Paterson Auto Washer and flow rate

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by norm123, Jan 27, 2018.

  1. norm123

    norm123 Subscriber

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    Hi
    Sorry for my English
    I want to change my washing routine. I always used the Kodak tray siphon method but now I want to keep the tray siphon to rinse or a quick wash and to use a Paterson Auto Washer 12 x 16 for the final wash. I just have one sink and I bought a small adaptor to screw to the faucet and use 2 hoses, one for the tray siphon and to to the Paterson washer who is modified. I blocked the inlet with the plastic piece designed for it with Epoxy and silicon. It's ugly but it works. The Paterson inlet hose is just put inside the tank and I adjust the flow rate both for the Kodak tray siphon and the Paterson Auto Washer. It's a bit tricky but I'll try. I measured the outlet flow from the Paterson tank when the water level is stable and it was 700 ml in 1 minute...so 42 L in 1 hour. Is it a good rate? The siphon action, when I want to empty the Paterson tank, does not work when I close the hole at the top of the tank. I put the outlet hose in my mouth, took a breath, blocked the hose and put it in the sink...so it worked. Is it a good way to proceed? I'm not sure about the flow for the Paterson Auto Print Washer. It's seems too low but if I want to prevent overflow, I don't have a choice.

    I need advvice.

    Best regards,

    Norm
     
  2. Maris

    Maris Member

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    I've used Paterson Major Auto Print Washers 12x16 for many years. The correct inlet water flow rate is determined by the agitator unit that is powered by water pressure. If the water flow is not enough the agitator does not work. If the water flow rate is too much the agitator does not work. Adjust the tap/faucet so that the agitator moves the print basket backward and forward in a gentle way. This is the correct flow rate. I measure about 50 litres per hour but this changes a little bit depending on how many prints are in the basket.

    If you just run water into the Paterson Washer from the top and do not use the agitator function then I think some prints will not get a good wash.
     
  3. OP
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    norm123

    norm123 Subscriber

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    I'm thinking to bypass the agitator and to rock the cradle regularly. I'll do HT-2 test to see what happens. Happy to see that your flow rate is in the same order than mine.

    Thank you.
     
  4. craigclu

    craigclu Subscriber

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    This was many years ago and my memory may not be exactly clear but I recall some people testing and actually getting better washing by running below the flow rate that activated the agitator. I've owned one for years and at about that time managed to drop something heavy that broke the agitator connector on mine. After reading that information, I decided to try just running a clamped hose to the rim at a very slow rate and my testing at the time showed good results and I haven't worried about it since. I have a pdf of the original instruction sheet and am attaching it in case it's of any use to someone.
     

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  5. Marco Gilardetti

    Marco Gilardetti Member

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    I also purchased a Paterson Auto Washer when I changed home and moved to an area where water is much more expensive. I have used many Paterson products across the years (tanks, trays, triple chornometers...) and I am happy with them, but definitely not so with the Auto Washer. The agitator refuses to work steadily at *whatever* water flow: at some point, the metal ball inside will begin to buzz and the agitator will fail, whatever you do. The emptying mechanism also doesn't work whatever you do - wiht cap, without cap, tilting one side, tilting the other side, filling with water, whatever, it simply doesn't work, full stop. But most of all, I purchased the bulky and expensive 30x40 unit just to find out later that the paper holding basket is a little bit too narrow and Ilford 30x40 papers won't fit!!! :mad:

    When the washer was still new and under warranty I contacted Paterson's customer service asking to receive at least a spare part for all of the metioned devices that don't work, but with my highest disappointment not only they didn't cooperate, but they didn't take care to reply at all. :mad:

    In my opinion, the Paterson Auto Washer could be a smart and useful tool for the darkroom, but as-is it's full of flaws and obviously underengineered, underdeveloped and undertested.
     
  6. OP
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    norm123

    norm123 Subscriber

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    Good news for me I hope. I plan to do like that.
     
  7. Mainecoonmaniac

    Mainecoonmaniac Subscriber

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    Living in California under drought conditions and metered water, I'm concerned about the flow rate of my Patterson print washer. The agitator is broken. But I do get pretty clean prints in a short time if I don't fix my paper for more than a few minutes. I also put the prints in a holding tray with a tray that has a Kodak tray siphon which I turn on sporadically to save water. What saves water is using hypo clear then a final wash for about 1/2 hour. I verify that my prints are free from fixer with a residual hypo test. I could save water by using RC paper. I just don't like the look of it. I'm building a new darkroom and I plan to use water from my print washer to irrigate my landscape. Before the drought, I was using an Arkay tumbling print washer which damaged my prints. Also if it's overloaded, or if my prints stuck together, my prints didn't come out free from hypo.
     
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