Zone VI printwasher issues

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Sean, Sep 7, 2002.

  1. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I have a Zone VI 11x14 archival print washer. I'm not sure if this is common with all washers of this style, but I notice a lot of airbubbles form on the print surface. Even shaking the prints can't remove them all. I figure if there are bubbles on the print surface then that area isn't getting washed 100%. Can anyone advise a workaround? I suppose I can just keep lifting them out of the wash every few minutes but seems there is a better way. Maybe there is a plumbing device I can attach that will reduce the air in my water...
     
  2. Jay Wolfe

    Jay Wolfe Member

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    I believe the bubbles arise from mixing cold and hot/warm water. I think I've read that you can add somthing that makes bigger bubbles and breaks ups the smaller ones that adhere to the prints.
     
  3. William Levitt

    William Levitt Member

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    Yes, someone on the other forum suggested using an airator ( a screen in the faucet) to create larger bubbles which break up on their own. Another thought was the bubbles are caused by the use of too warm of water, and that cooler water would produce less air. I just shake the rinsing basketof my paterson print washer to release the bubbles.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    Cool, I'll try that! thanks [​IMG]
     
  5. EUGENE

    EUGENE Member

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    Ross, air bubbles on prints in an archival-type print washer are not a serious problem. They are dissolved gasses in the wash water that stick to the surfaces of the prints as they come out of solution. Colder wash water is capable of holding more dissolved gasses than warmer water. Warming the water will help to release the dissolved gasses. However, if the water is warmed too much (example, above 86 degrees F) the paper emulsion is in danger of softening . If a hardener is used in the fixing solution to prevent softening, slightly higher washing temperatures can be used, but wash times will need to be lenghtened in order to remove the residual bi-products of the fixing process. I suggest that you run the wash temp. between 75-80 degrees F and add a few drops of a wetting agent like Ilfotol,LFN, or Photoflo to the wash water. Then, occasionally lift and lower the prints to shake off the bubbles.
     
  6. John Hicks

    John Hicks Member

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    I read somewhere or other that testing revealed that the bubbles don't cause any problems, presumedly because washing doesn't occur straight out of the emulsion where it would be blocked by a bubble but is a diffusion process and the bubble doesn't block enough to matter. I believe it was in this same article that the author found that FB papers wash mostly through the _back_ rather than the emulsion side.

    Unfortunately I don't recall the magazine, date or author but I'll bet it was in the US magazine _Photo Techniques_ in the past couple of years if you want to try to dig it up.
     
  7. Edwardv

    Edwardv Member

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    Air bubbles are not a problem. They eventually pop when they get bigger or come in contact with other bubbles. The next time you wash your prints watch a certain spot of bubbles and see what happens.
     
  8. Earl Dunbar

    Earl Dunbar Member

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    I have a Zone VI 16x20 washer and the bubbles never had an effect on my prints.