darkroom plumbing

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by CPorter, Nov 21, 2011.

  1. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Besides having a regulated water temperature mixer in the darkroom, how many of you also planned for and installed just the basic unregulated hot/cold faucet as well, and if so, why? I'm finally able to devote some money toward getting my darkroom built and the plumbing is foremost on my mind. I've gone through the "Darkroom Portraits" thread and it seems that there are a fair amount that have both---I'm wandering if those that have both were planned that way or was the unregulated faucet already part of the room where the darkroom is? I will be turning a spare bedroom into a darkroom, and getting the hot and cold supply in will be simple enough, but from there I have some decisions to make.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. jordanstarr

    jordanstarr Member

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    In a bedroom, plumbing can be dodgy, but as long as you set it up so that you can "get rid of it easily" (ie. behind a wall or something), it can be great with only a little extra effort, depending on how you get the plumbing in. Otherwise you might want to save yourself the time and just do the water wash, toning and everything else that needs water in the bathroom. I built mine in the basement and there was a sink there. I took it out and adjusted the plumbing as I saw fit and then I was done. I needed to use a sub pump in a tub for drainage, which is a huge pain when it faulters and leaves water all over my darkroom, but I just have to be observant and aware of the water level in the tub.
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I had a regular faucet put in so I wouldn't be using the filtered and temp controlled water to wash trays, etc.. The more water that goes through a filter, the shorter its life will be. Also, there were spots for it in the sink I bought.
     
  4. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    A water supply that's separate from the regulated is handy for rinsing trays and tanks, washing up, etc. It's also useful if you need to fine tune a water bath to have just cold, or just hot available.
    In my current set-up I have a regulated water supply and a separate tap that's just hot. But if I had a bigger sink I'd do regulated + cold and hot unregulated.
     
  5. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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  6. ROL

    ROL Member

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    4 installed taps, to reach all parts of my sink(s). Only one tap (wash, chemical mixing) is necessarily devoted to temp. regulation and filtering.
     
  7. Paul Howell

    Paul Howell Member

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    My current darkroom is in a bathroom, the last time I had a full darkroom it was in a spear room, running in hot and cold taps was not too big of an issue, installing a drain BS removing the carpet was much bigger project. I had to hire a plummer to put in a drain. I found some sheet vinal for the floor, built a sink with marine plyboard and fiberglass. When I sold that house it cost more to remove the sink, close off the water pipes and the drain and recarpet.
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    What Bethe said about filter life (or for that matter, valve life). Also, I always wash up trays, etc. while film or prints are washing.
    I use straight hot or cold to warm up or cool off chems when setting up, which is easier with straight H & C taps.
    It's also nice not to have to change the temp control, except for seasonal changes (for changes in cold water temp).
    The valve in my darkroom that delivers from the temp control valve is a simple on or off, the volume is controlled by the TC valve. When rinsing prints between steps, etc. it's nice to be able to just bump the valve on, and not have to adjust the volume to conserve water. And when adjusting the volume for the Gravity Works washers (print and film), the knob has marks that I put on it for accurate settings for just the amount of over-run I want.
     
  9. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    My wet side has two water outlets, muchas others have commented. One is temperature regulated - and one is a basic laundry sink temperature faucet.
    The basic faucet I had from a prior laundry room demolition and realignment to create the darkroom space in my basement back in 2004.

    The temperature regulated water connection one was once a pair of gate valves, set to the right low flow rate, with a pair of globe shut off valves downstream. It worked ok for a water supply to a roller processor wash section, or a tray syphon when washing in a tray set on top of the roller processor, but only because the cold supply and hot water tank are located close to the darkroom.

    As part of the launtry room pressure water revisions I noted that cold water came into my house as a 3/4" line, and then stepped down to 1/2" right after the water meter.

    I was moving things already, so I decided to spend about another $100, and fix up the water arrangements better for everything. I ran a new 3/4 cold line all the way from the water meter outlet to the hot water tank inlet.

    On the way of getting there, I tapped off 1/2" to the darkroom, 1/2" to the kitchen sink, 1/2" to one outside hose faucet, another 1/2" to another outside hose faucet, 1/2" to the laundry sink and washer connection, 1/2" to the half bath above the darkroom, and finally a 1/2" to the upstairs bathrooms.

    Tapping off the 3/4" line, with the main water shut valve set to not constrict flow allows for competing 1/2 taps to draw, with barely any pressure drop on another line that is also drawing. Had I been relocating the plumbing to the second floor I would have continued the 3/4" up ther. It is the only floor where there are noticable pressure drops on the use of a second cold water tap.

    All basement cold and hot water pipes have a foam insulation sleeve over them to minimize temperature transfer to the air.

    I plumbed a second drain to sevice the roller processor's waste water collection needs. I worked all the revised drains in ABS for all of the darkroom and launrdy drain revisions, and only tapped into the copper main drain once. I vented correctly as much as possible, but the roller processor drain came later. It has been fitted with a vaccuum breaker, which is not compliant per the plumbing codes around here, but seems to work just fine.

    Then about 6 months ago I dropped into a photo supply outlet I buy from to gift away a couple of photo copy paper boxes filled with cases of large photoflash bulbs.
    I pass all large bulbs I come across to a clerk who works there. This was the second occasion I had done so.
    Recently I had bought a large lot of flashbulbs in an auction lot. I don't fire anything larger than AG-3's, and Kat loves bulbs sized #25 and larger.

    She was very appreciative of my gift. we were gabbing away when I noticed what looked to be a water panel laying behind the counter. I asked about it. She decided to gift it to me.

    She said she had salvaged a number of them from Kodak's facilities in Toronto when they abandon their Mount Dennis faciliites, and was going to sell that unit to an intersted person the next day.
    She said she had another surlpus one at home, and would bring it in tomorrow; take this unit now as a thank you for the flash bulbs gift.

    Wo-Ho; lucky me! So now I have a Wing Lynch WP-2 electronic water panel.

    It keeps temperature at either 68F, 100F, or variable, at flow rates between 1.5 and 18 l/m. It looks to be early to mid 80's in its build style, so I may have to rejuvinate it with new electrolytic capacitirs if it starts to go wonky, but I have fixed up may other things of that vintange in the same way.

    It has two variable flow rate outlets, one metered, and one unmetered. The metered one I feed to the wash section of the roller processor. The other I snake along the back of my sink generally to the place where film wash tanks usually get put when I set up a sink line to process a backlog of 4x5 of c-41 or e-6 types.

    The variable outlet I have set for 80F. It tempers pyro and glycin developers to a temperature where their developing agents are tolerably active. Otherwise you wait forever at 68 for these developing agents to get doing anything meaningful.

    I hope this long winded post gives you food for thought in planning your bedroom to darkroom water considerations.
     
  10. jp80874

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    I just develop B&W and since I am color blind don’t anticipate a change. I use a Jobo CPP-2 in an 8 foot stainless sink. When not developing film I put the Jobo on a rolling Rubber Maid cart and move it to the space outside the 11x13 foot darkroom. The water coming into the room has run through the house water softener. With the flip of a lever it can also go through a filter. Filters are available in one or three micron levels. I plumbed the sink with two hot and cold outlets at about 2 and 6 foot increments on the 8 ft. sink. One outlet flows into a four way splitter giving a total of five outlets. Beside the sink is a 24x18 inch table with two print washers; one 20”x24” with 12 slots for large prints and large volumes, the other 16”x20” and five slots for smaller prints and smaller volume. Sink and washers go into one 1 ½ ” PVC drain that goes under the whole sink, behind the table and gradually down to the laundry sump in the next room. I fill the Jobo, four gallon jugs and four 2ltr. Pitchers at the same time mixing the water with a handheld thermometer. The water stays about 68 degrees through the process. The room is also at about 68 degrees so the raw chemicals stored there are also at needed level. Temperature is not as critical for B&W as color.

    John Powers
     
  11. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    This is exactly what I'm planning-----the plumbing will be exposed on a panel that is attached to the wall behind the sink.
     
  12. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    Thought I would get some of your thoughts on this plumbing layout------it's pretty basic, but any thoughts are welcome, I could be missing something. The room dimensions are 10 x 10---the adjacent room opposite the long sink is a bathroom where I can tie into the drainage and hot and cold lines. I'm thinking of adding an additional smaller stand-alone sink as seen.
     

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  13. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Consider ball-valves between you darkroom plumbing and the rest of the house. If you spring a leak in the darkroom it will be much easier to fix if you can just shut off the darkroom, and not have to shut off the whole house and drain it. Also, when on vacation, you may sleep better knowing your darkroom water supply is shut off. Especially if you do the plumbing yourself.

    Also, if you move and want to take your water panel with you, it will be a lot easier to do if you have the valves there.
    [​IMG]
     
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  15. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Also, I don't think a B&W darkroom needs a tempered water supply. The only reason I installed one is that a few years ago a guy on ebay was selling a bunch these Powers Photopanels un-used for $60 a piece.
     
  16. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    10-4 on the ball valves to isolate the darkroom plumbing----thank you. My plan is to use flexible washing machine hose from the hot and cold supply with shut-off valves as shown. I'll probably go ahead with the regulated mix, I certainly like the idea. I hope to get going on building the sink on my 4 day holiday weekend. My only concern about these plumbing plans is that I will have the drainage properly vented, I'm going to rely on the plumber for that.
     

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  17. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I'll have to say now that I have the thermostat, I'd miss it in a new darkroom. It makes filling the Jobo very easy and its already tempered when full. I didn't use PEX but in your case the PEX may be the way to go.
     
  18. mgb74

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    I have a master shutoff (ball valves) for the entire system and it certainly is useful. I also have temperature regulated output as well as a "standard" faucet. The temp regulated water goes though a filter, then there are 2 outlets, each with it's own shutoff.

    I would suggest the stainless steel braid hoses (they should be on your washing machine too).

    There are drain fitting that eliminate the need for a separate vent pipe. Not sure how well they work but they would greatly simplify your plumbing.
     
  19. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I have no idea why you would need a separate vent pipe.

    If you are going to do the hot and cold yourself then don't waste your money on a plumber for the much simpler waste pipework.


    Steve.
     
  20. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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    I have filters and mixing valve mounted on a panel. Two taps are regulated and one is for cold water. All the taps are filtered.
    vannpanel.jpg
    It would have been nice to spread out more taps along the entire length of sink, but using garden hoses I can reach all parts of the sink.

    Trond
     
  21. CPorter

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    I won't be doing the plumbing in the crawl space, only once the supply lines are in the room
     
  22. mgb74

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    I should clarify. Your added drains need to be vented for proper operation. Depending on how and where the added drains connect to your existing drain pipe, you may need to add a vent those new drains (typically connecting to a single vent going through the roof).

    You probably have 1 or 2 plumbing "stacks" going up through the house. If more than 1, they connect in the attic and vent through the roof (though they could each have a vent through the roof). If your new drains connect near the bottom of that stack, you'll need to connect a vent pipe to an existing vent. If they connect near the top, you'll probably be OK without a separate vent.

    The fitting I mentioned is supposed to eliminate the need for adding vent pipework. It allows "one way" passage of air into the drain, essentially making the indoor air your vent. Haven't used one, so don't know how well they work.
     
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  23. CPorter

    CPorter Member

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    It will be one additional drain that will have to run in the crawl space approximately 8-9 feet to tie into the where the tub drains. So, if I understand your post, since it will connect at the bottom in the crawl space near the main vent stack, then an additional vent will be needed from the new drain to the existing main stack. My home is small with only two vents, one for the kitchen drain and the one (much closer) that is the main vent stack for the tub, bathroom sink, toilet, and the washing machine.
     
  24. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    In the UK, we generally have just one vent stack. Drains from sinks, basins, baths, etc. drain into an outside open drain with built in trap rather than going straight into the stack, although that is the usual method when adding a drain somewhere. I have never heard of anyone needing additional venting to the standard 4" stack.

    An alternative to a vent stack is an air admittance valve. Do you use those in the US?

    In Victorian Britain, almost every connection to a drain had a separate anti-siphon pipe installed. This didn't actually do anything of much value and hasn't been used for about 100 years.

    Steve.
     
  25. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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  26. mgb74

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    If it's connecting in the bottom of the crawl space, with tub (and presumably toilet) above, I would think you would want that vented. You could try it without and see if plumbing drains well but I would use one of vents I mentioned (I looked and they're call "cheater vents" or "check vent").

    I'm guessing they're the same as what Steve Smith called "air admittance vents".