Fixer mixing issue

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by Raffay, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    Hello, Yesterday I mixed kodak fixer as per directions. Three litres of water at 55 deg c mixed it for a long time, and thought it was dissolved so I added the remaining amount of water, and left it over night. In the morning there was a thin layer of powder that did not dissolve. Now no matter how much I stir it, it is not dissolving. Is the fixer ruined or can I use it. One more thing, when I mixed the powder a green foam like formed at the top but when I mixed it, it went away.

    Would appreciate your input.

    Cheers

    Raffay


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  2. JLP

    JLP Subscriber

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    Fixer should readily mix without heating the water to 55 C. The high temp could be the problem but if the Kodak directions calls for 55 C i guess it should be fine.
    You can filter your fixer and try it on a test roll of film or just a part of the roll and see if it clear.

    Is it possible to buy liquid concentrate fixer in your area? if you are having problems with powder it would be a lot easier to use a liquid concentrate.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Where you using distilled water or tap water. If tap water, possibly mineral content interfering with disolution.
     
  4. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Fixer is normally mixed at room temperature. From Kodak Fixer instructions "Start with 3 US pints (1.42 liters) of water not above 80°F (26½°C)."
     
  5. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    It sounds like the fixer sulfurized due to the water temperature. The colloidal sulfur would be very difficult to filter out. Best just to dump it.
     
  6. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    Distilled water.


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  7. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    Ok, I am not sure how I goofed up. As I remember I read the instructions several times.


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  8. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    This seems more like it, I don't have the luxury of dumping it as I got this from Canada.


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  9. Raffay

    Raffay Member

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    I think I missed the temp part on the fixer, as I was mixing both dev and fix together. I believe that I read the temp thing on the dev packet and assumed the same. My bad.

    Cheers

    Raffay


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  10. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    First off: I usually mix my fixer with steaming hot water and don't remember having ever seen Sulfur precipitate out. Even if I did see Sulfur (from lowering pH too much) it would recombine with Sulfite to form Thiosulfate again as soon as pH went back above 4. Since you seem to have difficulties acquiring photo chemistry (which is not a surprise given your location), let me list some tests you could do, some of which should help you find the culprit and possibly a cure:

    • If you mix D76 and your milky fixer in 1:1 ratio, any Sulfur precipitate should quickly disappear. D76 both raises pH to a point where Sulfur and Sulfite form Thiosulfate, and it supplies ample Sulfite for this purpose. Please report if the precipitate does not dissolve within a few minutes. The next tests serve no purpose if that mix still shows a precipitate. Use just enough liquid so you can positively see the precipitate (or lack thereof) as the mix won't be useful after the test.
    • If you slowly add Baking Soda (start with 1g/l and go up to 20 g/l) to milky fixer until it stops bubbling, and the precipitate disappears, you have solved the problem. Use the same method to restore your main batch of fixer.
    • If D76 restores your fixer but Baking Soda does not, you could try adding Sodium Sulfite to your fixer. If you are unable to source Sulfite directly, you can try using Hypoclearing Agent for this purpose. Start with 2 g/l and go up to 10 g/l and see whether that fixes your issues.