WATER TEMPERATURE MIXING PANEL
We have designed and installed scores if not hundreds of darkrooms for clients over the years and a problem we have faced is how to configure the plumbing. The two most commonly used water outlets for darkroom sinks are laundry tub faucets and thermostatic mixing valves. Laundry tub faucets are do not allow adequate control and thermostatic mixing valves are expensive and prone to early death due to sediment and leaky gas motors.
Another factor worth considering is ease of mounting and installation expense. Most faucets need a shelf to mount them on, or rigid threaded pipe to support the fixture. If the sink is fiberglass or has a backsplash, a faucet support shelf is impractical, and wall mounting is required.
We came up with a simple solution for plumbing your sink which minimizes installation expense and provides enough control for black and white printing processes. Our mixing valve is a shower valve with a high accuracy 3” dial thermometer and a shut-off for the tempered water. It is mounted in a stainless steel box which is easily wall mountable with four screws. It can be plumbed with low cost flexible faucet supply lines or soft copper tubing.
The outlet valve on our panel is standard garden hose thread, you can screw on a “Y” fitting to provide two outlets, one for your print washer and one for the utility hose. Standard 1/2” pipe thread inlets are provided on the mixing valve.
If you add up the expense of a standard faucet, flo-temp, dial thermometer and plumbers hourly rate, I think you will find our panel efficient, less expensive and more cosmetically appealing than the alternatives.
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