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American DJ Fog Storm 1700 HD stopped working, repair.

13559 Views 22 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  neils
This is just a short post to pass something along (kind of busy today).

My fog storm 1700 HP worked fine yesterday when I tested it. But last night when I did a run through, it had crapped out.

Was not even warm. It appears the low fluid sensor magnetic float stuck, turning on the little LED in the front and turning off the ability to make fog. Fog tank was more than half full. So it just sat there for the evening.

Today when I had a chance to take it apart I found the overtemp switch on the heater assembly had not reset, pushing it's little plunger fixed that. I'm assuming when it sat there most of the night and did not run once it got hot enough at some point to trip the switch, which might be normal and happen often, but we would never see that, if it resets as it should have.

I found a youtube from American DJ where they say a common problem with their 1200 and 1700 that get sent back is the magnetic float gets stuck. They say if you have fluid and still see the green LED on the front panel, bang the tank up and down a couple times and see if it goes out.

For a long time I couldn't get mine to free up, and was going to just jump the switch in the black plastic housing (under tank). I saw it supplies 12Vdc but did not get the chance to determine if it was a reed or Hall switch. Before I got a small rod and poked in down the floats center hole, finally freeing it.

Hope this helps in case someone else has one of these POS, um.. I mean fine machines...
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@Vidmon I feel your pain.my Fog Storm 1700HD crapped out again Halloween night.
I will never buy another of these, probably ditto for anything from ADJ. I don't need unreliable.
They lie about the specifications, and then the POS can't even live up to those when you need it to.
80 lbs of ice and no fog to cool, I'm pissed.
Well you could have passed the source along and saved the rest of us some research... lol
Thank you. I didn't realize you were getting another from ADJ.
I think I'll go ahead and look up the basic specifications of the part to see if I can find one less prone to failure.
When I find something that works I'll post it back here.

The switch in my unit is a KDS301 250V 16A 110 deg C, manual reset thermostat.

Bit the bullet and just ordered another from them. Thanks for the part number.
Think I'm going to make a couple modifications, a pilot lamp across this switch (will light if thermal switch goes open.), and a toggle switch in parallel w/ the low fluid switch. That way when I know there is fluid in it, I will be able to bypass the stuck fluid sensor.

I would really like to get a schematic to figure out why it still has to stop and reheat, instead of the ETS actually being effective.
When I was troubleshooting the thermal switch I put a Kill-o-watt meter in the AC line so i could tell when the heater came on. Noticed the piece of craps heater only draws 1185 watts. I guess the other 500 watts comes from salesman's hot air blown up our....
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I've determined that my thermostat isn't the problem. It is the sensor on the heater that activates the pump. My thermostat was tripping because it was doing its job. The heater was becoming too hot because the sensor never activated the pump. I cut the wires to the sensor and now it will basically do short burst non stop on automatic mode or whenever I want on manual. I haven't been able to find a replacement part online. They just sell the heaters with the sensors already installed. I'm not paying $100 to replace a heater that works. Any ideas? I'm not very knowledgeable with electronics.
You probably have it mostly right. I would expect the overtemp tripped because the sensor switch didn't open to indicate to the controller the correct temp had been reached. Rather than because the pump didn't run, to keep it from overheating. If it depended on the pump running you couldn't ever just leave it in standby as it would overheat from not making fog. I am also assuming the temp sensor is a normally closed switch that opens when it reaches fogging temp, based on you saying cutting the wire allowed the pump to come one (implying the unit now thinks the correct temp has been reached and the sensor/switch is now open). If it does have a crude switch temp sensor it would go a long way explaining why their ETS (supposed to start reheating before it needs to shutsdown and reheat) doesn't actually work.

If you don't want to (or can't ) take the heater apart to get to the sensor switch (which could look a lot like the overtemp switch w/o the top reset pushrod),
you might be able to add one to the outside of the heater box near the overtemp switch. The trick would be to figure out what the correct temp at that spot is when the machine reaches operating temp. But it might work. If you decide to try I can read the temp of the heater box next to the overtemp sensor on mine.

Here is a video showing a little more detail about how the Fog Storm 1700HD performs (or doesn't...): http://youtu.be/cz9uSG6UKy0
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I can't tell from the picture if your device is a thermal switch or a thermocouple. It could be either, switch makes a simple and cheap circuit, thermocouple is better for control.
Why don't you call and ask A DJ. Ask them if a schematic is available for the machine as well, I would like to be able to adjust the ETS function to see if I can get it to come on early enough to be useful. Without having to reverse engineer the control board. I just don't like it enough to take the time to do that much work with it.
Oh good plan on putting a hole above the overtemp switch, it should have been a self resetting switch in the first place.
The first time mine popped I thought there might have been too much heat reflecting back to the machine from the chiller inlet.
But between the 2nd time it popped and you saying yours was failing, I knew it was in need of replacement.

I'm not sure how the slide switch you put in effects the manual or automatic operation. Unless you mean manually checking the fluid level, versus letting the magnetic switch automatically shutdown the pump when it thinks you are out of fluid. It's also possible you mean jumping the new temperature switch you just put in. If that is the case it probably isn't going to be very useful as the switch you replaced is a protect function intended to keep the unit from overheating for any reason, rather than a device to regulate it at the proper operating temperature.
It's a switch for the temperature sensor. I don't think the sensor is a safety against overheating because the heater comes on whether the circuit is open or closed. That should be the thermostat's job. I think it's just there to operate the pump when the heater is hot enough to pump fog juice through. It fails pretty miserably at that job too. With the switch in "manual" mode I can fog almost indefinitely. I know eventually I would have to stop and let it heat back up but I was able run it for about a minute of continuous fogging just fine. I didn't want to run it anymore so as not to abuse the pump and waste a lot of fog juice. That was a lot of fog.
I'm a little confused now. Maybe we are speaking about two different parts, or they make the 1700HD in more than one configuration.
The part in your post #7 is the part I am saying is an overtemp safety sensor intended to shut the unit down it if the heater becomes too hot.
Looks like this: http://www.alibaba.com/product-gs/1447429512/KSD301_manual_reset_thermostat_16a_250v.html
Note the plunger on the top of both parts, used to manually reset it when tripped by higher than limit temp being reached.
Also note the machine stops heating and making fog when this is tripped, until the machine's case is opened and the plunger pressed back down.

In less complex (cheaper) machines an automatically resetting thermostat (no plunger) is used to divert power from the pump until hot enough to fog properly.
If the rest of your machine is working as intended I do not see how the switch I describe would act as you describe. When this switch has opened the heater no longer can complete it's circuit, and can not reheat again until the plunger is manually pressed.

Perhaps you thought I was calling the item you show in post 15 a safety sensor. I think that item is a temp sensor used to tell the unit it is hot enough to fog.
It could be a switch, and if opened might allow the pump to run. But I suspect that won't help you a lot in the long term.
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