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Thread: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

  1. #11
    Resident Heretic Bruce Watson's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    It gets hot enough where I live where I would definitely need air conditioning which seems to be the biggest complication I'm running into, since I'll need an AC unit itself, probable radiant barriers and perhaps even insulation.
    ...
    Thoughts, concerns?
    It it were me I'd be looking at a ductless mini-split system for HVAC.

    As to ventilation fans, always remember that fans like to pull, and they hate to push. Said another way, trying to blow air through a duct can be like trying to push a rope. Because air is compressible. Far better (or at least more efficient) to locate the fan itself on the outside wall of the structure and on the other end of the duct that runs to the light-tight louvers over the sink.

    And you really should insulate the structure at least to your local building code requirements. Go higher if you can.

    Bruce Watson

  2. #12

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Luis-F-S View Post
    . Why are you going to put a filter on a potable waterline? If it's good enough to drink, it's good enough for the darkroom.
    It is but I was worried about the hard water. We have a water softener but I believe our outside hose spigots do not use it. Yeah I was thinking a particulate trap more than anything else just due to dirt and stuff that might end up in the garden hose as I connect/disconnect it (for mowing and stuff). Trying to keep the water needs as simple as I can since I just need a simple sink basin and a hose. So I was thinking just a hose connection on the outside that runs into the shed with maybe just a Y splitter to hook up a hose for a print washer and one for a faucet for the sink.

    Draining the water is a good point though. I don't have a solution for print wash runoff other than watering the grass, but the runoff from washing might not be so great given it's washing off mostly fixer. I use XTOL replenishment and water stop for film. Taking the spent paper developer inside the house wouldn't be a problem. I keep my used fixer for yearly pickup.

    I could perhaps run the drain out, at least initially to the outside where I can capture it in a basin of some sort that I can then drain into the city sewer perhaps.

    Trouble with running a drain is the shed would be close to water and power, but I don't think particularly close to a drain I could easily tap into from the home. Hmm...

  3. #13

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce Watson View Post
    It it were me I'd be looking at a ductless mini-split system for HVAC.

    As to ventilation fans, always remember that fans like to pull, and they hate to push. Said another way, trying to blow air through a duct can be like trying to push a rope. Because air is compressible. Far better (or at least more efficient) to locate the fan itself on the outside wall of the structure and on the other end of the duct that runs to the light-tight louvers over the sink.

    And you really should insulate the structure at least to your local building code requirements. Go higher if you can.
    Yup insulation is nearly a must given our hot summers. I've tried to account for the space lost due to putting up some OSB to cover up the walls, where I can do insulation. I'd like to do the awesome foam stuff (might help avoid light leaks too) on the walls and rafters but as I recall that stuff is costly. So might just do batting and can cover that up with OSB which also gives me a nice solid wall to be able to mount anything I need.

    Yep was looking at the split systems. They're about 2x of a wall unit, but quieter and seem more efficient. All of them are above the BTUs I calculated for a 10x10x10 darkroom but looks like they offer more precise temperature control too? So that might be worth the premium.

    You lost me a bit on the fan. Well not lost hehe I get what you mean, though not sure what I may actually need that is both light tight and controllable from inside.

  4. #14
    Les
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    https://www.houzz.com/products/8x16-...w-vr~141187534

    This might me little bigger than you intend to have, but I chose it for the door. The frame can be trimmed or find a 10x10 with proper door. Yes, insulation will play a huge role. I'd run all the utilities via underground (preventing from freezing)....tho you didn't specified geo location. As to venting, primarily I'd have several quiet fans near the wet area (sink) forcing the air out via 6" duct. Also, one or couple of quiet fans (Panasonic)
    in the ceiling will keep the air shifting within the darkroom.....making the place bit cooler even w/o AC. Those ceiling fans can be set up to enter a specific duct (proper screen installed for any sort of vermin). Additionally, I'd install cross ventilation fans in the attic space.....to be controlled by auto triggering device.....once it reaches 90F deg (as example) and that would also help the darkroom space to remain more comfortable.

    Agree, that quiet heat/cool pump would be ideal, but you can shave the costs substantially by getting a dedicated AC unit (less than $200) installed and or small heater when necessary. Might have to wear headphones for AC . Whichever you choose, make sure your elect accommodates the unit/s. Although it may be obvious to some, keep elect outlet/s away from the wet area....and where necessary, install GFCI receptacles.

    Les

  5. #15

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Geo location is Texas. So summers are hot. Been not so bad here so far, but it will get up to 40C/104F here in the summer.

    To that end thinking about using the spray foam insulation. That'll also help cover up light leaks. I still may put up some OSB though (don't think a radiant barrier would help so much on the inside though). Not sure if the foam has any concerning properties mixing with fixer fumes though (hence thinking about covering it up).

    Good call on GFCI. I'll need to think about that more. If I can cost effectively bury cabling and water that would be ideal. The house outdoor breaker box isn't too far from the shed (it's a straight shot anyway) but it may be full. Water may be more problematic though which is why I liked the idea of just running a hose out when I was going to use the darkroom. Not a huge deal there. I suppose a plumber could maybe tap off the pip for the outdoor faucet on the house and run some PVC underground (will have to work around some sprinkler systems...ah crap which is another thing I'll need to consider - may have to cap a few for where the thing will be).

    By Panasonic fans I assume you meant something like these?

    https://na.panasonic.com/us/home-and...ntilation-fans

    If they're nice than my bathroom fan I currently use, that'd be great :P That damn thing is LOUD. I use a small Vornado fan on the floor to help pull in air too. If it's dark in the house I just leave the door open (but my curtains over the door down) to pull in air. That works pretty well.

  6. #16

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    When I installed a window AC in my attic darkroom I discovered light leaks through the AC unit that had to be fixed. The open paper developing trays are located right next to the only window available for AC. That window is on the south wall where the AC is in full sun and it leaked light "like a sieve". If you can locate the AC on a north wall this will help but probably not eliminate light leaks. I took the front off the unit to gain access to the air-duct which in most modern AC seems to be a white "polystyrene" molding, which when sunlit glows nicely. Some black latex paint took care of things, in the same area the air impeller was painted black also. These steps were not sufficient to completely prevent leakage and to get a better result I chose to reduce the amount of light getting inside by installing a sheet metal sun-shield to the top cover of the unit on the outside. I'm 50 miles from NYC, summer sun is fierce and the roof un-insulated :-(

  7. #17
    Tin Can's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    I installed this in my last Darkroom in 2012 and will be installing another shortly in a new 'last' Darkroom. I put the first in a wall, this time it goes in the HVAC room venting directly under a roof overhang,

    6 feet of 6 inch pipe will pull from just above my sink.

    https://na.panasonic.com/us/home-and...inetm-remote-0

    Make up air will flow from a Doran vent placed low across the room to pull cooler air. Winter or summer.

    Both from Amazon as they seem to have the lowest price. It has increased since 2012.

  8. #18
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    +1 for laying in a properly sized electric line. The AC and fridge will pull a bit of power and the usual extension cord will be nowhere near able to handle the load. Ive had a neighbor have a house fire because of an under-rated extension cord going to a freezer on the back porch. You can get cable rated for burying without conduit, ask your electrician the best way to hook up.

  9. #19
    Les
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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Quote Originally Posted by m00dawg View Post
    Geo location is Texas. So summers are hot. Been not so bad here so far, but it will get up to 40C/104F here in the summer.

    To that end thinking about using the spray foam insulation. That'll also help cover up light leaks. I still may put up some OSB though (don't think a radiant barrier would help so much on the inside though). Not sure if the foam has any concerning properties mixing with fixer fumes though (hence thinking about covering it up).

    Good call on GFCI. I'll need to think about that more. If I can cost effectively bury cabling and water that would be ideal. The house outdoor breaker box isn't too far from the shed (it's a straight shot anyway) but it may be full. Water may be more problematic though which is why I liked the idea of just running a hose out when I was going to use the darkroom. Not a huge deal there. I suppose a plumber could maybe tap off the pip for the outdoor faucet on the house and run some PVC underground (will have to work around some sprinkler systems...ah crap which is another thing I'll need to consider - may have to cap a few for where the thing will be).

    By Panasonic fans I assume you meant something like these?

    https://na.panasonic.com/us/home-and...ntilation-fans

    If they're nice than my bathroom fan I currently use, that'd be great :P That damn thing is LOUD. I use a small Vornado fan on the floor to help pull in air too. If it's dark in the house I just leave the door open (but my curtains over the door down) to pull in air. That works pretty well.
    Good thing you don't live on the Panhandle. I do recall driving through there (on the way to Orlando) and there was enough snow/ice on the road for a trucker to lie down his rig on the side, blocking everything - 25mile traffic....good thing I was going in the opposite direction. So, yes cold can happen in Texas :>).

    Can't say anything about foam insulation. But, if you do exterior diligently any conventional (fiberglass) insulation will cover any light that may try to squeeze through. Also, what sorts of walls are you intending to install on the interior, OSB ? I can smell the formaldehyde all the way here :>).

    Any water coming directly from the hose will likely be too warm to use in the darkroom, no ? Urrr, unless it's 2AM.

    Yes, the Panasonic "whisper" type are really good. I have one in the bathroom (less than 3' from my ear) and v. often I forget it's there at all. I also used Ultra Silent Broan throughout the house, and they are v. quiet as well - not sure of the availability of this.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Les

  10. #20

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    Re: AC, Venting, ideas for a Darkroom Shed?

    Indeed proper wiring, completely with a break box, proper outlets, etc. would be nice. The goal is to have something proper, although there are 12 and even 10 gauge extension cords available for use. Main difference over in-wall, I believe, is stranded versus solid core (which is still certainly a thing). I'll be contacting the electrician we used last time for some stuff to get his thoughts and pricing on options to see what he may think.

    Back to the fans, I did some poking around and sounds like these are ones to consider. I see it has an outlet, presumably to connect to a pipe which should make it easy to build some sort of light trap for. In a shed though not sure how I might install so it doesn't look ugly (on the outside, I don't care much about the inside).

    Wondering, I read up more on split AC. I guess I take for granted I have a fresh air intake thing for my home AC (pretty sure it's just an outside vent with a filter on it, nothing special). The split AC won't be bringing in any fresh air so I'm thinking, as some folks have mentioned, having a means to get fresh air, perhaps by means of louvers and/or some piping to trap light in from the outside. I can put a fresh air vent right by the enlarger and the exhaust by the trays.

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