Need Solenoid For Darkroom Sink

Discussion in 'Darkroom Developing and Printing' started by Alan Smithee, Dec 7, 2005.

  1. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Does anyone use a solenoid to control flow or shut off wash water in their
    sink? Can you recommend an economical 120v solenoid valve. I want to be able
    to put the solenoid on my timer and walk away knowing that the water will
    shut off in the allotted time on the clock. Thx.
    Alan Smithee, Dec 7, 2005
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  2. Alan Smithee

    Mike Guest

    Maybe you can get a suitable control valve from an old clothes washer
    Mike, Dec 7, 2005
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  3. Alan Smithee

    Alan Smithee Guest

    Ah! Good idea. Or an ice maker valve from a fridge possibly! Many solenoids
    seem to be 24vdc, probably safer.
    Alan Smithee, Dec 7, 2005
  4. Why must it be electric? If this is for washing prints, for example, why not
    go to Home Despot or some such place and get a low-tech garden hose timer,
    which is mechanical and does the job, perhaps not accurately, but would
    allow you to go to bed at night with the prints washing?

    BTW: I would no longer leave the prints in the washer overnight, but YMMV.
    Jean-David Beyer, Dec 7, 2005
  5. Appliance valves will be 120VAC. For safety run the system through
    a ground fault interrupter [GFI]. GFI's should be installed as outlets
    in areas where there is a water supply or contact with earth/ground:
    darkroom, kitchen, bathroom, washing area, outside outlets, garage ...

    You can also try McMaster-Carr and Grainger for valves. Just looked,
    they are pretty pricey: ~$50. You can buy an old dishwasher/washing
    machine for less.

    Hmmm, wonder if you could modify a washing machine and make it into
    a print washer ...
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Dec 7, 2005
  6. Alan Smithee

    mstlyharmlss Guest

    Walk into any home depot/lowes and you'll probably be able to find a
    few solenoid valves used for lawn sprinkler systems. They're usually
    not so popular around this time of year, so you may have to look online
    for them.
    mstlyharmlss, Dec 7, 2005
  7. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    I have seen the mechanical timers used to control lawn sprinklers used with
    some success, eliminates the need to mix water and 120v. in the sink and
    plenty accurate since washes go long enough that plus or minus a few minutes
    is not going to make a difference (unless you a using a "rapid wash" scheme
    like Ilford's in which case you aren't going very far from the sink anyway).
    Mike King, Dec 11, 2005
  8. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    These solenoids are also used in some processors. I know that both
    Photo-therm and King Concept used them
    Mike King, Dec 11, 2005
  9. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    Re GFCI--AMEN!! The only new designed from the ground up darkroom I ever
    worked in did not have GFCI, I got "bit" the first day and refused to work
    in there until the boss spent $24 to buy GFCI's for me to install.

    Mike King, Dec 11, 2005
  10. How could a timer of any kind eliminate the need to mix water? If the cold,
    or hot, water is not the temperature you want, you have little choice but to
    mix them, perhaps with a Lawlor type valve. But after that you can have a
    time-controlled valve, be it mechanical or electric, to turn it on and off.

    If you have a regular laundry-type sink mixing faucet, you will want check
    valves and a vacuum breaker on it . Check valves so when the timer valve
    shuts off, the hot water will not be pushed back into the cold. Vacuum
    breaker so the water from wherever the water is going does not get sucked
    back into the water system in event of pressure drops. You do not want (and
    in most municipalities are not allowed) to have any possibility whatever of
    the stuff in your sink sucked back into the water system. Do you want to
    drink whatever is in your washer or washing sink?
    Jean-David Beyer, Dec 11, 2005
  11. Proper wiring of the electrical outlets also needs to be checked. It isn't
    even that unusual to see ground <-> hot swapped; older houses used black
    wire for everything.

    Outlet testers are $6 or so at any hardware store, they look like 3-prong
    adapters with little light-bulbs.
    Nicholas O. Lindan, Dec 11, 2005
  12. You should get the model with a little button on the front. Pressing that
    button should make the GFI pop.

    BTW, Mike King should also get whatever it was that pops the GFI fixed.
    Popping a GFI is a warning that something is leaking.
    Jean-David Beyer, Dec 11, 2005
  13. Alan Smithee

    bill Guest


    bill, Dec 12, 2005
  14. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    I have one (Radio Shack?) and take it with me when I've worked in other
    people's darkrooms. It's amazing what some people tolerate.
    Mike King, Dec 12, 2005
  15. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    The place I worked did not have GFCI's until I installed them. When I
    installed them they worked properly or I wouldn't be here to tell the tale.
    Mike King, Dec 12, 2005
  16. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    water + electricity = bad situation What I said was eliminate mixing water
    and electricity by using a mechanical timer nothing said about thermostatic
    mixing valves.
    Mike King, Dec 12, 2005
  17. I used to have a purely mechanical garden hose timer" that worked on flow.
    You just wound the dial for the gallons you wanted and a little turbine
    inside shut the valve after xx gallons. It was cheaper than a battery
    operated timer. I'd suggest a battery timer as a safer alternative to 120

    My darkroom is equipped with outside faucets (petcocks?), so they have
    garden hose connections. If your sink does not, you should be able to find
    a thread on replacement for the screen or aerator on your current tap to
    convert to a gaden hose thread. Them just attach a timer to that.
    Pieter Litchfield, Dec 12, 2005
  18. Did you find the leaky device? Or is management risking lawsuits if the GFI
    is a little slow someday?
    Jean-David Beyer, Dec 12, 2005
  19. I thunk you meant mix hot and cold water, not mix any water and electricity.
    Of course your parse of your sentence is also a valid one.
    Jean-David Beyer, Dec 12, 2005
  20. Alan Smithee

    Mike King Guest

    Again, I said nothing in any post about mixing hot and cold water, I did not
    at anytime mention thermostatic or other mixing valves, my point was that
    120 volt solenoid valves are NOT a safe option for most do-it-yourself
    designs and that mechanical timers are much safer.
    Mike King, Dec 14, 2005
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