August 7, 2014 at 1:55 pm #21310
I have found that the same food grade buckets used for food storage that I had posted before on http://community.shtfschool.com/forums/topic/storing-food-in-five-gallon-buckets/ can also be used for a home made up water filter system using the same berkey water filters.
Start by using two food grade buckets one on top of the other, drill the holes on the bottom of the top bucket though the top of the bottom bucket to and add to filters.
Use Water Dispenser Replacement Faucet you can buy one at Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Water-Dispenser-Replacement-Faucet-White/dp/B000BARBGK/ref=pd_sim_hi_15?ie=UTF8&refRID=03F2EP49TD9QXW51DWHJ
Use Berkey SSCF-9 9-Inch Ceramic Replacement Filters, 2-Pack
Here you will find all the images to how to make one, I have made them. They are very easy to make and for less then $100 you have the same system as a Berkey which cost $300.
*Home Made Berkey Water Filter*August 7, 2014 at 4:53 pm #21328
Excellent post freedom! Knowing how to make a good water filter is a must for anyone.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.August 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm #21329
This is great information! My current water filtration is a very basic emergency setup geared for two people only, and I’ve been looking for an economical way to expand it. Definitely printing out this tutorial and trying it!August 7, 2014 at 5:27 pm #21331
I have built one for my use and plan to build another one. Once you have built the first one all you need is to replace the two filters every 6,000 to 7,000 gallons. So that is only $70. Not bad.August 7, 2014 at 5:59 pm #21335
How fast does the water filter through the system?August 7, 2014 at 6:11 pm #21337
It goes at the same rate as the Berkey since it is using the same filters. It is about two to four gallons an hour, depends on how bad the water is before you filter it. You can built it with the ceramic or there black filter, they sale them as replacement for the Berkey system. Here is a website that sells the Berkey click on the specs where they give you the rates. http://www.berkeyfilters.com/berkey-water-filters/big-berkey.html?gclid=CJ_JzpnfgcACFZTm7AodElEAvA
By building one the way I did you save a lot and you can make three for the price of one Berkey.August 8, 2014 at 7:55 am #21377
considering what i have sen put into a berkey and was drinkable on other side… the container does not matter the filters do … still using Berkey filters.
i have many of these but one thing you should know is if the water has visible debris use a cloth filter first to extend use of the filters from berkey… scrubbing outside with a cloth and vinegar every few months will clean off amazing amount of terrible stuff from city water.
we put through the tailing pond water through it with an additional heavy metal cartridge … it was better than tap water.
three places never to cut cost on filtration water/air, weapons and accessories, tools mechanical and medical
i had a person a few years at me buying extra actual combat digi pattern brand new at $400 a top and pants…. you can get on ebay for $60 same pattern for both top and bottoms…. when we went at night and used nv/ thermal… it was a glowing difference they where a beacon me nearly no signature at less than 5 m. its the things you dont see coming that get you.August 9, 2014 at 2:41 am #21420
I wonder if you could load snow and ice into them in the winter and as it melts it would filter it into drinkable water?August 9, 2014 at 2:47 am #21421
As long as it melts into water it will filter it.August 9, 2014 at 3:44 am #21424
Freedom – great post. I’d seen this and thought about it for a while and I am going to still make my own, but I want to replicate the stainless container that the berkey uses to keep light transmission to a minimum and thus keep algae growth down. My plan is to use two stainless stock pots – cut the handle off of the lid of one and do the same thing.
BTW, there are also YouTube vids on this – just look for “Homemade Berkey” or such.
P.S. Like the new avatar!
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas PaineAugust 9, 2014 at 2:20 pm #21441
Thank you! I love the avatar too! Yes it can be done with a stainless steel containers. Once you do it please post it here. I was also thinking of doing I one gallon system to make it easier to carry.September 6, 2014 at 5:21 am #24269
Katadyn makes a filter system like the Berky. If they say the filters will do 6000 gal. I wouldnt believe it. Maybe with tap water. the only water we intend to use will be dehumidifier or rainwater. And then use a Brita or make a larger activated carbon filter. Our primary water source is lake water filtered an treated. Ugh for taste and floride. Even in its natural state we try to avoid it. Since Fuku we’ve pretty much used distilled water for cooking and drinking. Cost is relative.September 6, 2014 at 2:25 pm #24282
The Katadyn filters are very good too. You need to have a good Berkey or Katadyn filter because you just do not know what will happen in a large SHTF times. You may have to bug out because a large group is coming to your house and to save your family it is best to go than to fight a war that you may lose. Then you will need to find water that you may need to filter.
Always think of all things that may go wrong and prepare for them too.July 10, 2015 at 4:01 am #42441
Just found this old thread and thought I’d comment and hopefully add a little to it. We built the home-made Berkey with two buckets, and absolutely love it. We’ve drunk nothing but that water for probably close to three years now. About six months ago we added two more filters to the bucket (total of four now), and that gives us 12,000 gallons. I spoke directly with the company and asked just how long the filters will last in years, not gallons, if usage is relatively low (just my wife and me now, generally). Instead of trying to go for more sales by low-balling the estimate, he was very direct – the length of time, he said, does not matter. Remember to mark the outer rim of the top bucket with “old” and “new” corresponding to which filters are the ones you’ve had for a while, if you add two more later, so you know which to replace when you hit your first 6000 gallons.
We’ve found that every once in awhile it’s good to take a scrubber pad and lightly scrub the outsides of the filters. Also, if you don’t use enough to refill frequently, they will tend to dry out and air replaces the water inside the filters. That will eventually slow down the flow dramatically. So occasionally take the filters out when you clean them and re-prime them according to the original instructions (using the little rubber ring provided – KEEP the instructions and the rubber ring).
Also, be sure to occasionally put several drops of red food coloring in the top bucket as you fill it, sufficient to turn the water quite red. That will assure you that you’re not leaking water through to the bottom, unfiltered. There was a brief period where they had some filters that leaked, but fixed that problem a few years ago.
Living in the South (intentional use of the upper case “S”) every couple of months or so – less in he winter – we begin to smell a little bit of a musty odor in the bottom bucket – mildew starting. Berkey recommended thoroughly wiping down the inside of the bottom bucket using white vinegar, then rinse thoroughly. It works great! We just take a paper towel and saturate it with vinegar, and use that for wiping down the entire bottom bucket, making sure to get all the little spaces around the inside of the lid on top of the bottom bucket. That’s could be a good time to clean the outside of the filters in the top bucket, and re-prime them according to instructions to get maximum flow – makes a very big difference. If you also use the fluoride filters in the bottom bucket (we do), don’t forget to wipe those down thoroughly with the vinegar and rinse them too – that’s actually where we begin to notice the very subtle mildew buildup whenever we do actually see it (generally we only see it on the vinegar-soaked paper towel used to wipe the outside of the fluoride/arsenic filters – too slight to actually see until concentrated on the paper towel after wiping). (NOTE: if using the fluoride/arsenic filters, remember that they have a smaller capacity than 6000 gallons per pair for the primary black filters.)
We had some relatives spend the week at Christmas last year, and they could not get over the taste of our water. It’s from the tap in the kitchen before it goes in the Berkey, but they could hardly believe us until they saw us refill the top bucket and drank some of the water directly out of the bottom bucket (we also keep a couple of ½ gallon containers in the fridge so there’s a nice supply of cold water). I have read the specs on both the ceramic and black Berkey filters, and there is no comparison. The black Berkey filter will take out almost everything! I know of a Soldier that built such a filter while deployed in Iraq, and they’d pour scummy ditch water in it at times. No one ever got sick (which is easy to understand once you actually look at the list of what’s removed, and the degree to which it is removed with the black filters, compared to the ceramics). I was told by Berkey that they don’t actually manufacture the ceramics themselves, though they still market them as their own. But the black filters are theirs.
One last hint. We got a cheap 4-wheeled mechanic’s seat with adjustable height on sale at Harbor Freight last year, and now sit the home-made Berkey filter on the round seat (fits almost perfectly). You can raise or lower it at will, making it easy to fill pitchers, pans, pots, or just glasses. And you can roll it out of sight to a storage room, closet, whatever, when not in use. We just roll it into the kitchen to the sink, pull out the extended nozzle on the sink, turn it on, and let it fill the top bucket (we keep a cloth over the top bucket normally, rather than seal it with a plastic lid on the top bucket – good air flow, so far never a mildew problem in the top bucket). We have a large “sticky note” on the side, and just make “tick marks” on the right side of it to keep track of the number of fills. At the end of each line of groups of five tick marks each, we just add the total number of gallons associated with that number of fills, in a running total on the right hand column. Wheeling the heavy, filled system back where it is kept out of the way and out of sight is easy, due to the wheels on the mechanic’s seat. No heavy lifting, and yet the spigot on the bottom is easily accessible for filling containers due to being up on top of the mechanic’s seat.
Combined with a rain water collection and storage system outside (will post that some time in the hopefully near future), and the higher rain totals here than in many parts of the country, we should do just fine in the event of a loss of city water. Currently we use the collected water for the garden.
Remember: only the bottom bucket needs to be food grade, if you can’t find a lot of them easily. The filters take out virtually all harmful chemicals from what’s in the top bucket.
At just barely over $100/pair of black Berkey filters plus $25 or $30 for parts max, 6000 gallons of water will cost out at only about 2¢ per gallon. You can’t drink better (or better tasting) water at any price, and even at Sam’s Club prices for excellent spring water, you pay about 15¢ for a ½ liter bottle of water. Any way you look at it, the Berkey filters clearly the best way to go for normal as well as survival drinking water. You can’t find better specs on what’s filtered out anywhere, as far as I’ve been able to find, and I’ve searched extensively. Just be sure you’re buying the filters directly from Berkey – there is at least one company making it appear that they’re the actual company because they’re authorized to use the name. Deal with the company itself (hint: they’re NOT the folks in Colorado). http://berkeywater.com/ The company name that actually produces the filters is New Millenium Concepts. They take much better care of problems than at least some of the ones licensed to use the Berkey name as they sell Berkey products. We almost quit using them because of very poor customer service in a problem situation last year – until we learned they weren’t really THE Berkey company – they just sold their filters.
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