Too hot to handle dev

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Nicole, Jan 7, 2008.

  1. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    This summer in Australia it's a bit of a scorcher! Boxing Day (day after Christmas Day) was 44.3+ degrees celcius and since then it's cooled down to 40+ and now a couple of weeks later just a mere 35+ d celcius. I can't get developing as the water out of the tap is too hot hot hot. I really need to get that temp control thing happening in the water pipes. Have you done this before? Please correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought you can only control temperature by warming it up, not cooling down. Is it easy enough to do yourself?
     
  2. Brook

    Brook Member

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    Distilled water ice cubes.
     
  3. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    nicole
    i have cooled water down before.
    was about 30ºC.
    and i would keep developer and fixer in the studio fridge
    so it was nice and cold ... and when i mixed with the warmer water
    it was the right temp ...
    to keep things cool, i would also fill a metal film tank with water and put it in the
    fridge or freezer and put THAT in my chemistry to cool it down.
    when it is hot, the temp creeps up, so i always adjusted my developing times a little ( i made a chart ).


    hope the heat wave get a bit cooler for you, sounds hot !

    -john
     
  4. Valerie

    Valerie Subscriber

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    I have a similar problem here during Texas summers. My solution is a water bath with ice cubes to cool things down. I keep a thermometer in the bath and add icecubes or tap water to keep temps consistent. The tub is large enough for all the chems to bathe in while waiting thier turn.
     
  5. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Hi Brook John & Valerie, thank you for your tips. I appreciate your input. I'm sorry I forgot to mention it's the running water I use for the rinse that's difficult to control in the heat. Oh, I have no bathtub... yet!!! I might have to get me an old tub and stick it in the old back yard. Perfect!! lol
     
  6. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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  7. noseoil

    noseoil Member

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    Nicole, I have the same problem here in Tucson for about 6 months of the year. I keep some water in the fridge in a plastic milk jug, that's for the developer. For film I use less running water than many people do. I keep water at between 72 and 80f for the wash portion and instead of doing a constant stream, I use a soak and dump method. The film is allowed to sit in a container and agitated from time to time. This is dumped and more cool water is added. Agitate a couple of times, dump and stand again. Don't know how archival my negatives are, but this seems to work pretty well for me. The tap water here in summer can b 92f for a few months at a time due to shallow water lines. Best, tim
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    Here in Melbourne, there are usually only a few days per year when it is too hot for me to process film. I find that if we have a run of 30 plus C days, the water temperature will go up to about 25 or 26, but usually it doesn't get much higher than 24 C.
     
  9. jim appleyard

    jim appleyard Member

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    As mentioned, ice cubes will work, but if you pre-freeze some water in empty 35mm film canisters, they will cool off your dev without diluting it further. When you need to, just re-freeze.
     
  10. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    Another approach is to use a "tropical" developer. These are designed to process film at higher temperatures than "normal." I believe there are instructions in Troop's Darkroom Cookbook on how to convert a "normal" developer into a tropical one, but I don't have my copy handy to look this up.
     
  11. marcsv

    marcsv Member

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    I'm from the Philippines and I use Acufine a lot, when it gets too hot here I just store a quart of it in my ref. I put my fixer in a water bath (a large pail with some ice) before starting the session. I've had little to no problems with this set up so far.
     
  12. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    You can also do things like put ice cubes in a plastic bag to cool the developer. If the water isn't actually so hot that it damages the developer, there is a time/temperature conversion chart on most of the Ilford data sheets and in the back of Anchell's _Darkroom Cookbook_, so you can adjust development time for a different temperature than you usually use. I use this all the time with Acufine, which I keep in a deep tank and replenish, but this is a developer that will crash if it gets too hot. I discovered this once when I'd been away for a few weeks one summer and came back to process my film, and the first six sheets came out blank. I'd later discovered that the air conditioning in our building had gone out for a few days, so it had probably reached over 90 degrees F. in our apartment. Now I always test to make sure the developer is still active if I haven't used it for a while.

    Tropical developers were designed with hardeners usually to keep the emulsion from floating off the film or plates in hot climates. They still might be a good idea under those conditions with soft films like Efke, but probably aren't necessary with Kodak/Ilford/Fuji, which are harder and have protective layers.
     
  13. Ross Chambers

    Ross Chambers Member

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    Dear Nicole,

    Do I understand from your second post that it is the final rinse stage temperature that is the problem?

    My Blue Mountains tap water temperatures are around 21 - 22 degrees currently (runs off to darkroom with thermometer in hand), and I (not being one for precision at the final wash point) just accept that.

    Somewhere there must be info re wash temperatures, but I haven't detected any problems from not striving for 20 degrees at final wash; however I'm not talking of 34 - 40 degrees. Under those circumstances the darkroom is the last place to find me!

    Regards - Ross
     
  14. Ian Grant

    Ian Grant Subscriber

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    Many years ago I needed water at 0-2°C for emulsion washing. It's easy and extremely cheap just get an old working household refrigerator and remove the compressor & cooling/freezer part and fit the freezer part into a tank then pass water through the tank cooling the water as it passes. Of course these fridges usually have a temperature control sensor so that goes in the tank too, a little experimenting will gt you close to the cool water you require.

    You could put the water into a holding/mixing tank to get the final required temperature for making up solutions and washing. This is what I'll be doing when I finally get a new darkroom in Greece/Turkey.

    Ian
     
  15. P C Headland

    P C Headland Subscriber

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    Maybe we could send some cooler water from New Zealand ? :wink:

    What about using a plastic chilly-bin/esky part filled with water, and use that as a tempering bath. You could use one of the ice-block things too if necessary, or mix the tap water with some refrigerated water. This will hold the temperature pretty constant for long enough to do the developing. Then just mix some refrigerated water with tap water for your rinse.
     
  16. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Nicole,

    What is the ambient temperature in your darkroom? Is it suitable for washing? I have gone to using a series of water baths for washing because of my darkroom layout and expensive high mineral content tap water. I keep spring water in water coolers (eskis) with taps on them used for supplying water at work sites, or in 2.5 gallon bulk chemical vats with taps. This keeps water at room temp, or warmer with aquarium heaters.

    It's a bit of managing to keep the supply topped off and tempered, but it might solve your problem in the summer. If your ambient temps are still too warm, it would be easier to adjust water temps from ambient rather than your summer tap temperature.

    Do you have the thin plastic bottles for freezing water to be used in eskies instead of loose ice? If so, you could find a suitable size and freeze that to help temper wash water just before processing.

    There is a recent thread about this wash method here on APUG: http://www.apug.org/forums/forum37/45892-ilford-washing-technique.html

    One study on this washing method is here: http://www.geocities.com/researchtriangle/thinktank/5693/ilfwash.pdf

    Lee
     
  17. srs5694

    srs5694 Member

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    If the concern is with washing water, I wonder how successful this would be: Fill some plastic bags with ice and drape them over the cold water pipe under the sink. That should help reduce the temperature of water coming through that pipe, although I don't know by how much -- probably it would depend on factors like the temperature of the ice and the length of pipe that can be so exposed.
     
  18. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    This sounds a lot like the milk chiller we used in the dairy when I was a student at Deep Springs College (which is also a working ranch-- http://www.deepsprings.edu for more info). The fresh milk was poured into a V-shaped trough and then passed over a vertical metal plate with a chilling coil running through it, and then was collected at another trough at the bottom and was funneled into a stainless steel milk storage canister and taken to the boarding house where it would be served at meals and used in the kitchen.
     
  19. ricksplace

    ricksplace Member

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    My darkroom is in the basement. It is always below 20C except for about a month or two in the summer. Tap water is usually at about 9C all year around. That big ice cube called Lake Superior never warms up. After reading all the posts in this thread, it appears too hot is much more difficult to deal with than too cold. Even when the temp here hits +40C the tap water is still 9C.
     
  20. Nige

    Nige Subscriber

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    I have an inline temp gauge and it was showing 24C the other night... being in Melb like Kevin that figures :smile: I'm happy to wash at that temp. If it gets hotter I go to the Ilford method (I'm too lazy to do this all the time!). For mixing the developer and intermediate rinses (i.e. my stop bath) I temper a bucket of water to 20C using water out of the fridge.

    Nige.
     
  21. Murray Kelly

    Murray Kelly Member

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    I have been keeping deionised water in a wine cask in the beer fridge for this in Brisbane. The most important (to my mind) is the first stages of process and for the rinse I gradually let it rise to the tap water temp. A bucket of iced water (no special treatment, perhaps some Calgon, but cooled w ice cubes) slowly rises to ambient which will do no special harm is for rinsing. It's a challenge indeed. The bucket water becomes the rinse water.

    It can be really hard to keep the tank cool but I let it float in the bucket especially if I'm using a stand developer like, say, a Beutler. If you don't watch out (as I'm sure you know) the temp in the tank can soar during a 30 or more development time.

    The cask water is usually enough for 1 film.

    Murray
    Brisbane, Oz
     
  22. Mick Fagan

    Mick Fagan Subscriber

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    I too have had issues with wash water being too hot. A few days ago the incoming water was 27.8C after being run a while when the cooler water started coming in.

    I use a re-usable plastic, "Freeza Pak" made by Willow Australia. They are a sealed bluish looking 1 litre flat plastic bottle filled with something designed to be frozen in your freezer, over and over again. Usually you stash these in your esky, to keep food chilled in summertime.

    Using these is much easier than using ice cubes in a plastic bag or plopping them straight into your water.

    I also pop them into the Jobo to cool the water down to 22C I hear the thermostat clicking on and off when it's on. The good part is that when finished you just wipe it clean, then pop them back into the freezer.

    Mick.
     
  23. mabman

    mabman Member

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    Other than what's been already suggested, another option might be rigging a Peltier cooler to the cold water pipe. As they're normally designed for CPU cooling, it would likely involve rigging a heat sink, exhaust fan, and power source, but I think it can be done - I found a guy who used one for beer cooling.