bucket set up as Kev suggested, and filter the water through sand without a Berkley filter. After you do a "sand filtering", then place the water in your big Berkley - would be a quantity of trash removed through the sand filtration.

Seems this would keep the one Berkley filter cleaner versus placing it under the sand
 

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Hubris begets Nemesis
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What would happen if you took 2 - 5 gallon buckets, put a single black berkey filter in the top bucket, then filled the top bucket with sand?

Drilled a hole in the lid of the bottom bucket, set the top on the bottom.

Would the sand extend the life of the black berkey filter?

Or would the sand reduce the life of the berkey filter?
Did I miss something here? How does the water get from the top bucket into the bottom bucket?
 

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Did I miss something here? How does the water get from the top bucket into the bottom bucket?

There is a hole drilled into the bottom of the top bucket. The filter is placed inside the bucket with the exit port coming out the bottom of the top bucket. That allows the clean water to fill the lower bucket.
 

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Rogue
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Well, Anyone gonna comment?
The sawyer is a great product but it is designed for a slightly different use case. Many of your berkey's are large containers that would LOOK good in any kitchen where as the sawyer products would look more at home in a backpack. The sawyer products are probably better filters but they lack the carbon element the black berkeys poses.

If you want my opinion I chose sawyer any day of the week over berkey. But I'm not going to proudly display it in my kitchen either and I have invested in additional tools to carbon filter the water the sawyer produces.

To each their own. The Berkey is a fine product (if you get one that was manufactured properly) and has its place.
 

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I thought the reason charcoal has a limited life span as a filter is that once water runs across it, bacterias start to grow on it.

So after XX days, the charcoal isn't as effective even if you ran only a little bit of water through it.
 

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A Hoosier not a Hillbilly
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I find my sand filter to be lacking. I have a good large sand pool filter(filter sand changed yearly) and, if I run some green algae water through it.. it blows out green water after filtered. I'm sure that any prefiltering is going to help the final filters life but, I would try charcoal.
If your sand filter is doing what your saying then something is out of place. I had that happen after 10 yrs of excellent performance and had to replace the internal parts. They get cracked and pushed out of position. Dump it and see what's going on inside. Have a good swim...:D:
 

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Rogue
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I thought the reason charcoal has a limited life span as a filter is that once water runs across it, bacterias start to grow on it.

So after XX days, the charcoal isn't as effective even if you ran only a little bit of water through it.
Think of the surface of activated carbon like you think of a ceramic filter. Its porous. As the various chemicals and other debris from your source water are absorbed by these pours the begin to get full. After a certain amount of time they will be completely clogged and thus less effective at absorbing additional materials. But they can't be cleaned off like a ceramic filter.

So how long an activated carbon stock lasts before it needs to be replaced is really a function of how much it is used and how dirty the water is that it is used on. The 6 month period is really more a rule of thumb then an absolute.
 
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