Selecting a Berkey Water Filter Model
Try the System Calculator to discover which size is best for your lifestyle.
Compare Berkey Systems
1Price varies with the number of Filters | 2Flow rate based on optimal water conditions and emergency use with the upper container being kept full. The flow rate may vary by user.
1. How many gallons of water do you consume per day?
According to research conducted by the USDA, the average person (weighing 154 pounds) should consume about 1/2 gallon of water per person per day, which is why you commonly hear about people needing to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (that works out to 64 ounces, which is exactly 1/2 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 filtered water for cooking. Cooking with water from your Berkey water filter basically doubles your use, to 1 gallon per person per day. After many years of customer feedback, we have found that this is the number that is most accurate for most of our customers: 1 gallon of water per person per day.
2. What is the holding capacity of the Berkey filter 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, imagine if you had a Big Berkey (which holds 2.5 gallons) and while you were cooking dinner on a hot day, your children came in the house after being outside with their friends. Together, the children drank six 8-ounce glasses of water (0.4 gallons). You still need to make iced tea (1 gallon), and you need water to boil pasta (1 gallon). To accomplish all of that, you'll need a total of 2.4 gallons of water. The Big Berkey only holds 2.5 gallons--perfect for your needs for that scenario! You want to make sure the holding capacity of the filter system you choose is big enough for your peak water consumption needs.
3. What is the flow rate of the different Berkey water filter systems?
The more filters your Berkey water system has, the faster your unit will produce water and the faster it will recover from peak or sustained water usage. The bigger systems are taller and therefore generate more water pressure, also increasing the flow rate. The numbers shown on the Berkey water filter comparison chart below are for when the unit is completely full. The flow rate will decrease as the level of water in the upper chamber falls.
4. 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 greater 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 a bigger system than indicated on the Berkey water filter comparison chart below. All units produce the same quality of water. In determining which Berkey water system to purchase, keep in mind that the bigger systems produce more water and the smaller systems are more portable.
We make it easy for our customers to shop online. When you're ready to purchase one of our water filter systems, you can browse and buy right from our website. If you have a question about any of our filters or systems, simply contact us using our toll-free customer service number.
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