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Thread: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

  1. #21
    Jeffery Dale Welker
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Mesa, Arizona

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by martiansea View Post
    Are GFCIs really necessary for the wall with the enlarger? Those are intended for ground faults caused by an appliance falling in water. They're required for outlets near water, but otherwise unnecessary. Have them by the sink of course, but just there. I think the enlarger would be happier without it.
    I would upgrade the enlarger to some kind of LED light source right away, before even setting it up to use. No point in fooling with the old technology anymore. Do everything possible to minimize the energy required to run everything. Make it so the heater in the Jobo is the neediest thing. Since you're building the room up new, this is the attitude I would take.
    An interesting approach. Thank you.
    "I have this feeling of walking around for days with the wind knocked out of me." - Jim Harrison

  2. #22

    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    as for gfi?... check your local electrical codes first! my bathroom and darkroom are fully protected... why take a chance over saving a few bucks?

  3. #23
    Jim Jones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Chillicothe Missouri USA

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    Salmo22: My last darkroom was smaller than yours, but had over 20 outlets. Sometimes most had something plugged into them, ready to use. The outlets and lights were all on one 20 amp GFCI breaker in the fuse box. It would have been better planning to have two independent circuits in the darkroom, but not doing so never caused any problems. The darkroom before that one had a separate 30 amp circuit for an air conditioner and possible future use. I agree that installing 20 amp wiring once is much better than updating to it later. Semi-permanent improvements to a building should allow for whatever future use one can foresee.

  4. #24
    Tin Can's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    6 feet from edge of sink to any electricity

    arms length
    Images vastly preferred

    not game trying to


    In Time

  5. #25
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    SF Bay area, CA

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    I built my darkroom to code, even had the panel and wiring run to it done by the company industrial electrician (and yes, that business was classified as a heavy industry due to its integral mill with 880 incoming voltage). Wanted ample power for my own shop tools too, in an adjacent section. I did all the minor wiring and fixtures myself. I knew how to do the rest; but in this city, any kind of shop or chemical business license per se is subject to fire dept inspections should they choose to do so. Normally, it's just a shake-down: pay an annual fee, and nobody ever shows up to check anything. That's why all kinds of terrible fires occur in makeshift warehouse art colonies or disguised meth labs. Plus half of the building inspectors are corrupt and expect a bribe, just like in most big cities. But I got lucky at the start and had an honest young inspector particularly intrigued in how I was doing things because he was planning on making his own darkroom.

  6. #26

    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Seattle area, WA

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Salmo22 View Post
    An interesting approach. Thank you.
    To pile on your options, I plan on just putting in a combo AFCI/GFCI breaker in my panel for my darkroom circuit. This protects all the outlets from both arc faults (the ones that cause fires) and ground faults (the ones that shock you). These breakers are expensive but seem worth it to me, especially having insurance against arc faults since I'm doing the work myself, basically makes the risk of electrical fire nonexistant.

  7. #27

    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Madisonville, LA

    Re: DARKROOM - Electric Questions

    I have a separate 20A circuit for my enlarger that I shut off when not used. There is a DeVere power stabilizer plugged into this outlet and the enlarger lamped at 1000 W is plugged into the stabilizer. There are two other 20A circuits on GFI outlets, one for the chiller/film dryer and one for the rest of the darkroom. On this circuit is a 4x5 LPL enlarger with one 250 W lamp. The central AC is on a separate feed to the room. Darkroom is 8' x 11' and has 5 LED cans and one strip for general lighting. There is a 60A 220 breaker that feeds this, and a second 60A 220 breaker that feeds the washer/dryer, plate burner (on it's own 20A breaker circuit), dry mount press and upstairs lights/outlets. I'd check with an electrician about local codes.

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