Dehumidifier Water

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by arigram, Mar 31, 2008.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    There more than a couple thread regarding water used in the darkroom and there is a passing mention of the subject, but I would like a definite answer:
    - Can I use the water I get from a dehumidifier unit to replace distilled water for developing of film?
    - Is there a way to test if its suitable?
    The unit in question (Singer 2100LCD) contains a filter and an ionizer but I am not sure if they have any effect in the collected from humidity water.
     
  2. dpurdy

    dpurdy Member

    Messages:
    2,230
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2006
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    i would like to know as well so perhaps you could try it and report back. My water collection bucket isn't exactly sparkling clean looking though the water looks clean and clear when i dump it.
    Dennis
     
  3. climbabout

    climbabout Member

    Messages:
    225
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2005
    Location:
    Fairfield Co
    Shooter:
    8x10 Format
    distilled water

    Technically speaking, the water you get from a dehumidifier is distilled, however it is not pure, since it has not been boiled like commercially bought distilled water is. Also it is subject to whatever contaminants are present in your collection tank and on the coils of the dehumidifier. In practice, I would think it would be ok to use as long as your dehumidifier is clean.
    Hope this helps.
    Tim
     
  4. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    It usually grows a lot of bacteria and mold and collects household air pollutants such as oils, spices and other things such as hair, dandruff and skin flakes.

    So, to use it, filter it, boil it and then it might be usable. By that time you are just as well off using distilled.

    PE
     
  5. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Yuck.
    So, I should just keep buying distilled water from the supermarket and connect the dehumidifier to the drain?
     
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Thats what I do. It goes into our basement drain directly.

    Every once in a while, that grunge plugs up the hole with brown glop that I have to force out of the drain tube. Nasty stuff.

    Oh, a vet once told me not to give it to pets either if they were ever prescribed distilled water for a kidney problem.

    PE
     
  7. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Suppose I filter it well through a couple of coffee filters, do I still have to boil it?
     
  8. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    IDK. Bacteria and molds can grow in neutral and alkaline ammonium fixes. They can also grow in photo flo solutions. You are going to have to determine that by experimentation. :D

    PE
     
  9. matti

    matti Member

    Messages:
    652
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2005
    Location:
    Stockholm, S
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Aristotelis. I read the title and thought you were going to dehumidify water... And then I though about tomorrow. and then I thought about the time zone for Crete and got a bit confused. :smile:

    /matti
     
  10. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    So, if i boil it, it will be ok?
    Even not boiled, but used in a short amount of time, will it become a problem on the actual developed film?

    Matti, can I too have what you're drinking? :D
     
  11. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

    Messages:
    25,781
    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2005
    Location:
    Rochester, NY
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Ari;

    IDK. Never tried to do it.

    PE
     
  12. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
  13. Louis Nargi

    Louis Nargi Member

    Messages:
    201
    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2004
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I'v been using it for years with no problem. Just filter it though acoffee filter and put in gal jugs. It is distilled water.
     
  14. Martin Aislabie

    Martin Aislabie Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,416
    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    Stratford-up
    Shooter:
    4x5 Format
    I am an Air Conditioning Engineer and I would never, ever, ever touch the stuff.
    Condensing water from the atmosphere is not the same as collecting distilled water from a sealed system.
    As PE says - as you condense the water is washes the air from which it was obtained.
    In the house that means dust (fabric/carpet/skin/pet hair/pollen/fine soil particles/cooking fats ......) plus what ever atmospheric pollutants happen to be in your local atmosphere.
    If you have ever had the misfortune to have to clear out an air conditioning condensate drain you would realise what a disgusting amount of grunge gets washed out of the in the condensate.
    I imagine you could particle filter it/distil it several times/chemically neutralise it into a usable form but it would be a huge task.
    It would be easier to start with Tap water
    Buying Distilled or Deionised water is much much quicker, simpler and more guaranteed
    Martin
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2008
  15. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

    Messages:
    1,623
    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2008
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, M
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Yes. The condensation coils probably have more crud on them than you can imagine and it all ends up in the water. You'd be better off using tap water.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 2, 2008
  16. arigram

    arigram Member

    Messages:
    5,474
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2004
    Location:
    Crete, Greec
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    OK, I had enough scares!
    I have been already draining it!
     
  17. Cruzingoose

    Cruzingoose Member

    Messages:
    211
    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    South Dakota
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    When I had my darkroom in the cellar in MA, I used the dehumidfier for all my darkroom chemicals and final rinse. In the Summer I collected about 1/2 gallon per day. There is no problem IF the dehumidfier is either new or has had the coils and collection basket throughly cleaned.

    My dehumidfier lived in the darkroom since new and each year I would check it and it had clean coils. The basket got washed once a month to reduce the possibility of mold. Since there is little to no particulate matter in the darkroom and the water is usually used fast enough, there is no concern for mold or particulate matter in the water. It is PH neutral and works in batteries also.
     
  18. jpeets

    jpeets Member

    Messages:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2005
    Location:
    Southern Ont
    Shooter:
    Large Format
    Given what appears to be a consensus that water from a dehumidifier is not similar to distilled, I have wondered if there was a reasonable means to distill my own. I did acquire a condensing tube (don't know the technical term for it) consisting of a glass outer jacket with inlet and outlet and a coiled inner tube. I could McGuyver something, but I also wonder if the cost of running the thing (running cold water and boiling the water) doesn't detract from the advantages (i.e. convenience and volume available).

    My water is from a deep well, and is very hard, so I am reluctant to use it for a lot of my darkroom processes.

    Is anyone distilling their own?