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  1. #1

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    Temp control and filtration?

    I'm setting up my new darkroom and was wondering what my options are for temperature control and filtration? I'll be doing processing and contact printing with toning and alternative printing.

  2. #2
    noseoil's Avatar
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    Mike, I assume you are talking about water and not ambient air, right?

    For water to mix a working solution of developer for film, I use distilled from a store nearby. They are selling a gallon of distilled for $.35 U.S. so I can actually afford it. Tap water is used for everything else, except the final rinse with Photoflo for film, distilled. Where I live, tap water is extremely hard (Tucson has been called the kidney stone capital of the world) but I use it without any problems for everything else. Your water source has a lot to do with filtration quality needed. Is it well water, city water or something else? Does it vary with the seasons as it does in some places? A tap mounted filter can help a lot for larger particulate matter and a magnet sitting on a plastic filter can't hurt for iron. A better system would be an under the sink unit if you really have dirty water.

    For temperature control, I use a tempered water bath and tube development on film. Paper is a bit less strict on temperature, I just try to be consistent. Summer is the real problem. Ground water can be 90f or more at the tap in my darkroom, so I keep some water in the fridge for tempering. During the winter my darkroom stays at about 65 degrees in our "cold" weather, so it isn't a problem with heat until May when I have to run the cooler.

    There are a lot of people who use tap water for all of their work. This is fine if you do everything the same each time and water quality is good. The only problem I can see is that if they travel or move, times for film may have to be redone around water quality.
    I guess the best approach is to give it a try with tap water first and see what you get. If your film has things stuck to it when it shouldn't, a filter may be in order.

  3. #3
    KenM's Avatar
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    I use a Hass Mfg. temperature control valve - it works pretty well, but I've had some issues with the valve 'sticking', and refusing to sync at the set temperature. After a disassembly and a lube, it works just fine. It's nice to have the 'set and forget' ability, but it doesn't come cheap: $495 for the basic model. Here's a link to the faucet that I have.

    Regarding filtration, I don't worry about it. I'm on a good municipal water supply, and I've been told by a neighbor who works for the water survey that our water quality is very good, so to me, it's a non-issue.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  4. #4
    KenM's Avatar
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    Sorry, I forgot to add that I use distilled water to mix my stock solutions of film developer, but plain tap water to mix my working solution. For all other chems, I use tap water.
    Cheers!

    -klm.

  5. #5
    DKT
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    Quote Originally Posted by KenM
    I use a Hass Mfg. temperature control valve<<<<>>> -Regarding filtration, I don't worry about it. I'm on a good municipal water supply, and I've been told by a neighbor who works for the water survey that our water quality is very good, so to me, it's a non-issue.
    Hey--that might be a contributing problem to the Intellifaucet sticking. I use one of those at work , and we have a set of hot & cold filters with 5 micron filters prior to the water panels. they all eventually get gunked up with hard water deposits and other organic crap from the city water lines. The Intellifaucet though, will do like you describe--the valves stick and you can hear the thing chatter as it tries to maintain temp, if it gets fully stuck, it goes haywire. what we do is to take it apart and carefully soak just the valves in CLR and that usually does the trick. But some people actually run filters on both sides of a water panel--we've always just used them prior. our manual panels all need to be rebuilt periodically as well--they tend to sort of leak and get sluggish in response.

    our city water is pretty good too, but you can really gross your coworkers out at lunchtime by taking a filter out after a month or so and squeezing the brown sludge out of it. I don't fuss much about the water from the drinking fountains and the like--but the water panels don't like that stuff much.

  6. #6

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    A mixing valve is the best way. A poor mans way is to run a pipe from the hot water supply to the cold and valve it so it can shut of and on. Then you can control temp with the valves and volumn with the cold fawcet.

  7. #7
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    I've used the HAAS unit for several years with no problems. It's great!



 

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