Author Topic: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System  (Read 20985 times)

tash

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DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« on: October 13, 2008, 08:01:11 PM »
This is a write up regarding my DIY black Berkey water filtration system. Let me make this clear, I found the ideas for this project from another website (I really can't remember off the top of my head) and I decided to take my hand of making one on my own.

First we have the completed setup. Water is pored into the top reservoir and drains through the water Berkey Filter into the bottom reservoir where it is ready to be enjoyed by all. This project can filter as much water as you have elements. Each element can filter up to 3000+ gallons of water. You can use two filters or one element at at time. The cost was about 120 bucks total. That includes and extra spicket and PVC piece.

According to my wife "that water does not taste funky like the tap water at all"

Full Filter Setup


Top View of Filter Element


Spout


Parts and spare part



Parts Needed:
1. 2 x 5 gallon buckets with lids (4 or 5 bucks each at lowes)
2. Small sheet of rubber that can be cut to fit (99 cents at lowes)
3. 1 x PVC part for the inside of the bucket (I found it at lowes for a buck each)
4. 1 x spicket (Also from Lowes for about 4 bucks each)
5. At least one Berkey Filter. Usually comes in a two pack. (http://berkeywater.com/start.main.html) (Found online for 90 shipped)

Tools Needed:
1. Sharpie for marking locations of holes
2. Something to cut the plastic bucket and rubber pad
3. pipe wrench
4. Hacksaw to cut the PVC piece

Construction:
1. Attach the top of a lid to the bottom of a bucket with some tape.
2. Cut a hole in the bottom of the first bucket and into the top of the lid. This will hold the Berkey element. Insert filter and screw down.
3. Cut a hole near the bottom of the second bucket to the size of the pvc piece.
4. Cut a hole in the rubber the same size as the pvc piece.
5. Thread the pvc piece thru the rubber gasket then thru the bucket and into the spicket and tighten with the wrench.
6. Rise it all out completely and run a test back thru the filter. About 4 gallons.
7. Remove all water and re-clean.
8. Assemble and start filtering some water.
9. Keep a list of how many gallons you've filtered for easy reference.

Important Notes:
1. The first 4 or 5 gallons can take a day or two to filter. After that it can easily filter 4 gallons or more in less than a day.
2. Do not put more than 4 gallons of water through the filter at one time. The bottom bucket WILL overflow.
3. Place a small wedge in the lid of the top of the bottom bucket, like a wood from a match. If not there will be a vacuum that will not let the water out the tap with any decent speed.
4. Leave room for another filter if you'd like.
5. About 3/4 inches of the threads of the PVC piece need to be cut off with a hacksaw

Hope you've all enjoyed.

-Tash

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2008, 09:38:28 PM »
Cool idea, thanks.

At first I was a little put off by the cost of the elements, $100 for two, but if you consider you clean them & reuse them over & over that's not bad at all.  Two filters could last an individual or a small family a long while.

Offline Roknrandy

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2008, 06:05:59 AM »
Great idea! This is a nice DIY project

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2008, 06:57:23 AM »
Not a problem at all. :) I've been using this setup for a couple weeks with great success.

DeltaEchoVictor - I'm not sure if the filters can be cleaned and reused. If that was what my post implied I apologize. I don't want to give people the wrong idea. I do know that each element can filter up to 3000+ gallons of water which is a heck of a lot.

I've also been in the habit of cleaning out 2 liter bottles and filling them with filtered water and storing the 2 liters in the pantry.

This filtered water makes my home coffee taste great and I don't stop for coffee as much in the mornings because of it. Cost saving right there.

-Tash

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2008, 06:11:21 PM »
Not a problem at all. :) I've been using this setup for a couple weeks with great success.

DeltaEchoVictor - I'm not sure if the filters can be cleaned and reused. If that was what my post implied I apologize. I don't want to give people the wrong idea. I do know that each element can filter up to 3000+ gallons of water which is a heck of a lot.

-Tash

No, you didn't.  I actually read that on the Berkey website.  The site says you can clean them with a scotchbrite pad & reuse them.

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2008, 09:30:44 PM »
time to make sure i have some scotchbrite pads in the bag i keep the spare parts. somehow i missed that one. all the better then. :)

cheers

-tash

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2008, 07:47:48 AM »
Edit to add:

Lowe's Item numbers:
Item # 51895 - 1/2" adaptor sxm sch80 - $1.98 each
Item # 21508 - 1/2" sillcock - $4.47 each

Offline ModernSurvival

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2008, 08:28:51 AM »
Awesome post!  Folks give this one a Karma Boost!

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2008, 03:39:37 PM »
I have a Berkey with two black filters and horrible well water.  All of our drinking water goes through it and the filters are close to two years old and still working great.  I have to clean them about every six weeks more or less.  The scotch brite pads will disintegrate over time so be sure and stock a few extras.  The water is great and my Berkey more than paid for itself in the first year because the filters I used before cost around $25 a month.   Our water was so bad it stopped them up quickly and there was no way to clean them.


tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #9 on: October 20, 2008, 03:01:40 PM »
I have a Berkey with two black filters and horrible well water.  All of our drinking water goes through it and the filters are close to two years old and still working great.  I have to clean them about every six weeks more or less.  The scotch brite pads will disintegrate over time so be sure and stock a few extras.  The water is great and my Berkey more than paid for itself in the first year because the filters I used before cost around $25 a month.   Our water was so bad it stopped them up quickly and there was no way to clean them.



That's what I love to hear. Something we as individuals can do to help protect our bodies that relatively cheap, reliable and it just plain works with little maintenance. :)

Offline Aunt Bee

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #10 on: October 20, 2008, 04:46:45 PM »
There's no telling how many Berkeys are sitting in a closet somewhere waiting for TSTHTF when folks could be getting the benefits now.  I can't tell you how many folks I've read about over the years who bought them and enough filters to last for years and packed them away.

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2008, 10:01:33 AM »
More updated pics of the build process. This was from this weekend when I constructed a new filter system for a friend.













-Tash

Offline archer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2008, 11:54:42 AM »
Great Pics Tash! Such a nice, neat work bench. Mine has become a dumping ground for my wife... Grrr. And I noticed you have a beer, good, it looks like a 1 beer project...

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2008, 09:07:45 PM »
Great Pics Tash! Such a nice, neat work bench. Mine has become a dumping ground for my wife... Grrr. And I noticed you have a beer, good, it looks like a 1 beer project...

Thanks. My bench is not always that clean, only for the pics lol
and yes, simple 1 beer project. can't be that. it probably took me long to setup the pics than it did to do the work. hehe :)

Offline SymteX

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 05:40:17 PM »
This is a great DIY project. Clean water is IMHO the most important item needed in a bad situation. Good with with pics and write up.

Offline DIM TIM

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #15 on: November 06, 2008, 10:26:43 AM »
Great post.  Found this site (Alpha Rubicon) over a year ago and added it to my favorites for reference. Glad I did.

http://www.alpharubicon.com/kids/homemadeberkeydaire.htm

Also added the James Filter site mentioned, to get a few of the spigots for replacement as needed. Here is that one.

http://jamesfilter.com/accessories.aspx

Glad to see the sharing of informatiion for survival and preparation for bad times by the community. This is the real reason that we are here. To help one another, because no one person can do it all.  ;D       ENJOY !


Offline sludgy_nixer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2008, 10:46:43 PM »
great minds...i just built one of these this weekend! like dim tim, i had come across the alpha rubicon berkey link a while back and bookmarked it.
i finally got around to making it happen. due to the fluoride my city so generously puts in my tap, and the fact that i'm 'slow' enough already,
i opted to spend a little extra and also got the pf2 filters at jamesfilter.com. so i only saved around $25-30 bucks over the basic berkey light , but
it was still pretty cool to diy. it was quite easy to do, though my plastic spickets do leak slightly once the post filter bucket fills up and has a little pressure
behind it, but that's an easy fix.

on a side note, my original intention was to get a couple 5 gal buckets from the walmart bakery department to use for the project. i was able to get one
for free, but that's all they had. she said she's had a lot of people coming in lately and getting them. not sure if that's normal or not as i just recently
came across someone elses advice on where to get free/low cost buckets. i told you i was slow!

anyway, great post tash

sludge

Tommy Jefferson

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2008, 04:06:47 AM »
Cool project Tash! 

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2008, 08:16:35 AM »
Thanks for the compliments guys. I'm glad I was able to help.

Regarding the plastic spickets, I had 2 of them and they both leaked. That's why I went with the metal solution. I've had no leaks or drips whatsoever. Just my 2 cents. :)

Offline archer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2008, 02:26:23 PM »
I just found this:
To provide clean, drinkable water to disaster devastated areas, the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water, Ceramic Drip-Filter.”

It is described as, “A ceramic, half-micron water filter. The micron removes water-borne bacterium. The inside of the filter is loaded with different media or ingredients, such as man-made carbons, mother nature carbons and man-made resins. Those different resins and carbons remove the different contaminants in the water.

THIS PRODUCT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE BUCKETS

Number 10 cans to Waste Baskets can be used in place of buckets

Url is:
http://shop.monolithic.com/products/just-water-ceramic-drip-filter

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #20 on: December 05, 2008, 03:19:43 PM »
I just found this:
To provide clean, drinkable water to disaster devastated areas, the Texas Baptist Men initiated the development of a practical, inexpensive, but very effective, ceramic water filter. They call it the “Just Water, Ceramic Drip-Filter.”

It is described as, “A ceramic, half-micron water filter. The micron removes water-borne bacterium. The inside of the filter is loaded with different media or ingredients, such as man-made carbons, mother nature carbons and man-made resins. Those different resins and carbons remove the different contaminants in the water.

THIS PRODUCT DOES NOT INCLUDE THE BUCKETS

Number 10 cans to Waste Baskets can be used in place of buckets

Url is:
http://shop.monolithic.com/products/just-water-ceramic-drip-filter


Wow Archer... Nice link. There's actually quite a few neat items on the website. Good stuff!

Offline robt871

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #21 on: December 05, 2008, 03:34:34 PM »
great diy, but i think i missed something, how do you filter it.

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #22 on: December 05, 2008, 04:04:55 PM »
great diy, but i think i missed something, how do you filter it.

sorry robt871, I should have been more clear. I got the filters from HERE. The filter is screwed into the bottom of the top bucket and the water is filtered and falls into the bottom bucket. Hope that helps. If you have any more questions I'd be more than happy to help.

Offline archer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #23 on: December 05, 2008, 05:01:48 PM »
You are welcome Tash, I was looking at monolithic (concrete dome) cabins with my brother (planning his BoL) and saw that little gem...
The link for the monolithic cabins: http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/cabin

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #24 on: December 05, 2008, 07:11:20 PM »
You are welcome Tash, I was looking at monolithic (concrete dome) cabins with my brother (planning his BoL) and saw that little gem...
The link for the monolithic cabins: http://shop.monolithic.com/collections/cabin

Has your brother decided on what structure he is going with at his BOL? Any pros/cons you have determined? Have you seen one of the monolithic cabins in person? What are you thoughts? A lot of questions, sorry. I'm interested to hear your opinion.

Offline archer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #25 on: December 06, 2008, 01:57:17 PM »
Has your brother decided on what structure he is going with at his BOL? Any pros/cons you have determined? Have you seen one of the monolithic cabins in person? What are you thoughts? A lot of questions, sorry. I'm interested to hear your opinion.
My middle brother is currently building a monolithic dome to be used as a vacation cabin. He bought some property near San Diego. He has the shell done and is working on the insides now. I've not seen it, but my younger brother has.
My younger brother is the one looking at the monolithic cabins since they are easier, faster and maybe cheaper to setup.

The 2 big reasons they (and I when I get the $) are going monolithic are:
-excellent insulation from heat and cold
-secure building for remote areas (vandals/fire/etc)

Cons are:
-unusual so you have to get people who know how to build them (possible business idea)
-hard to add-on to
-if you are in a more residential area neighbors might not like them... but don't get land where this is a problem (if you can)

If you want to see pictures of the dome being built, let me know via PM.

Offline gigaJack

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #26 on: December 06, 2008, 09:09:34 PM »
After cleaning out our 2 month old Big Berkey I noticed it has some rust in the bottom of the stainless steel container. There are 3 pea size areas where the bottom and the sides meet. I am going to contact the company and ask how to remove the rust and how to prevent it from happening again. Or see if they will exchange it for another. I would also get the clear Berkey-Light so you can see how much water is on the bottom container so you know how much to add to the top. The home brew idea is a great one.

gigaJack

tash

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2008, 11:15:35 AM »
After cleaning out our 2 month old Big Berkey I noticed it has some rust in the bottom of the stainless steel container. There are 3 pea size areas where the bottom and the sides meet. I am going to contact the company and ask how to remove the rust and how to prevent it from happening again. Or see if they will exchange it for another. I would also get the clear Berkey-Light so you can see how much water is on the bottom container so you know how much to add to the top. The home brew idea is a great one.

gigaJack

Let us know what happens when you contact them. I'm interested at how they respond and what they tell you. I'm sure they will do right by you. They seem like a stand up company.

Offline Heavy G

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #28 on: March 08, 2009, 08:11:42 PM »
(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3423.0 )

Offline archer

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Re: DIY Black Berkey Water Filtration System
« Reply #29 on: April 10, 2009, 02:49:07 PM »
Instructions for a Berkey 2-filter water filtering system (almost like Gators):

http://www.alpharubicon.com/kids/homemadeberkeydaire.htm