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Thread: Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

  1. #1
    Beverly Hills, California
    Join Date
    Feb 2000
    Beverly Hills, CA

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    I've been using Pyrocat HD occaisionally for the last 1.5 years. I've had two recent, complete and unexpected failures of it: Once with 'old-stock' but freshly opened developer from Photographer's Formulary pre-mixed kit that was slightly older than 6 month recommended storage time from receive date to opening.

    The second failure was with new and freshly opened PF Pyrocat HD developer that I stored immediately in brown glass bottles. It worked fine for 2 1/2 weeks and then failed overnight. I had to toss the remainder.

    PF told me to use pyrocat HD right away, store in glass as the brown plastic their required to ship in 'breathes'.

    Two questions:

    1) anyone else with similar experiences of pyrocat HD failure? What did you do to prevent it in subsequent use?

    2) Also I need a source for small actinic bottles with airtight stoperred (ie, teflon, etc top. - I don't know how airtight the glass on glass of typical brown jars is, do you?

    In the meantime I have gone back to Wimberly pyro (which appears much more robust) - but Pyrocat HD is so good in the Jobo I don't want to give up on it yet.

    Any feedback appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    I go to my local drug store and ask for brown glass bottles like they supply perscription cough syrup. I also get free syringes from them for measurement. My Walgreens gives away the syringes for dosing cough medicine for children. I usually buy the dry pyrocat kit so that when I do need it is fresh. It is not a big effort to mix it up and I am careful when I am handling the chemicals.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2000

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    Go to have the glass brown amber bottles in sizes from .5 gal all the way down to 25ml at very affordable prices. Also you can save some money by buying your chemicals in bulk and mixing your own PyroCat. Just use common sense when handling chemicals and you'll never have to worry about expired developer again.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Pasadena, CA

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    1. PF Pyrocat HD received. Used twice within 2 days of receipt - all good. 6 days later, in 68 degree storage, original bottles, total developer failure. Nothing so far, but considering the powder option and better bottles. I was expecting at least 4 weeks before any problem. Seems like dividing up the batch into more than one totally full glass container may help. On the other hand, if it lasts 6 weeks from initial mix, that would be good enough for me. Did not call PF, figured that it was just one of those things - my mileage varried.

    2. Luce - appears to have many kinds of bottles and such.

    Would be interested to hear what others come up with.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Massachusetts USA

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    I thought it was me. I'm glad someone has asked.

    I have experienced failure 2 times with the PF mixes. Because I use an IR viewing device, I just left the film in the developer until it was done. In one case, it took twice as long. In another case, I had to add some DD-X developer that I had lying around. The IR device paid for itself in these cases, and has persuaded me that development by inspection (while keeping the numbers in mind) is a safe way to go.

    I love the developer, but have been considering going back to other formulas for this reason alone. I purchased some glass balls, and filled the PF bottles to the top - but this didn't seem to prevent the problem from recurring.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 1998
    Fort Worth TX

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    I used pyrocat I made from sratch for nearly a year

    I had one failure because I was stupid and contaminated the part b

    I am now using Sodium Carbonate (arm and hammer washing soda) instead of Pot Carb

    at nearly a year I used the last of the original two liters


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 1999
    NE Missouri

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    My last shipment of Pyrocat HD from PF was IN glass bottles. I got it in December during their 'free shipping' sale. Maybe they have addressed the plastic bottle problem. But I have not had any catastrophic failures, even with the plastic bottles.



  8. #8

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    For goodness sakes guys, stay away from the PF problems with the packaged mixes that have been well documented and MIX YOUR OWN.

    The individual chemicals are not very expensive and a simple electronic scale and mixer are all you need. Mix it on the back porch with a resiprator over your mouth to manage the toxicity. The only chemical I seem to use a bunch of is the potassium carbonate. I just ordered 5 pounds last week that cost me $19. It took me over six months to use the last liter I mixed up and I had no problems with the results that it produced even when the bottle was near empty for several months. I store it in ordinary plastic bottles with screw on tops. I can mix the A & B solutions in less than 30 minutes.

    Whatever you do you should never abandon a productive developer because of logistical issues. Success is a commitment that should make no compromises.


  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2002

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    Is there a test for Pyro expiration, other than just exposing and developing a piece of film?

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Southern California

    Sudden (and not so ) Pyrocat HD Failure

    A few years ago I mixed up a batch from scratch and after about 5 months it became noticeably weaker. The next batch I mixed up using metol instead of phenidone and it lasted about 3 years until I used it up. I'm now back to phenidone in the Pyrocat but mix the A solution in glycol.

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