Water temperature regulator

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Nikkorray, Mar 13, 2008.

  1. Nikkorray

    Nikkorray Member

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    Does anyone know of a good but inexpensive water temperature regulator? I was wondering if there is such a thing without spending $600 USD on a regulator and having to hook it up to the pipes in my house.

    I seem to recall seeing a device where you would dip a metal prong(?) into a pitcher of water to control the temperature. Is there such a thing? I have no problems letting a device warm/cool liquids to the proper temperature for several minutes while I do other things.

    Thanks,
    Ray

    Edit: I'm just doing B&W... no color.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2008
  2. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Watch ebay. I got a Wing-Lynch Model 4 processor that came with the Wing-Lynch water regulator for $200. The regulator alone is worth several thousand. I've picked up several other non-electronic regulators for under $50.
     
  3. Nikkorray

    Nikkorray Member

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    Would you happen to know the name brand & model so I can do a search on them? Thanks.
     
  4. david b

    david b Member

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    Here is a pic of my crappy little set-up. Most of the pipe work came from Home Depot. The temp gauge came from someone here on APUG if I remember right.
     

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  5. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    A low flow version of the Hass Intellifaucet would be gret but those are about $500.

    You did not say what you want to regulate. If you want to have tempered, flowing water to a print washer or just for general use, then you need a proper mixing valve. Some mixing valves, such as thermostatic shower valves, are designed for high flow rates which are not practical in a darkroom.

    If you want to regulate the temperature of chemistry containers for processing, trays of open solutions, water baths for film development then some options are:

    • Jobo TBE tempering box
    • Aquarium heater in plastic tube
    • Dev-Tec electric heating element
    • Pig blanket

    I believe that Kaiser or Patterson makes a low temperature "hot plate" on which you can put trays of chemicals but those are not readily availbale in the US and are relatively expensive.
     
  6. Nikkorray

    Nikkorray Member

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    Sorry about that. I just wanted one to help me develop film only. Nothing else. Sometimes I have a batch of 4x5 TMX 100 film I need to develop in a large tank using D-76 already mixed. Trying to get the temperature right during winter/summer months via tap water is a pain.

    Thanks for the list you provided. I will research those items.
     
  7. DaveOttawa

    DaveOttawa Subscriber

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  8. magic823

    magic823 Member

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    Arkay and Delta, check bhphotovideo.com for a list under Darkroom Supplies « Sinks & Accessories « Water Controls « Temperature Controls & Monitors

    Be prepared for sticker shock, thus my suggesting ebay.
     
  9. domaz

    domaz Member

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    Just use an aquarium heater in a water bath. Your water bath container can be one of those big plastic storage bins you find at Home Depot or Taget. For B&W it's easier to find an aquarium heater that you can adjust to 70 degrees F with good accuracy. It's get harder for color when you need 100 degrees but I found a Wong model that works well.
     
  10. Nikkorray

    Nikkorray Member

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    Well, after searching the web really quick it looks like an aquarium heater is the best alternative. I would have never thought of that... you guys are the best!

    Thanks!
     
  11. Anscojohn

    Anscojohn Subscriber

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    [[*]Pig blanket
    *****
    What, prithee tell, is a "pig blanket?"

    John, Mount Vernon, Virginia USA
     
  12. jeroldharter

    jeroldharter Member

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    There have been several APUG members write that they use electric pig blankets purchased from farm supply companies. They are waterproof and lie in the sink under the trays providing some warmth and keeping the chems at the proper temperature in cooler climates.
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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  14. MurrayMinchin

    MurrayMinchin Membership Council Council

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    Gee, and I hoped people would remember me for my photographs :sad:

    Murray
     
  15. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    That and a deft hand with thread titles, Murray :smile:

    Matt
     
  16. Tim Boehm

    Tim Boehm Subscriber

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    I really like Photo Therm baths:

    http://www.phototherm.com

    but they're expensive. I got one on ebay for $33US. They also have deep models so you can
    submerge tanks and drums.
     
  17. ZoneIII

    ZoneIII Member

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    I'm not sure why you would want a heater of any kind for your purposes. Unless the ambient temperature of the room you will be working in is very cold, it's not necessary. In fact, more people have a problem getting their water temperature down to the proper temperature than up to it when processing b&w film - people living in hot climates, for example.

    The ambient temperature of my darkroom is coincidentally almost always withing one degree of 68 degrees so I'm lucky. But I still control the temperature of my water using a Leelal mixing valve. However, for years, I got by without using one so if you are developing film infrequently, a mixing valve is more of a luxury than a necessity. A large water jacket evens out minor temperature shifts from your tap water supply. I will attach a picture of my mixing valve setup.

    Another option for you that can work extremely well is possible if your room temperature is between, say, 65 and 75. If it is, you can just let your chemistry stabilize at room temperature and then compensate for the temperature using time/temperature charts.

    The only time I ever heat water is when processing color film which I have just got back into doing recently. For that, I just picked up a Jobo processor but I don't use the heater in it because I found it to be much less stable than a tempered water heater that I also have. That thing keeps my chemistry to withing 1/20th of a degree F even though it is rated for plus or minus 1/4 degree accuracy. I realize that you don't have a Jobo, but for the info of anyone here that does who may be interested, what I do is hook up the "out" line of the heater to the drain valve of the Jobo and then the "in" hose goes into the main (lower) bath though one of the bottle openings. I may add an second valve to the processor to attach the "in" hose to because this works so well. My temperature control is now spot on rather than varying about plus of minus 1 1/2 degrees like it does with the Jobo heater. I'll attach a picture of my heater as well.

    But, again, unless the room you process in is very cold (low 60s or lower), you have no real need for a heater that I can think of. You are much more likely to have to get the temperature down than up when processing b&w film.
     

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  18. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    microwave oven?

    I use a microwave to tune the temp of a developer to the start point that I want. My stock concentrated developers and pre-boiled and cooled distilled water sit on the basement floor, and are frequently something like 62F in February. I don't have the patience to wait for 42 minutes or so for film to develop at that temp.

    I have an older microwave that my wife kicked out of the kitchen for a newer one. It is on a shelf mounted above the dryer in the laundry adjacent to the darkroom.

    I pop the mixed developer into the (plastic or bakelite) tank, and heat the works in the microwave, 10 seconds at a time, and stir with a dial termometer to chech how the heating is going. Once up to temp, I am back into the darkroom, and pop the loaded film holders or reels out of the dark drawer into the tank, start the timer, and away we go, periodically agitating.

    The microwave is my best friend these days, as I am fiddling with PMK and 777, neither of which are sub 10 minute development processes unless you are in the mid 70's.
     
  19. jfish

    jfish Member

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    I have a unit, well more than 1, like david b's attached photo except mine has a large black adjusting dial just below the dial thermometer and is used to adjust the temp. It is made by Delta and was in my pro lab.

    Send me a PM if you are still interested.
     
  20. Vincenzo Maielli

    Vincenzo Maielli Member

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    Premise that the temperature control in BW developing and printing is not an issue so pressing as it happens in colour developing and printing, indeed all systems commomly marketed are more or less expensive: fixed systems same Delta, thermostatic basins same Nova or Jobo, warming trays same Kaiser... I solve this problem in a very simple and cheap manner: i have bought a thermo regulator for aquarium, that i place submerged in a capable bucket, to draw on the water i need from time to time.
    Ciao.
    Vincenzo
     
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  21. Andrew A.

    Andrew A. Member

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    for an inexpensive solution try and find one of these - Flo-Temp Thermometer Well for Dial Thermometers

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Curt

    Curt Subscriber

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    http://www.hassmfg.com/search.pl/1259393312-85514?keyword=1273&submit=Search

    Yes that's the one to get.

    What do I have? A Kodak model that was ancient when it was built, I recently found it was off by a degree but it was going into the dump at work so it made its way to my darkroom where it is doing duty until I can afford a

    http://www.hassmfg.com/search.pl/1259393312-85514?keyword=1273&submit=Search

    With the Kodak models you have to adjust the mixing valve often so it doesn't take a set and become hard to adjust or fixed in place.

    I contacted Hass manufacturing and got a reply from Bill Hass the owner, you get great service there. My question was if I turned the water off, not to be wasteful, how long will it take to get the specified temperature again. A second. With the Kodak you turn off the water and wait for it to stabilize again. The tendency is to let the water run endlessly to avoid temperature changes. So in the end you save water and electricity. The $545 starts to look good, not to mention the convenience of accuracy and service. It's made in the US if that's important to you.