FujiMoto CP31 Developer's leaking into Fix Tank

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by mmmdarkroom, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. mmmdarkroom

    mmmdarkroom Member

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    I help run a public darkroom and we have a FujiMoto CP31 and we're having some technical issues:

    the developer is leaking from its tank into the fix tank at a rate of about 50 mL every couple of minutes. It's only happening when the processor is on, and it's not 'flooding' over, which is to say the developer isn't flowing over the top of the tank and into the fix tank.

    Has anyone ever had heard of this, or know what it the problem could be? I am so stumped on this one!

    Any advice or information is very very much appreciated!
    Thanks!
     
  2. frotog

    frotog Member

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    You need to empty all the chemistry and try to trouble-shoot the problem with H2O. Somehow I doubt your diagnosis is correct. I have a cp51 and a cp32. These two machines have separate recirculation pumps for each bath. I'm not certain about the cp31 but it seems unlikely that the first two baths would share a single pump. Are you using the replenishment module?
     
  3. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    Are all the springs in place on the ends of the rollers? The rollers, especially the last in each bath act to squeegee the chemicals and reduce carry thru.
    "O" rings make a good replacement if you can't find new springs.
     
  4. frotog

    frotog Member

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    The op made it sound like the problem is independent of prints being run through the machine. Besides, 50ml would be quite a bit of carry through especially at the 11" size.
     
  5. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    There is no interconnection in the tanks piping systems, so it must be at the tank level.

    My guess is that the spray bar in some manner is mis aimed, or has too many outlets plugged with cruddies, so that the pump is squirting liquid out where the piping joins the spray bar.

    The public darkroom comment makes me suspect that the machine needs a good cleaning, roller scrub, and spring and spray bar inspection. I had good sucess cleaning the spray arm with a longe scrubby thing marketted at claning glass baby bottles

    A transfer rack clean off also would help.

    Maybe the overflow of the developer tank is somehow plugged, and the overflow of tank 1 is being washed into the next tank, or event the third tank along the end areas if the machine is not mounted on a levellled surface?.

    I find myself curious how they run theirs. The first tank is usually deevloper, because it has the most accurate thermostat ( or at least mine did until it went flaky.)

    The last tank I thought would be blix, with a water bath of stop between them. Maybe they run tank 2 as blix.
     
  6. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    You're likely right, 50ml would be a lot of carryover. Maybe a problem with the spray bars? twisted the wrong way? A hole partly blocked and spraying the wrong way? a leak at the right angle rubber connection?
     
  7. frotog

    frotog Member

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  8. mmmdarkroom

    mmmdarkroom Member

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    Thanks so much for all of your responses!

    I'd already drained all the chemistry and run it with just water in it, after a very thorough cleaning. I kept the lid off and watched what was happening there's no liquid moving over the top off the tanks so it's not the spray bars or the overflow.

    We don't use the replenishment module. And I was able to determine that it was fluid from the developer tank moving into the fixer tank during the water test, by filling each tank with exactly 2 liters of water and then draining both after running it (with the lid off, rollers out) for a few minutes. When I drained it there was substantially more water coming out of the second tank than the first, I measured the difference and thats how I got the rate of 50 mL per 2 minutes.

    I'll go ahead and try cleaning the spray bars with a bottle brush, it definitely couldn't hurt. Any other idea?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 24, 2012
  9. frotog

    frotog Member

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    If you're not using the replenishment module then the excess that you're measuring in tank one can only be accounted for by spill over from tank two. There is no other likely scenario.
     
  10. mmmdarkroom

    mmmdarkroom Member

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    Yeah, the excess is actually in tank two and it's definitely coming from tank 1 but it is not flooding over the top of the tank. I've filled it with water and watched it run with the lid off and the rollers out and each time I can see the fluid level in tank one getting lower as it rises in tank 2. Has anyone heard of this happening before?
     
  11. EdSawyer

    EdSawyer Member

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    aren't there some cutoff valves that keep the drains from allowing fluid out them (the front 3 drain hoses) while the processor is running? I seem to think so. Maybe one of those valves is bad, and allowing bath 1 to drain into bath 2 somehow through the piping/valves that control those front 3 drain hoses?

    GOod luck, let us know how it works out

    -Ed
     
  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    No, the drain hoses, at least on my 31, are totally independent. The only 'valve' is the stopper in the end of the hose.
     
  13. mmmdarkroom

    mmmdarkroom Member

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    So I just wanted to clarify the diagnosis and throw out a few more questions. Thank you all so much for your feedback!

    I've drained the processor of chemicals and cleaned it thoroughly. When I go to fill it with water, by placing the funnel in the drain hole of tank 1 (with the drain tube capped) the water flows back through the agitator tubes like it's supposed to, but a small amount of water also bubbles up from the drain hole of tank 2.

    If I continue and fill each tank completely and then run the processor, with the lid off and the rollers out, I can actually see the water level in tank drop as it rises in tank 2, until it either overflows or I just turn the processor off. The water seems to be entering tank 2 via the pump system or some other internal problem because it's not flowing over the top or sides of tank 1. I'm really stumped because everything I know about the processor seems to suggest that whats happen isn't really possible, and a great deal of the feedback I've received echos that; however, it is happening.

    I'm in Asheville, North Carolina, can anyone recommend an repair technician within a days drive or so?

    I've also thought about contacting a local small parts mechanic, like a dishwasher repair person, etc. Does that seem reasonable at all? My thinking is that, since it's not an incredibly complex mechanical device an unrelated mechanic might be able to resolve the issue with just a little tinkering, though I'm also concerned that this option could lead to huge bill and a more thoroughly broken machine.

    Any advice that you may have is greatly appreciated! As I said we're a public darkroom, we're actually in the process of establishing 501c(3) status, and the processor went kaput the first week we opened to the public, so we're desperately anxious to get her back on her feet!

    Thanks Again!
     
  14. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    The only thing I can think of, and this is a way out there sort of guess, is that something might have somehow gotten hot or soft under the hood, and one hose has fused with another hose, with a pinhole leak somehow linking the two hoses.

    I know the rubber in two tank in mine over the years has swelled, in reaction to chemical action ( likely after I moved dev into two where it had sat in blix for years - tank 1 thermostat issue drove that swap), and I had to take the bottom off to shorten the hose from pump to heater. The swelling caused the short pipe section to kink as it grew longer.

    The thing is not mind blowing to diagnose once you remove the top and racks, flip it over, mop up the residual fluids, and take about 6 screws out from underneath.

    Yes a dishwasher is an apt analogy. There is a power cord to the vent fan to disconnect, and then reconnect so the wire does not rub against the fan. Ask me how I learned that detail after I had refilled the machine.

    The thing to remember on the electrical side is that at it's heart it is a japanese 100Vac machine, that runs it's pumps and processor control circuits from an auto-transformer (maybe a full tx, I am a little fuzzy on that precise detail) to take NA 120Vac in and step it down to 100Vac. Only the heaters run at 120V.

    Happy troubleshooting. It will make you stronger in the long run with this machine.

    The next thing to likely crap out are the control board electrolytic capacitors. Not a huge effort to swap, but necessary on many older pieces of gear.
     
  15. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    Sounds like it's time to flip it over and take the bottom off. It's not too hard to do.
    1) drain and remove all the racks
    2) disconnect the circuit board connections - the connectors are all different
    3) flip it over and remove the screws holding the bottom on
    4) lift the bottom up from the front - the fan in the back will still be connected I think it has a connector as well but you can just tip the bottom to expose all the plumbing.

    I can post some pictures tomorrow if that would help. I also have the parts and service manual if the would help. They don't really contain much info beyond the obvious.

    If you don't feel up to it maybe your idea about a dishwasher repair guy might work. Maybe check local collages to see if they have any ideas. They might have had one in a darkroom once upon a time.

    --- look like Mike beat me to the post
     
  16. frotog

    frotog Member

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    There's a good repair guy just south of Philly. He knows these machines very well. But considering that it's a plumbing problem, taking the lid off the 31 and inspecting the hoses is the next obvious step.
     
  17. George Nova Scotia

    George Nova Scotia Subscriber

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    CP31 pictures - not too scary?

    Inside the bottom - tank pumps on the left (green)

    CP31_1.JPG


    Full view - note the stain on the bottom - the overflow hose from the gear channel was stuck inside the case for a while.
    CP31_2.JPG

    Pumps
    CP31_3.JPG
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2012