View Full Version : Gravity Works Film Washer

Michael E. Gordon
21-Jun-2004, 09:49
This is a two-part question.

I'm currently washing my 4x5's in the same Jobo 3010 drum that I develop them in. It works, but is not efficient, wastes a lot of water, and requires my attention for the duration. I'm looking for a small economical washer - like the Gravity Works - that I can slip ten sheets of 4x5 in and walk away from. My main concern is a good wash and effective use of water, and hopefully less of it.

Also, I'm developing with Rollo Pyro, and the instructions call for a twenty-minute wash (which I do). Is it possible to reduce my wash time with Pyro by using something like this washer? (Gravity Works calls for a five min. wash).

THANKS in advance for any advice or helpful info.

Kirk Keyes
21-Jun-2004, 15:14
Your Jobo wastes a lot of water washing film? How are you washing it?

I was my film in a Jobo 3010 and I use about 5 or 6 changes of water using 1 liter per change over about 20 minutes - one minute for the first change and then lengthen the time for later washes. So I only 5 or 6 liters of water total. A Gravity Works washer probably uses at least that much water...

Andre Noble
21-Jun-2004, 17:23
I have the Gravity Works washer you speak of. It does work effectively, and is kind of neat. But in my case I soon stopped using it because the water here in my area of L.A. is Ultra hard, and leaves unremoveable mineral deposts on my film.

Michael E. Gordon
21-Jun-2004, 17:31
Kirk: I wash my film in the Jobo sort of the same way I washed film on reels: constant water agitation (faucet directly into the drum) with frequent changes. I can't really think of a better way to do it (that requires less effort) aside from using 500ml or so of water, rotate on base, dump, and then repeat a handful of times. I haven't bothered to try it. How do you wash in your drum?

Andre: also being in So. Calif. (Long Beach), I like to think my water is equally hard. PhotoFlo does the trick for me.

tim atherton
21-Jun-2004, 18:08
I remeber reading something a while back from Jobo that you shouldn't use photoflow with their drums.

(I think it was something about it being very hard to remove from the plastic wall of the drum and then it retaining contaminants?)

ronald moravec
22-Jun-2004, 07:03
Ilfords wash sequence works for large format film too. If you need a long wash for pyro, just use a standing hold after film is clean.

Hard water spots can be eliminated by two tray soaks in distilled water. The second contains the photo flo or whatever you use.

Never put photo flow in plastic. It requires soaking in bleach to remove, and then it`s not easy. It builds over time.

22-Jun-2004, 07:16
I have the gravity works washer as well. I guess I don't have the hard water problem that is stated above as mine works very nicely, thank you. I wish I had one for 5x7 and 8x10 also.


Kirk Keyes
22-Jun-2004, 10:45

I just leave the drum on the processor, and pour in 1 liter of water and then spin it for one minute, then I dump and pour in a second 1 liter and spin that for two minutes. I do this several more times, going to 4 minutes, and then 3 or 4 times at 5 minutes, with 1 liter of water each time. 1 liter of water is a hugh volume compared to the volume of the film, and diffusion is fairly quick out of film. Just keep exchanging water in 1 liter amount, it will save a lot more water than a continuous stream. It take a little more attention than a dedicated film washer, but you can't beat it for saving water.

AS far as photoflow in the drums, I live in Portland, OR, and we have pretty low mineral content water here. I've never had any issues with using photoflow (a detergent) in the drums. I suspect it may be a water quality issue if you have problems with residues or contamination.

Michael E. Gordon
22-Jun-2004, 10:50
Kirk: Thanks a bunch for the wash advice; I'm going to give it a try.

Kirk Keyes
22-Jun-2004, 13:54
Michael - you're welcome!

And if anyone has water quality issues, they could use this procedure and just do the last one or two washes with distilled/deionized water.

tim atherton
22-Jun-2004, 13:54
"Why can't I use stabilizer, Photo Flo, or other wetting agents in my JOBO tanks?

Stabilizer or wetting agents, of any type, any brand, should not be used in the tank or with the film on the reels. It doesn't really damage the reel, but it causes a sludge-like build-up which ultimately can cause contamination and loading problems. Wetting agents and stabilizers don't wash off. They seem to chemically bond with anything they contact. Kodak even has instructions for users of stainless steel reels for reducing (not eliminating) the buildup."