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Hi, guys! Today I’d like to share with you a product that has been life changing in our home. Life changing is such a dramatic claim but does convey what I am trying to get across, the Big Berkey has been amazing in so many ways for Justin and me!

The biggest way the Berkey has made a difference in our family is that it has greatly reduced the occurrence of Justin’s canker sores. Let me give you a bit more information regarding Justin. My husband gets canker sores when he is stressed and often times when he is sick. I am not talking about a tiny canker sore that disappears within 4-5 days, imagine a sore the diameter of a chickpea that is present for about 2 weeks. Often times, Justin would get a week or two reprieve before the next sore would begin to form.

When our prevention methods were not successful, we tried many things to prevent canker sores and to speed up the healing time. Lysine, potassium, magnesium, the essential oil melrose, a change in diet, exercise. We were consistently baffled when Justin would get a canker sore when he was eating well and exercising consistently, feeling strong and healthy.

In February 2016, Justin helped his brother move from Texas to Washington. They spent 3 long days in a moving truck. Despite getting less sleep, the stress of the move, sleeping in locations other than his own bed and the fact that the move was sandwiched between two stressful work conferences, Justin remained canker sore free. We were both thrilled and flabbergasted as to how.

We started picking apart the things Justin did during the two week trip such as what he ate, supplements he took, what kind of exercise he did, what kind of activities he did and, the lightbulb moment, what he drank. Justin’s brother Ryan has a Berkey water filter. He ensured that the Berkey was easy to access in the moving truck so that they could take it into the hotel each night to replenish their water supply. They quickly set up the Berkey upon their arrival to Washington and continued to drink water from the Berkey. At the time, Justin thought nothing of his water source.

Let me backtrack a bit to fill you in on Justin’s drinking habits. As far back as high school, Justin drank primarily water. In college, he had a Brita pitcher that he used to filter his water. When Justin and I got married, we continued using a Brita pitcher for a short time before we decided that we wanted to improve our water. After lots of research, we decided on a reverse osmosis water filter. We loved our reverse osmosis unit and used it for almost 2 years before we moved to a new apartment. The kitchen faucet at our new apartment was not compatible with our reverse osmosis unit. We tried finding a plumbing attachment to remedy the issue but had no luck. We started buying bottled water as we no longer had a Brita pitcher nor did we want to go back to it after drinking reverse osmosis water. In life, it is easy to form habits without realizing it. We continued buying bottled water for 2 years prior to Justin’s introduction to the Berkey water filter. During the almost five years of our marriage without a Berkey water filter, Justin experienced canker sores frequently, at the level I described in the second paragraph.

After analyzing Justin’s experience with the Berkey while with his brother and also being tired of buying gallons of bottled water, we decided to buy our own Berkey water filter. We were not certain that it helped keep Justin’s cold sores at bay but we figured it was most definitely worth it to find out. A few months into drinking water filtered through our Berkey, we noticed that Justin had only one canker sore and that it had occurred at his 3-day work conference, where he takes bottled water due to convenience and gets very little sleep. Subsequently, any canker sores that Justin experienced coincided with us being out of town, drinking water from other sources, and eating differently than we typically did. This difference correlated strongly with the introduction and use of the Berkey.

In addition to liking the Berkey because of the profound effect that it has on Justin, we love the fact that we are no longer buying water. We are saving money and no longer contributing plastic water bottles to the landfill. Something else that we noticed is the difference in the taste of the water filtered by the Berkey in comparison to bottled water. The Berkey filters water that is smooth and tastes basic in contrast to bottled water that tastes very acidic to us now.

We have found that our Berkey water also tastes less acidic than the water we used to drink from our reverse osmosis unit. I googled this theory to see if our taste buds steered us in the right direction and, according to, reverse osmosis systems remove alkaline mineral particles from the water, resulting in acidic water. Google “the effects of drinking acidic water” to discover how the pH of your water can affect your body.

At this point, we have been using the Berkey water filter for a little over a year and loving it!

    • Justin rarely experiences canker sores!

This reason alone is huge for us!

    • We are saving money!

We drink plus or minus 2 gallons of water per day. At seventy cents per gallon, that is $1.40 per day, $9.80 per week, $39.20 per month and $470.40 per year! Oh my goodness! I had no idea we were spending that much money on water. I certainly would have looked into an alternate solution sooner. We purchased our Big Berkey for $229.99 on Amazon. At the price we were paying for water, we made up the cost of our Berkey in a little less than 6 months! At the time of this review, you can purchase a Big Berkey with two 9 inch ceramic filters for $202!

    • We are drinking water that tastes good!

After tasting the difference in the water that comes from the Berkey, it would be really hard to go back to drinking water laced with an acidic taste.

    • We are not contributing to plastic in the landfill!

We did not have recycling available when we were consuming bottled water. Throwing the plastic away was an aspect that I did not feel good about.

    • We do not have something attached to our faucet!

I love this as I do not have to do any rearranging when washing dishes.

    • We are not “wasting” water!

Reverse osmosis units are wasteful in comparison to the Berkey. According to, for each gallon of drinkable water, 3 gallons of water is wasted.

    • We have a method to get clean water in case of an emergency!

The Berkey simply needs gravity to efficiently filter water and can filter water from stagnant ponds, remote lakes, streams, and water from foreign countries.

The Berkey filters are easy to clean. Simply unscrew them from the unit, and scrub them with a soft scotch brite type pad and rinse them. This method has worked great for us up until recently. Since moving to Utah, Justin and I have experienced a slowing in our Berkey filter’s output rate. The cleaning method I just mentioned did not make much of a difference. We have very hard water so we soaked the ceramic filters in vinegar, scrubbed them several times while they were soaking, and rinsed them. We filtered a full tank of water planning to discard it. Out of curiosity, we tasted the water and could not detect the vinegar at all. We threw out the water for good measure and were back in business! The water filters SO much faster now. So briskly that when we followed our usual fill up pattern, we quickly had a Berkey overflow. We are no longer drinking an amount greater than the amount of water our Berkey can filter!

In addition to the ceramic filters, Berkey also makes a black filter. The black filters are said to be the ceramic filter plus some as they have double the life span and the ability to remove viruses. Before Justin and I discovered the vinegar fix for our ceramic filters, we started looking into getting new Berkey filters. I noticed that the ceramic filters we have are not listed for sale on the Berkey website. However, they are listed for sale on Amazon as well as other websites. I contacted Berkey to ask why as well as to ask if the ceramic filters are indeed Berkey products. The Berkey associate told me that the ceramic filters are definitely Berkey filters but due to the superiority of the black Berkey filters, they no longer offer them on their website. When doing research prior to buying our Berkey, Justin read information that made him steer away from the black Berkey filters. I looked more deeply into this and discovered that some people experienced an issue with their black Berkey filters detaching from the filter base. I asked the Berkey associate about this and she told me that in 2011, the adhesive used to attach the black filters to the filter matrix was faulty. She said that the problem was quickly corrected and that filters manufactured during that time are not being sold today.

After receiving new information about the Berkey filters, I have decided that when Justin and I are ready to replace our ceramic filters, that we will do so with black Berkey filters. On March 29, 2017, You can buy a Big Berkey water filter that comes with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters on Amazon for $288.50.

If you plan to buy a Berkey, I would recommend also getting a water view sight glass. It is currently listed for $29.49 on Amazon and is SO useful! Being able to see the water level without lifting up the top chamber of the Berkey is wonderful!

Do you have a Berkey water filtration unit? If so, what filters do you have and what has your experience been?

Have a question? Please ask and we will do our best to answer!

Are you ready to buy a Berkey? Check out the different types of Berkey systems below.

Travel Berkey with 2 ceramic filters– Holds 1.5 gallons of filtered water.

Travel Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters– Holds 1.5 gallons of filtered water.

Big Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters– Holds 2.25 gallons of filtered water.

Royal Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters– Holds 3 gallons of filtered water.

Imperial Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters– Holds 4.5 gallons of filtered water.

Crown Berkey with 2 black filters and 2 fluoride filters– Holds 6 gallons of filtered water.

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