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IanBarber
31-Oct-2016, 15:18
It's been suggested to me that I ought to filter the water before adding it to the developer, not because of any apparent issues with my negatives but as a precaution.

I see Paterson make a specific filter but I was wondering if i could use the paper type coffee filters as an alternative.

Peter Collins
31-Oct-2016, 15:48
All municipal water supplies have dissolved solids: sodium, potassium, iron, sulfate, bicarbonate, carbonate, iron, etc. It is relatively high concentrations of these elements/molecules that make for a 'hard' water. (Think of areas in the southwest US.) The coffee filter will not retain/capture such agents as these because they are DISSOLVED in the water. A coffee filter passes coffee and retains the grounds. The brown color of coffee is--you can guess--dissolved solids. Coffee filters are indeed designed to retain grounds and pass coffee and will pass the dissolved constituents in your water. We have two choices: 1. Buy a reverse osmosis filter, 2. buy water with low concentrations of these constituents, and 3. just work out the development times needed for your specific water supply.

ic-racer
31-Oct-2016, 15:51
Any benefit would depend on your darkroom's water supply quality. I have since 1979, final rinsed B&W negatives and mixed wetting agent in distilled water or bottled "filtered" water and ignored water quality of the other steps. All chemistry components I use indicate mixture with tap water on the instructions. But I have always lived in an area abundant in fresh water. I did place an in-line filter in my darkroom about 5 years ago, but can't say I ever had a problem before I installed the filter and I'm reluctant to stop using the distilled water, though one would think with the filter I'd be fine. If you ask me these home-grade water filters (like the one I installed in the picture) may not do much. Like, how would one tell how well it works if there was no problem before?

156839

Greg
31-Oct-2016, 15:57
For years I have just bought gallons of distilled water from one of the mega stores when it was on sale. Store it on a shelf in my darkroom. Ambient temperature in the room is 68 degrees so after a day or two of storage the water is that same 68 degrees. I use well water for everything except film developer. Cost of using bottled distilled water to mix up the film developer has to be a fraction of the cost of the film...

Dustin McAmera
31-Oct-2016, 16:22
A coffee filter won't remove the finest suspended solids. Also, unless you cut it into discs and mount it in a holder, you're limited to a rather small depth of water above the filter, so the rate of flow is bound to be small. That said, I've used a coffee filter to filter my one-litre bottle of fix, but only when my stock of proper lab filter papers ran out. I haven't noticed particles in my mains water; I only filter chemicals to get out dust they pick up from use, plus any precipitate they have developed.

An in-line filter like the one ic-racer showed would let you choose your filter element, from a range of different exclusion sizes; and you can apply up to the whole mains water pressure to push the water through, so you can treat water at a decent rate. Not too expensive to set up, but as he says, you probably want to be sure you have a problem first.

In a previous life I worked in a research lab, and some of my work was on water filtration using ultrafiltration membrane filters. The process was for removal of natural brown colour in upland water, from peat. However, the membranes we used would also remove some (not all) of the dissolved hardness; sort of half-way to distilled water. If I needed large quantities of purified water, I set up a filtration process to make it, rather than taking over all our limited distilled water supply. If I remember right, I ran that at about one bar of pressure.

Come to think of it, what we called 'the still' was actually a membrane filter, followed by a gel deioniser. That ran at about six bar.

MAubrey
31-Oct-2016, 17:02
It's an extremely simple process to distill your own water.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Distilled-Water

Randy Moe
31-Oct-2016, 17:27
For years I have just bought gallons of distilled water from one of the mega stores when it was on sale. Store it on a shelf in my darkroom. Ambient temperature in the room is 68 degrees so after a day or two of storage the water is that same 68 degrees. I use well water for everything except film developer. Cost of using bottled distilled water to mix up the film developer has to be a fraction of the cost of the film...

I do the same, but I also mix TF5 per instruction with distilled water. Smells less they say. I can't tell.

I now buy the expensive distilled grocery store gallons, cost $0.25 more, but the bottles don't leak. I had 20 gallons of Roundy's store brand all spring! leaks right through the bottle in various locations. PITA

I also drink it chilled, tastes great.

I did the math on DIY and Distilling machines. Store bought wins hands down in total cost to user. I buy 6 gallons every visit to the store. Delivery in 5 gallon bottles is too expensive. Except in Winter, I order 10 gallons of Distilled from PeaPod. I tip. :)

Jac@stafford.net
31-Oct-2016, 17:51
A charcoal filter over a coffee type filter is excellent, but I have a distiller anyway and use it for chemical mixes. For photo-flow and stop bath I use the charcoal filtered tap water.

jp
31-Oct-2016, 17:54
For me, distilling water equipment would be about 0.50/gal for electricity + equipment + time, so I just buy it for <$1/gallon when I happen to be at the store. I'd have to use a few tons of it to make the equipment worthwhile. I use it for concentrates I expect to keep a while, like mixing developer concentrate, fixer, etc.. For one-shot working solutions, I just use tap water.

Coffee filters do have some effect in cleaning up fixer though. Sometimes that can get silver crud in it well before it's ineffective. At least for tf4/tf5 fixer.

LabRat
31-Oct-2016, 23:50
I routinely use Melita #6 white coffee filters in a funnel after mixing dev. while making working solutions, as there is usually some dirt or foreign matter in dry chemicals and this will filter it out... I will also filter the solutions returning to the bottles after use as they can pick up sludge or debris during process... You can see the debris on the white filter paper while using... And if solutions sit too long without filtering, there can be sludge forming in them... Practice folding the cone in different patterns with the apex towards the funnel opening, and you will find a pattern that will pass solutions fairly quickly...

Using a larger cartridge water filter on the water line near the outlet works well... But don't use too fine of a filter, as this seems to start releasing chlorine from the water with a milky solution and fizz, with a chlorine odor...

Steve K

IanBarber
1-Nov-2016, 02:11
Thanks for all the replies, I will now look into using Distilled water and forget the coffee filters.

Thanks

ian

IanG
1-Nov-2016, 04:53
Tap water in the UK is fine for diluting developers. If your water's very hard a water softener is very useful, the Brittax jug type is more than enough for developers and a lot cheaper than buying distilled water. All commercial developers are designed to be used with tap water and contain agents like EDTA to soften hard water.

Ian

Tobias Key
1-Nov-2016, 05:10
Tap water in the UK is fine for diluting developers. If your water's very hard a water softener is very useful, the Brittax jug type is more than enough for developers and a lot cheaper than buying distilled water. All commercial developers are designed to be used with tap water and contain agents like EDTA to soften hard water.

Ian

+ 1 for the Britta filter. I have used this and never had any problems. I live on a notoriously hard water area, a lot of the water in West Sussex comes from aquifers in the chalk hills of the South Downs. If you live in a soft water area this might not be necessary. Another very cheap method is to buy supermaket own brand still table water which is the same thing without going through the hassle of filtering it yourself. Goes for the princely sum of 17p for two litres, and you don't have to find a container for it.

Doremus Scudder
1-Nov-2016, 06:09
Ian,

If your water quality is good, you don't need distilled water to mix chemicals with. Even if it's hard, you may only need distilled water for your final rinse with a wetting agent. I've never used distilled to mix developer, stop or fix with. When I lived in an area with very hard water, I just had to adjust the development time.

Filtering water, as mentioned already, doesn't remove dissolved chemicals. It is meant to remove particulates from your water. Depending on the delivery infrastructure, you may have anything from rust to sand to small pieces of metal in your water. Filtering is a good way to get rid of this stuff. Coffee filters don't remove the very small particles, but they are better than nothing. A filter pitcher will do a better job, but an in-line filter is the best choice. I had a Paterson 5-micron filter that just attached to my darkroom sink hose for a long time. It worked fine for removing particulates. The water itself was fine for mixing chemicals.

Hope this helps,

Doremus

Willie
1-Nov-2016, 08:54
How about water from the dehumidifier, collected and then filtered when pouring into storage jugs? In humid locations you can get a number of gallons a day.

IanG
1-Nov-2016, 08:58
How about water from the dehumidifier, collected and then filtered when pouring into storage jugs? In humid locations you can get a number of gallons a day.

That's the worst possible water as it's full of bacteria etc.

Ian

Jac@stafford.net
1-Nov-2016, 09:11
How about water from the dehumidifier, collected and then filtered when pouring into storage jugs? [...]

During the Summer I run dehumidifier water through the distiller in order to reduce the mineral deposits left in the distiller, then store it. During distillation the water is sterilized - and there's the difference. I think it is unwise to store dehumidifier water because it is likely polluted from its own tank, and from the air run through it.