I purchased a 400 watt Amscan ground fog machine from Party City last year. I got it for half price on Halloween morning. Party City was out of fog juice so I went next door and purchased fog juice at Target. The Target fog juice was pink in color.
Setting up the fog machine for that night, I simply turned the remote switch to on and left it there. I put ice in the machine's bin, added more regularly (royal pain), and kept a close eye on the fog juice reservoir. It never ran dry. In fact, it never ran below the half way mark.
Last year, the machine produced the perfect amount of fog. I just let it cycle on and off on its own (remote switch left in on position for the whole night) and it worked perfectly. I was a happy camper since I only paid $25 for the machine.
This year, I'm not having as good of luck. I've been experimenting with placement of the fog machine so I've had it running (on and off) for the last two nights. In some of its bursts (when it cycles on on its own), it produces exactly the same amount of fog as last year. That will be true for 2-3 bursts (again, cycling on and off on its own), but then it starts producing less fog. I can't get it to produce a generous burst again unless I turn the master switch off, let it sit awhile, turn the master switch back on, and when the ready light comes on on the remote, turn it on. Then it will produce a generous amount of fog. But, again, after 2-3 bursts of generous fog, it's back to producing next to nothing on subsequent cycles.
If I hadn't used the machine last year in EXACTLY the same way, I'd think the way it is operating is the way it should be operating. But last year it produced the same amount of fog each and every time it cycled on and off (all by itself).
Thinking a different fog juice might help, I went down to Party City and purchased a gallon of Amscan Ground Fog Juice. Back home, I switched out the Target pink stuff for the Amscan juice and fired up the fogger. It produced generous amounts of fog and the Amscan juice fog was definitely lying lower. However, once again, after the 2nd cycle of generous fog, it produced next to nothing for the next 4-5 cycles which is when I gave up and turned it off.
I did not run cleaner through the fogger last year before I put it away. I read varying opinions on the web about using the cleaner stuff, including that it caused pumps to fail between seasons. Plus, my "gut" tells me that it can't be a cleaning issue because it DOES produce generous amounts of fog on the first couple of bursts after it's been off (master switch) for awhile.
I'd really prefer not to buy another fog machine. But this one is operating so wimpy right now, I'll have to or I won't have a decent amount of fog in my graveyard.
Any suggestions on what might be causing the problem would be very much appreciated! Thanks in advance!