Today we’re reviewing the Big Berkey BK4X2. I know that most of you just want a solid yes or no to whether you should purchase this filter.
The answer is yes you should purchase this. Just keep in mind that this unit is more expensive than other comparable models. I believe it’s worth the money and this article will explain the reasoning. If you want a less expensive model, then check out our reviews of the best countertop water dispensers.
Also, most of you don’t want to read about hardcore filtration talk, so we’ll keep this review nice and easy to understand, but still informative.
You’re probably buying a filter because you want to remove the contaminants from water. So we’ll start with all the contaminants that this filter can remove.
Microorganisms: This filter can remove a bunch of different microorganisms from water. Some examples include bacteria (E.coli), viruses, protozoa, and cysts. Obviously, you don’t want to drink anything like that because it will make you sick.
What is more surprising is the amount of those bacteria and viruses found in municipal tap water. This is especially true if something goes wrong at the water treatment center.
Chlorine: Chlorine is pretty abundant in municipal tap water as it is used to disinfect the water. However, it does not taste very good and it smells bad.
Most people do not like the taste of the chlorine and wish to remove it from their water. It also might have some negative effects on the human body, but those claims are unfounded at the moment. More research must be conducted.
Anyway, the Big Berkey can remove the chlorine from water. This makes the water taste much better.
Heavy Metals: It removes some heavy metals including lead, mercury, and arsenic. Now, it does not remove 100% of these, but the number usually ranges from 90% to 99%. I don’t think I need to explain why lead or mercury in tap water is bad.
Fluoride: This is one of the most common questions. Everyone wants to remove fluoride. This system removes fluoride. You can read more about the negative effects of fluoride by clicking this link. Short story, you want to remove fluoride from your water.
Miscellaneous Contaminants: This system can remove a bunch of other contaminants as well. Some of them include volatile organic compound (VOC), total organic carbons (TOC), pesticides, and herbicides. Obviously, all of these can all negatively impact your health.
Ease of Operation
This is an easy unit to operate. You literally just pour water into the reservoir and turn the spigot on you want water. It really doesn’t get much easier than this.
The unit has a 2.5 gallon stainless steel tank, which should last a family of four about a day or two. We like the stainless steel tank because it reduces the chances of plastics leeching into the water. Stainless steel is also much easier to clean. Plus, it just looks better than plastic.
Keep in mind that this does not cool water. You must use ice, or put this in your refrigerator, if you want cold water. Make sure the ice is filtered too or else the whole point of using this is defeated.
Maintaining this is pretty easy. The only maintenance required is cleaning the spigot, the reservoir, and replacing the filters.
The main purification filter must be replaced every 3000 gallons. In other words, it will last 3 years assuming you use one tank of water per day. We recommend changing it every year though. Those things get dirty and can build up harmful bacteria.
It also has a fluoride filter that lasts about 1,000 gallons. You should change that every 6 months just to be on the safe side.
Wipe down the spigot every week. You don’t want that weird black algae stuff forming on it. It can give you a sore throat.
You should clean the interior every month. Again, you don’t want that weird black algae forming as that can have some negative health effects. It’s also kind of gross.
Frequently Asked Questions
An excellent water filter that looks great and works great as well. The Big Berkey can filter out a wide range of contaminants. Some of these include fluoride, chlorine, mercury, lead, and various different microorganisms.
It is portable, which makes it nice for moving around. You can even bring it on vacation. Most homeowners will probably keep this on their countertop.
The stainless steel design gives it a nice modern design that looks great in most kitchen. Additionally, you can easily clean the stainless steel when necessary.
All in all, we recommend this filter for most people. Just keep in mind that Berkey is a more expensive brand than some of the competition.