Unfortunately, the largest opening in the tanks is little bigger than a jam jar top. If a brush and small hand would work I'd put it where my wife would have to look at it and let nature take its course.
I have the wall filters, wall unit temp control, cylinders and reels 'o plenty, and both a c41 and B&W card. The unit came from a place that takes very good care of the equipment, although this item looked *well* used. According to the documentation, as long as the cold water coming into wall unit temp control is no warmer than 50°f it will keep the B&W chems at temp.
I'm keeping the processor in a basement which averages about 60°f, but haven't tested the cold water temp yet. I would think the B&W chemicals will be fine.
I will probably have to start shooting more B&W. I believe microdol-x and d76 have a shelf life of around 1 month.
I can burn through C41 chemicals
I was thinking of running hot water through it (some spiked with vinegar and some with bleach) or maybe getting a power sprayer. A lab rat friend suggested mixing dilute variants of the chems that were in it and see if that would loosen up the residue.
I suspect the most prudent thing to do would be contact PSI.
I talked with a guy I work with this morning, and his advice was to load it up with hot water & let it soak for a day or two and then flush it out with more water & to just keep at it. The rebuilt one we ended up getting came with new tanks though--the tanks are sold as sets actually, so you can't really get them out individually. I think the best way to clean them is by some sort of passive way--I'd be a little leery of putting bleaches and such into the tanks....the guy that services ours has told us some funny stories though--about people dropping process thermometers into the tanks by accident and cracking the elements or having the cabinets so old & degraded, that the machine would fall over if you rolled it away from a wall....
the tanks are usually factory set for a process temperature, and sometimes they set them slightly higher to accomodate for the drift that happens in heat loss for the trough lid etc. The same for the water panels. For E6 we run at 102 on a Hass Intellifaucet, but the tanks are down at 100-101 or so. There are two lights on the left side, under the pressure gauges. These are the tank-deck heater lights. They normally sorta blink on & off sequentially--this tells you the temp is okay in the tanks. If one light stays solid or never comes on, there's a problem, or the chem is heating up. One thing that has happened to us in the winter, for example, is the ambient room temp gets low enough to where it takes a day or longer to stabilize the chemistry after you mix it up. 65 or so is about the coldest that room gets.
fwiw, they make an accessory for it where you can bypass the drains for the fixers & bleaches, so you can reuse these or run them through recovery units. We mostly do it for the recovery unit. You can also get a lid for it that will let you handpour your developer-- might work for your b&w...the best advice I guess I can give would be to cover up the red lights on the processor with black tape when you load the film...
If these are hardened salt deposits, wouldnt dilute lime a way help? Put the solution in the tank, wait for a day or so and flush real good. Anyways, just a thought.
The problem with the WL tanks is they're all sealed up almost, and the place you add chemistry is really narrow--it's like the size of a liter soda bottle or a little bigger. It's actually a threaded PVC pipe with a screwcap into this acrylic tank. You can ruin those tanks by overtightening the caps. The 4E can be maintained almost entirely off parts you can buy at plumbing shops, except for the electronics. But the tanks are really fragile and if you get anything in there that you can't get out, you're screwed. We drained a tank once, for like 30 seconds and cracked a heater probe actually. It was an accident, but that was like the death knell for processing for awhile. You could stick a bottle brush down in there & break one of those probes and be out $$$. They're really simple machines & work great, a delight to use. Compared to Jobos, they're like miles above any rotary processor--even those autolabs. But those tanks need to be handled with care...a new WL Model 5 will set you back almost $20K, you can get these rebuilt 4Es for about 5-10K. You can get them used for probably around 750-1500. we use CLR in our Intellifaucet--it gets all gunked up and won't work--so you take these valves out & soak them in CLR and rinse them off. As long as the electronics stay dry, it's okay. I don't know what it would do to the WL, but those tanks will be tough to get at inside, all the corners etc....whatever you pour in there, has to go out through either a siphon, or pumped through the processor, so it can't contaminate anything along the way....I don't know if I would worry about it that much, unless it was caked in there. The other processors I use are pretty gnarly inside, Ii almost hate to touch them to load in chemistry, and it only makes prints worse when you actually try to clean out the tanks. It loosens up all this crap that otherwise never would have been a problem. If a roller or a reel or something touching a print or film is dirty, this is a problem, but tanks can sometimes just get stained.
It has been a bit of time since my last post. I doubt that my limited knowledge was missed, though I suspect you will all be glad to have reason to purvey my stunning avatar once again.
I must say dumb is the feller who asks first and reads the manual later. Dumb is what I am.
As mentioned in my opening to this thread, The previous owner of this particular Wing-Lynch, treated their equipment very well. What I didn't mention is that they had the original documentation and every (this is an assumption on my part) addendum published for the device (and water panel) up until 2002.
I have read the documentation (whoohoo!).
Found in section 2, immediately following installation and testing, anyone with a handful of obliging brain cells and the ability to read would find not one (1) but three (3) methods for cleaning a wing-lynch 4e.
The easiest and most straight forward way to clean this film processor is to fill it with water and run it through the cycles. The wing-lynch allows the user to set the amount of chemicals to be used and the ability to skip through steps. The former allows one to use the appropriate amount of chemistry for the amount of film being processed or, for the purposes of this discussion, set the amount to a high level to push through as much effluence (in this case it isn’t chemistry as much as water and whatever waste it was able to leech off the walls of the tank) as possible. The latter allows the user to push all the chemistry through the machine in a relatively short period of time by dumping the chemistry being used once the trough has been filled. It also does a reasonably good job of cleaning out the system.
After initiating this post I filled the tanks with distilled water and a tablespoon of household bleach and let the device sit until I had time to address it. Although I was cautioned about using bleach in the tanks, I was more concerned about algae. My thoughts were that I would thoroughly flush the bleach out once I figured out how.
It has been one of the more costly and hectic summers of recent memory and so the wing-lynch sat unused.
About a week ago I decided to see about getting the processor up and running. It has become apparent to me that processing film at the level I require is something within my skill set and budget. I read the manual (whoohoo!) and hooked the sucker up. It required a drain, some water (two lines one each for hot and cold) and a tank of nitrogen. The previous owners had purchased and therefore supplied me with two water filters (2) , a wing-lynch water temperature control device (WP2), and a gas regulator. My job was rather simple. I needed to run about 14 feet of pvc for a drain, a like amount of copper tubing for a water supply and purchase and connect a tank of nitrogen. The procedure took about 2 days. Upon completion of the water hook-up I discovered the WP2 had a cracked water solenoid valve that made it inoperable and somewhat leaky.
I ordered a new solenoid valve.
In the interim I soft plumbed (?) a water supply to the Wing-lynch. I tested it as per the manual (yeaha!) and flushed the system or as much as I could.
This particular Wing-Lynch has two ‘decks,’ an upper deck that contains C41 chemicals and a lower deck for two (2) B&W developers and fix. The tank that would contain fix in the lower deck cannot be pumped out. This tank contained the greatest amount of sediment, which may be blocking the flow. It also was disconnected from the upper deck at one time and may not have been properly reconnected or the feed line may be done. In any event, either issue is manageable – more than likely I’ll find an answer in one of the manuals.
So, the tanks are mostly clean, the processor operates as stated, and the times are right on as are the chemical temperatures. In addition to the solenoid valve I’ve ordered c41 chemistry. I will begin testing with color negative film later this week.
Couple other Items worth noting about this thing are that it has a chiller plate to help keep the B&W chemicals at tempeture and a bleach replenishment system. The chiller plate will probably not be used (the thing sits in my basement which seldom reaches 60°), but the bleach replenishment could be a real money saver.
Thank you to all that answered my original post and I apologize for not doing a little investigation prior to asking.