Author Topic: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?  (Read 734 times)

Offline justin451

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Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« on: September 12, 2017, 01:07:46 PM »
Goal:
produce my own clean water without wasting resources or injuring myself

Berkey:
I found one website that claims to have performed independent testing of their Berkey's water purity and it didn't match Berkey's claims (it reduced fluorine 75% not the claimed 95+). This combined with the fact that Berkey doesn't have NSF certification doesn't sit well with me.
I'd like some sort of published test on the producer of my purifier's site and not only accessible through emails, etc. (that sets of alarms for me that the test isn't reproducible and hidden for a reason).

Has anyone tested their Berkey and would like to share their results?

Reverse Osmosis:
I would like a unit that wastes little water, remineralizes and has a good warranty or won't break
All of the RO units with remineralization I've found leak at least occasionally.
AquaTrue sounded pretty amazing but they also break (its hard to tell how often since they are new and have few ratings).
The damage from leaking should be less as it is a countertop unit, but I've heard their customer service is awful and don't want to be stuck with a $300 brick.

Distiller:
I would like a unit that won't use too much electricity,remineralizes and has a good warranty or won't break
All of the distillers I've found seem to sometimes break quickly.

Request:
Does anyone have a non wasteful RO/distiller that remineralizes that they like?

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2017, 02:14:34 PM »
I had RO for years, Watts was the brand. I know it did waste water through the purification process, I think that's a byproduct of the filtration. I had a friend with RO and they ran the waste line from the filters and used it as grey water. I was not able to do that in my last house with the location of the filter.


Offline Carl

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2017, 02:35:20 PM »
  My thought is you can obtain your requirements with more power and waste or technology that one can not afford.
I want some popcorn and I will stick around as this is of interest to me.   :popcorn: :popcorn:
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Online David in MN

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2017, 03:24:59 PM »
I use a Berkey. I've not had it tested but if I put ten glasses of water in front of you, 9 from the tap and 1 from the Berkey, you'll guess right every time. It does taste different. I've scrubbed the filters a few times and a pasty brown clay like sludge comes off them. I can't prove it works as advertised but I know it is doing something.

YMMV.
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Offline Carl

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2017, 03:57:00 PM »
  I have found that,to me,water tastes better from stainless steel tha from plastic or gla...how can this be?
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Online David in MN

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2017, 04:37:35 PM »
  I have found that,to me,water tastes better from stainless steel tha from plastic or gla...how can this be?

I actually agree. My "water glass" is a 40 ounce stainless steel vacuum insulated thermos. I also like my water at 32 degrees so it's about 50% ice. But it does taste cleaner to me.
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Offline Carl

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2017, 05:37:52 PM »
I actually agree. My "water glass" is a 40 ounce stainless steel vacuum insulated thermos. I also like my water at 32 degrees so it's about 50% ice. But it does taste cleaner to me.

We probably should make a different thread,but I think it has to do with an electrically conductive container verses the insulating effect of glass and plastic as even my glass lined stainless thermos does not taste as good as a stainless lined stainless drink vessel...cool,I thought is was just me..
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Offline justin451

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2017, 03:07:29 PM »
I use a Berkey. I've not had it tested but if I put ten glasses of water in front of you, 9 from the tap and 1 from the Berkey, you'll guess right every time. It does taste different. I've scrubbed the filters a few times and a pasty brown clay like sludge comes off them. I can't prove it works as advertised but I know it is doing something.

YMMV.

I don't doubt that Berkey does something. Even if all it did was remove sediment it could vastly improve water's taste.
I am worried about chemicals like hexavalent chromium and flouride. I can test the water after I get it to see how well Berkey does, but then I have to worry about returning it.

I understand how RO and Distillers could remove chemicals, but I don't understand why Berkey is better than other gravity systems and if they are why they refuse to document it.

All the reasonably good purifiers cost a good deal of money and I want some solid proof before I lay that much down.

Offline LVWood

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2017, 03:41:36 PM »
I have the AquaKinetic A200 from Kinetico.
It's an excellent filtration system, my water tastes way better than bottled.
It is an RO system and utilizes a 1/4" drain line plumed into the main drain.
The only drawback for me is the annual cost of running it.
On average we replace the filters twice a year at $100 bucks a shot.

It came with the house, so would I buy one?
Probably not, it's only good for 500 gallons before filter change.
I'd go with one with twice the capacity.
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Online David in MN

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2017, 03:52:02 PM »
Whatever filter you choose I would generally believe whatever they claim. Any business with falsified claims about their product is a big target for a class action.

Is a Berkey better than other gravity systems? I doubt it. At the end of the day it's just filtering. I doubt you can go wrong if you buy from a reputable manufacturer.
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Offline Alan Georges

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2017, 07:00:43 PM »
... but I don't understand why Berkey is better than other gravity systems and if they are why they refuse to document it.

All the reasonably good purifiers cost a good deal of money and I want some solid proof before I lay that much down.
I share your frustration with this lack of hard numbers from independent lab tests.  Searching around just now for "berkey filter lab test" turned up a lot of drek, but it also turned up these three pages of results that seem credible.
http://www.consciouswater.ca/berkey-water-filter-test-results/
https://www.consciouswater.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Black-Berkey-Virus-Bacteria-Removal-Test-Report.pdf
https://berkeywaterfiltercanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/county-los-angeles-inorganic-test-results.pdf

Like you Justin, I wish that Berkey would be more up-front with their numbers.  On the other hand I also think that most people don't give two damns about the numbers, they just want reassurances and a shiny filter.  People who'll look into the numbers will look up the numbers, but for the other 99% of the market, if you put the numbers up front their eyes will glaze over and they'll drift on to other sites.  No economically feasible home filter can remove 100% all of contaminants, so that would be false advertising.  If you try to say "removes 99.99999% of bacteria," they'll want to know why it doesn't remove ALL bacteria.  Then, as the saying goes, if you have to explain don't bother.

BTW, I have a Berkey in everyday use.  It cleans up the crappy (literally?) municipal water here; the brown tinge :o is gone, and the flavor is much improved.  It's worthwhile for those reasons alone.  But what I really have it for is to treat whatever water's available post-next-bad-hurricane.  I'm mostly worried about bacteria, but protozoa and viruses are also a concern.  From everything I've seen, it'll do the job.

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Offline justin451

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2017, 09:29:44 AM »
I share your frustration with this lack of hard numbers from independent lab tests.  Searching around just now for "berkey filter lab test" turned up a lot of drek, but it also turned up these three pages of results that seem credible.
http://www.consciouswater.ca/berkey-water-filter-test-results/
https://www.consciouswater.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Black-Berkey-Virus-Bacteria-Removal-Test-Report.pdf
https://berkeywaterfiltercanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/county-los-angeles-inorganic-test-results.pdf

Thanks for sharing the tests. I found another positive Berkey test here https://thesafehealthyhome.com/best-countertop-gravity-water-filter-systems-review/
and a bad one here https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2015/09/29/berkey-fluoride-filter-test-results/. I don't particularly trust these or any review I see posted by bloggers,etc. as I don't know if they are being compensated. I was hoping that people in the forum had run tests as I'd trust them a great deal more.

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2017, 09:45:22 AM »

Quote
I found one website that claims to have performed independent testing of their Berkey's water purity and it didn't match Berkey's claims (it reduced fluorine 75% not the claimed 95+). This combined with the fact that Berkey doesn't have NSF certification doesn't sit well with me.
I'd like some sort of published test on the producer of my purifier's site and not only accessible through emails, etc. (that sets of alarms for me that the test isn't reproducible and hidden for a reason).

 I would have to know more about NSF certification. Apparently CA is all over that, but I don't know what it means and some of those types of things could not mean much. Many people use berkee filters, and I think they can filter out quite a bit of bad stuff and claims you can drink pond water by filtering it. If that where completely false I figure someone would have mentioned it. I am not always impressed by what CA does but I will reserve judgement without knowing more about it.

 What I like about berkee however is that they are gravity fed and do not need water pressure, electricity etc.
I always filter my water but I do try to start with the best water I can find. I bring water from my mother's house in 5 gallon containers and filter that. The water in her town is better quality so I don't use the water from my tap. If I had to wash some lettuce, I don't necessarily filter water for that but may use tap water so I am not always totally religious about it.
 





Offline justin451

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2017, 10:06:15 AM »
I share your frustration with this lack of hard numbers from independent lab tests.  Searching around just now for "berkey filter lab test" turned up a lot of drek, but it also turned up these three pages of results that seem credible.
http://www.consciouswater.ca/berkey-water-filter-test-results/
https://www.consciouswater.ca/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Black-Berkey-Virus-Bacteria-Removal-Test-Report.pdf
https://berkeywaterfiltercanada.ca/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/county-los-angeles-inorganic-test-results.pdf

Like you Justin, I wish that Berkey would be more up-front with their numbers.  On the other hand I also think that most people don't give two damns about the numbers, they just want reassurances and a shiny filter.  People who'll look into the numbers will look up the numbers, but for the other 99% of the market, if you put the numbers up front their eyes will glaze over and they'll drift on to other sites.  No economically feasible home filter can remove 100% all of contaminants, so that would be false advertising.  If you try to say "removes 99.99999% of bacteria," they'll want to know why it doesn't remove ALL bacteria.  Then, as the saying goes, if you have to explain don't bother.

BTW, I have a Berkey in everyday use.  It cleans up the crappy (literally?) municipal water here; the brown tinge :o is gone, and the flavor is much improved.  It's worthwhile for those reasons alone.  But what I really have it for is to treat whatever water's available post-next-bad-hurricane.  I'm mostly worried about bacteria, but protozoa and viruses are also a concern.  From everything I've seen, it'll do the job.

I misposted this and couldn't find a way to delete so I am reposting:

Thanks for sharing the tests. I found another positive Berkey test here https://thesafehealthyhome.com/best-countertop-gravity-water-filter-systems-review/
and a bad one here https://ecofriendlymamausa.com/2015/09/29/berkey-fluoride-filter-test-results/. I don't particularly trust these or any review I see posted by bloggers,etc. as I don't know if they are being compensated. I was hoping that people in the forum had run tests as I'd trust them a great deal more.

Offline TheLastBoyscout

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2017, 08:16:37 AM »
Are you looking for a commercial unit or a self created one?
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Offline justin451

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Re: Can anyone share their experience/testing of water purifiers?
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2017, 09:17:58 AM »
Are you looking for a commercial unit or a self created one?

I want something reliable (leak proof) that filters well which could certainly include self made.
Price does matter. If a $50 self made unit does a bad job I can deal with that. If a $300 R/O unit does a bad job I will be quite angry/screwed.

I saw some self made kits but they all used plastic. I am not too keen on plastic as I am not sure what chemicals might leach in that way (even if they are BPA free,  who knows what the next problem chemical will be). I am currently looking at stpaulmercantile.com which is a bit more affordable then Berkey for seemingly comparable technology. It would be awesome to make my own filter body and pair that with stpaulmercantile.com's filters. Do you know of any good stainless steel (or similar) filter body designs?