Selecting The Right Size Berkey System
There are 3 factors to consider when choosing the best size Berkey water filter system for your needs:
- How many gallons of water do you consume per day? According to research conducted by the USDA, the average person (154 lbs.) should consume about 1/2 gallon of water per person per day which is why you commonly hear to drink 8 - 8oz. glasses of water per day (8x8=64oz. which is exactly 1/2 a gallon). The 1/2 gallon per person per day rule is the water you need just for drinking during normal activity periods. You should consume more during hot weather or if you are very active or elderly.
Most of our customers find that once they start using their system they also like to use the filtered water for cooking. Cooking with water from your Berkey water filter basically doubles your use to 1 gallon per person per day. We have found that after many years of customer feedback that this is the number that is most accurate for most of our customers: 1 gallon of water per person per day.
- What is the holding capacity of the system? The bigger the holding capacity of the Berkey water filter system, the more reserve use you will have for peak consumption needs. For example: if you had a Travel Berkey (holds 1.5 gallons.) and while you were cooking dinner on a hot day your children came in the house after being outside with their friends and together they drank 6- 8 oz glasses of water (.4 gallon). You need to make iced tea ( 1 gallon) and you need water to boil pasta ( 1 gallon) that is a total of 2.4 gallons. Your Travel Berkey only holds 1.5 galllon. You want to make sure the the holding capacity of the filter system you choose is big enough for your peak water consumption needs.
SYSTEM HOLDING CAPACITY
- What is the flow rate of the different Berkey water filter systems? The more filters your unit has, the faster your unit will produce water and the faster it will recover from peak or sustained water needs. The bigger systems are taller and therefore, generate more water pressure, also increasing the flow rate. The numbers shown on the chart below are when the unit is completely full. The flow rate will decrease as the level of water in the upper chamber falls.
SYSTEM FLOW per hour With maximum # of filters Travel
What size Berkey system would be best for my needs? After years of customer feedback and field testing, we found that if you take the flow rate of the system and multiply that by the holding capacity, this number is a good indicator of the maximum number of people that each system would support under normal conditions. If you feel that your water needs are more than normal or if you plan on using the Berkey water filter for emergencies or anything other than drinking and cooking, we suggest that you purchase the next size bigger system than indicated on the chart below. All units produce the same quality of water. The bigger systems produce more water and the smaller systems are more portable.
Holding Capacity (Gals.)
Flow Rate (GPH)
Maximum # of people
Big Berkey w/ 2 Filters
Big Berkey w/ 4
Royal w/ 2 Filters
Royal w/ 4
Imperial w/ 2 Filters
Imperial w/ 4
Imperial w/ 6
Crown Berkey w/ 2 Filters
Crown Berkey w/ 4
Crown Berkey w/ 6
Crown Berkey w/ 8