Tank always leaks after Developer

Recent Classifieds

Forum statistics

Threads
178,659
Messages
2,457,480
Members
94,599
Latest member
JKFTL
Recent bookmarks
0
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
58
Location
Puerto Rico
Shooter
35mm
I really dont understand this at all. During developer, my tank is completely water tight and doesnt leak at all with the most rigorous agitation. What I dont get is why afterwords in the stop bath and fixer that it leaks like crazy! I use a small manual tank, Omega is the brand I think. When I pour out the developer though I do unscrew the top a bit or else not all of the developer (or any liquid inside for that matter) will pour out. Of course right after i pour it out I screw it completely again but then thats where the leaks starts.
Does anyone have the same problem? Any solutions? Thanks for reading :smile:
 

ozphoto

Subscriber
Joined
Apr 2, 2006
Messages
1,864
Location
Adelaide, SA, Australia
Shooter
Multi Format
Hi JJJ,

I have a Paterson 4 tank that leaks regardless when I pour out the developer, and it constantly bugs me too.
How much developer is left in the tank after you pour out when you *don't* unscrew the lid? If it's only a few ml I wouldn't be too concerned as the stop bath will neutralise it fairly quickly. If it's a great deal then unscrewing the lid a touch to empty is a good idea as it will take longer for the stop bath to do its bit.

I have tried everything I can think of with my tank - and have come to the conclusion I just have to live with it (messy yes, but manageable); however if somebody can come up with a solution for you, that will work for me too - I'll be happy. :smile:
 

Rick A

Subscriber
Joined
Mar 31, 2009
Messages
9,053
Location
Laurel Highlands
Shooter
Large Format
It's possible that the seal is not reseating, or maybe just residual fluid working its way out. I have a similar tank and tried to duplicate your problem, mine didn't so much as leak, as drip a bit of left-overs. Are you using yours as an inversion tank, or do you use the "swizzle stick" to agitate?

Rick
 
OP
OP
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
58
Location
Puerto Rico
Shooter
35mm
If I dont unscrew the top then little developer comes out. If I shake its vigorously then after a while I will get most of the developer out but thats already an extra minute to dev. time. I do what Kodak recommends by sliding the tank back and forth over a 10 in. arch, although still I get leaks. At least it doesnt leak during the most important step I guess, thats good
 

Q.G.

Member
Joined
Jul 23, 2007
Messages
5,536
Location
Netherlands
Shooter
Medium Format
My solution to leaking tanks (i use Paterson, and therefore take it as a given that developing film is a messy business. The System 4 tanks are as bad as the older ones.) is to just put up with it.

I never needed to unscrew the top to let all the fluid out, though obviously the tank isn't dry inside after it is emptied. There's no way that it could be.
Which is why pouring out a tank is quickly followed by a fill with fresh water (or stop).

It sounds like your tanks do not let air in when you pour the liquid out. So perhaps you should either pour at a lesser angle (allowing air in above while the fluid runs out below, or get another tank with a bigger opening.
 

DannL

Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
587
Location
Oklahoma
Shooter
Multi Format
The chemicals in question outgas during processing, creating a pressure in the tank which causes the the fluid and gases to be pushed through the seal. Developers like D-76 don't create enough pressure to be significant. Fixer is the worst for causing tanks to leak. For all my hand processing drums (JOBO and others) I have drilled a very small hole (~1mm) in the center of the lids. When I invert during hand processing I place my index finger over the hole. When I turn the tank upright I remove my figner to allow the pressure to escape. This solved about 90% of my leaks.
 
OP
OP
Joined
Oct 12, 2009
Messages
58
Location
Puerto Rico
Shooter
35mm
Thanks for the solutions guys. I knew that the problem had to do with air when pouring the dev out but I never figured out how to remedy this. Thanks again.

Do you think that would solve my problems with the leaks during the stop bath and fixer though?
 

thebdt

Member
Joined
May 4, 2008
Messages
70
Location
San Diego, C
Shooter
35mm
I had this same problem too, at one point. I found that if I throughly dried (i.e. with a paper towel) the areas around the lid and top of the tank, where the tank and lid seal together, the leaking stopped. I assume that the residual liquid from pouring out the developer caused a fault in the seal. At any rate, now that I throughly dry the sealing areas in between each evacuation of the tank, I no longer have leakage problems.
 

Nicholas Lindan

Advertiser
Advertiser
Joined
Sep 2, 2006
Messages
3,265
Location
Cleveland, O
Shooter
Multi Format
Actually, developer creates a slight vacuum - developers are reducing agents and will remove the oxygen from the air in the tank. As pointed out the stop and fix will outgass as they work. The sealing caps on Jobo drums/tanks have an expansion plug to relieve the pressure in the stop and fix steps.

I keep SS tanks in a plastic bag (the cheap old style w/o the zipper) for agitation, keeps the hand dry, and just peel the bag back for changing fluids. Keep the whole in a small print tray to pick up any drips.
 

RH Designs

Advertiser
Advertiser
Joined
Apr 9, 2003
Messages
651
Location
Yorkshire Da
Shooter
Multi Format
I've found the trick with Paterson tanks is to lift the edge of the lid briefly after the first couple of agitations to break the seal and release the pressure. No problem with leaks since I discovered that.
 

marco.taje

Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2009
Messages
116
Location
Gallarate, I
Shooter
Medium Format
I confirm that, no more leakage in Paterson tanks after applying the "burping" technique. I believe a sticky summary about that would be useful :smile:
 

MartinP

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2007
Messages
1,569
Location
Netherlands
Shooter
Medium Format
Possibly the OP's tank is some sort of rigid plastic one, without a flexible lid, as he mentions unscrewing it. The totally rigid tanks I have seen have all been very slow to fill or empty, compared to more modern designs with larger funnel/spouts on top. It is also possible that the tank is missing a seal between the lid and the body - I don't recall seeing a rigid tank without a seal of some sort.

With Paterson I have found that closing them with the sandwich-box technique (press down the middle and lift the side to make the pressure lower in the tank when sealed) means they don't leak during inversion, although I only have a two reel tank which might be small enough to avoid the reported Paterson leak problem.
 

Anscojohn

Subscriber
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
2,709
Shooter
Medium Format
Go to stainless tanks. Then you can brag. Leaking ss tanks are part of the cachet of using them, dontcha know@@
 

PeteZ8

Member
Joined
Mar 10, 2008
Messages
408
Location
Newtown, PA
Shooter
Medium Format
I've found the trick with Paterson tanks is to lift the edge of the lid briefly after the first couple of agitations to break the seal and release the pressure. No problem with leaks since I discovered that.

Ditto. I don't even put on the lid for stop. I just give it a few light twirls with the stick. Stop works pretty much on contact so I see putting the lid on and the associated mess to be worthless.

Burp during fix, especially after the first agitation session (30 seconds) then another quick burp right before doing my regular inversions.
 

pentaxuser

Subscriber
Joined
May 9, 2005
Messages
16,036
Location
Daventry, No
Shooter
35mm
If you can find any, the Durst tanks are the best I have ever used. Mine seem to be completely leak-proof no matter how I agitate and no matter what liquid is in the tank. The tops simply are tight fits and you'd expect these to be the least leak-proof design but not so. Another unusual feature is that the reels are plastic but the film goes into the centre and is held by a central spring. The loading is made simple by an attachment which holds the film while you wind it on. Once the film is under the central spring then loading is virtually fool-proof.

pentaxuser
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
15,711
Location
Switzerland
Shooter
Multi Format
My solution to leaking tanks (i use Paterson, and therefore take it as a given that developing film is a messy business. The System 4 tanks are as bad as the older ones.) is to just put up with it.

Exactly. There is a wonderful invention called nitrile gloves. This insures that you don't get the chemistry all over your hands.
When I process film I keep a tub (that's large enough to fit my entire tank) full of tempered water so I can rinse off the outside of it at the end of each agitation cycle. It's a quick one second thing. And, I wear nitrile gloves.

If it isn't a flood of chemistry leaking out of your tank, meaning that the chemistry level doesn't go below the level of the top film reel, then no harm is done to the film, which is what's really important here. Most tanks leak a little. Some leak more than others. It's just how it is, unfortunately.
 

craigclu

Subscriber
Joined
Sep 8, 2002
Messages
1,214
Location
Rice Lake, Wisconsin
Shooter
Multi Format
A practice that I picked up in the labs (non-photo) at work is to simply run a strip of 3M 33+ tape around the seam. It's a very soft, moldable version of black electrical tape and easily seals everything up and leaves no residue when you remove it at the end of your process. I never need to deal with any leakage this way and my hands never get contaminated with any chemistry for subsequent film handling.
 
Joined
Jan 21, 2003
Messages
15,711
Location
Switzerland
Shooter
Multi Format
Craig, that's a really very good idea!
 

HowardDvorin

Member
Joined
Sep 7, 2002
Messages
192
Location
Mt. Laurel N
Shooter
35mm
Hello all,

My solution is to simply keep a small rag availavble and dry the tank when it gets wet. I have used paterson tanks for years.
 
Photrio.com contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.
To read our full affiliate disclosure statement please click Here.

PHOTRIO PARTNERS EQUALLY FUNDING OUR COMMUNITY:



Ilford ADOX Freestyle Photographic Stearman Press Weldon Color Lab
Top Bottom