Sink Pumps for adding water to my darkroom

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by jackbaty, Nov 2, 2012.

  1. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    My basement darkroom is terrific except for the fact that my basement has no running water. Or more accurately, no way to drain water. I would like to add a sink and am looking for the best (relatively inexpensive) way to do that.

    I'm thinking something like this Sink Pump would work...

    http://www.homedepot.com/buy/flotec-1-4-hp-submersible-sink-pump-system-fp0s1800lts.html

    Price is good, but reviews all seem to mention noise. Anyone here tried this and have a better suggestion?

    Thanks!
     
  2. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    You might want to move up in size and power for less noise. It will be a few bucks more, but a lot of the whole-house pumps are built for quiet operation. If you do so you will want to get the 20-some gallon basin, so it doesn't run so often. Are you planning to use running water for temp control? If so that little 1/4 horse motor could burn out a lot sooner than a 1/2-3/4.
     
  3. David Brown

    David Brown Subscriber

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  4. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    Yes, that's probably the best idea. Just trying to get a feel for what I need, so thanks.

    I won't use running water for temp control, and rarely print on fiber paper so I don't expect long rinse times either. Mainly just want to avoid carrying trays of chemicals up and down the stairs every time I want to print.
     
  5. AgX

    AgX Member

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    I got a similar system sunk in much greater concrete bassin benearth the floor, covered with a thick steel plate. I would not run it open. For other reason too... But the system you refer to is totally enclosed. Furthermore in case it still would be too loud, what I don't expect, you could make a second, nicer casing from OBS or such, even will it with insulator material.

    There still maybe the sound of the water in the upper draining pipe, so do not expect absolute silence.
     
  6. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    I missed that thread, thanks David! Never really considered that a plain old sump pump would be an option.
     
  7. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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  8. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    You don't have to have running water in your darkroom. As for washing, you can hold your prints in water until you wash them elsewhere. Just an idea.
     
  9. DREW WILEY

    DREW WILEY Member

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    Ordinary sump pumps do poorly in a darkroom environment because the chemicals (including stop bath) tend to be corrosive and rust them out. You might end up replacing pumps too frequently. You can make a good sump out of a heavy-duty 40-gal garbage container and lid. The sump pump itself should have corrosion-resistant impeller and housing. Grainger has a nice 1/3HP model with an ABS housing around $175 with integral float which should last a decade or so at least. By contrast, the typical hardware store or home center pump will probably fail in a couple of years - not exactly a bargain at that rate.
     
  10. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Many sump pumps I know have polyamide casings/propellers and stainless steel shafts. Which did not prevent though (sump-pump behind washing maschine) the double O-ring bearing of the level-lever to fail and the motor to be drowned...

    Foreseing a failure, and to enable a quick replacement, I installed a waterproof cable connector by a renown manufacturer into the mains lead in the sump bassin. Due to the constant wetness the polyamide parts, threaded casing and nut, seemingly swelled. Trying to untwist the nut finally spoiled the the whole connector.
    I got mad on this.

    Now I would use silicone grease on the thread. But... can one think of everything ahead??
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2012
  11. eddie

    eddie Subscriber

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    I use the sump pump into a 30 (or 40) gallon plastic trash can. It only needs to run about 15 feet, to my utility sink/drain. Like Drew said, the chemicals will corrode it fairly quickly if you're not careful. I don't dump my trays into it. I dump directly into the utility sink, but the pump helps with spillage, and sink cleaning. I just make sure to add a good bit of clean water to the trash can before turning on the pump. This seems to help extend the life of the pump, but they won't last forever. I think I'm on my third in about 20 years.
     
  12. lensman_nh

    lensman_nh Member

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    I use pretty much the same unit in my darkroom FWIW.
     
  13. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

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    For the past 12 years I have been using an inclosed pump similar to the Home Depot pump in the original post. Other than replacing the automatic shut-off switch about 1-1/2 years ago I have had no problems with it. It is a little noisy but at the rate it pumps out the tank it doesn't run for long. A sump pump would be quieter but I did not want to break up the concrete floor in my basement.

    My darkroom gets a lot of use and, since I do Gum printing and Carbon Transfer printing, I go through a lot of water. My pump has served me well.
     
  14. lensman_nh

    lensman_nh Member

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    An additional note about dumping chemistry into the sump. Don't, as the fitting will corrode. Personal experience there.

    I dump chemistry into a bucket for disposal upstairs. Wash water and residualk amounts are not an issue.

    J.
     
  15. Trond

    Trond Subscriber

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  16. Hal Reiser

    Hal Reiser Member

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    I've used a similar set up in my darkroom to pump six feet up to my main sewer line for the last 19 years.

    The only problem which forced me to replace the original unit was due to the tank developing a crack. I do not find this system to be noisy and as I work exclusively with fiber base paper I put a good volume through it.

    I used PVC pipe exclusively in all of the plumbing to eliminate any corrosion issues. One important thing to keep in mind if you go this route is to place a check valve on the line from the pump to a point just before the connection to the sewer line. This will prevent back flow back into the tank after the pump shuts off and will prevent any overflow if for some reason you experience a sewer back up.
     
  17. jackbaty

    jackbaty Member

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    Terrific information here. I'm going to give the sink pump from Home Depot a whirl. I don't typically need very much water, so I believe this will get me what I need. Good advice on the check valves and corrosion concerns.

    I've lived without water in the darkroom for several years. It's now about making things more convenient. Thanks for all the input.
     
  18. youngrichard

    youngrichard Member

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    I am on my second pump in 20 years. Submersible and automatic level sesitive, sealed and corrosion resistant. Sunk a pit in the cellar floor lined with heavy duty polythene dustbin - the cellar floods to a depth of a few inches every few years or so which gives the pump a good workout and keeps the floor pretty well dry. At least the labels don't float off my wine bottles.
    So far as chemicals go, everything goes down the plug-hole, but I make sure the taps are full on when pouring chemicals out.
    Richard
    PS Make sure the pump is powerful enough to get the waste up to where it is going - mine has to lift about 12 ft.
     
  19. Hal Reiser

    Hal Reiser Member

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    After I posted my previous reply I remembered a couple more things. On the check valve issue I realized that I had installed two check valves. The one to prevent back flow into the tank is located right by the tanks discharge. The second one is up at the sewer line to prevent the sewer pipe overflow.

    Also I designed the plumbing connections to the tank to be easily disconnected in case I needed to repair or change the entire assembly. The connections between the tank and the discharge line and the tubing from the sink drain to the tank are connected by the use of rubber Fernco style couplings which detach by means of loosening the hose clamps which tighten the coupling to the pipe.