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  1. #1
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Apartment--using washer-dryer hookups for darkroom.

    I just checked out my new apartment; we are moving there tomorrow. The spare bedroom (soon to be the man room) actually has washer-dryer hookups, with two spigots, and in between them, is what appears to be a blank drain hole. It's a bit weird to me because I expect a drain to have some kind of fittings on it, but I guess you are supposed to just stick the drain pipe from the washer down the hole.

    Anyway, this should be good news for darkroom use, but I'm trying to figure out how to make both the running water and the drain useful. I could just use a big funnel and drain my liquids down the hole, but I know I've seen trays with a drain hole in the corner. As for the spigots, I'm not sure how to make them useful either. I could attach short lengths of garden hose to each of them, but I don't know how I would keep water from getting everywhere. Maybe I would have to get a little sink and hook it up somehow.

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    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    You can buy (Lowes, Home Depot, hardware store) washer hookup hoses. They are metal wrapped flexible hoses with female-threaded fittings on both ends. One hose for hot, one for cold. They are standard faucet size and would hook up to the spigots for your sink just fine.

    Drainage could be more a problem, if the drain outlet is located higher up the wall than you'd want the bottom of your sink to be. You may have to drain the stuff into a bucket and then siphon it out into the drain outlet. The drain outlets for washing machines never have any fittings, because washer drain hoses are just, well, hoses that empty quickly; they are relatively large in diameter, and you just shove them down into the drain hole in the wall box. Simple, and works.

    Bottom line, those connections would work fine for a darkroom sink or even a Jobo processor with a temp mixing panel, with a bit of ingenuity.
    Michael Sebastian
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  3. #3
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    They are metal wrapped flexible hoses with female-threaded fittings on both ends. One hose for hot, one for cold. They are standard faucet size and would hook up to the spigots for your sink just fine.
    Oh, good. I can look for a sink with a spigot then. I had planned on using a blank sink, and just putting hose-ends on the lines from the hookups.

    The drain is about 4 feet high, up with the spigots, so if I put in a sink it would have to be like a foot higher than a normal bathroom sink, not that that's a problem. Of course there's no provision for installing a sink, so I would have to build something.

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    If you have the dollars you can get a grey water pump to put under the sink that will pump the water up to the drain automatically.
    Gary Beasley

  5. #5
    mjs
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    Go to Lowe's, Home Depot, Menards or whatever you have. Look at plastic laundry tubs: you ought to be able to get one for somewhere in the range of $10-$20. Get an inexpensive faucet set to go with: Maybe $5$-$10. Get laundry hookup hoses to run from the water outlets to the fittings on the faucet set. Get a length of drain hose and a hose clamp. You ought to be able to get the whole thing for $30-$40 or less. My laundry sink is large enough to hold an 11x14 tray; I use it as a holding tray, and then wash negatives and prints when I'm ready. The chemical trays sit on a cheap table; check second-hand stores, Goodwill, etc. I made mine but I had some spare lumber laying around.

    Mike

  6. #6
    resummerfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glbeas View Post
    If you have the dollars you can get a grey water pump to put under the sink that will pump the water up to the drain automatically.
    That's exactly what I would do. You could then install a regular darkroom sink, and not worry about spilling chems when transferring them to the drain. And it wouldn't be that expensive.

  7. #7
    BetterSense's Avatar
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    Grey water pumps look like they are about $150, which is far, far too much. I'm looking at a small stainless sink w/faucet on craigslist for $20. If I can mount that high enough to gravity into the drain I'll be good. All I really need is hot/cold water and somewhere to dump chems. Actually, before I found out I had laundry hookups, I was planning on just hauling water to/from the bathroom across the apartment. Just having closer water and somewhere to dump chemicals will be great.

  8. #8

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    The 2 spigots with drain in between is a common approach for washer/dryer hookup. You are correct that the washer drain hose just goes into the drain hole. I should have a trap built in it some where so a trap shouldn't be necessary in the sink. In every case where I've seen this hookup, it's been relatively high (about 36"). So it could be difficult to raise the sink up high enough.

    I don't think you need a specialized grey water pump; any small, submersible sump pump should do (smaller the better). Ideally with a garden hose adapter. Maybe even a cheapie fountain pump like this: http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/cta...emnumber=41287 (just don't expect it to last long).

    In all likelihood, the spigots are 3/4" threaded and the faucet is 1/2" threaded. Washer hoses are typically 3/4" on both ends, so an adapter for one end will be necessary.

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    BetterSense's Avatar
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    I don't think you need a specialized grey water pump; any small, submersible sump pump should do (smaller the better).
    A submersible pump? Would you put it in a bucket or something, and maybe get a float switch?

    Now, the apartment is on the second floor. Assuming the pipe runs straight down at least a couple feet, one could possibly stuff one of those check-valve-ended quick-siphon hoses down the pipe low enough to simply start a siphon.

    I think gravity feed is the way to go. If I get a pump like that I can never brush my teeth or shave in the sink, which I may want to do, having only one each of wife and bathroom. It's true that the sink will be inconveniently high, but at least I'm tall.

  10. #10
    MikeSeb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BetterSense View Post
    Now, the apartment is on the second floor. Assuming the pipe runs straight down at least a couple feet, one could possibly stuff one of those check-valve-ended quick-siphon hoses down the pipe low enough to simply start a siphon....I think gravity feed is the way to go.
    I quite agree. A simple siphon is what I had in mind in my first post; you'll use it to evacuate to the washer drain outlet whatever water and chems have accumulated in whatever holding vessel you use to collect the sink effluent.
    Michael Sebastian
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