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Thread: Hard water!!!

  1. #11
    Doug Dolde
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    They say the water is also very hard for people who jump off the Golden Gate Bridge.

  2. #12

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    Tonopah, Nevada, USA
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    6,338

    Re: Hard water!!!

    Out where I live in Tonopah Nevada the water is very hard and would even leave calcite deposits on finished negs. I solved the problem by putting SODIUM HEXAMETAPHOSPHATE- Calgon in the final rinse. My Jobo tank never looked so pretty as after I did that. It's the same stuff that keeps the water spots off your glass ware in the dishwasher. Ebay sellers sell it in bulk. A lifetime supply will cost about $16 bucks. It takes very little to be effective. Enough powder to just cover about half of the top of a nickel. I never measured to see how much that is, maybe .3g or so.

  3. #13
    Louie Powell's Avatar
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    Sep 2003
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    Saratoga Springs, NY
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    846

    Re: Hard water!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Winger View Post
    So is the only step that matters with hard or softened water the final rinse? What about prints? I'm chiming in because I'm on well water where I just moved and there is a softener (yes, it's just NaCl that we dump in, though I think there are small amounts of other stuff in it since there are different grades).
    My experience is that there are two issues - one is physical, and one is chemical. The physical issue is the matter of residues left (mainly) on negatives, but potentially also on prints. Having softer water helps, but the best results with negatives is to use use either distilled or filtered water for the final rinse. Having worked with both hard and soft water, I could not perceive any difference in prints. Perhaps if the water had been even harder, there could have been a difference.

    The other issue is the matter of the response of chemicals. I did see a distinct difference in the Cibachrome color printing process when we switched from hard to soft water. But I could not see any change at all in the response of black and white chemicals.

    I believe that the US Navy found that seawater was effective than in fresh water in removing fixer from both negatives and prints, and so they designed their shipboard darkroom systems to use seawater for washing, and reserved their precious potable water for the final rinse. Modern hypoclear formulations are supposedly based on this research.

  4. #14
    Confidently Agnostic!
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    Victoria BC
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    1,047

    Re: Hard water!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin kelly View Post
    Where I live the water out of the tap happens to be very hard, limescale inside the kettle and all of that! My question is will this affect the performance of developer, stop, fixer and hardener(if needed)?

    Please excuse my ignorance and thanks in advance.

    KK
    I haven't had any problems. Our water here is very hard. I use these wetting agent drops in my final rinse that makes the water just shed right off negatives (and prints, though I usually don't bother for prints as I haven't had problems yet) and doesn't leave any spots.

  5. #15
    Eric Woodbury
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    1,466

    Re: Hard water!!!

    I have 29 grains hardness. A glass of standing tap water precipitates calcium carbonate. No iron, no chlorine, so that's good. I mix film developer with distilled or RO water. And the last dunk of negatives in photo flo bath is always freshly mixed with same. No issues yet, but it's only been since '75.
    my picture blog
    ejwoodbury.blogspot.com

  6. #16

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Iowa City, Iowa
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    Water softener is for dishwasher and bath. Converting Calcium carbonate to sodium carbonate isn't a good idea for developers especially. I have a RO system, I use it always when mixing powdered developers. Since I'm stuck with soft water, which is a good thing, it keeps lime from building up in processors and washers. I can't mix XTOL with my softened water because of the high concentration of sodium carbonate, it salts out in a cool room.
    I never had problems when I lived in a city with 10-14 grains of hardness. Last week I put in a new softener, the tap water here went right off the scale on the test strips, in excess of 25 grains.
    I love my RO system but most tap water works fine, even hard water for almost every solution, including color. Baths are sure great with the soft water too.

  7. #17

    Join Date
    Jul 2018
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    Vermont
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    I also have hard water with 13.5 grains of hardness which isn’t as much of an issue as the high iron content. So I only use distilled water when mixing chemicals that aren’t one shot. I always use distilled water and rinse aid for the final rinse. I used tap water once and even with rinse aid left horrible water spots.

  8. #18

    Join Date
    Dec 2014
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    Iowa City, Iowa
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    Re: Hard water!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by NHE View Post
    I also have hard water with 13.5 grains of hardness which isn’t as much of an issue as the high iron content. So I only use distilled water when mixing chemicals that aren’t one shot. I always use distilled water and rinse aid for the final rinse. I used tap water once and even with rinse aid left horrible water spots.
    Iron is brutal on everything both in solution or the nasty ultrafine stuff.

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