DIY Family Water Filter

I would imagine that many of our readers have looked longingly at the Berkey water filters and thought, “If only the price was lower, I could really use one of those.”  Well, I thought exactly the same thing.  As I was thinking that exact same thing, I was looking at some of the free buckets I had recently gotten from Sam’s Club for food storage.  Suddenly, a light bulb appeared over my head.  Why not make my own filter?

The heart and soul of the Berkey filters are the filter elements themselves.  I didn’t really need a fancy stainless steel container to dispense my filtered water.  Maybe, just maybe those free give gallon buckets sitting across the room would work.  I decided to give it a try.

Here’s what I came up with:

Materials Needed:
2 Black Berkey Filter Elements: $107.00
1 Berkey Light Spigot: $10.00
2 Four-gallon Food-grade Plastic Buckets (free at Sam’s Club)

Tools Needed:
3/8″ Drill Bit
5/8″ Drill Bit

Step 1: Stack the buckets and drill two 3/8″ holes through the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket

Stacked Buckets

Step 2: Insert the threaded tubes of the filter elements through the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket. Screw the keeper nuts onto the filters and tighten them to finger-tight (do not over-tighten). The included washer should be on the filter tube inside the top bucket.

Insert Filters

At this point your buckets should look like this:

Filters In Bucket

Filters in Bucket

Step 3: Drill a 5/8″ hole in the side of the bottom bucket near the bottom. Make sure you leave enough room for the spigot’s nozzle below the hole. Slide the threaded spigot tube through the hole and tighten down the keeper nut. There should be a washer on either side of the bucket.


Your finished filter will look like this.

Finished Filter

The twin filters are good for 6000 gallons of water.  I can filter about four gallons of water an hour.  You might want to make tic marks on the lid or the side of the buckets to keep track of how many gallons you’ve filtered.  You might also want to buy a second pair of filters.  You know, just in case ….

Plan | Prepare


6 comments on “DIY Family Water Filter

  1. John E. Watkins says:

    Thanks for the well prepared and simply stated instructions. I have sent them to all family members, with the hope they will buy the supplies (better yet build it) for when needed.
    Although the gph would be less, would it seems logical to use just one filter in each system allowing the ability to know when each filter has passed 3000 gallons, with 2 systems, the output should be the same?
    As my home on 20 acres is the “out of town designated meeting place”, I plan to impliment your other information on a well too, which I will ask them to help me drill immediately. We are a extended former military family with all members familar with weapons and self defense.
    I see an EMP strike from N. Korea/Iran, (delivery methods already practiced and perfected and congress estimates a 100,000,000 dead the first year from starvationn, disease and anarchy.) as a probability sooner rather than later.
    Also, a Rapid Response Team member of the T.N.Guard informed me that China’s military exercise last year was a nuclear strike on the west coast of the U.S. including cities as far east as Dallas, Texas. Each year for decades China’s air raid drills have been and are based on U.S.A. air strikes. Maybe it’s a few years off though before they actually do it, as they don’t want the retaliation we still can deliver, for now. An U.S./ worldwide economic collapse is pending, too. All or one will change everything worldwide.
    I can not read about the “last days” and not believe that it is upon us. Christians were to flee Jeruselum and hide in the mountains when they saw the signs of the end (by the Romans) in the 60’s and we should prepare just the same for HIS wrath at the end of this present world (world system of wickedness), whatever specific means he uses to bring it about.

    • Mudinyeri says:

      Thank you for your comment, John. The goal with this filter is to provide enough water for a family. Hence, I feel the GPH output is critical. If you have a smaller family, a single filter might be adequate.

      It sounds as though you and your family are well equipped for what my happen in the not-too-distant future.

  2. Appreciate you sharing, great blog article.Much thanks again. Really Great.

  3. Rachel says:

    What about using something like this?

    Seems like it would be cheaper. Do the Berkey filters filter out something else?

    • Mudinyeri says:

      It appears that those ceramic filters filter ~99% of bacterial pathogens. The Berkey “black” filters filter 100% of bacterial pathogens. This is a case where 1% = a significant amount.

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