Water reg for Jobo ATL-1

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Jan Brittenson, Feb 15, 2004.

  1. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    So, I just bought a used ATL-1, and am looking for a water regulator. (The ATL-1 is basically a CPP-2 base with a motorized lift and control box.) I figure for B&W I could use tap water manually adjusted to 65-70ish, but I really want to be able to do my own E6. I have hot and cold and a drain, and will pay a plumber for a professional up-to-code installation with flexible lines (this is the Earthquake State). The heater isn't very close and draining standing water out of the pipe takes about 20 sec. I don't mind doing this manually in advance, but there needs to be a way to do it.

    How about the Arkay Econos? At ~$300 they seem right. I don't feel too excited about pauing $600 for a Jobo panel. I figure installation will cost about $200 on top of that.

    Anyone out there using a cheap alternative to the Jobo panels you can recommend?
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Jan, don't know if it would apply to your setup, but you might check into one of the 'on demand' hot water heaters. They can provide pretty much unlimited hot water at a constant temp, they are basicly hot water heaters without a tank. Friend of mine has one in his barn and says it works great. Wish I had one for our guest bathroom, like the idea of not heating water all the time, just when you need it. Keep us posted on what you end up doing.
     
  3. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    A way to deal with the standing water in your lines is to install a circulation loop in your hot water line.

    This involves taking your hot water line near to the Jobo installing a tee and running a line back to the bottom of your hot water heater. Normally the drain fitting in the bottom of the heater is removed and reinstalled in a tee that is placed in the drain opening. The circulating return line is then plumbed into the other opening in the tee.

    Depending on the distance, sometimes these work very well through convection without the addition of a circulating pump and sometimes a circulating pump is required. Again distance is the important consideration.

    For precise temp control at a reasonable cost, I would look for one of the older Arkay tempering units to show up on Ebay...possibly check with Midwest Photo or any of your used photo dealers locally. With a lot of labs going digital this equipment is probably being pulled and thrown away.

    Good luck.
     
  4. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    Unfortunately the water heater is in the basement and we're on the second story. Even worse, we just recently had the heater moved down to the basement to make room in the laundry room and fit a larger unit!!! :bag:

    I'll definitely look for used gear, good idea! If I end up having to buy something new I'm currently leaning towards a Leedal WCP-25, a simple mixer with a 30micron filter and thermostat. That way if my wife flushes the toilet the wash won't go scalding hot. :smile: It has a garden hose outlet, I'll Y split that and connect one end to the ATL-1 permanently, and use the other for tray washing, flushing the pipes, etc. Anything with a location heater looks like it'll run well over $1000, which is a little beyond what I'd like to spend on this...
     
  5. Thilo Schmid

    Thilo Schmid Member

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    Jan,
    I use a thermostatic shower valve on my ATL-2 and it works fine.
     
  6. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    I got a Wing Lynch water mixer for a very reasonable price from Ebay and it works very well after startup fluctuations. I replaced the the valve on my old Powers panel with it after I determined the Powers was junk. Seems the thermostatic slug in the valve goes bad after a time and costs more than the unit is worth to replace. The Wing Lynch overhaul kits is very reasonable and a good idea when buying a used unit.
     
  7. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    Someone is selling a Kodak PX-7 on ebay right now, but the seller doesn't seem to know whether it has a thermostat. (Or rather what a thermostat is.) And I can't find any info on the model either. But at $35...
     
  8. DKT

    DKT Member

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    If you run E6--you'll probably need an electronic panel. The Wing Lynch panels are great--but you may want to check out a Hass Intellifaucet. For one thing, they're cheaper new--a basic model runs about $500. More importantly--the WL won't handle as wide a variation in water pressure as an Intellifaucet will.

    If you look at manual panels--check out the flow rates needed for the unit to be accurate. Also--plan to have your plumber install hot & cold water filters PRIOR to the panel, and if you're fussy, after the panel as well. You usually set them up with check valves & vaccuum breakers as well as couplings so you can get the panel out for maintenance. I'd recommend a 5 micron filter--this may seem like overkill, but don;t go any larger than 25 micron. we use 25 micron on our paper processor water panel--and 5 micron on the film processor(s).

    otoh--I thought some of those Jobos would temper the wash water internally & could be set up without external water hookups? It may be worth asking Jobo about what it takes to set up an ATL for location processing--you might be able to forego the expense of the water-panel if this is the case.

    Sorry I can't be of much more help on this--but I do use a Hass Intellifaucet with a Wing-Lynch....and use 3 other manual water panels, including the Leedal you mention.


    BTW--plan on rebuilding a water panel from time to time. If you use them enough, you'll probably have to do it about once a year.

    KT

    my opinions only/not my employers.
     
  9. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    Interesting, I found your note on photo.net regarding the D250 and it gumming up from hard water -- but how you're otherwise happy with it. I guess it's a good sign you still like it a year later! :smile: Paul Butzi also seems to have only good things to say about it. I may actually spring for one of these... While expensive it does seem like an excellent investment. He mentions a low-flow option, I bet I will need this for the ATL-1.

    Pardon a dumb question, but what's CLR? Chlorine?

    I was planning on putting a filter after it, but I guess putting two before will keep sediment out of the valves. Good idea. I was planning on two feed valves on the lines before it so I can take it off if necessary (I just assumed the plumber would do this automatically); will I also need vacuum breakers to remove the mixer?
     
  10. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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  11. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    I just stopped fretting over it and ordered an Intellifaucet D250 and filter kit... with the low-flow option. What this does is alter the control program so it's more accurate at low flow rates. I guess it reduces the expected temperature change in response to valve adjustments to eliminate self-induced oscillation -- which for higher flow rates means it might take a fraction of a second longer to home in on the temperature.

    Tomorrow I've got to call the plumber for a consultation. I'll definitely want feed valves before the filters so I can service them. I should also check with him if I need vacuum breakers, but I suspect probably not. I can probably break a lock by unscrewing either or both filter canisters. But if they're cheaper than me :smile: I might have a set installed anyway.
     
  12. DKT

    DKT Member

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    CLR is just a househould cleaner. calcium-lime-rust remover or something like that. the water in our lab is rather hard--and since the water panels are used every day--they tend to get gunked up . that's what I was alluding to above--this kind of stuff happens. with water-panels and you should plan on having to rebuild them annually....same as changing filters out every month or even more frequently than that. It just depends on how much you use them.

    The Intellifauct has these internal valves that you can pull out & soak in CLR as long as you don't get the PC board wet. It's kind of a PIA, but cheaper than sending it off to the manufacturer, who would do the same thing pretty much (they told us how to do this). Over 5-6 years now I guess, we've done this maybe 3 times. The reason why we went with the Intellifaucet over the Wing Lynch is on a tip from our dealer/tech guy--they handle swings in water pressure better than a WL panel. Our lab is in a large public building and we have all sorts of water pressure problems at various times of the day.

    The vaccum breakers are just for safety more or less when the water panel is permanently plumbed into a processor. the check valves will probably be built into whatever unit you buy--they keep the flow running one way--but these can get gunked up too eventually, so if you buy used, check these out. Some you can get at & fix, others just need to be replaced.

    so, it's great to get these things used dirt cheap, but buyer beware....


    Basically you just need to draw out a little diagram for your plumber--make sure you can get the panel out for maintenance without destroying the whole setup. Same goes for the filter housings--you need to use one each--hot & cold. Plan on maybe having to replace the housings every 5 yrs. We recently had a cold housing form a hairline crack after about 7 yrs and had a nice big puddle in the lab one morning.....

    so think about something like shutoff valves for each water line prior to the whole setup. Have couplings before and after the filters and the water panel. With a vaccum breaker mounted higher than the processor & water panel--between the water panel and the Jobo. You can T off the water panel though. Run one off to the jobo--the other to a sink. No problem. In fact, you might find that you have to run a bit of water continuously to keep it at the right temp for some of the wash steps in E6--otherwise it might take 15-20 seconds for the thing to stabilize and by then you're almost quarter of the way through the wash step. Too hot or too cold--by even a degree or two in the some of the steps will cause you some problems. It wastes a bit of water, but works better this way unless you can set up a recirculating loop somehow.

    Hope this isn't too confusing, if I had more time, I'd try to shoot a couple of snapshots of these panels. It sounds complicated, but if you draw it out, it will make more sense.

    KT
     
  13. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    Yep, I ordered the filter kit with it; it comes with a 10 micron cold water filter and 5 micron hot water filter. I'll consult with the plumber, but there's no hurry since my D250 isn't expected to ship until Mar 12. It should be a relatively straightforward installation. The gravity drain makes me a little nervious though since there's a washer on the same drain, and it's not gravity! The thing has an outlet pump; if the drain pipe backs up I'm concerned it might back up into the ATL before the washer notices and stops. So I need to have the plumber suggest something, perhaps a one-way valve of some sort. Or a manual valve that can be closed when the washer is in use.

    I'd hate to find my processor blowing bubbles. :smile:
     
  14. glbeas

    glbeas Member

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    Easiest thing to do would be an open standpipe that the ATL drains into like the washer does to prevent anything backing into the processor. If the plumbing allows it that is. That will prevent any back pressure from getting into the ATL drain lines.
     
  15. Donald Miller

    Donald Miller Member

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    To the best of my knowledge all plumbing codes within the United States will require a trap in the drain line leading to your processor. This will prevent sewer gas from entering habited space. The water in the trap will prevent some back flow resistance to you your washer backing up into the processor. Additionally there is a "flapper type check valve" that is usually installed in the outlet line of a sewage pump. The ones that I have experienced are usually 2 in IPS. They work very well insofar as back flow but they do present some minimal resistance to the gravity flow from your processor.
     
  16. Jan Brittenson

    Jan Brittenson Member

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    I just received the ATL-1, and am quite happy with it. It looks in great shape, well taken care of. Came packaged with two 2830/2840 (16x12) paper drums, a smaller 2800 series paper drum, a 3006 expert drum (4x5/5x7), 2 1520+1530 (1540) film tanks, a single 1520, a 2500 series film tank, about a dozen 120 stainless reels, a few plastic reels, 16 chemistry bottles that look clean, a separate CPE2 heater unit for a holding bath, lots of documentation, and a bunch of random knicknacks like spare light traps, lids, spare fuses, roller bearings/assemblies, etc. Might turn out to be a pretty good deal for the $700 I paid if it works, too. :smile: The previous owner said the circulation pump starts out slow but picks up pretty soon as it warms up, but I might want to replace it sometime. It's the regular CPP-2 unit.

    Checking the manual I'm happy to see it actually tempers the rinse water, and the feed only needs to be ballpark. So if it's sat 5-10 minutes in the hose between the mixer and the processor it should still be fine... I might also skip the drain and just use a large bucket for the rinse water, will have to see what the plumber says. The rinse water tempering means I won't have to trickle the feed to keep the water warm.

    I'm excited now!!!