print washers and chemical trays with no plumbing? : LUSENET : Darkroom Technique : One Thread

I am building a darkroom in my basement and I don't have access to plumbing. How can I make a print washer with no running water? Is there something I could use, like aquarium equipment? Also, would it be OK to place trays with chemicals in a standing sink with room temperature water?

-- Jill Bida (, November 25, 2000


Same situation and same problem here!I have been told that the best way to minimize water is to use a wash aid, and to use multiple water baths with agitation in each, rather than water flow.

I'm still thinking however to use water flow, cause I'm quite lazy to bother with wash aid, agitation and dumping in and out... Here is what I thought to do:

A big plastic tank (20 to 30 liters) hooked (or placed on a shelf) high enough is used for clean water. A similair tank on the floor collects "dirty" water. A tube drives the water from the first tank into your washing tray. A second tube from the washing tray till the final tank.

The question then is "is 20 to 30 liters enough for at least one session?". And how fast should run the water for one sheet of RC paper (I don't mean top archival quality of course...)


-- Francois Friderich (, February 20, 2001.

Jill, I've done that before too. One thing you can do is to rinse them in a tub of water in the darkroom, and rinse the prints under running water later. I've also heard that you can wash photos archivally by placing them in a tub of water face down for 1-1.5 hours. Mich

-- Michael Levy (, March 01, 2002.

I have the same problem as well. My darkroom has no running water so after the fix, I dumpt the prints into a tub of water, rinse them there for a few minutes, then place them into another tub without water. After I get 5 to 10 prints done, I take them over to the laundry room where I have a print washer set up. Mind you now, my print washer is nothing fancy. I paid less than $30 for it from Adorama. It will hold up to 11 x 14 prints and does a tolerably good job for me.

-- Frank J. Schifano (, April 28, 2002.

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