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Thread: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

  1. #1

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    Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    Just curious if anyone's used one of those Pur water filtration systems that attach to the tap and found it a good way to save some $ over constantly buying distilled water for mixing developer, fix, etc. (I spend up to $30 a month sometimes just on distilled water.)

  2. #2

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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    I used a Brita water filter - that works. Also supermarket generic mineral water is often very soft and doesn't leave marks and saves you the trouble of filtering the water and having something to put it in, often its the same price as filtering it yourself.

  3. #3

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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    Depending how bad your tap water is, the biggest problem in particulate or algae in the supply that can leave residue as a coating or spots... A cartridge (or dual) water filter(s) are cheaper to use over a long period of time... Most of the kitchen types of filters are charcoal that help the taste of the water, while providing filtration... A reverse osmosis unit will remove most all minerals + particulates, but not needed for most photo applications, unless your source water is very bad...

    If your water is very hard or soft, further treatment is needed by larger units added to the output...

    If you use a cartridge filter, you should not use too fine of a filter, as heavily chlorinated water can get milky and fizzy, so just a coarser filter will remove rust and other particulates... A dual filter will help in an area with much algae, as this tends to clog up a filter faster, so it is removed by the first filter, and the second stays cleaner and captures what passes the first... Depending on the area and usage, every month or two for element changes is usually good... If the water department is doing construction in your area, or a major fire/someone hits a fire hydrant etc, you should check the inside of the filter/housing for sand/rust/dirt/algae... Open filters every few weeks at first, and check for anything more than a mild tea colored filter, or debris in the bottom, then decide how often to replace...

    In my area, tap water is so-so, and during the drought, the water was crummy, so I use water from water machines (.25/gallon) for mixing chems... Distilled is way overkill and not needed for photo processes, except for film & paper final rinses here in the SW...

    Steve K

  4. #4
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    I only use true distilled for final film rinse or really fussy development, like matched color separation negs. Our tap water here is quite good; but there are many places where I'd want serious big cartridge line filters to the darkroom.

  5. #5

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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    Bought 1 gallon water distillers at yard sales and they work fine. Most folks I know who bought them new quickly got tired of setting them ever few nights and they ended up in yard sales. Works fine and I have steam distilled water for mixing chemistry and the last two or three rinse cycles for film.
    I tend to procrastinate on stuff. One of these days I'll do something about it.

  6. #6
    jp's Avatar
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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    The math says it was no cheaper to buy and operate a steam distiller with the cost of electricity in my area and the expected life of the machine. Haven't tried any kitchen filters. I'm not about to take chances and the spoil $10-$30 in chemical concentrates to save a $1 jug of distilled water that perfectly develops many batches of expensive film many times. If your water is nasty, the kitchen filter would be a good thing for many darkroom purposes. Chlorine could probably be removed from water just by letting it sit for a while.

    I mix concentrated developers like pyrocat hdc/hd and a gallon of water makes more than a year's worth of part B concentrate for that. I use tap water for the working solution. I use the most distilled water for final rinse; 1 liter will final rinse the six sheets in my 4x5 developing tank, then if I developed MF at the same time, it then goes into the patterson tank for final rinsing the 120 rolls. If you are printing with Dektol, use distilled for the "stock" and normal water for the working strength.

  7. #7

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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I only use true distilled for final film rinse or really fussy development, like matched color separation negs. Our tap water here is quite good; but there are many places where I'd want serious big cartridge line filters to the darkroom.
    I'm sort of the opposite. I use distilled water only for the developer. For everything else, I use inline cartridge filters -- one hot and one cold.

  8. #8
    Jac@stafford.net's Avatar
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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    Quote Originally Posted by Willie View Post
    Bought 1 gallon water distillers at yard sales and they work fine. Most folks I know who bought them new quickly got tired of setting them ever few nights and they ended up in yard sales. Works fine and I have steam distilled water for mixing chemistry and the last two or three rinse cycles for film.
    Just a minor observation: I have one of those distillers and it works very well, however it might be important to know whether the collection bottle is impervious to air invasion through the plastic. Some people might be surprised by how porous most plastics are to air, thus spoiling or corrupting the contents.

    Over several months I poured distilled water into a consumer type, sealed 5 gallon water container, and over the following months it emptied due to porous evaporation. Fortunately it was only water and not chemistry

  9. #9
    John Olsen
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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    I use the reverse osmosis water from the store at .49 per gallon as refills. My film never sees tap water, but prints get it in the final rinse. So far, it works well.

    In New Mexico we had well water that could pull the emulsion right off of the film. And the tap water had impossible sand in it. I'm sensitive to these issues.

    Be careful but don't kill your budget.

  10. #10
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
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    Re: Pur water filtration instead of Distilled water?

    One thing to be careful about with filters is a particle release when the filters are new. I once installed a whole house filter, and I ended up with a very fine particulate on my negatives, one which I had never seen before. I bypassed the filter, and the problem immediately went away. Maybe I got a bad one.

    Currently, I use RODI water for mixing chemicals and final rinse. I have a system that I use for other things, and since I have it, I might as well use it. It's worked perfectly, but it's probably overkill.
    “You often feel tired, not because you've done too much, but because you've done too little of what sparks a light in you.”
    ― Alexander Den Heijer

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