Sunday, January 23, 2011

Survival Gear Test - Berkey Light Water Purifier - Part Two

Knowing that your survival gear will function properly and when needed is a very important part of being prepared. Being able to rely on your equipment is essential. Having gear that can serve more than a single purpose and serve a needed function suitable for everyday living as well as emergencies is an added bonus.
In Part Two of the survival gear test of the Berkey Light Water Purifier, we will cover the contents of the Go Berkey Kit that was received and its assembly.
Part Two:
The Contents -
First let me say that there was one very conspicuous thing missing upon opening the box. There were no pillow packs or Styrofoam peanuts surrounding everything. Now either the construction material of the Berkey Light is really good or someone left out some packing material. It turns out that the BPA free material is both strong and lightweight. I was glad to see that the filters were packed in their own sturdy box and were surrounding by bubble wrap. The filters are the heart of the system and they took extra care on the packaging of the filters. I’m just glad we didn’t have those Styrofoam peanuts going everywhere.
The second thing to mention is that there were no missing parts. This is a very important detail that is somehow missed by many companies. Lacking the necessary parts can make assembly difficult, if not impossible, depending upon which parts are missing.
The third thing to mention is that were complete instructions for both the assembly of the Berkey Light Water Purifier and the proper installation of the filters. The instructions were clear and concise and left little room for error or mistakes on our part.
Here’s what was received:

A Base Unit

An Upper and Lower Water Chamber

Box of Filters with Installation Instructions

A Spigot and Complete Assembly Instructions

A Lid
This is actually a nylon cover for the upper chamber.

Three Berkey Sport Bottles

The Assembly -
The assembly went quickly and the entire unit was put together in about 15 minutes. This included time to clean the water reservoirs and prime the filters.

The first step in the assembly process is to wash the upper and lower chambers with warm soapy water and rinse thoroughly afterwards.

The second step is to prime the filters using either the priming button (supplied with the filters) or one of the Sport Berkey Bottles. Be careful when priming the filters or you will have water spraying everywhere. You will need to keep a firm seal between the primer button and the water faucet when priming the filters. It took less than a minute to prime both filters.

The third step is to install the filters in the upper chamber. This is easily determined by the two small mounting holes in the reservoir. When installing the filters, it is very important to only hand tighten them.

The fourth step is to install the spigot in the lower reservoir. Once again, hand tighten the spigot to avoid damaging the unit. Make sure you adjust it so that the spigot has the proper alignment for dispensing water.

The fifth step is to assemble the base and the upper and lower chambers. This was easy to do. Simply insert one side and with a little pressure snap the other side in place. You now have a completely assembled water purification and filtration unit. Once assembled, it takes up little more cabinet space than the average coffee maker.

The final step is to perform a Red Dye Test to make sure everything is sealed and properly functioning.

If your unit has been properly assembled, the water will be clear and clean with no evidence of the red dye in your filtered water.

As received, the unit was complete in all aspects. It had all the required parts and the necessary instructions. It assembled quickly in less than 15 minutes and the parts fit extremely well. The only thing you need to add is a Scotch Brite scrubbing pad to occasionally clean the filters per the manufacturer’s instructions. You should also consider keeping the small box the filters came in for transport purposes in case you need to bug out and need to take your Berkey Light on a trip.
My friend made a very good decision when purchasing this unit and it gets a big “thumbs up” from Riverwalker! This is a really great item from Directive21.
Special thanks to RW, Jr. for assembling this unit while pictures of the process were being taken by yours truly. 

Thanks also go to my good friend who allowed me the privilege of checking out his new water purification and filtration system.

Staying above the water line!



Anonymous said...

I like it and yet it is very large.

Perhaps a smaller unit with a single filter element could be produced for those of us not needing 100's of gallons a day. Someting about as large as two half gallon milk containers where one is slightly small around then the other so it can store itself inside the base unit. I could easily store something no bigger the 1/2 gallon of milk in my cabinet. It would be easier to take with me in case I need to.

John said...

No doubt, the size of such a quality product is a real plus.

Anonymous said...

I think I could make some money with this. Buy the filters and make a smaller design and a design that stores inside itself so it takes up less room. If the company can't see the value in that then maybe I can take advantage of their short sightedness.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 2:52

The Berkey Sport bottles are fairly compact and store easily and work well for emergency water purification and filtration.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To: John

The unit actually has a fairly small footprint for it's capacity. It is also extremely lightweight (less the water of course) and has the ability to treat enough water for the daily use of a small family.

Thanks John.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 5:22

The Sport Berkey bottles are fairly compact but something in an intermediate range may have some value as far as a more compact unit.

Thanks anon.


Anonymous said...

Thanks RW for this interesting post. I too just purchased a Berkey water purification unit (Royal Berkey) from Directive 21. I received it last Wednesday and set it up Thursday. My experiences with it was exactly like yours, no shipping damage, no "peanuts", no missing parts, good instructions, it assembled easily and seems to work well. I purchased a spare set of black filters and a sight glass spigot. I think the sight glass is a worthwhile purchase for the stainless steel version of the filtration unit in that it allows you to see where your useable water level is. The spare filters will allow me to double the filtration rate.

I'm stuck in the suburbs due to my wife's health. And due to her health, I have to stay pretty close to her at all times, when we don't have a nurse to look after her and therefore couldn't go foraging for a water source when the fecal material hits the air circulating device. As of now, my plan is to use the Berkey as a bartering tool, I could provide 3 quarts of clean water to my neighbors for every gallon of raw water they bring me. Might have to work on my personal security a bit with this plan.

I enjoy your blog every day. Keep up the good work.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 7:07

Great to hear that your experience with this item was similar even though you had the stainless steel version. I agree that the spigot with a sight tube is a great addition for the stainless steel versions.

Thanks anon.


Anonymous said...

Why did your friend get the plastic Berkey Light system instead of one of the stainless steel ones? Was it a matter of cost? Weight? Something else?

Thanks. I am planning to get some Berkey system or other within the next couple of weeks, plus a couple spare filters for true SHTF protection/bartering.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps a smaller unit with a single filter element could be produced for those of us not needing 100's of gallons a day. Someting about as large as two half gallon milk containers where one is slightly small around then the other so it can store itself inside the base unit. I could easily store something no bigger the 1/2 gallon of milk in my cabinet. It would be easier to take with me in case I need to."

Try the Go Berkey system that holds 1 quart:

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 5:32

Weight was one of the main factor in his decision to go with a Berkey Light system.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To; anonymous 5:34

The Go Berkey is also a good choice for a smaller and more compact unit. It can also filter and purify enough water for multiple persons.

Thanks for the reminder about the Go Berkey kit.


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