Ventilation worries

Discussion in 'The Darkroom' started by TravisG5, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. TravisG5

    TravisG5 TPF Noob!

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    I am building a darkroom in my basement. I plan to use a positive ventilation system, but my worry is with the outgoing fumes. The darkroom is in a large storage area, inside of the basement. About 30 feet away, in a different storage area, is the house's furnace. Also, our cat spends a lot of time in the basement (but not in the large storage area). I am worried that the fumes will leave the darkroom and go into the storage area. Where the storage area meets the finished basement, there is a 1 or 2 foot gap between the basement's drop ceiling and the storage rooms ceiling (storage room ceiling is higher than basement ceiling, and the gap is open). Will the fumes leave the storage area and linger above the drop ceiling? Do I have to worry about some of the fumes coming in contact with the furnace?

    Basically, I am worried that the fumes will leave the darkroom and spread into the basement harming my cat or making the basement air smelly or unsafe. Is my concern valid, or will the fumes dilute enough.


    Thanks a lot for your help, I appreciate it... (and thanks for the great community).
     
  2. Torus34

    Torus34 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Almost all processing chemicals [with a few truly exotic exceptions] are in water solutions. There is no risk of fire involved in the solutions or any fumes.

    A quite small fan, vented to the outside, should carry off any smells. Given any sort of ventilation, your cat will still have the full quota of lives available -- even when logging lots of basement time.
     
  3. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    I'm with torus a small bathroom ceiling fan with duct work from home depot is your answer. The duct work is just to make a couple of turns to keep the light out.
     
  4. TravisG5

    TravisG5 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks, I didn't know ventilation would be that simple. I will be using a bathroom fan now.

    Thanks
     
  5. W.Smith

    W.Smith TPF Noob!

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    If you connect a low revving fan to your white/red light switch, so that the fan switches on as soon as one or the other light comes on (and you apparently are in your darkroom) you'll have ONE switch for both light and fan. And you won't easily forget to switch off the fan.
     
  6. TravisG5

    TravisG5 TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the idea, it will also save me from buying another switch.
     
  7. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    but remember you are going to want the fan running when the white light is off as well..
     
  8. TravisG5

    TravisG5 TPF Noob!

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    Yes, I am aware of that. Thanks
     
  9. queen_of_scum

    queen_of_scum TPF Noob!

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    hello... sorry to hijack this thread, but I too have a wee ventilation query... I'm trying to set up a darkroom in the flat i'm in just now - mainl just for developing film and paper negs - I'll prob be doing *some* proper printing but not huge amounts. Anyway, i've got the light-proofing sorted... BUT... there's virtually no ventilation. (it's a cupboard).

    ...will I die? Joking aside, is it actually going to be a really bad idea for me to start using the room in it's current un-ventilated state? If i gave myself a time-limit of say 30min before vacating the room for a bit and leaving the door open, would that suffice? As I said, this is going to be a very infrequently used set-up (damn uni).

    Help? If anyone can suggest some ventilation method which will not involve cutting holes in the walls, that's be *marvellous*...
     
  10. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    In my many different marriages I once used a un ventilated closet for hours without immediate death. Some may argue that brain damage occurred, but I will dispute that till death.

    I develope my film and paper negs in a daylight tank. Load it a changing bag taped over a large carboard box. I Also have home made daylight contact printer that will do up to 4x5. it uses an old 4x5 negative holder and a bit of plexiglass to hold the paper and negative flat. So I have no darkroom at all.

    But not to hijack your hijack... You should be fine to make a couple of dozen prints even. I don't think I'd sit around reading the post while they wash in that room though. To be perfectly honest the amount of air infiltratin under the door and around the crack should be quite enough to prevent instant death. If you have sealed it off completely like with enough plastic and duct tape to survive an antrax attack stay in for a shorter period of time.

    The closet I used was an interior one so my light proofing was to close all the doors going in the house to cut down on the ambient light, Close all the drapes in all the rooms where I couldn't close the door.. Livingroom had no door. Toss a towel against the floor jam and hang a sheet over the inside door frame. My point is there was a tiny bit of air and light infiltration but it didn't seem to effect the prints and it just got hot as hell and humid in the room otherwise I survived quite well..
     
  11. terri

    terri Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I agree. My darkroom is just a converted bedroom, so all I have is central heat & air and a ceiling fan. I go in there for hours at a time to work, BUT I also prefer to step outside often when printing in the daylight hours, to view wet prints by a north window light. I like to think that stepping out for a few minutes every 20 minutes or so helps.

    Most of us have these improvised darkroom setups and must work around these kinds of problems. I think for the time we actually spend in there, we're safe. If I were able to spend 8 hour days in my darkroom for days at a time, I would have to consider installing an outside ventilation system, though.
     
  12. mysteryscribe

    mysteryscribe TPF Noob!

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    Geeze when are you going to learn to never agree with me it will ruin your reputation girl
     

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