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  1. #1
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    May 2010
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    Default How to Stop a Fog Machine from Leaking



    When it comes to creating fog for a basic yard haunt, the standard weapon of choice is the “Fog Machine” created by Gemmy. Although the packaging may differ from store to store, this workhorse is known by its basic boxy design and it’s ability to create a large amount of fog for a very reasonable price. Each year, however, there is one running complaint about the Gemmy Fog Machine: the darn thing drips Fog Juice over the place. For years haunters have had to plan their layouts around this prop’s leaking. This year, we are pleased to bring you the news that there is a solution.

    WARNING: To fix the problem, you must remove the top cover of the machine and tinker with the insides. This totally voids the manufacturer warranty, and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, could result in someone getting hurt. So, if you decide to undertake these modifications, please note that you are doing so at your own risk.

    OK, now that I’ve scared off the people who probably shouldn’t be playing with the guts of the machine anyway, let’s get down to business. The first step is to remove the cover. As you may have noticed, the screws holding the cover on can’t be removed with your standard flat or phillips head screwdriver. These are torx screws and you’ll need a torx bit to remove them. Thankfully a set of torx bits in assorted sizes can be picked up at most auto parts stores.



    Now that you've got the cover off, locate the Fog Juice reservoir and the plastic tube leading out of it. The ends of this tube, which are held on with tiny zip ties, are the points at which the machine leaks. Remove the tube. If you have an OLD style machine (without the remote control), be careful with the fluid level sensor wires on the side of the reservoir. Odds are that you'll be able to slide the tube off of its connections without much effort. There may be some silicone residue that should be removed.



    At this point, take a look at your tube. There should be a small mesh filter jammed inside. This filter protects the pump from any foreign sediment that may end up in the Fog Juice. As a result, it also slows down the flow of Fog Juice into the heater. For our machine, we chose to remove the filter to increase our output of fog. We’ve got a large graveyard, and we need every bit of fog we can get.



    Reattaching the tube is as simple as sliding it back into place and fastening it with a few zip ties. For best results, put two zip ties on each end. For older style machines, it may only be possible to get one tie on the reservoir end. You want to get the zip ties as tight as possible, so, if you have a zip tie gun, use it. Then, fill the reservoir up with Fog Juice and check for leaks.



    Next, put the top back on and replace all of the screws. Then, just plug in the machine and fire it up. In just a few minutes, you should be standing in the middle of a cloud of fog, totally leak free.

    Last edited by loach160; 09-18-2011 at 07:52 PM. Reason: typo

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Long Island, NY
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    Nice! I see a bunch of rust in there from that leak. How old is this machine? How much thicker fog would you say you get leaving that filter out?

    My fog machine tinker this year will be making a syphon rig so all I have to do is leave a gallon jug at the machine and walk away- never having to refill it. This would be a huge help. I hope I can get it done.

    Dan

  3. #3
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    May 2010
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shockwave199 View Post
    Nice! I see a bunch of rust in there from that leak. How old is this machine? How much thicker fog would you say you get leaving that filter out?

    My fog machine tinker this year will be making a syphon rig so all I have to do is leave a gallon jug at the machine and walk away- never having to refill it. This would be a huge help. I hope I can get it done.

    Dan
    The internal pictures are of a fog machine that is just one season old. I figure most of the rust spread during the time it was sitting in storage.

    The very first picture in the post (of the box) is actually of the new machine I purchased this week. I took the new one apart too and found that the zip ties were not as tight as they could have been, so I replaced them. I also removed that filter while I was in there.

    I'm not sure how to quantify how much more fog comes out with the filter removed. What I can say is that I was shocked at how fast it came out and at how far across the room it shot. In our graveyard, we have the fog pass through a tube that has holes drilled at certain points. This is going to work much better for getting the fog down to the far end of the tube.

    If you are planning on using one of these fog machines for your syphon rig, you should note that there has been a big change in this year's design. The OLD version (without the remote control) has a sensor in the reservoir to let the system know when the reservoir is out of fog juice. There are wires attached to the bottom of the plastic jug. The NEW version (the one with the remote control) doesn't have that sensor. The plastic jug is only hooked up to the pump. I assume that there is some sort of sensor in the pump itself that lets the system know when it is out of juice, but I haven't explored enough to say for certain.

    Good luck with your syphon project!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    USA.
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    I've had leaky ones that created spots on my porch and killed the grass forever. What is in that stuff?????

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    Long Island, NY
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    I don't use the kind you have pictured. I do use the cheap 400 watters, but it's the black ones. Since water seeks it's own level, the idea is to keep the fog machine almost full the entire time- any sensor doesn't matter. But it will take some thought. I may use a poland spring type water keg, where the spicket is on the bottom. This design will help. It's unlikely that using the stock gallon fog juice jug will work properly. We'll see.

    Dan

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Michigan
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    Just fixed a brand new 1000 watter yesterday with a split intake hose at the nipple on the pump. Yes, brand new. A sign of a bad intake hose is a noisy pump. I thought the pump was loose but come to find out it was sucking air. All set to go now!

 

 

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