Filtering Water

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by arigram, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I have mentioned before that I have some trouble with dirty water, but my problem was never really solved. I have installed filters and use store bought deionized water for mixing the chemicals, but I still find little hairs and spots on my negatives.
    Since the filters I use are made mostly from fabric-like material, inquiring for a metallic filter to hold the hair and crud gave me a price range for at least 400 euros and much more of the better ones.

    Do you have any suggestions for an inline water filter that successfully delivers clean water in a tight budget and can be found in the EU?
     
  2. richard ide

    richard ide Member

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    Ari,
    I checked the Home Depot website for water filters and found a GE filter unit model GXC1SO1C which sells for $60. It is almost identical to the filtration units I used for my film processors. Perhaps you can cross reference to something similar where you are. They worked very well. IIRC I used 5 micron filter cartridges and would replace them about every 6 months.
     
  3. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    arigram... this is of no help but... if your water is dirty it must have some Greece in it. :smile:
     
  4. lajolla

    lajolla Member

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    To solve your "problem", I would first attempt to dry your negatives in a cleaner environment? I have successfully processed 35mm film using hotel tap water thoughout the mediterranean region, from spain to algeria to egypt, israel, lebanon and italy, and the key to clean negatives has always been a clean drying environment. The key is to shelter your wet, hanging negatives from ambient, unfiltered, air circulation.
     
  5. flash26c

    flash26c Member

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    Boy, Is that the best you can come up with? How 'bout this: To find Texas from Oregon; go East 'til you you smell it, then South 'til you step in it!
     
  6. Larry.Manuel

    Larry.Manuel Member

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    Filter Funnels. Elutriation.

    I bought plastic filter funnels locally for $3 and $6, each have a 100 mesh wire screen. This is very fine mesh; any smaller and the water wouldn't go through very well. They have [still are?] been sold in automotive and farm supply stores to filter water droplets and other crud from gasoline [and diesel?]. Now, I filter my chemicals on the way out of the storage bottles, and again on the way back into them. Thursday, I produced my first print that appears not to need retouching [11x14 from 35mm]. The film was developed in my new filtered-chemical regimen. Likewise, I filtered all printing chemicals. I am amazed at the amount of dirt [fibres and cat hairs, for example] that I collect each session.

    In the very old days, optical workers [making telescope lenses and mirrors] would settle their process waters for days or weeks to let the "mung" collect on the bottom of the vessels. Then carefully decant the water to leave the dirt behind.

    This settling technique is used to separate different grades of abrasives and polishing compounds. It is called elutriation.
     
  7. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Heh, heh... we're PROUD of our cow patties here and step in them just so we have an excuse to polish our boots. :D
     
  8. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    Eeewww!!! Speak for yourself! :tongue::wink:
     
  9. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    You know what that smell is, don't you? You got it. It is the smell of money. Sometimes takes a little fancy foot work to get it and that also helps to keep you out of the patties. Bill Barber
     
  10. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    I'm on a rainwater system and filter my water through two filters on it's way into the house. The first is a wound fiberglass looking filter and the second is a carbon filter. It cost about $100 a year for the filter and my water is clean, clean, clean. Make a glass of ice water. All the ice melts and guess what is floating in the bottom of the glass . . . nothing but pure clean water. That may be a function of the rainwater, however I have looked in the tanks and there is dirt/dust that makes it into the tanks, but the water after filtration is clean. Bill Barber
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2009
  11. Dave Pritchard

    Dave Pritchard Member

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    I do not know what is available in Greece, but would suggest you find an aquarium owner or aquarium shop. The filters and pumps on aquariums are good. Aquarium owners test the water for pH and other values. Aquariums capture sediment quite well. Look at what they offer.
     
  12. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Sounds more like you have a drying problem. If you are already filtering your water, then you need to provide a clean(er) place to hang your negatives. I have three dogs, and never get dog hair or other dirt on any of my negs or gear, because I clean my darkroom at least once a week(and my dogs are allowed in my darkroom)my boxer sleeps in the corner when I'm in working.

    Rick
     
  13. Doremus Scudder

    Doremus Scudder Member

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    Ari,

    As mentioned above, it seems to me that if you have "hairs" on your negatives that the problem is not with particulates in the water, but rather with airborne dust and crud. I'm almost positive that you can solve your problem by 1) giving a final rinse of minimum two minutes in clean distilled water (i.e., right out of the jug) with a bit of wetting agent (Photoflo or the like) added and then drying in a clean, still environment. Clean your processing area before developing and wipe everything down with a damp cloth. Humidify the room (running the hot water, etc.) to settle dust and then keep the door closed as much as possible until the film is dry.

    Even if you have some particulates in your water, they should get rinsed off in the final distilled water rinse (feel the film carefully with your fingers to check this. I don't know what format you use, but I "squeegee" mys 4x5 negs gently with two fingers.) If you are already using deionized water for mixing your chemicals, only the wash water has any possibility of getting dirt on the negative. You could buy a Brita pitcher (with the built-in filter; they're easy to get in Austria, so I assume Greece wouldn't be a problem) and filter all your wash water with that. You would have to use a fill-and-soak wash sequence, but that would be a small price to pay for clean negatives.

    That said, your problem, as you describe it, does not sound like a dirty water problem to me. Work on cleaning your drying area.

    Best and good luck,

    Doremus Scudder
    www.DoremusScudder.com
     
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  15. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    has anyone had any luck with using a coffee filter under a tap to work as a 'quickie filter', such as when traveling and developing in the hotel room?

    just wondering.

    -Dan
     
  16. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Thank you all for the replies and suggestions.
    I did last development using store bought distilled water for chemicals and washing.
    To no avail.
    I have a DIY drying cabinet made out of a wooden frame and thin plastic sheet where I hang the film to dry overnight.
    The last step before I hang the roll is to give it a bath in a PhotoFlo solution.
    After finishing the tank, I took a look at the solution and there were tiny hair-like and dust-like sediment in it.
    Also, when scanning the negatives I will find longer hairs embedded on it.

    So, what could possibly be it?
    I have no clue, but its affecting my photography making me really regret using film.

    Do you think that I can rewash the negatives and release the debris, or are they embedded in for ever and ever?
     

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    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2009
  17. juanito

    juanito Member

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    Hi Ari,

    I think you have already found the source of your problem.
    I use tap water to mix chemicals and for washing my films and for
    the photo flo step a mix it with bottled drinking water and I do not have
    any problems with dust or similar things.
    Be sure that yuo are mixing photo flo with clean water and of course
    dry your films in a dust free ambient.
     
  18. arigram

    arigram Member

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    I am sorry Juan, I didn't understand you.
    You said that I found the source of the problem, but since I am using store bought distilled/deionised water, which is supposed to be clean, how am I getting the debris?
     
  19. Anon Ymous

    Anon Ymous Member

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    Where did you mix the photo-flo solution Ari? Could it be that the graduate/whatever you used had that dust/hair? Honestly, your problem is weird, I have minimal problems, I only use distiled water for photo-flo and reuse fixer and stop bath. :confused:
     
  20. jeffreyg

    jeffreyg Subscriber

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    I am on well water and have a home softening and iron filtering system along with an inline cartridge filter that I use replaceable 5 micron carbon cartridges for my darkroom. I also use Photoflo in distilled water after the wash. I have placed a foam filter over the AC duct and don't have any problems. The humidity here is usually high so that also keeps the dust down. The filters I mentioned are not expensive.
     
  21. juanito

    juanito Member

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    Of course the water is not the problem, maybe you are working in a not so clean environemet.
     
  22. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Or perhaps the filters or system has one or more faults? I've seen that more than once.
     
  23. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Seriously, I do not know what the problem is.
    If it was that obvious I think i should have found it by now.
    Or maybe it is and something escapes me.
    I wear gloves, I use a jobo, I use distilled water and filter the rest. I use photo-flo and a drying cabinet. I have a humidity control machine and even cover my hair when I put the rolls in the reels. I clean the plastic tanks and reels well and check them for sediment. If I was any more anal, I would have been in jail.
    The problem has been so emotionally draining and extensive that I am seriously considering moving to digital.
     
  24. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Ari, I really think there is a problem in your filtering system... some sort of by-pass around the filter(s). Are you SURE you're using the correct filter(s) for the container(s). How old are the filters? With a very bad water supply filters often need changing every 2-4 weeks. As we Texans say, "sumthin' ain't right wit' it".
     
  25. arigram

    arigram Member

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    Even if there is something wrong with the present filtration system, why didn't I get cleaner negatives when I used only distilled water?
     
  26. Mike1234

    Mike1234 Inactive

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    Did you thoroughly clean EVERYTHING... scrubbing and washing with distilled water... and replace any filters you may have pushed the distilled water through? If so then, as others stated, you may have an airborne issue and it must be pronounced. You're missing something somewhere. You used distilled water for washing?? Perhaps the soft film emulsion is collecting it in the process and holding it and the distilled rinse isn't removing it. This could well be the case if there are contaminants in your chemicals and the fixer hardens the emulsion locking the contaminants into place on the film. If that happens no amount of washing with distilled water will remove it.