source for inline water heater

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by herb, Jan 23, 2011.

  1. herb

    herb Member

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    This time of year, my darkroom water is 50F. I have seen a heater that is about 5 inches in diameter, about 2 feet long, that a guy in the mountains in NC used for his darkroom.
    As I no longer have any contact information for him, I thought I could find it by googling. No luck. Any help here?
     
  2. bobwysiwyg

    bobwysiwyg Subscriber

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    How about a small, tankless hot water heater?
     
  3. mike c

    mike c Subscriber

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    Do the tank less run on natural gas, my darkroom does not have any gas lines near by to tapp. Electric would be the only option .

    Mike
     
  4. bascom49

    bascom49 Subscriber

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    I use a small five gallon water heater that I bought at the home improvement store. It's electric, about 2 feet by 2 feet by 8 inches thick. It sits on
    the back of the shelf under my sink. super easy to install.

    Charles
     
  5. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Hi,
    I am a journeyman plumber and I do commercial construction work. The brand that we try to specify if we can is Eemax. You should be able to find them on the web. The model that we most commonly recommend requires 240 volts and a 40 amp circuit. You will need space in your electrical panel for a double pole breaker and you will need to be able wire the circuit from the panel to the point where your sink is located in your darkroom. Alternately, you could use a 6 or 12 gallon water heater.
     
  6. Neal

    Neal Subscriber

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    Hi Herb,

    The one you describe looks like these: http://www.mcmaster.com/#immersion-heaters/=aqb5c0

    Personally, I would suggest a small electric tank heater. The flow needed for a print washer is much less than the minimum required for a tankless heater (at least for my washer). and simple 120V plug in models can be had at the local home center. You could even put it on a switch and turn it off when you have a few days between darkroom sessions.

    Good luck,

    Neal Wydra
     
  7. herb

    herb Member

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    Thanks Dave, I think the Eemax will work. It is small, not grossly expensive, and puts out water at 105 to 110, which I can mix for desired processing temp.

    I have 220 available, so I will probably use that, as my amperage is a concern.
     
  8. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    I'm not knowledgeable about this, (and my memory is vague) but I seem to remember advice being given to someone who was asking a similar question regarding a new darkroom, and was told in the thread that a tankless water heater is not good for maintaining a consistent incoming temperature. Something about not drawing enough to keep the temp constant in the heater?
     
  9. amac212

    amac212 Member

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    Hmmm, I've heard the same concerns about tankless water heaters that George Collier just mentioned...
     
  10. msage

    msage Member

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    Could have been me. I worked in a lab that had one. We hated it for BXW. Could not matain a constant 68 degrees. 55 or 85 degrees only. I put in a regular eletric water heater in my darkroom.
     
  11. Rich Ullsmith

    Rich Ullsmith Subscriber

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    I ran a thread about the tankless heater. Yes, my darkroom tap would not draw enough flow to activate it.

    I subsequently bought a 2.5 gallon electric heater. Seemed simple enough to install, sort of like hooking up garden hoses. It leaked at every junction until a plumber was brought in. My cold water tap puts out 50f in the winter, and the electric heater can't maintain constant temp for wash times. I suppose it will be more consistent as the weather gets a little better.

    In retrospect, I would get a 5 gallon tank.
     
  12. mopar_guy

    mopar_guy Subscriber

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    Flow rate can be a problem with these things. The tankless electric heaters come in different power ratings and either a high flow version or a low flow version. Matching the correct unit for a given flow rate can be tricky but it is possible. The high flow rate units do not "kick on" unless there is enough flow. The low flow rate units do not have enough power for high flows. A 12 gallon water heater can be a good compromise. Sometimes a six gallon water heater will have a poor "recovery". If you want to go the water heater route, get something that takes 240 volt input. If you want to have a more consistent temperature, you could get a simple thermostatic mixing valve to mount just before the supplies to the faucet.