DIY 5 Gallon Water Filter for $30!

Yup, you read right. A 5 gallon water gravity water filter for $30.


I have always wanted a Berkey water filter. Tall, shiny, silver, water purifying happiness. But the price tag?? Waaaay out of my budget. The 3.25 gallon Berkey is $283.00. Almost half one month’s rent. And twice the cost of monthly utilities. Now, don’t get me wrong, Berkey’s are awesome and I would still like to get one. But its a big purchase and would require saving a lot of money and a lot of time. I need clean, good drinking water now.

So about a month ago I entered a giveaway to win a royal Berkey (which I didn’t win). One of the entries was earned by commenting on the blog post. A few days later I got a Facebook message on the blogs Facebook. A really nice guy messaged me and told me you can make your own for around $30!! It had never even crossed my mind. So he showed me his, and I researched it more online to see what I could find. Turns out, tons of people make their own!

So, without further ado, I’d love to share a tutorial on making your own =)

*Disclaimer- Not my original idea!! I’m simply sharing with you what I have learned in a (hopefully) helpful, easy to follow tutorial so more people can have clean drinking water!!*

You will need:

  • 2 food grade, five gallon buckets with at least one lid. You have to be able to stack the top bucket on top of the bottom bucket’s lid.

(I got mine from the pickle stand at my local farmer’s market, they sell the pickles out of 5 gal. buckets and were selling used ones for a dollar a piece, which they donated to the ASPCA. You can also ask nicely at a grocery store near you that has a bakery, they get icing in them.)

(if you order those two together on amazon it ends up being $28.29 and you get free shipping!)

  • A drill and drill bits

berk 018

First off, start by rinsing/washing out your buckets.

You will have to drill holes for the water filter’s bottom and the spigot. Figure out how big of a drill bit you need to drill that sized hole. I just used the biggest bit we had then used a cardboard knife to make the hole the correct size, since we didn’t have a big enough bit. Once you have that down, let’s put in the filter!

Stack the buckets on top of each other with a lid in between (picture labeled 1). You will want a hole through both the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket at the same place (pictures number 2 and 3). This is where the filter gets attached.


Then, put the bottom of the filter through both holes with the rubber seal inside the bucket and the wing nut outside under the lid:


Top left- this portion goes inside the top of the bucket, top right- this is was should stick out into the bottom bucket once you put the lid on, bottom left- same thing just with the wing nut screwed on, bottom right- what the filter will look like from inside the top bucket once its attached. I put my filter off to the side because I eventually want to add another filter on the other side.

More filters = water cleans faster

Which means, with 2 filters, it would take half as long to filter all the water.

Now your filter’s installed!!

Let’s install the spigot =)

On the bottom of the bottom bucket, mark where you want you spigot to go. You want it close to the bottom, but not so close that you can’t tighten the nut to keep it on. Drill a hole where you marked and push the spigot through. The spigot will have 2 rubber seals/washers and a nut. One seal goes on either side of the bucket and the nut gets tightened on the inside of the bucket. Make sure its really tight so there’s no leaking going on when you fill it with water.

Where the hole should be located

Where the hole should be located


That’s it!!

Test everywhere you drilled holes to make sure no water leaks out before you fill it with 5 gallons of water. Trust me, you don’t want to clean up/waste that much water if there’s a leak!!

If its all good, place the bucket with the filter on top of the bucket with the spigot. Do not snap the lid completely closed, as it will prevent water from coming out of the spigot properly, leave a section open or just rest everything and be careful around it. Mine has sections on the lid and I leave 2 or three sections unsnapped. Then fill the top bucket with water. The water will drip through the filter and out the bottom hole into the bottom bucket. The filter I used said to fill your filter and let it run through twice before drinking it. You could use that water for dishes, watering your plants, etc.

Then you can enjoy your fresh clean water!!

These filters are so good, you can set your filter out in the rain and collect rain water. It will filter out into perfectly clean, drinkable water.

I know its made of plastic, not metal like the Berkey, but its still exponentially better then tap water! Plus, its $253.00 cheaper then a Berkey filter =) I do suggest cleaning it out with a little hot water/baking soda or some vinegar every other week.

Now go make your own and drink some deliciously refreshing, better for you water!! Your half an hour and $30 away from it!

Like what your read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Tuned in Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday and LHITS DIY Linky!

9 thoughts on “DIY 5 Gallon Water Filter for $30!

  1. Pingback: Meadow Mint Tea | The Crunchy Delinquent

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  4. Did anybody try this? I read some poor reviews on the ceramic filter recommended. Said the filter didn’t come as pictures and was missing the wingnuts to screw in place. I really want to make this. Please advise. Thank you!

  5. Pingback: $30 Berkey Water Filter -

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