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  1. #1

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    Wash prints in 100F water?

    I live in Phoenix, and this time of year, my cold water tap will run at 100F, give or take. For film, I cool down a gallon to my film processing temp of 68F and use the Ilford wash method, but for prints, I don't see that method as practical. I use Ilford MGIV RC, and after developing and fixing at ambient room temp, (75-80F), I've reluctantly gone ahead and washed my prints for the usual 2 1/2 minutes in water this warm (hot?), seemingly with no ill effects. I usually tone at a later session, so the prints are again subjected to another 2 1/2 minutes of hot washing. They seem to survive, but it's a little scary. I'd hate to stop doing darkroom work in the summer, but I wonder if I could have some problems with the prints later on.

    How warm is your tap water in the summer?

    Would you wash your prints in 100F water?

    Any alternative suggestions?

    Thanks!

    Dave

  2. #2
    trexx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Martiny View Post
    I live in Phoenix, and this time of year, my cold water tap will run at 100F, give or take. For film, I cool down a gallon to my film processing temp of 68F and use the Ilford wash method, but for prints, I don't see that method as practical. I use Ilford MGIV RC, and after developing and fixing at ambient room temp, (75-80F), I've reluctantly gone ahead and washed my prints for the usual 2 1/2 minutes in water this warm (hot?), seemingly with no ill effects. I usually tone at a later session, so the prints are again subjected to another 2 1/2 minutes of hot washing. They seem to survive, but it's a little scary. I'd hate to stop doing darkroom work in the summer, but I wonder if I could have some problems with the prints later on.
    I'm in Tucson
    How warm is your tap water in the summer?
    in the 90-95 range
    Would you wash your prints in 100F water?
    Do it all the time. First I do a standing water rinse at about 80F then a wash aid then running water in a vertical washer for fiber or tray for 5min for RC.
    Any alternative suggestions?
    I do not attempt to cool my film chemistry to 68. I use it at what ever Room Temperature happens to be. adjusting time has always given me better results then trying to keep temps stable.
    Thanks!

    Dave
    D-76 is a standard developer, although not one I use.
    Ansel Adams - The Negative

  3. #3
    Mainecoonmaniac's Avatar
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    Probably not a good idea. Gelatin emulsions are much softer and prone to damage in hot water.

  4. #4
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    You should be fine with the RC paper. Some papers are more sensitive to hot washes than others. Just try it, handle it gently, keep the time down and handle it by the borders and I'm sure it will be fine.

  5. #5

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    RC papers were designed to be processed in machines that run at fairly high temperatures. You should be fine with a short wash at 100F. I would be very concerned if they were fiber-based papers. The emulsion might start to lift.

    Peter Gomena

  6. #6

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    You can always run a test with scrap prints. Fix as you normally do, then wash in 100F water for 2, 4, 6 minutes and see what happens!

    Peter Gomena

  7. #7
    ROL
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    Well, my take away is pretty much always the same in specific matters of the workplace – ya gotta do what ya gotta do...

    While I don't overly concern myself with the longevity of plastic prints, it does take some time to wash the hypo out of them, and shortening the paper manufacturer's recommendations is never the best idea. It seems that 2.5 minutes is pretty short of recommendations. I have seen RC de–lamination, particularly around the margins, at warm temps before.

    As an aside, some fiber papers, notably Kentmere, are very susceptible to damage if "overwashed". The edge between sufficient archival washing and potential damage, at normal temps., can be frustratingly thin. Washing at shortened warm temps. would certainly cause concern as to their "archival" potential.

  8. #8
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    I have never had to deal with that issue.
    According to the local weather guessers, we are haveng the warmest summer in these parts since 1955. Today, my tap water is running at 70 F. Some years I have seen it as high as 79 F.

    Bob
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  9. #9

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    I live in Palm Springs so you and I have the same things to deal with. I don't now the water temperature in my darkroom, but I turn it on and let it run for a while to get it cooled down at least a little. Your problem may be that your water piping may be in your attic space so getting it cool means that you need to run the water for 5 minutes in order to get "ground water temperature" to your sink rather than "attic water temperature". The other thing is that once you get ground water temperature to your sink, unless you keep it running very frequently, as soon as it sits in the attic piping, it starts to heat up again (and does so very quickly). FYI - when I turn on the cold water in my house, if it hasn't been turned on yet in the afternoon, the temperature of it is as hot as the hot water (over 120 degrees).

    I use Ilford MGFB paper almost exclusively and haven't seen any differnce between prints done in the winter when the temps are cooler. For film, I cool the developer temps down to the high 70's (PMK Pyro) and wash with the same process as with prints. Sometimes, I'll fill several pitchers with water and let them sit on the back of the darkroom sink so I have a little more control with the wash temp for film.
    Dan's website: www.dandozer.com

  10. #10

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    Run ice in your water.

    Jeff

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