Recovering chemicals from Jobo ATL 1000 without Chemical Separator?

Discussion in 'Darkroom Equipment' started by Arctic amateur, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. Arctic amateur

    Arctic amateur Subscriber

    Oct 24, 2011
    Ringerike, Norway
    My photo club has a functioning Jobo ATL 1000 without any procedure for recovering chemicals. The posted instructions says to let it pour everything into the drain after use.

    If I understand the ATL 1000 manual correctly it's possible to recover chemicals using a "Chemical Separator #4220", but we don't seem to have one. Can I still recover chemicals somehow? There's a water supply hose and a water drain hose, but no hose on the chemical drain outlet. The processor is set up to sit in the sink on an upside-down dishwasher plastic tray, so that spent chemicals can be dumped without soaking the machine.

    I know there are people using it for one-shot BW, but I was hoping to use it for C-41 and that's kind of uneconomical to do one-shot. Do you learned gentlemen and ladies have any wisdom to share?
  2. Lanthanum

    Lanthanum Subscriber

    Jun 27, 2014
    35mm RF
    No reply in over 4 and a half years, so I thought I would reply with my thoughts!

    I do not have a JOBO 4220 separator, but some thought reveals the following deductions.

    In essence, the JOBO 4220 separator is a box which has a pneumatically powered and controlled valve inside it. To achieve this pneumatic manipulation, three standard aquarium PVC tubes (4mm inside diameter) are attached to connections marked "1", "2" and "4" on the back of the ATL-1000 or ATL-1500. The chemical outlet (marked with yellow sticker) is then attached to the box of the separator.

    I think that the way it works is that as the chemicals are pneumatically pumped into the tank, the pressure is also reduced in one of these lines and this draws the valve into one of it's two positions, therefore directing flow one way or the other.

    So development chemicals are sent through the outlet as normal, and then the valve in the 4220 sends them into one collection container. When the fixing chemicals are pumped into the tank, the valve in the 4220 is re-positioned and when it comes time to dump them they are now sent to the other collection container. Simple really.

    I think it is important to note that the chemicals share a common path even with the 4220 installed, up to the valve in the separator. So there is still the chance for contamination.

    A question for the C-41 experts: would a double tank rinse between C-41 dev chems and C-41 blix be a good idea (assuming at 37.8 degrees)? This should prevent contamination. Would this be good for the end result? No colour shifts etc?

    So it seems that one could install a manual switch valve (like a Y-joint) on the JOBO and achieve a manually controlled separator. I might give it a go!

    Let me know what you all think...
  3. Nasa62

    Nasa62 Member

    Jul 31, 2014
    Perth Western Australia
    Medium Format
    Ok, well Im looking for a solution for this as well. At the moment I simply direct the chems back into the bottle and while the next stage is taking place I fill the dump tubes (both of them because they seem have a little crossover) with water a couple of times to rinse it out so that there is no contamination. It has worked so far but is tedious.
    Any better way would be handy!
  4. BennehBoy

    BennehBoy Member

    Apr 28, 2008
    Multi Format
    I'm using exactly the same method as you and yes, it's quite tedious.

    I think the problem with automatic separation is that there are always chemicals left over in the drain tube unless you rinse it like we do - this imho is why we're probably best to stick to this method.

    I had considered building something using an arduino to automatically rinse the line after chemical dumping and switch a valve, but I'd need to reverse engineer the mainboard to figure out if there was an electrical means to know which tank was being drained.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017