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Discussion Starter #1
I know everyone is busy prepping for this evening but I'm hoping someone has some insight as to why my fog machines aren't working. Pulled them both out of storage and when I press the fog button, they click (relay works) and hum (not vibrate like usual) but nothing happens. I disassembled the pumps on both, made sure everything was good there and was rewarded briefly by a burst of fog on my Chauvet 1301. Thinking the problem was solved I put the cover back on. Moved it out front and no fog. I took the line, hooked up a syringe full of fog fluid and squeezed, out came fog so it doesn't appear to be clogged and the heating element is working. Has my coil mysteriously gone bad on both machines since last year on both machines? One is a Chauvet 1301 and the other is a Chauvet 1100...the 1301 only lasted one season. Can anyone think of anything else to try? Thanks in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just to add some additional context, I took the cover back off and tapped on the front of the pump/coil housing with a hammer and it shot fog for a minute then went back into it's catatonic state. So it seems like something is sticking inside but not sure if that's the coil or the pump?
 

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If it pumped out fog for a minute it sounds like it's working, after a minute of fog the heater needs to get back up to temp before it will pump again. It does sound like you have some other issue going on but just remember the fogger does go thru reheat cycles.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the comments J-Man. Unfortunately it isn't pumping out fog at all (without encouragement) at this point. This is more than just the heater cycling, the 1301 would blow fog almost non-stop last year, it just doesn't do anything now.

I've since had time to check another couple of our fog machines and they're not working either...I seem to have an epidemic on my hands! :-( I know we ran out of the good fog fluid last year and had to go buy some lesser quality to make it through the a couple of nights last year, but since we clean our machines after each season I wouldn't think that would have a major impact. Could something from the cheap fluid be stuck in the system and not be flushed out with the normal cleaning?
 

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That is strange. I use nothing but cheap fluid and I don't even flush mine out. Not saying I recommend that for everyone but I've never had any issues. Oh, and to add to that, my machines are cheap ones too. Maybe I'm just lucky. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well, I do hope your luck holds out. :)

I got my 1301 to shoot a little fog...certainly not what it's speced at, but it's better than nothing. Glad I actually did have big fog machine plans this year for my props, of course if I had then I probably would have discovered this sooner. Thanks for the comments and morale support J-Man...guess I know what I'll be doing after Halloween. :)
 

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Not really sure without seeing it in person but....sounds to me like a pump issue.......you're getting fog so....the coil is heating but you have to coax fluid through the nozzle......I would really steer toward seized/gummy pump mechanisms......sorry I got to the forum so late.......
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No worries Scruffy...that's what I figured too was something in the pump was sticking. I took the pump apart, cleaned it and reassembled but that didn't seem to help. I was wondering if the coil around the pump that causes it to move back and forth might be faulty. Just seemed strange that it affects all our fog machines. :(

Can I lube the pump in some way? Machine oil or something else that wouldn't have an adverse affect on the fog machine components downstream?
 

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The fact that you have several that all quite working at the same time is very odd, there has to be a common denominator there somewhere. Were they stored indoors or in an unconditioned space?
 

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Discussion Starter #10
They were stored indoors in our basement...it is unconditioned but even during the summer usually doesn't go any higher that 78F and maybe down into the 50s during winter. A couple of fog machines are 5 years old, one is 3 years old and the newest was just bought for last Halloween. I haven't taken the time to go down and fuss with them today, but since I'm not in panic mode any more, I will begin dissecting them further to see what the issue is. Maybe I wasn't as thorough cleaning them as I have been previous years which is possible, but since I took apart the pump and cleaned it, I would think it should have returned to normal. When I get back to it, I'll take some pics or post a video or something. If I'm able to fix them I would love to help someone else having the same problem.
 

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If you hear humming and it sprays fog sometimes, both the pump and heater appear to be working. Sounds to me that the machine is gummed up inside. Try running a 50/50 mixture of white vinegar and distilled water through the machine to clear it out. Then immediately run fog fluid through again. Don't let it sit with the cleaning mixture inside. You can also use a professional mixture, like from Froggy's Fog.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Sorry it took so long for me to reply, the notices were going to spam for some reason. I was able to push the mixture through and I think by the end I had them working decently. I'm not confident about next year though...we'll see what happens when I take them out of storage but I can guarantee I'll be checking them earlier than the day before. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I usually use Froggy's Swamp Juice, I just wasn't on top of our supply for Halloween 2014 and ran out so I had to go pick up some of the stuff from Spirit. It definitely had lots of floating crud in it I tried to strain through cheesecloth, but I'm not sure it helped. Since all our machines had issues, that's where I'm pointing the finger.
 

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yeah, froggy's is the way 2 go ... started using 2 or 3 years ago and haven't had issues with any of my machines that i've used froggy's in ... still have a couple old foggers that i had issues before ... took a closer looker at them and found that the fog juice in the hose just before the pump had a bunch of stuff that was clogging the pump ... once i cleaned that crap out and ran vinegar then distilled water and finally froggy's :) ... worked like the pos foggers that they are .... but they worked :)

btw i also store my machines with fog fluid in them

amk
 

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I am having similar issues with my 4 fog machines. took them apart and determined the pump is not working. took the pumps apart, removed the springs, o rings etc and cleaned it. when i put the piston back into the pump housing i feel it vibrating back and forth but as soon as i tighten it into the housing, i get nothing. its as if the magnets are not strong enough to pump the piston back and forth.
has anyone found a cheap replacement pump to use?
 

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This has happened to me every year until last year I read that if you fill the fogger up with water to store it, none of the rubber pieces inside it will harden, get brittle, or break. I store mine in the garage so it gets kinda hot in there during the summer.

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