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  1. #1
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    chiller construction?

    Ive heard an old water fountain chiller can be adapted for dark room work...any with experience or ideas on this...I can make warm tea out of my cold side this summer

    Dave in Vegas

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    noseoil's Avatar
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    Dave, I keep a couple of jugs of water in the fridge to use for development with pyrocat. Pour in cold and add hot for a tempering water bath.

    You can put a re-circulation pump in series with a water cooler and then set up the thermostat to run at 68f, but this sounds like a lot of trouble, expense and time to set up. If you do that much darkroom work, perhaps it would be the best solution.

    My tap water is running about 90-92f this summer, so I just use the fridge. tim in tucson

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    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I was at Home Depot last week and they had two different home water coolers, the kind that use 5 gal water bottles, for under a hundred dollars. I must say that I am mighty tempted. All I need to do is bring my 22c tap water baths and a couple of gallons tops of wash water down to 20c. It just might work.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

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    I work as a refrigeration contractor and have some knowledge of the water cooler aparatus. What do you need to know, and more importantly what do you need to do.

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    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Thanks Wayne,

    I would like to have 68-70 degree water, and run through a filter etc. with the chiller inline on a cold only line

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    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Ive seen some commercial chillers for darkrooms, they are over a grand etc....thought there might be something on the used market, restaurant etc. that could be adapted for darkroom use.

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    You can basically copy a keg chiller.

    1) Picnic cooler

    2) A copper coil placed inside the cooler

    3) Fittings at both ends of the coil

    Fill the cooler with ice water. The temp of the water coming out of the coil will depend on the flow rate. Run the water slow enough and it'll come out pretty close to freezing. Run it faster for less chilling. You'll need to add ice every so often.

    Instead of adding ice cubes use 2 or 1 litre plastic bottles full of water that you freeze. Easy to replace when they've melted and they can then go back into the freezer to refreeze.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Wooten
    Thanks Wayne,

    I would like to have 68-70 degree water, and run through a filter etc. with the chiller inline on a cold only line
    Yep, water coolers have very small tanks and low output. Another problem is you'll need a different thermostat. From a practical standpoint only a real chiller will suffice, and there are non that I know of used in the restaurant business. A cooler with ice will create a very cold supply while the line is not being used. You'd have to run the water for awhile or use a tempering faucet with warmer water for any supply. I played with a 5 gallon bucket, ice and plastic hose just for giggles, and it was impractical. More annoying than anything.

    The most practical idea is to have a water bath setup that maintains a large body of water at the temp needed. I was just considering this idea before this thread by using a small window unit I have, since my blower wheel broke and it's impractical to buy the part. A cold plate with a small refrigeration unit would suffice, but the cost would be more then you want to probably spend and is more akin to what the photographic industry probably used for their water immersed deep tanks. Search Ebay just in case.

    Seriously, a large quanity of ice cooled water for tanks, trays or chemiclas is the best and cheapest. It won't change temp very fast. Wash water can be higher in temp or just chill a gallon or two in the fridge. Btw, you might want to check your floor temp. I use a water filled container on a tile floor and it stays at a lower temp and is easy to cool off fast and doesn't change temperatures very fast. In fact I use it for stand developing with no problems.

  9. #9
    Dave Wooten's Avatar
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    Thank you!

    Dave in Vegas

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    Check out the small wine coolers. They can hold lots of fluid at the right temperature.

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