Build your own
with More than Twice the Capacity as A big Berkey!® BK4X2
Welcome! You might have landed here AFTER watching my Youtube video tutorial. If you haven't yet seen my step by step video, please watch it at the link below now and then come back here and order all your parts in one fell swoop and get yours completed ASAP!
Big Berkey® BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey® Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters Holds 2.25 gallons.
Our DIY version with the same or any filter element you choose. Holds 5 gallons. Handles are optional and can be removed. We've added a sight glass spigot to ours.
You can modify two stock pots with a few drilled holes and create your own gravity fed water filtration system with twice the capacity of a Big Berkey® BK4X2. This is a quick DIY project that will soon become one of your most used and loved items in your kitchen or traveling over the road in your battle-ready RV.
I haven't shopped for water since building my own Berkey®-inspired gravity water filter system. It has seriously liberated me from what was a weekly time, gas, plastic and money-wasting inefficient pain in my you know what. This filter has truly become the most-used, and the best time, gas and money-saving device in my home. It's in constant use!
You are likely familiar with the very popular Berkey® brand countertop gravity water filters. Berkey® makes a beautiful high quality model up to 2.25 gal (8.5 Liter). Who wouldn't want one? And that's why I couldn't resist sharing my DIY version I know you'll love using as much as I do.
I wanted a larger capacity system with the same functionality and quality of a Berkey® and have the same choice in filters. I also wanted to know if my cost would come in less.
You may choose any size stock pot you wish.
I ended up designing mine with a 20 qt. (5 gallon) (18.9 liters) capacity system, more than twice the capacity of the Berkey® 9 qt (2.25 gallon) (8.5 Liter) models.
There are smaller-sized pots available on our Amazon list should you want to build smaller ones.
I built my water filter over a year ago out of pure frustration that I had over being caught in a cycle of going to the big box grocery stores week after week with an awkward load after load of empty water jugs to refill yet again, and again fill my super heavy grocery cart, wait in line again, check out again, load my car again, drive home again, unload the water again and carry it again into the house, restock the pantry again. As I write this, I can't believe I actually did that for for so so so so long! Yuk! So much time, gas and money wasted!
I'm excited for you and your family to enjoy a fun project to work on together and get completed in one fun afternoon.
My friends have been so impressed with my water filter and equally sick and tired of buying and transporting water and burning gas), that they've asked me to build them for their families.
I figured, why not record the build and make it super easy for others to do the same. I recorded a detailed video tutorial of the build. I have shared my exact parts list just below.
So be sure to watch the video first [LINK TO IT HERE] and then
return right here: to order your parts and tools needed from the list below. You'll want to rewatch the video as you build yours so we're doing this together.
ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING (and it's not many items) I used for my project is listed below and it was a pain in the butt to locate everything on Amazon! One of the washers is virtually UNFINDABLE at Ace, Home Depot, or Lowes. Ask me how I know!
PLUS, you can copy my entire...
Scroll down a bit for my LIST just below for how many of each item to order and what the part is for...
[INSERT VIDEO HERE]
Watch video of the build and order everything needed in one order!
No wasting your gas, time and money trying to locate all these items, stand waiting in line, loading, unloading or struggling to find everything at the store!
Get it all delivered! In a few days you'll be ready to assemble!
Here's your detailed list of materials and tools with the whys and hows explained for each item.
The QUICK LIST is further below in GREEN and is great for sharing.
Equals 5 gallons or (18.727 liters). This exact model is what's used in my video and I highly recommend them. Other sizes are available and you may opt for a different size depending upon your needs.
 Propur ProOne Single 5-inch Replacement Filters There are TONS of other water filter choices & filter brands with increasing levels of filtering capabilities and that's why our system is so versatile. Search here for more water filter choices. Ensure the holes you drill in your lid will be sufficient diameter for other brands.
Handles or No Handles?
It's up to you. I suggest removing them if your setup is usually in the same spot. Should you choose to go with no handles, it's easiest to simply use your screws pointed inward with the regular (non-acorn) locking nuts & rubber washers on the INSIDE of the pot.
NEVER CARRY FULL POTS BY THEIR HANDLES We no longer are a stock pot and once the old rivets have been replaced with stainless steel hardware and rubber washers, the handles are slightly movable with the rubber washers.
We'll NEED TO remove (drill out) the factory-installed rivets from our handles because the rivets (a dissimilar metal) corrode against the stainless steel and yucky stuff oozes into the water and stains the inside of the pots.
So, handles or no handles, we still replace these corroding and boring-looking rivets with anti-corrosive, better-looking stainless steel hardware consisting of round head machine screws, locking acorn nuts and rubber washers. Below you'll see two easy looks to accomplish.
When ordering your screws and nuts, and you cannot find the ones I suggest, ensure the thread counts are the same between the two, so they thread together. I used #10-24 for both the locking acorn nuts and machine screws.
Use ONLY LOCKING acorn nuts.
Use ONLY 1/2" screws for your handles as longer ones will bottom-out your acorn nuts.
Rubber Washers (not nylon), will need to be placed on the INSIDE of the pot no matter which orientation you choose for the screws and nuts.
Here's your two choices. Either the locking acorn nut or the machine screw head is visible on the OUTSIDE. And here's those two looks INSIDE and OUTSIDE.
Setup #1 Locking acorn nuts on the INSIDE, with the machine screw head on the OUTSIDE, you'll want to place a rubber washer between the locking acorn nut and the INSIDE of the pot.
The Machine screw you choose may be a hex head (ugly? maybe not), a round head with a phillips or standard driver slot (my choice in video), or an even cleaner looking slotless head.
Setup #2 If using locking acorn nuts on the OUTSIDE and want the screw head on the INSIDE of the pot, choose any machine screw head type you wish (carriage bolts will not work in this setup). In this setup, place a rubber washer on the INSIDE of the pot between the screw head and the INSIDE of the pot. You should not require a rubber washer on the OUTSIDE of the pot with this setup.
Just keep in mind that water can travel along the threads, so nylon locking nuts, along with rubber washers, holds water back. Pipe thread tape or putty can also be used for extra stubborn leaks.
(may be available in smaller quantities).
You need  to replace the 4 on the top lid (optional). If you get longer screws, they will NOT work with the acorn nuts! I suggest you use a rubber washer on the INSIDE of the pot lid with locking acorn nuts. Make sure your locking acorn nuts are also #10-24" link below...
 Rubber Washers 16 for INSIDE of pot, handle screws and 4 for the lid if you choose to switch out its hardware. Since these washers have a bit of "give" or wiggle room, I suggest not carrying the pots when filled with water to prevent damage to handles and pots.
 Rubber Washers for connection of your filter stems-through-lid & pot assembly. These are simply a spacer for between the bottom of the top pot and top of the bottom lid that it rests upon. These allow for a tight and non-leaking filter. Any washer will work with at least 1/2" or 13mm inside diameter to accommodate the filter threaded stem. A garden hose washer. Just make sure they're centered and stacked exactly one upon another when running your filter stems through.
If you want to use carriage bolt heads to show on the OUTSIDE (a slightly sleeker look), place locking acorn nuts on the INSIDE.
Here's where it gets perhaps difficult: you'll need to ensure that the holes (that you drilled through the lid and its handle) accommodates the square neck shaft section -just under the head of a carriage bolt (see below). You can then simply use locking acorn nuts and a rubber washer on the INSIDE of the pot. Link below...Whatever this distance is. I think carriage bolts may be too wide for the handles and not leave enough handle strength. I say, too much work for the slight difference in appearance. A different lid handle altogether is an option.
Do not use non locking nuts, you may get leaks through the threads even with rubber washers. This is not an issue if you never fill either pot above the handle holes. But it's better to have a good seal. Consider this if sloshing around is possible if traveling.
I SUGGEST USING LOCKING ACORN NUTS WITH ALL SETUPS! Why bother with a possible leak and who wants to see the threads? Let's make this thing look as "factory" as we can.
Gasket around the pot's rim to help seal out dust:
As seen below, you (no longer) need to slit it along its length carefully with a razor knife. This process is detailed in the video and you need to be careful and methodical. But it's not hard.
I was able do this much more safely with a scissors pointed away from me and my other hand always BEHIND the scissors.
Therefore, there is no real need to use a razor knife as seen below, if you are not comfortable.
Choice #2 for your two lid gaskets.
 roll Edge Trim
If you do not want to cut as seen above, below is an alternative that looks to be a great choice. I have not tried this product yet, but it looks like it would be a good solution and is less work and no long slicing required. It may not fit quite perfectly but looks like it would seal nicely.
Know how much water you have at a glance! Clear View Water Level with Red Floating Ball, Durable Metal Material, Compatible with the Original Gravity-Fed Water Filtration System.
WiFi Water Level Sensor. Detect when you've reached the maximum fill line in upper pot. Detect when the lower pot is empty and get a text alert! Great for when camping with lots of thirsty campers! When the alarm goes off or the muted light flashes, it's time to have the kids fill the tank!
Raising your filter above counter level is a must for easy hands-free filling of glasses, bottles, coffee/tea pots. In the video, I have used a stool, but it is too tall to fill bottles without splashing, and I am replacing mine with the one below. These Berkey Stands are very nice looking. Order the appropriate 12" diameter.
Rubber weather seal gasket to be placed around the top of the lower pot so the top pot compresses to help seal out debris and water. You'll have plenty left over for other areas around the house and auto.
That is it! If you order all the parts, and tools, this build should only take you a couple hours.
Mallet or hammer or some Vans to tap a screw, nail or center punch into rivets for drilling.
After the SHTF!
THE WATER HAS BEEN TURNED OFF!
Materials & Tools
QUICK LIST :
 Rubber Washers 16 for INSIDE of pot, handle screws and 4 for the lid if you choose to switch out its hardware
What's was my total cost?
Assuming you have most tools, here's what it added up to today for me.
2 Pots 32.47 x 2 = $64.94
2 Propur Filters $41.95 x 2 = $83.90
Spigot Sightglass $44.99
Stainless Steel #10-24 Acorn nuts $8.48
Stainless Steel #10-24 Machine Screws $7.48
Nylon #10 Nylon Washers (Get extra as you may need multiples for some handle holes $7.49
Vinyl tubing for gasket $3.98
Self-stick Rubber Gasket for between bottom lid and bottom of top pot $11.56 (10 ft.)
10" Inner Tube for additional weather proofing in extreme conditions $10.99 (2 pack)
What was the price difference?
A 2.5 gal capacity very similar Berkey® (less than half the capacity of our 5 gallon beast!), is currently...
So subtract our cost of $243 from the current Amazon price above and that's about as close as it gets.
July 13, 2022 list price: $405.00 as I write this on.
Grand total as of today: $243
That's a savings of $162!
And ours has TWICE the capacity.
Not bad for a couple hours of fun and the satisfaction in knowing you made it yourself and it's built to serve your family well for a lifetime!
+ Berkey Counter Stand add $68
Order your materials and get your DIY Gravity Water Filter built and working for you. I'd LOVE to see your project and even share it right here on this page or on our channel! Please like and subscribe to my youtube channel and stop by and join my Facebook and Instagram page for upcoming new videos and instruction! Coming soon: My automatic watering garden!
Thank you for taking action and once and for all taking control of your family's water supply!
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