Like a loaf of bread and a gallon of milk, a case of water bottles is one of those non-negotiable staples always etched down on my grocery shopping list. After all, water is what keeps us moving, and without it, well...you know. Of course, we all know that hauling a case back home isn’t particularly fun—and when a flight of stairs is added to the mix, it only makes you want to put off the task even more. That being said, investing in a water filter has definitely been on my mind lately. However, before I settled on my Berkey Travel Water Filter, I had never been able to decide on a water filter since the internet is chock full of different product options.
Yes, I have given a lot of thought to buying affordable pitcher or water bottle filters—especially since I have well water. However, remembering the days of constantly filling up my college Brita in the dormitory bathroom down the hall left me wanting a larger filter that I did not have to constantly refill. Thankfully, I wouldn’t have to comb through the internet for a nicely sized water filter that is both travel-friendly and doesn't require constant refills, as once I got my hands on the Berkey Travel Water Filter, my days of hauling cases of water bottles were about to be put to an end.
Before we go any further, keep in mind that Berkey water filters work a lot differently than your usual crop of water filters. Instead of filling up a pitcher or water bottle with a changeable filter encased inside, Berkey filters consist of a two-chamber stainless steel canister and black cylinder-like purification elements that purify water. While there are different-sized Berkey filters to choose from, I figured the travel-sized Berkey was a great product to start with, as it stores 1.5 gallons of water, uses two purifying elements, wouldn’t take up too much counter space, and would come in handy for camping trips and/or emergencies.
Yes, I will definitely acknowledge that this filter is pricier than most. However, I figured it would definitely be an investment item that would help me cut down on water bottle expenses in the long run since you use tap water to fill it. However, if you are a new Berkey user like myself, setting up your filter is a pretty time-consuming experience with most of the setup concentrated on ensuring the filter elements are ‘primed’ before they are inserted into the top chamber.
To prime your water filters, users have to attach an included priming button onto the filter and then place the filter onto a sink faucet in order to prime it. If the element ‘sweats’ beads of water while attached to the sink faucet, your element is primed and ready to use. If your filters don’t ‘sweat’, you may have to use a sponge or a toothbrush to open up the pores of the element, and, then, proceed to prime it again.
Once your filters are primed and attached back into the top chamber, the product set up isn’t completely finished just yet—users have to then test the water before they drink it to ensure the elements are actually filtering out contaminants. To test the water, users have to fill up the top chamber of the steel with water, and then add some drops of red food coloring to the water. If the water that is filtered out into the lower chamber is completely clear your filter is ready to go. If not, you may have to further prime your elements and test the water again.
So, once everything is set up correctly, does the Berkey Travel filter actually work? While I am the kind of person who thinks all water tastes no matter the brand, it is comforting to know that the brand eliminates up to 203 toxins from water post-filtration—which can take less than an hour if you’ve primed your elements right. These removed toxins include herbicides, arsenic, mercury, pesticides, and heavy metals which have been verified by certified independent test results. Because I use tap water to cook, water my plants, and or make sure my cats’ drinking bowl is full, it’s nice to know that the water I use in my daily life is a lot cleaner than before.
Though, probably the most valuable and useful insight I’ve gained while using the Berkey Travel Filter is patience. It personally took me a day or so to completely set things up, and while priming does take time—and a lot of trial and error—it’s completely worth it in the end. After all, not only do I have cleaner drinking water I can use for everything right at my fingertips but long gone will be the days of backaches and water expenses going forward.
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