Important Notice to Berkey Customers

January 21st, 2023

If you have purchased Black Berkey replacement elements from Watermatters™ since August 2021 that you have stored for future use, or if your elements are in use and ... More »

Berkey® Water Filters Details

The Berkey® line of durable water filters are constructed of easy-to-clean, high quality 304 stainless steel. Compare 6 sizes of stainless water filters to find the one that best meets your needs.

Berky® Water Filters are collapsible for transport and storage.

Black Berkey® replacement filter cartridges are called ‘elements’. Gravity pulls water through the Berkey® elements. Black Berkey® filtration elements are a
very compact carbon matrix containing millions of microscopic pores. They utilize the properties of adsorption and absorption to remove contaminants. This natural process gives water effective and lingering contact with the filtering media.

All Berkey® filtration systems are standard equipped with 2 filtration elements (except for the compact Go Berkey® Kit which houses one element only). Most models can incorporate additional elements, if needed, for faster yields of purified water.

Gravity pulls water through the Berkey® elements. This natural process gives water effective and lingering contact with the filtration media. In contrast, most other filtration systems force water rapidly through filtration media resulting in reduced contact time and sacrificing effectiveness.

Do not use Berkey® elements to filter salt water.

Guidelines for calculating water consumption

For sustained use (ongoing water needs for drinking, cooking, cleaning & hygiene), figure one to two gallons per day per person.
For short-term and/or emergency use, figure one half to one gallon per day per person.

Speed of refilling

Several factors influence the rate of refill.
–  By adding more elements to a Berkey® system the water is given more pathways and the speed of refilling increases.
–  Bigger systems hold more water in the upper reservoir creating more weight and pressure which forces the water through the elements at a faster flow rate.
–  As water levels drop, flow rates decrease.

Choose the right size Berkey® by your peak water needs

Bigger Berkey® systems have a larger holding capacity providing more reserve to meet peak consumption needs. Imagine maximum potential demands from all possible users converging simultaneously on your Berkey® for filtered water. Choose your Berkey® size to meet your peak water demand.

All units produce the same quality of water. The bigger systems produce more water.
The chart below is based on maximum flow when the upper chamber is full of water. The speed will decrease as the water level drops. If you use lots of water you should probably purchase the next size up from that indicated on the chart.

System Holding Capacity (Gal) Flow Rate* (GPH)
Travel Berkey® 1.5 2.75
Berkey Light® 2.4 3.75
Big Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 2.1 3.5
Big Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 2.25 7
Royal Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 3 4
Royal Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 3 8
Imperial Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 4.5 5.5
Imperial Berkey® w/ 4 Filters 4.5 11
Imperial Berkey® w/ 6 Filters 4.5 16.5
Crown Berkey® w/ 2 Filters 6 6.5
Crown Berkey™w/ 4 Filters 6 13
Crown Berkey™w/ 6 Filters 6 19.5
Crown Berkey™w/ 8 Filters 6 26

* Flow rate when upper chamber is full of water. Flow rate decreases as water level descends.

Black Berkey® elements can be cleaned and re-used repeatedly

After prolonged use (quality of source water will determine how long) the flow rate will start to slow. This is an indicator that the elements should be cleaned by scrubbing their exterior under running water with a 3m or ScotchBrite scrubbing pad (without soap!) or a stiff toothbrush. This cleaning process can be repeated many times as needed.

When should Berkey® elements be replaced?

Black Berkey® filtration elements have an approximate filtration life capacity of 3000 gallons. However, capacity for some contaminants will be exhausted more quickly than for others. Therefore we recommend replacing elements approximately approximately every 18 – 24 months, especially if used with chlorinated water. Most certainly, if you have repeatedly cleaned your cartridges and cleaning no longer increases the flow rate, then it is time to replace the cartridges.


Berkey® systems are warranted for 12 months from date of purchase. Black Berkey® filtration elements have a two-year prorated warranty calculated in six months intervals.