Soft or Hard water

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by reverend jay, Apr 22, 2009.

  1. reverend jay

    reverend jay Member

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    Forgive me if this has been asked before, but I am about to mix up a new batch of paper chemistry and since I have just had a water softener installed if this is going to be problematic. What's worse?, having the calcium of hard water or the sodium of softened water added to the mix?
    thanks
     
  2. Stefan Findel

    Stefan Findel Member

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    I have not had any problems with softened water. On the contrary, I would prefer it over hard water, which has given me problems when sulfide toning.
     
  3. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Well, if I were you, I'd have the resulting water tested before deciding. We have well water and a softener system. I was still getting "stuff", so had it tested. The range for soft water is 0-60 mg/l, moderately hard is 61-120 mg/l and hard is considered 121-180 mg/l. Ours (and this is from the tap, after the softener) is 352 mg/l. Which is why I'm using distilled to make my developer and fixer and do the final rinse.
     
  4. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Personally, I mix my developers in deionized (distilled) water. Tap water is okay for stop and fixers, unless its too hard. We used to live in Texas, and I used distilled for every thing. The water was so hard there, that we had to decalsify our coffee maker at least once a week, or it would die. Another option would be a water filtration systen with replacable cartridges. A sediment cartridge is a big help.
    Rick
     
  5. gainer

    gainer Subscriber

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    During the warm months I have a darkroom dehumidifier that supplies soft water of sufficient purity and quantity. In dry months, I avoid carbonates and use metaborate print developers and TEA or borax in my film developers.