Homemade Berkey Water Filter

Discussion in 'Back to Basics' started by Mountainman, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    Brokor, stg58, tulianr and 1 other person like this.
  2. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    I'm making one! Gravity will hold us together!
  3. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    $100? mine didnt cost me a thing
    CaboWabo5150 likes this.
  4. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    The main cost is the 2 filters, between $90 - $100. I'm interested in what you have???
  5. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    linen, sand, peastone, powdered carbon
  6. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    Made your own filter, cool. how much longer will yours last?
  7. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    What Avarice asked. Also curious about what you have the filtering material in and what is the depth of each material.
  8. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    lay the linen or fine cloth on the bottom of the top bucket
    cover it with a 3-4 inch layer of sand
    nother layer of cloth
    6-8 inches of powdered charcoal, not briquets
    then peastone on top to catch big stuff
    i usually change filter after about 50 gals of water
    dont cost nothin so its better to have it clean
    the cloth of course can be washed, boiled and reused many times
    Mountainman and Sapper John like this.
  9. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    in an emergency dried grass or hay can replace the linen
    just toss the first batch ya filter or pass it thru again
  10. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart,Deadman Walking, Snow Monkey Moderator

    Then you can recycle the SAND, by cooking it over a HOT Fire, letting it cool and then reusing it. Not so, with the Charcoal, that you just burn, and make some new for the next filter. Charcoal reacts chemically with the stuff you are filtering out (Organics) and binds them to the charcoal, so to dispose of it you just burn it, like maybe in the fire that you are roasting your sand with..... ......
  11. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    you can also use the used charcoal to boil the filtered water
    making it much safer yet
    there are things that will pass thru a filter like this
    clay would be great to add but no one wants to wait weeks for their water...lol
  12. Avarice

    Avarice California Health Junkie

    That's good to know how to do, make you own filter, but isn't it such a hassle?

    The Black Berkey filter is supposed to do something like 3,000 gallons each. A system that has two will need to change filters every 6k gallons. That's a lot of gallons, and it's safe to use.

    Water is just as important as food, so I'll spend a grip on filters, and make my own Berkey, thanks for the plan!

    I bought activated charcoal, for ingestion, for it's properties. Got it in pills and powder form.

    I bet we could grab a 55 gallon drum, and put 4 filters on the bottom, place it on another drum, and have water for a whole camp. Too much?
  13. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    in a pinch i can find clay and make my own filter from all native materials
    thats what i like being able to do, not have to rely on things i may not have
  14. Awesome stuff! I built a filter using a 4" pvc pipe filled with charcoal and cotton. I Layered the two about 10 times alternating coarse charcoal with fine charcoal. Your system seems a little more straight forward. I will have to try it out for myself.
  15. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    We "bugged out" for a weekend with about 35-40 others with two Berkeys. They kept us in clean potable water from the creek. We kept them full and stored the clean water when the tanks got full. We have a multi filter system and an electronic "debugger" on standby. Would like to think we can filter out anything.
  16. beast

    beast backwoodsman

    what a sand and charcoal filter doesnt remove
    a good rolling boil will kill :)
    Sapper John likes this.
  17. Mountainman

    Mountainman Großes Mitglied Site Supporter+++

    I put together my homemade Berkey filter yesterday and tested it out. You are suppose to prime the filters before use, but I wanted to try it out without doing that. I put 5 gallons in the top bucket and checked the output at 1 and 2 hours. 1 hour = just over 1 gallon and the 2nd hour = 3/4 of a gallon. After that I just let it go until it stopped filtering. It filtered 4 gallons and left 1 gallon in the top bucket - not enough pressure to push it through the filters.
  18. barfife

    barfife Monkey+

    I built mine using two 5 gallon buckets and a ceramic filter from dirtcheap.com ($32) or you can whole system for $50. Works great down to .02 microns.
  19. fanderal

    fanderal Monkey+

    I built mine last weekend.

    2- 5 gal icing pails from bakery
    2- Black Berkey filter elements
    1- replacement spigot for Igloo type water coolers

    The only thing I did different from the instructions first given, was instead of two holes in the lid of the receiving bucket, I cut ONE hole big enough to span the distance between the output pipes on the filter bucket. That way I don't have to be so precise when placing the filter bucket on top of the receiving bucket.

    It works great.


    P.S. Definitely make sure you prime the filters first.
  20. fanderal

    fanderal Monkey+


    This past weekend both of my filters came out of their bases. I had heard about this problem on another board, and called the company, just a few minutes ago.

    Q: did they fail at the base?
    A: Yes

    Q: How long have you had them?
    A: less than three months

    Q: Who did you buy them from?
    A: Pleasant Hill Grains

    Q: Where would you like me to send your replacements? I will include return postage for the broken filters.

    Now THAT'S customer service.

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