July 26, 2010


Finished the plumbing installation in the darkroom proper.  Another minor milestone, of sorts.  One must take the small victories when they present themselves, after all.

I had given a lot of prior thought to how to do the plumbing, then as I was into it, had multiple second thoughts about it all. The overriding concept was to have everything exposed, both for maintenance and potential future changes. At times over the past few days, I wished I had done proper in-wall design, but I did not, so “oh, well”.

I had planned from the beginning to have the two sinks. (see the floor plan in the Feb. 28th post) The water supply lines come out of the wall near the corner and to the left of the wet side. This location was dictated by where the lines come up from the lower floor. Once out of the wall, they move laterally along the wet side to supply both sinks.

The shorter, 4’ sink on the right has three faucets built in. The 8’ sink has no built in faucets. In the old darkroom, the long sink had 3 faucets mounted above it on the wall. I could still do this, but with the addition of the 4’ temp control sink (not present in the old darkroom) multiple faucets on the 8’ are not necessary. I have gone back and forth about even mounting a faucet on the 8’ and at this point have not, but there are stub-outs in the water line directly under the sink and I can add one at a later date. In the meantime, I plan on just having a long enough hose from one of the 3 faucets in the other sink. The longer sink is for print trays. The short sink, with it’s temperature control (given the later addition of heated water) will be for all chemical mixing, film processing, and washing.

Although faucet-less, the long sink still has a drain. Once into this, I really wished I had roughed in a proper drain pipe in the wall for both sinks. However, in the “design” stage, some months ago, I envisioned hooking up both sinks just like a double kitchen sink into the one drain. What I did not consider, was that in a kitchen sink, the two drains are about 18-24 inches apart, generally symmetrical and on the same level. In this case, the two drains are a bit over 6 feet apart, the long sink bottom is higher than the other sink, and the drain is further from the wall. So, there was a bit of improvisational engineering as I installed this. For one thing, the drain pipe was very heavy in that long of a span, and had to be creatively supported. Also, this long of a drain span needed to be off-level a bit to ensure that it drained properly. (Both would have been easily facilitated had I put it in the wall.) A “tee” and a 45 degree connection and I got it done. But, let us all learn from my mistakes!

I did have enough foresight to put a union connection in the drain pipe between the two sinks so that either sink could be removed separate from the other for maintenance. This has already proved useful since one of the supply hoses for the faucets had the wrong fitting and I had to pull the sink back out to get to it for exchange.

The hot water side is still “prepared for”. The lines are there, but no water – yet. The hot side is capped off below the floor. If and when I put in a heater, all of the lines, electrical and space is there, waiting.

Still have to get the water line to the building and the rain barrel set up for the drain. The rain barrel has been purchased and the drain is run, just need to install and hook-up. I’ve changed my mind about the supply line, at least for now. I had intended to run a pex line underground from the main house. I may do this eventually, but for now, there is a main junction of the sprinkler system not 3 feet from the darkroom building. I am going to tap in there for the time being.

So, it will be operational as it sits, with potential changes in the supply lines, addition of hot water, and maybe another faucet all possible down the road.

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