Water controll mixer?

Discussion in 'B&W: Film, Paper, Chemistry' started by Mike A, May 25, 2005.

  1. Mike A

    Mike A Member

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    OK,
    I have a new sink installed in my "darkroom", I ripped my wifes laundry sink faucet of the wall and I've been told I need to replace it, the pipes are exposed.
    Should I go with a photographic orientated set up on a board (leedal, calumet......)?
    Or should I go the "Home Dumpo" route and make my own.
    I've read that the temp gauges on some of the brand name set up equiptment are not very accurate and allot of it is over priced.
    Any suggestions or instructions/diagrams will be appreciated.
     
  2. dancqu

    dancqu Member

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    Have you checked into tankless water heaters.
    Look for one with temperature control. Dan
     
  3. John Cook

    John Cook Member

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    The dedicated photo mixing valves are indeed big bucks. Over the years I have gone through two of them, but no more.

    They are a safe bet if you are planning to run a lot of color through an automatic machine while you work in another room.

    Two potential problems: they require a minimum water flow rate in gallons per minute to operate - won't work properly on a slow trickle. Second, it is getting more difficult to find packings for some of these.

    In a home b&w darkroom where the family knows enough not to run the washing machine or flush a toilet without first asking, while Dad is in the lab, a modern Delta shower valve with "no-scald" feature is perfect.

    I installed one with a Weston thermometer in-line ten years ago. Works perfectly. E-mail me if you need esoteric help with plumbing fittings, etc., not generic to a photography forum.
     
  4. Claire Senft

    Claire Senft Member

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    I would by a used thermostatic mixeing valve from Ebay for example. I would also make certain that the incoming water both hot and cold are filtered with 5 micron filters. The filters not only give you grit free negatives they lenghten the life of the valve by preventing internal wear. For most home usage I believe a low flow model to be the best choice.
     
  5. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    Some good points have been raised, i.e., the minimum flow rate and the need for filtration. Units can be purchased with flow rates as low as 1/2 GPM which for home use is desirable. Used temperature control valves are a gamble because you don't know how they've been used in the past. You don't know if they've been on a filtered line or not. You don't even know if they've been used for water. I've bought used ones and gotten lucky. But I've also received some absolute crap. A lot of Ebay sellers really don't know what they're selling or how to use it. And then there are the sellers who just don't care as long as you buy it. Caveat emptor!

    I have a Hass Intellifaucet on a filtered line in my darkroom. It's very convenient and reliable. It was also pretty expensive. If I had it to do over again, I would think twice before spending the 500 bucks. Unless you're running processes where the temperature is really critical or your supply is prone to large fluctuations, you can often hold the temperature pretty well manually. For black and white work you can do a lot with a thermometer well on the end of a standard faucet. That leaves a lot of money for film and paper.
     
  6. wfwhitaker

    wfwhitaker Member

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    I see now that this thread is cross-posted in two forums. I do not consider myself an "expert". I only know what works for me and I am relating my own experience. You do what works best for you.
     
  7. Max Power

    Max Power Member

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    For doing B&W an easy and affordable solution is a Delta 'scald control' shower/bath faucet.

    I've got one in my darkroom and it does a more than adequate job of keeping a constant temperature. I put a regular stop-cock after it so I can control the flow.

    Kent