On Monday, after running a few short errands in town, we came home to find a box in our courtyard. Thinking it was maybe some kitchen gadgets that we had previously ordered, we were ecstatic to find it was our brand new Berkey! It took less than a week to get to our door, and we didn't pay for expedited shipping.
Assembly of the Berkey was similar to building a nuclear weapon. Cleanliness and attention to detail are paramount, and with the stainless steel and black plastic bits lying around my countertop, it felt like an infinitely more nefarious project. The included directions were easy to follow, and after priming our filters, the Berkey was up and running. It wasn't as big as I thought it would be, more like an older coffee urn. If it wasn't for the knob on top, it would almost fit in the space between the countertop and upper cabinets.
I added 20 cups of water to start, and after letting the lower reservior fill a bit, lifted the lever to pour a glass of water. Nothing. Nada. So I ended up taking the spigot apart and now it seems to work, albeit dripping slowly. The warrantly on the Berkey is good, so I'll be contacting the retailer about getting a replacement spigot and washers. The water quality from municipal water, however, is excellent. As previously mentioned, we have a filter in our refridgerator, and the taste of the Berkey water is much cleaner with no metallic taste. I put in cool but not cold water, and the metal has done a good job keeping the water cool even in the 70 degree house. Besides the spigot issue, the Berkey is solid, and I don't forsee it being a weak point in the family emergency water supply.