Distilled Water Question.
Would it be worthwhile making distilled water at home for mixing photo-chemicals?
Is your water particularly bad? I never found it to be worth the effort. The manufacturers of photographic chemistry assume you'll use tap water.
Not really, although it comes out a bit cloudy at times probably due to a lot of air etc. I usually use a Paterson filter on the tap. I am a bit of a fussy though.
Originally Posted by Pinholemaster
In most places tap water is just fine for the chemicals. I use some distilled to avoid problems with grit until I can get more filtration in place. The price of the unit is (very) roughly worth 1200 litres of distilled at the price I pay (.99/gal USD). For me that would be a few years worth if I did the math right.
The ability to make my own distilled is appealing, but I would probably choose to spend the money on other ways for improving the water, like filtration or reverse osmosis.
Not a direct answer but since all of our house water comes from roof collected rainwater we use a decent sized polarbear water distiller to distill our drinking water. The bonus is I get distilled water for my chems. I also do a quick 2 bath soak on my sheet film in distilled water before hanging it to dry and it always dries spotless..
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Consider reverse osmosis units as well
I found (honest, in an authorized trash picking period) a used reverse osmosis unit on the curb a few years ago. I guess someone moved in from a well in the country, and liked the city water enough to not install it again.
I replaced the pre-filter, thin membrane main element, and carbon polishing element for about $140Cdn. Every year I replace the pre filter(cheap) every second year the carbon filter ( a bit more) and am just coming up on year three, when I might replace the main filter.
It now provides better than the 'bottled water' product in terms of taste, from a small faucet at the kitchen sink, and also there is a small valve and hose that is routed into the darkroom over the sink, for final rinsing,etc.
I also gather it a gallon at a time and boil it vigorously with the pot covered, then once it has cooled, I store the de-aerater and thus de-oxygenated water in gallon glass jugs. This supply is tapped when I mix developers. I find that it makes even low sulfite colour developers last for many days longer than straight tap water.
The upside is that there is no longer a need to lug distilled water home.
Distilled is nice, and by-the-book, you probably should use it, but tap water works fine for me. My water is municipal, filtered at a filtering plant, lightly chlorinated (so they say) and then pumped thru leaky old cast iron pipes to my house. It's not bad water tho!
I do use distilled for my pyro formulas or any others that specifically say I should.
I've heard of people doing reverse osmosis, but I don't know much about it. Some folks also use a Brita filter.
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Chemical composition and PH factor of tap water is different than of destiled water. Even chem. manufacturers today add some component in the developer to neutralize (more or less) "bad" chemicals from tap water still difference will come out.
For film developing, if you tested your films with destiled water or even with tap water from different area, it is the best to retest films on developing time. The difference can be significient. For paper matter I think no visible difference.
I use distilled water to mix chemicals (my tap water is less than ideal for such applications) and I find that purchasing distilled water is more cost effective than a distiller. Locally, distilled water is a bit over (assuming my conversions are accurate) 1 Pound for 7 liters. I use Jobo tanks so that minimizes the volume I need, but I'm sure it would take me several years to break even. Convenience, however, is not a factor to be overlooked.
We do use Distilled water to mix all our devs for film, and it is used with the final photlow before going in the dryer.
You can purchase the large plastic drums from the grocery store , making sure you are getting distilled and not mineral water.
Not to expensive and seems to work very well for us.
I think the reasoning is the distilled water allows the dev to flow onto the film much faster with no resistance than that of tap water.
We use Jobo Rotary and this has been a factor for us.
Each city has its own problems with tap water and usually not consistant day in day out .The distilled with dev provides some level of consistancy.