Laundry room darkroom

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Tony-S, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Tony-S

    Tony-S Member
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    Good news for me. I'm moving into a new home and the previous owners finished the basement and included a second laundry room. However, we'll be using the main floor laundry room for laundry so the entire basement laundry room is mine! :D It's 6ft x 10ft plus a walk-in closet.

    There is no sink in the room so I am looking around for a used darkroom sink. Of course, there is only plumbing for hot and cold, plus the laundry drain. These are about 4 ft off the ground so my sink will need to be higher and I'll need hoses for connecting the supply lines to the faucet. Other than that, I shouldn't need to plum the drain, right? Just stick a hose into the drain tube.
     
  2. M Carter

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    As far as the drain goes, you want a trap between the drain pipe and the drain opening in the sink - it's the curved sort-of half-loop that holds a bit of water (look under your kitchen sink and you'll see it). The purpose of this is to keep sewer gasses from coming up through the drain hole and into the air. Stinky, dangerous, even explosive gas. If the access to the drain is 4' off the ground, check and see if the pipe it feeds into goes lower - often in a basement, the main pipe goes down below the floor. A plumber or handy person can cut into this pipe closer to the floor and add a T-type fitting. Even if it's an iron pipe, it's actually not that big a deal with the right tools and may not cost much, and will likely be worth whatever it does cost.

    If you're renting, adding that adapter can be done where you can just screw a cap into it when you move along.

    It's usually pretty easy to tap into existing supply plumbing (hot and cold) and route some extra pipe to your sink or wherever you need it, with faucets specifically for your darkroom sink. A facuet that can take a length of hose or tubing is really handy, too.

    And - many folks here have done DIY sinks of plywood with porch paint or varnish or epoxy coatings - darkroom-specific sinks are pricey. Actually, I have a good sized counter where my trays go, and a deep 20x24" plastic basic which drains into a standard-sized kitchen sink. You don't 100% need your trays to be in a sink-like structure - it's nice to have, but primarily you need something big enough to wash some prints in.
     
  3. voceumana

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    The height of the hot and cold water supply connections doesn't matter--water flow is fed by gravity from the city water source which is invariably higher than your house. You just need connection hoses from the supply valves to the sink's faucet.

    Putting the sink so that the drain is higher than the laundry drain makes it a very in convenient height and just sticking a hose in that tube is asking for trouble. Washing machines use a pump to eject the waste water, so they can use a simple hose. But any sink drain uses gravity to cause the waste water to flow down the drain. You should correctly plum the sink's drain so that it properly empties the waste water. It is not hard to do if you are a handy-man type, but if you aren't just get a plumber to do it. You may have to open the wall where the laundry connections are located and then patch it up.

    Your local library probably has a book on home plumbing or you can get one at Home Depot, Lowe's, Ace or TruValue hardware. I suggest you read about it. There are only a few things to get wrong with plumbing, but those can cause some serious problems.
     
  4. jacaquarie

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    A suggestion, if you do not wish to make plumbing changes, the sump pump that will pump your waste water to the drain pipe.
    poor plumbing can be the health hazard do your research. .
     
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    Tony-S

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    Pretty sure all laundry drains have their own traps in the wall. Every washer I've used just has a hose that gets inserted into the wall drain.

    I'm hopeful that I can find flex hoses from the supply lines to the faucet connections without using adapters.

    Yes, I'd like to make my own sink if possible. Have you made one with the epoxy resins? If so, do you have advice on what to buy that will be suitable?

    Thanks for your response.
     
  6. OP
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    Tony-S

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    I'm not worried about supply pressure, just was hoping to use gravity to drain.
    I realize washers use pumps but that's because the bottom of the tubs are always lower than the wall drain PVC. I was thinking I could get the bottom of the sink higher than the wall PVC opening and just rely on gravity to drain it. The drain hose would be a smaller diameter than the PVC and, thus, act like a flow rate control.
     
  7. David Brown

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    Don't forget electrical outlets, ventilation, etc. :wink:
     
  8. adelorenzo

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  9. pbromaghin

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    For the drain, I suggest you discharge down into a large bucket and use a small sump pump to pump it up to the drain. You can probably do the whole thing for $100.
     
  10. cramej

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    ^This. You can even get pumps with level sensors that will automatically run when the water reaches a certain level.

    Unless you're 8 ft tall, I doubt you could actually get any work done with the bottom of the sink at 4ft.

    Another issue to keep in mind is that washer valves don't get used much, thus they tend to have bad seals/seats right about the time you need them to stay shut. I would be wise to have a plumber install new quarter turn valves to prevent leaking.
     
  11. MattKing

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    I'm 5'11'" tall and I like high counters/work tables/sinks.
    I would be happy with a sink whose bottom was at 3' 6" off the floor. 4 feet would be slightly awkward.
    YMMV
     
  12. John Koehrer

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    If you're using the sink for trays as well as washing, 48" may not be comfortable after an evening of printing. Standard countertop height is 36"
    so you can make a spacer(cardboard) on top of your kitchen sink to see how it fits you. Aim for something that you can put your forearms on,
    A trap should be there, and the faucets likely have standard 3/4" pipe threads, fittings at the local hardware or big box store. You can make an
    estimate for height by checking the top of the utility sink & actually use it as part of the support.

    You will want to build the end of the sink away from the drain just a bit higher so liquids flow towards the drain.
     
  13. pbromaghin

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    This thread prompted me to find the solution to my basement darkroom design. The sink will be on a heavy-duty table with a hole drilled for the drainpipe, that much is already in place. I will then get a $3 bucket, $50 automatic sump pump, $15 washing machine discharge hose. It will run to a roughed in bath drain about 8 feet away. A $10 extension cord and some miscellaneous clamps and connectors should about do it.
     
  14. M Carter

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    True, but those access points are usually up above table-height, and rely on a pump in the washing machine to get the water out. I was more thinking of tapping into the main sewer drain at floor level (very easy if it has a threaded cleanout, but not insanely difficult, even if it's iron pipe). When I muse about various darkroom designs where one builds or buys a table-level sink, in most cases you'd need access to a drain that's floor level to 2' or so up. If there's a laundry sink or tub, good chance there's an easy way in under there, too.

    For tapping into the laundry supply connections (I'm pretty sure it's a garden-hose thread) there's likely a world of easy possibilities. I'm a big fan of PEX tubing, it's really easy to install and there are plenty of valves and fittings available, once you have the crimping tool anyway! My darkroom is an upstairs kitchen in a 1930's duplex; but the supply pipes (80-year old galvanized) failed a few years back (yeah, that took some ceiling repair!) so I have pex running across the ceiling from a branch at the water heater. Ghetto but heck, I have water now!
     
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