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21 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Grrr ... I'm about to kick my Chauvet 1050 to the curb.

The dreaded clogged heater block.

The original problem was it ran dry on the very first use. YEAH.
Ecch, what a mess. So I replaced my pump, now retired, with an
Antari SP-35a, a superior pump. At first I was worried that it was
a different rating and therefore might smoke the board. Not so yet.

So, I've basically gutted the transport system.

• New 3/16" copper tubing
• New rubber stopper on fluid reservoir
• New vinyl tubing to pump

Pump works fine, NO small pieces as the old one that would fail easy.
Biggest problem was getting the distilled water to stop leaking at the
compression points. Rebent new copper tubing fixed this. Taped ends.

The Heating Block is still clogged. This is the aluminum heating element
employing the internal spiral dowel that, in answering my own question,
is basically NOT serviceable. It has resisted all attempts to clean it. There
is the tiniest of a path allowing steam ... but it's clearly compacted.

Things I've tried that didn't clear the clog:

• Not the outlet nozzle. Clean.
• Not the inlet/outlet. Tried vinegar, isopropyl alcohol.
• The clog clearly is in the spiral dowel.
• Tried the vinegar/distilled water flush – it only screwed up the pump.
• Immersed the block in "CRL", Calcium, Rust and Lime. For days.
• Vinegar passed through a pump reacts poorly to the pump's lubricant.
• 14 gauge wire will go barely 1/4" into the inlet. Same with fish hooks.
• Braided picture hanging wire attached to a drill, auger-style, failed.
• Banging the dowel out with a brass drift. DIDN'T BUDGE. I suspect that
after being subjected to high temperatures, the shaft fuses to the block.
• MOST RECENT FAILURE: Immersing in a 70% water-to-vinegar hot bath
and compressed air. Slight path still; no improvement.
• CURRENTLY FAILING: Immersing in a 50% water-to-isopropyl alcohol
hot bath and compressed air. Slight path still; no improvement.

Things I have NOT tried:

• Rapidograph Pen-style ultrasonic cleaner.
• Shop-level compressed air or bicycle pump. The latter would require
a new nipple to mate with the smaller bike pump threading.
• Boring a new hole straight through the block.

I'm at wit's end, people! This heater block design SUCKS. If it can
be built, it at least should be serviceable.

I'm seriously considering taking it to a shop to have a new hole bored
straight through the shaft.
At least I'll have an opening that CAN be
serviced if it clogs again.


21 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
Success, finally.

Broken Pump. Replaced the Shinlef® 25v Micro-Pump
( more like SkinFlint® ) with an Antari® SP-35a. Larger
and you can fix it far easier than the former. DON'T use
vinegar – it reacts poorly with the lube within the pump.
If you do, you'll have to break it down and re-lube with
Vaseline® or similar.

Clogged Heater Block: So, I had two of the more common
problems with these things. What worked? Boring a small
hole straight through the center of the shaft. This does two
things. First, your fogger will FINALLY have a working path
to pass fluid; and second, you can service it should it gum
up. So I strongly urge those who want to save their old junk
to secure a bench press and go for it.

Yay. Finally. FOG.

Soccer and Lacrosse Dad
1,773 Posts
Just thinking out loud,I wonder if an ultrasonic cleaner that a dentist or jewelery store would use for cleaning would unclog the heater element. The cavitation removes a lot of materials.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #4

Well, whaddya know! A body!

Welcome, doto. Great sig, BTW.

YEAH, years ago in the biz folks kept a sonic cleaner
for art pens 'cuz it really does the trick. But that was,
what, 25yrs ago? It's all digital now. Don't think we're
gonna find a dentist worth his salt who'd allow some-
thing as that in his bath! Still, it's a great hint for those
who still have access to 'em.

Naturally, "success" comes with strings attached. When
the metal shop tried to force off the nipple on one end
I'd managed to strip, he obliterated it. There was nothing
he could do. He had to remove it so he'd have room to
drill. Forget trying to pound the center shaft out of the
block as some have done, try getting one of those brass
nipples off! Holy Smokes! I sprayed that thing with DW40
I dunno how many times before I could get one of them
loose. I suspect again that just as the shaft gets fused to
the block by heat, the same happens with the brass fittings.
OF COURSE, it's gonna be Hell trying to replace it, as it's a
weird confluence of a machine-to-compression type of adapter.
I've already tooled through Grainger.com and I've already been
to a plumbing supplier and he just grinned and said,

"Well, you've got a male end ( which threads into the
heater block ) that's a MACHINE thread, 5/8" with an
18 thread count, adapting to a compression pipe size
of 3/16", which is a plumbing fitting. The only thing I
can think of this would be used for is a brake line,
but all they use now are 1/4" copper tubing."

It reminds me of the tricks Apple Computer uses with
their dedicated connectors.

So ... back to the drawing board!!!


21 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
:cool: :mad: :D

SUCCESS. Woot! Woot!

The Unit: Chauvet Hurricane 1050.
( x2; Circa 2006 )

The Original Complaint: No Fog.

The Original Suspect: The Pump.

The TRUE Villain: The Heater Block.

Summary: Purchased both in 2008, used once. Swapped out LOTS of parts
and through trial and error managed to bring them back from the dead, close
to their original output. Added two timers and will turn both into Fog Chillers.

The Bad Thing I Did: Foggers need help to die and lack of proper operation
will surely kill these things in short order. Clamping the Start button to avoid
buying a timer is one of many things one can do to cause the unit to overheat
and alas, burn fog solution inside the aluminum Heater Block and cause an
irreversible clog.

The Remedies: First, yes, one Shinlef Pump was fried. The tiny spring inside
had broken and, just as with others' experiences, was lost over the course of
repair, as was a critical O-Ring. Strike One.

Two New Pumps, the Antari SP-35A, as the Shinlefs cannot be had within reason.
$44 online. New spade connectors, new holes to mount, new 1/8" vinyl tubing fed
through a new rubber stopper on the Fluid Tank ( since the stopper was solid, I

Bypassed the clog and instead bored a NEW hole straight through the length
of The Heater Block's aluminum tube core. The result is a slightly larger path
by which one can actually clean the heater should it clog again, which it surely

Now, all this fooling around stripped the brass nipples at both ends of The Heater
Block, the Antari necessitated a new connection scheme between the heater and
The Fluid Tank, so it was off to find standard parts to fit non-standard Chinese
metric connectors. Granted, some of these parts weren't easily had. Thanks to
local plumbing suppliers, McMaster-Carr I was able to cobble together a new
connection scheme.


Antari SP-35A Pump
3/16" Pliable Copper Tubing w/Brass Compression Sleeves
Brass Nipple w/Adapter: 3/8" Male x 1/4" Female + 3/16" x 1/4" Male Pipe
( McMaster-Carr Parts 4429K412 and 5220K63 )
Rubber Stopper w/Two Brass Insertion Sleeves
1/4" Push Connect Male Adaptor ( replaced connector on the Antari; too small )
1/4" Vinyl Tubing
Fiberglass Insulation
Plumbing Tape
Spade Connectors for wiring

So, because The Brass Nipples had been stripped and the openings on either end
of The Heater Block were of a non-standard bore, I had to re-bore these too so I could
fit new connectors. The new pump required new tubing as the existing Copper Tubing
was rigid and I hadn't the tools to safely bend them. I also found The Vinyl Tubing I
originally bought, 1/8", was not drawing a safe amount of Fog Fluid to the pump,
so I refitted the 1/8" push connector on The SP-35A to a 1/4".

I couldn't save the insulation jacket that covered The Heater Block so I used some
of the pink attic fiberglass insulation I had hanging around and wrapped that in
Plumbing Tape to hold the whole thing together. To add a layer of heat protection
to The Circuit Board, I stuffed a small pillow of insulation between The Heater Block
and that panel.

To Test: Remarkably, it worked, well. On one.

The Dead Fogger: I knew both Pumps worked as I swapped them out between the
working unit. What could it be? Doing continuity checks, I found the culprit, eventually.
I do know scanning YouTube® accounts that there's a black Relay Switch on The Board
that can go bad, the Sanyou SRD-S-112D. It's that larger black square component on
The Board that governs The Pump once The Heater Block comes to temperature. This
will "click" when The Heater is ready and The Red Light will glow. If this part goes bad,
you will get an open circuit. Also well worth mentioning is The Thermal Switch that sits
atop The Heater Block: If this goes you will have an open circuit. It acts as a fuse to
prevent a fire. Also, there's a Leveling Switch built into this too. If the unit is operated
at an unacceptable angle, that switch will open the circuit. I knew the unit was equipped
with one but didn't know which part. It wasn't until I had The Thermal Switch unfastened
and dangling during a test I realized The Leveling Switch was built into The Thermal
Switch. I don't know if these parts are readily obtained.

The problem was none of these. To compound the confusion, both foggers, while the
same model, did NOT have the same wiring scheme! One must've been made on a
Monday. After doing further continuity tests, I determined it was not The White Neutral
Wire going to The Pump, rather it was a short length of The Black Hot Wire that was
the culprit. I discovered this by jumping the soldered terminal of The Black Hot Wire
to The Pump by using some wire I had and – VOiLA! A closed circuit! So, I cut the
first length of The Black Hot Wire from The Spade Connector to the first factory-made
wire splice and it worked. Somehow that last short bit of wire either shorted or had
become loose.

NO MORE DEAD FOGGERS. We'll finally have fog for the first time since '08.

Now, I know what you're thinkin': WHY didn't I just ship these units back to Chauvet
for $60 each? For that they'll get your unit going again. Simple: I thought I could do
it cheaper. NOPE. I probably spent $100 each after botching parts and wasted time.
Lesson learned? Probably not. Once you open that thing up and start tinkering, all
bets for that are off.

PLUS: You're at an advantage: Now you can service your own clogs without nasty chemicals.

The Risk? Well, that Antari is NOT the same spec as The Shinlef, obviously. So I could
face a time, Hell maybe this Halloween, where the draw on that Antari will fry The Board.

Hey, ya gotta try. Right? Right?!? Lawls.

466 Posts
This is a very helpful read.

After thinking I was doing the right thing by cleaning out my foggers last year with vinegar both were dead when I pulled them out this year. :(

I opened one up disconnected the pump and was able to shoot compressed air from the front to the pump so I figured the pump was the culprit. The heater up front still heats and the tubing seems to be clear, but the replacement pump doesn't work at all.

I'm wondering now if it's that relay you mentioned. I need to check again. BTW mine are not Chauvet but Monoprice 1000W foggers.

Any other suggestions?

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi, folks! Thanks for the kudos.

Chimp: Vinegar IS a good idea for cleaning most things and as many others
I thought so here. Not so. Vinegar reacts with any lubricants in the pump, which
includes the fog fluid, the result is a cheesy substance that will eventually clog
your line. Best to run distilled water through your lines on occasion as any hard
water will form scale in the tubing.

First, check the output brass cap to see if that hole is blocked. I'd unscrew it
and check the brass nipple as well. If they're clear, proceed to the next step.

Next shoot compressed air through the disconnected copper and vinyl tubings,
if that's what your machine uses for a line. Most likely it's not clogged.

Then get one pump going and keep it unhooked to your heater block to confirm
it can shoot water. If your pump is fine, you have one last mechanical issue.

Once you verify the output cap, pump and lines are OK, it's time for THE test:
reconnect everything as it was as it's time to hook up the heater. I'm confident
this is where most foggers fail. Why? Because the two holes that pass through
the block are too damn narrow! Once the fluid gets hot, you're gonna get fog.*
That's why I thought, "Screw this, I'm DRILLING my way out of this mess!"
As fog fluid passes through the heater it slowly builds plaque inside, just as
I'm clogging my arteries right now with cheddar. Eventually this stuff gets
hard as a rock and NO CLEANER in reason will work, sans that possible
ultrasound fix. Some people have gotten that to work for them, I can't vouch.
So if you've tried all the above and you're electrically in the clear, you've got
the dreaded Heater Clog.

So Chimp, try all that first before getting into the circuit board. Good Luck!

Stogie: Yes, but they're on my other computer. I'll see what I can do. Note
though that they're not of the original machine but post-hack.

*A REALLY cheap workaround: Pour some fluid in a pan on the stove.


black light queen
2,545 Posts
ever since i stopped using cheap fog juice and stopped "cleaning" my various foggers, i haven't had a problem in many, many years ... i just keep the machines full of froggy's when i store them ... ymmv?

do not use cheap juice that is available everywhere ... i've found that that junk will eventually form gunk that, well, gunks everything up


21 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
Anna: That may well be true but when most people buy into this hobby
they're unaware of that fact. Plus, my workaround makes it possible to
clean the thing.

466 Posts
As fog fluid passes through the heater it slowly builds plaque inside, just as
I'm clogging my arteries right now with cheddar.

LOL! I'm dying over here... :D :D

Thanks for your thoughts. I'm going to try these steps. I was thinking that if I could get compressed air from the front nozzle (where fog comes out) all the way through the heater to the pump, that it was the pump that was the problem. New pump didn't help.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Lemme know how you make out.

The Latest: A friggin' compression cap, y'know that lil' nozzle thingy
with the pinhole in it at the output end? Cheap Chinese "brass" …
mine stripped! Now I gotta go out and find another … most places
only sell caps no smaller than 1/4" … Grrr …

BTW, I've done this: Pour some fog fluid in a pan on your stove.
Reminds me of the mess that resulted when I tried maple sugaring ….

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #14

Big Caveat: DON'T try to drill your Heater Block yourself
UNLESS you have access to a Drill Press, you risk an inaccurate bore
which will render your block useless. I took both of mine to a metal shop
which bored them for a nominal fee.


21 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Stogie: In the first pic, it's that white thing partly hidden behind
that black panel behind The Circuit Board.

Once you crack the thing open, you'll figure out what's what.

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
There was a really informative site, CoffinBound, which had info
on the guts of The Heater Block, unfortunately within the last few
months that site has gone silent. Too bad, as it gave grease to
my eventual evil plan!

21 Posts
Discussion Starter #20

Here's another comment I just dug up which articulates the findings
on the now-defunct CoffinBound.com:

"If the heat exchange is anything like the one in the 1250 Hurricane,
all is not lost. Look at the fitting on the exchange where both the nozzle
end and the supply line attach. Do they look like screw in fittings ( hexagonal,
approx. 11/16 size )? If these fittings can be removed it is easy to unblock the
exchange. Carefully remove both fittings ( the block is aluminum, pretty delicate )
inside you will see what looks like a plug with half a slot cut in both ends. Load
the opening up with a penetrating oil like WD40 and let it soak in well, just keep
hosing it in there. Next get a decently hard wood dowel near the size of the plug,
you will be using this as a drift to drive out the 'plug'. DONT use anything steel or
even brass, the 'plug' is aluminum and delicate so don't go all Thor and bang on this
too seriously. A bit of patience will pay off big here. Gently tap out the plug. Once out
you will see that it is a fluid baffle with a groove twisting it's way along the entire surface
of the 'plug' ( you should also notice it is full of black, hard gunk ) gently ( slow speed ) use
a wire wheel to clean this mess up, make sure you didn't damage the ends of the baffle with
your tapping it out, check the integrity of the slots on the ends (these are fluid entry/exit ports,
use a bottle brush of shotgun bristle to clean the interior of the exchange and the reassemble
the unit. Use lots of teflon tape on the fittings and you should be good to go. That's the one
nice thing I found with Chauvet and Fox FX units is the ability to gut and clean the heat
exchange, unlike the 'Spirit' brand 700's and the little Wally World 400's that have cast
together heat exchanges, once those go bad, you're just screwed. Last, don't forget to
mark down wire placement on the block, and if it is equipped with one, be careful
removing the thermostat probe from the block. Just go slow and careful and you'll
have a like new machine in under an hour."

Except in MY case, THiS DiD NOT WORK!

In some circumstances, NO amount of coaxing out that inner aluminum tube will work.
Burnt fog fluid should be marketed as an epoxy, 'cuz that tube was stuck in there GOOD.

Which is why I took mine to a metal shop and had both Heater Blocks drilled.
Nuclear Options sometimes have value.

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