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  1. #11

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    I would go with a small tankless unit. You can find them for less than $200 and they're easy to install provided you buy a 110v unit. I would add a small insulated tank (no heater) between the heater and the sink to help stabilize any thermal surges. Your total cost with everything including plumbing shupplies should fall well under $300. Of course, all this depends on how much flow you need. And as others mentioned these need a minimum flow rate to work and have maximum flow rates affected by ambient temp coming in and required output temperatures.

  2. #12

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    Thanks Mike. @Flotch: the solar system is a closed-loop copper coil (heat exchanger) filled with food-grade propylene glycol, which sits inside a conventional hot water tank. The hot water tank has an electric coil on a 24 hour mechanical timer. If it is 5 AM when the timer trips and the water in the tank is not hot enough, the coil goes on and heats the water so that there is hot water for a shower in the morning. There is a Rube Goldberg aspect to this, but the system works quite nicely with very little maintenance. And when the sun is shining -- WOW is that water hot.

    Ben

  3. #13
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    I’ve been thinking about your situation, Ben, and I have another suggestion…..

    The most importing consideration in B&W processing is to keep the water temperature consistent. And most, if not all, b&w processing can be done at room temperature of around 68 degrees.

    If your darkroom is in a heated area of the house, consider installing a simple holding tank for water to be used in the darkroom. Fill the tank a day or so before you intend to use the water, to allow it to stabilize near 68 degrees. If you installed the tank high, near the room ceiling, you could utilize gravity flow and be independent of the house water system.

    There are several inexpensive options for such a tank, such as plastic 55 gallon drums or large plastic stock or animal watering tanks. Build a heavy frame to support such a tank in a room corner, up near the ceiling. The house water pressure system would fill the tank, and gravity would empty it.

    I think Troy Hamon made such a system for his darkroom in Alaska. His descriptive thread and helpful suggestions from others can be found here.

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Marks View Post
    I have a darkroom sink that currently is cold water only. There are hot water pipes in the basement, but not nearby. I am trying to figure out the most cost-effective way to have a temperature-regulated water supply in my sink. 1) I could pay a plumber to bring hot water across the basement with copper pipes. 2) I could run an insulated hose from a spigot on the hot water pipes and install a mixing valve (the Arkay photo wall-mounted systems seem expensive, but plausible). Or (3) I could install a tankless hot water heater (ground temp of the water in winter is about 50 degrees F) and attach it to a mixing valve. Any advice?

    Ben Marks
    For what it's worth, I was in almost exactly the same position and went with a small under-sink unvented tank heater of this type:
    http://www.ariston.co.uk/products-de...&id=0000000003

    I run the hot directly to the adjustable mixing valve on the sink tap, and also tee it off to a fixed-temperature mixing valve to provide me with an exactly 38C water supply, which is hooked up to an ATL-1000 processor.


    My concern about tankless heaters was that they had either (a) ridiculously high power requirements - I don't mind doing a bit of plumbing by hand but sticking a 32amp 240VAC power supply in is probably not something I'd DIY - or (b) at any sensible flow rate couldn't raise the temperature high enough (bear in mind that no tankless heater will give you the exact temperature you want with the sort of tolerances you're going to want ideally, so you'll still need a mixing valve, and for the mixing valve to work properly it needs the hot supply to be hotter and the cold supply to be colder than the desired temperature - the specs of your mixing valve will give the details, but I seem to recall the hot supply needed to be something like 10C above the output temperature for reliable mixing in mine.)

    The small under-tank unit works like a charm though, and as it's only 2kw (i.e. ~ 8.5 amps at 240V) it doesn't need any special wiring. It provides enough water for a full cycle of E6 in the ATL followed by a full wash cycle of the machine, which is what I need it to do, and the reheat time really isn't that long in the event of needing to do another run immediately after.
    Another day goes under; a little bourbon will take the strain...

  5. #15

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    resummersfeld: Thanks! I appreciate the suggestion. Unfortunately, the basement is not heated and the house is an old Vermont farmhouse. We keep the upstairs pretty cool in the winter -- it is never anywhere near 68 degrees, except when we have the wood stove going. Nice, heavy sweaters all around, if you please. The winter basement temperature is about 55, too cold, I'm afraid, for most b&w processes, without things taking . I will check out the link you provided. I do have a submersible electric heating element that I have used to keep a water jacket around printing chemicals warm -- perhaps that could be adapted to the purpose you suggest.

    Ben Marks

  6. #16
    nsurit's Avatar
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    This likely will not answer your question, however I just had a home built and put tankless hot water in and it was one of the best ideas of the entire project. I also am on a rainwater collection system, which I recommend to anyone who can collect and use "cloud juice." Where I am, it is clean and taste great. Being in Texas the water in the collection tanks gets hot in the summer time, which is a good part of the year and cold in the winter, so I use have a chiller for those times when the water is hot/warm and run it all thru a mixing valve to regulate the temperature. Biill Barber

  7. #17

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    run a hot water line to the darkroom, heat water on the stove and add to cold in a 5 gal bucket, get a small hot water heater, or microwave or electric single burner stove. Mine is used to heat water to 125 for mixing chems. It is a Betty Crocker one made for buffet lines, but it has a thermostat and coil elements just like an electric stove. $15.

    I recommend starting with the beggining of the list and eliminate until you get an acceptable solution.

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