Drippy developing tanks

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by ParkerSmithPhoto, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    It seems that no matter plastic or stainless steel, any tank I use with inversion agitation gets all drippy, especially with fixer(?). I just ran some rolls in a stainless tank with a cap that looks brand new, but it dripped so bad I was worried I would lose too much developer and it would fall below the top of the film.

    Any suggestions? Or is this a case of (as Nature Boy Ric Flair would say) "you might not like it, but you better learn to love it"?
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I use an inexpensive tank purchased from Adorama. It's a kind that the lid and the cap is plastic and the tank part is stainless steel.

    It does not leak at all....
     
  3. Konical

    Konical Subscriber

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    Good Evening, Parker,

    The response above reflects my experience also. The more pliable plastic caps essentially eliminate any leakage problem with SS tanks. I do sometimes use a Nikor SS tank/cap combination; it leaks a little, but not enough to be a problem. Leakage will vary a lot depending on the particular tank/cap combination. Try substituting a plastic cap. Chances are that most of the problem will disappear.

    With plastic tanks, leakage is typically related to gasket problems and possibly to not having the top screwed on completely.

    Konical
     
  4. tomalophicon

    tomalophicon Member

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    Mine leak sometimes and other times are dead water-tight. I agitate with the twirly stick when I can, and use paper towels when I can't.
     
  5. ParkerSmithPhoto

    ParkerSmithPhoto Member

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    I meant to say that the brand new cap is the black plastic variety on the stainless tank. Sometimes they leak a little and sometimes they leak a lot, but they always leak. It's maddening.
     
  6. brucemuir

    brucemuir Member

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    I'm going with Rick Flair on this one.
    I just have dedicated towels that I wrap around the tank.

    Sometimes I get a tight seal on the patterson plastic snap tops from the "4" system.
     
  7. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    It happens to everyone. You have to be mindful to store the tanks with the plastic caps off. The plastics, if always locked and stretched over the tanks sides loses the tight seal. They become molded to your tanks shape instead of being just a bit smaller for a friction fit.

    You get more leakage with fixer as the chemical reaction during fixing produces some heat energy and gas. You can see this when you open up a tight patterson tank as the pressure causes the gas to whoosh out when the seal is broken. If the seal is not ideal fixer pushes its way out.
     
  8. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Dear Parker,

    Good news! It is unlikely that you are losing enough fluid to cause problems. However, if you want an essentially leak free developing experience, there is an inexpensive answer. It is sold by Freestyle and Adorama (possibly others) and using the twist only method works perfectly. I used one for years (and still do on grand occasion) with Edwal FG-7, D-76, T-Max developer and Extol, and never once had an issue with improper agitation.

    In any case, I think the biggest issue with a little dripping is how it makes my hands stink. If that is an issue, try some exam gloves (or better yet, dish gloves that can be reused).

    Neal Wydra
     
  9. ozphoto

    ozphoto Subscriber

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    My old type Paterson tanks leak like a faulty tap! I *never* use the inversion method - always use the twirly stick to agitate. It's a real PITA when it leaks after draining, but I just ensure I mop up the spills after the film processing.

    I've learned to live with it, and the washing powder manufacturers *love me* to bits. . . . . . .
     
  10. Newt_on_Swings

    Newt_on_Swings Member

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    I also remembered reading that if you can't do inversions you can also agitate on a table top by doing figure 8s to swirls the liquids.
     
  11. mablo

    mablo Member

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    I place the plastic lid on first without the small top cap (Hewes tank). It seems to alleviate air pressure in the tank and eliminates larger leaks.
     
  12. Moopheus

    Moopheus Subscriber

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    This is kind of what I do, while rolling my wrist without doing a full inversion. I'm just glad to know I'm not the only one who has this problem. My Jobo tank has been pretty good at not leaking, though.
     
  13. Thomas Bertilsson

    Thomas Bertilsson Subscriber

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    Is it really a problem?

    Just use nitrile gloves when you process film, and any leaking chemicals do not get on your hands. No more problem.

    I have used JoBo, Paterson, Adorama, and Nikor/generic stainless tanks with plastic and metal lids, JoBo print drums for sheet film... They all leaked at one point or another.
     
  14. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    try teflon plumbers tape [plus nitrile gloves if your feel the need as others have suggested]
     
  15. R.Gould

    R.Gould Member

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    With my paterson tanks I follow patterson's own suggestion and lift the plastic top a bit once it is on the tank which releases the pressure and very rarely do I get a leak, saying that I prefer to use the twidle stick
    Richard
     
  16. bdial

    bdial Subscriber

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    As noted minor dribbles are common, even when the tank and lids are properly matched. Also, as noted, about the only sane thing to do is live with it. I generally use a water bath and do the agitation either over the water bath or sink, so any dribbles are harmless. I probably should wear gloves all the time, but generally only wear them when I'm processing in pyro. My hands do get rinsed however (or dipped in the print washer) any time they've caught any of the dribbles (with or without gloves!).

    In theory, the stainless tanks, lids, and pouring lids are matched at manufacture, but easily become unmatched and mixed up in use. They are also prone to leaking if the tank or lid has been dropped and deformed slightly. If you have multiples, match what you have for best fit, mark them if necessary, and trade off the ones that leak excessively. Replace with new ones if necessary.
    FWIW, my favorite tank is an Omega brand I bought new years ago. It leaks occasionally from the pouring lid, but not otherwise, and not at all if I press the lid on firmly enough. Sometimes the rotation angle between the two mating pieces matters, and a lid will leak in one position but not if it's rotated by some amount.
    You could try twisting the lid on the tank until it binds. (this may make it difficult to remove too, as a warning).
     
  17. Nicholas Lindan

    Nicholas Lindan Advertiser Advertiser

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    The problem is most acute with fixer - which produces gas as it works and it is the gas pressure that forces the liquid out.

    Someone had posted previously that he put a wrap of black electricians tape around the lid to stop leaks - but you may have to pop the cap between agitations when fixing.

    I just put the tank in a large baggie when fixing and let it drip.

    I have Nikor SS tanks, generic JapaneseSS tanks and German Kinderman SS tanks with plastic lids - they all leak.
     
  18. fotch

    fotch Member

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    I have several Nikkor SS tanks with little or no leaks. Must be lucky. I remember buying a new SS tank in the sixties (Kindermann?) and it came with a wide rubber band to seal the top to the bottom. Guess you could do that with any SS tank. I also used plastic tanks with the rotating spindle for the reels. No leak problems with them, just a PITA to get the film on the plastic reels.
     
  19. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    The only tank I have seen that doesn't leak is the one still in the box on the store's shelf.
     
  20. declark

    declark Subscriber

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    For my SS tanks and lids I wrap a loop or two with vinyl electrical tape for two reasons... one the leak issue and the other to keep me from accidentally opening and exposing the film.
     
  21. pentaxuser

    pentaxuser Subscriber

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    I have never found my Durst tanks to leak no matter what I do. I wondered if I was just lucky but recently I found a section in a darkroom book on tanks and leaks which confirmed my findings

    The Jobo tanks aren't bad but can't match the Durst

    pentaxuser