Big Berkey vs Berkey Light

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by dheat, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

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    I'm planning to purchase a water purifier primarily for emergency usage and have narrowed it down to these two models. I'm leanning toward the Light model.

    I can get the Light with 2 extra Black Berkey filter elements for $205. I can get the Big for $235, but would want to buy 2 extra filters for $70-90. So, let's say $305-325 for the Big model.

    The Light model is Lexan. The Big is stainless steel.

    Configured with 2 filters, they have about the same throughput: 4 (Light) to 3.5 (Big) gph. Nevertheless, the Big model can be configured with 4 filters total for a throughput of 7 gph. Whereas the Light is limited to a 2 filter configuration.

    3.5 gph should be sufficient for my emergency needs. In your opinions, is it worth an extra $100 or more now for the ability to purify twice as much water if the need arose?

    Are there other reasons I should consider going with the Big instead of the Light?

    Your thoughts are appreciated,

    Doug
     
  2. homebirtha

    homebirtha Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't be crazy about the idea of storing the water in plastic if there was another choice. That's why we liked the stainless. But, we ended up with aquarain, which is VERY similar to the Berkey, but quite a bit cheaper.

    We use ours for all our drinking and cooking water, and it's been sufficient. We fill it every night before bed, and occasionally once during the day.
     

  3. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

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    What problems are associated with storing water in plastic?

    Thanks
     
  4. Oldotaku

    Oldotaku Member

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    Sometimes the solvents used in plastic manufacture can be leached out of the plastic with long contact. For example, put water into a cleaned milk jug and let it sit for a while. You will be able to taste a "plasticy" aftertaste if the water sits long enough. Lexan isn't very prone to doing this, neither is the high-density polyproplyene used in Nalgene bottles.
     
  5. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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  6. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We use the Berkey light for camping and it provides plenty of water for 6 of us. Ours doesn't stay in the container long enough to get the plastic taste. In an emergency are you planning to provide filtered water for neighbors and friends? That may be the major consideration for going to a larger one.
    Dawn
     
  7. Michee

    Michee Well-Known Member

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    I bought the big berkley in stainless for the house a few months ago. Part of my decision was based on the fact that if something damaged it, the stainless would bend and still be usable, the lexan could break or age and may not be usable at some point. While I did buy it based on stay in place emergancy thoughts(I have filter bottles for travel), we use it daily. I love it other than the fact of having to fill it and no one else seems to remember to do it so it is left to me every night. Our house water has a bad taste to us, I cook with it but will not drink it. With the berkley I can't tell the difference from name brand bottled water once the house water has been filtered.

    "they have about the same throughput: 4 (Light) to 3.5 (Big) gph. Nevertheless, the Big model can be configured with 4 filters total for a throughput of 7 gph. "
    You might double check these numbers. I didn't remember them being that fast so rechecked the website and they say 1.3gph for big berkley. http://www.jamesfilter.com/specifications.htm
     
  8. sdrew

    sdrew Well-Known Member

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    This may be a dumb question, but,... can the Berkley and Aquarain systems be used for water from a stream/pond? In the case of an emergency, that would be my only water supply.

    thanks, steve in Maine
     
  9. whitewolf

    whitewolf Well-Known Member

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    BooBoo, have you or anyone else tried the Aquarain filter? I was glad to see this question come up. Have been trying to decide on a model myself or if I wanted to go with a distiller.

    Whitewolf
     
  10. goatlady

    goatlady Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have the B. Lite and LOVE it - I can see the water level and keep it filled appropriately - can't see the water with the SS tanks and the light is a great kitchen nightlight with or without plug in.
     
  11. dheat

    dheat Well-Known Member

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    All,

    thanks for the input.

    sdrew and BooBoo,

    I'll check out the Aquarain purifiers. Thanks

    halfpint,

    providing for neighbors and non-immediate family members is a possibility. That would be a reason to go with the Big Berkey.

    Michee,

    Both models I'm looking at are equipped with the Black Berkey filters. Those may have greater throughput than the "regular" ones. I got the 3.5 and 4 gph numbers from this web site: http://www.berkeylight.com/.

    Thanks again,

    Doug
     
  12. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Steve, in response to your question I can answer for the Berkey. The answer is Yep :)
     
  13. mightybooboo

    mightybooboo Well-Known Member

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    I have my AqauRain on order.My friend uses one,it makes excellent water.Yes,you can use pond water,filter out as much dirt as possible first..

    Lots of water purifier threads here,let me find it.

    Edit,here you go...

    http://homesteadingtoday.com/showthread.php?t=123796&highlight=filter

    BooBoo
     
  14. Sharon

    Sharon Well-Known Member

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    I have a Berkey Light. I have had it for several years. We have a family of four and it provides plenty of drinking and cooking water for us. I really like it. The only complaint I have with it is when you have to clean it periodically, it is a pain to pop apart and pop back together. I'd buy another if need be though.