AC water and "Clorox"

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Anscojohn

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For decades I have been collecting the runoff water from my AC unit during our humid summers here. I use it for mixing film developer and for wetting agent. Since PE pointed out potential problems with spores and mold, I have been boiling the water for five minutes in a 2 quart pyrex measuring cup in the microwave oven, then cooling it for use.

I am wondering if adding a few drops of "chlorox" to the water some time before filtering and using a batch might save me the boiling step? Any comments or suggestions appreciated.
 

Rick A

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It should, although I would use the basic unscented variety. I dilute one capful to a gallon of water to kill mildew on buildings prior to painting. The best thing you can do is to experiment. Chlorine flashes off in an open container fairly rapidly-approx. 24 hours should do it for you. If the chlorine smell is gone, it should be safe to use.

Rick
 

Mike1234

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So the reason for the 24 our open container stand time... it evaporates. Same process for aquarium fish. If you have a lot of clorine in your city drinking water just leave a glass of it uncovered on the counter for 24 hours then drink it... no chlorine taste/smell at all. If it's not there it can do no harm to fish, humans, nor to film.
 

Photo Engineer

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Hypochlorite solutions soften emulsions. This is correct. At a high enough strength, it can dissolve the emulsion. I'm sorry, but IDK the level needed to become harmful. Thymol or Phenol might be better, but again, IDK the best amount to use here, just what is best to preserve raw emulsion.

PE
 
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Anscojohn

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Hypochlorite solutions soften emulsions. This is correct. At a high enough strength, it can dissolve the emulsion. I'm sorry, but IDK the level needed to become harmful. Thymol or Phenol might be better, but again, IDK the best amount to use here, just what is best to preserve raw emulsion.

PE
******
Thanks, one and all. Has anyone ever heard of using 'chlorox' to make drinking water safe? I seem to recal that. i guess that amount would be safe enough for an emulsion. Nor would it change the ph very much. Or I could just contiue to boil and cool to kill the nasties.
 

photomem

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You are right. I was an office of emergency services officer at one time. About 1/2 oz or less to 1 gallon of water will kill almost all microbes. Any left over would be finished off in the acid and bases used in photo processing. Not that it would matter because the average microbe level after treatment with clorox is about 1-3 ppm if I remember correctly.
 
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Household chlorine bleach is a staple of emergency kits, for water purification. It is not anyone's first choice for drinking water sterilization, but is far better than the alternatives. Not tasty, but sure is efficient.
 

Photo Engineer

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It comes to mind that Hydrogen Peroxide is not bad at killing nasties.

You have to get rid of it before you use the water for photoprocessing though.

PE
 

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I wouldn't use AC water for mixing chemicals, but would these nasties survive the fixing bath?
 

Photo Engineer

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Some yes, some no.

Some mold spores can live on as well. And, some mold spores are big enough to show up on 35mm film as tiny dots I have been told. I have never checked this out, but there must be an expert here that could answer that one. They would have to be about 10 microns or larger to be seen I would think.

PE
 

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If you don't want to use chemicals for water purification you can use the technique that a lot of relief agencies teach to those living in the third world environments with poor water sources. You put water in a PET plastic bottle, shake it up a bit and cap it off. Then place the bottle in direct sunlight for six hours, or more depending on the light levels. The combination of the heat and the sun's UV rays kill most everything that would like to do you in. Once you have a PET bottle, there is nothing to buy; although I suspect after a large number of cycles the sun does in the bottle. The other nice thing is that in those environments, fuel to burn for boiling water is often scarce and this method uses none.

Denis K
 
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If you don't want to use chemicals for water purification you can use the technique that a lot of relief agencies teach to those living in the third world environments with poor water sources. You put water in a PET plastic bottle, shake it up a bit and cap it off. Then place the bottle in direct sunlight for six hours, or more depending on the light levels. The combination of the heat and the sun's UV rays kill most everything that would like to do you in. Once you have a PET bottle, there is nothing to buy; although I suspect after a large number of cycles the sun does in the bottle. The other nice thing is that in those environments, fuel to burn for boiling water is often scarce and this method uses none.

Denis K

Sounds good pretty good for bugs. Algae may persist, if present. That would not be a problem for drinking, just photo processing.
 

Kirk Keyes

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Clorox is about 3.5% available chlorine. Finished drinking water has a maximum acceptable limit by the EPA to be 4 mg/L.

Do the math.

(Hint: 3.5% is 35,000 mg/L.)

PS - You can actually treat the water with more chlorine than 4 mg/L, it just has to have less than 4 mg/L when it comes out of the drinking water tap.
 
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