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Dose anyone know how to clean out a Fog Machine :eek: ? They always break after the season if you don't clean them out, and I don't know how to clean them out! :( . I need someone to help me a by giving me step by step tutorials, Thank you

~Halloweenprops4ever
 

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There is a discussion on this subject on the forum. But in short, they don't always die if not cleaned out.
And the cheap machines often die no matter what is done.
Some mfg say to leave quality fluid in the tank, and run it every couple months.
Some people say to flush distilled water through.
I would suggest to make sure you don't run the pump dry for long.
Good luck.
 

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White vinegar can be used for extreme cleaning.

One tip (apologies if its in the other article), is to fill the machines fluid container with distilled water and run the tube to the fog fluid container (placed next to machine) while using the machine for fog. Then as soon as you have finished using the machine, place the tube back into the machines fluid container with the distiller water and run through until its clean. In effect, you clean immediately after use without having to empty the machines container of unused fog juice first.
 

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BobbyA pretty much hit it on the head from what I've seen everywhere. Those who do clean their machines use distilled water through the machine. But far more that I have found said to just keep the fluid in the machine, give it a couple blasts just before you pack it up and simply put it away! I did that last year with mine and just tested it a week ago, still full of fluid from last year and ran perfect. I even read from one user that he had his machine for ten years, never cleaned it and always ran perfect. But said he had problem with another machine that he tried the distilled water cleaning method on. Take it for what it is and do what you feel most comfortable with.
 

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I have read multiple thoughts on how to clean and store fog machines. I decided to leav the juice in mine, I just pull it out and run it for a few cycles every 3 months and it still works great going on 3 seasons with the same fog machine from partycity.
 

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I had my small fog machine for about five years now. Last fall it wasn’t working so I searched the interwebs and found this video. It worked for me and this guy also sells some really quality fog juice as well.
 

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Saw the video.
IMHO bull****.

I'll elaborate if anyone cares, otherwise I'll just move on.
 

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First and foremost reason, it's is very unlikely that someone can take a blocked fog machine, just replace the fog fluid with vinegar and pesto instant working again.
It would at the least require time for the mildly acidic vinegar to dissolve the obstruction (assuming there was only one) If there are more than 1 or it is a large (longer length of tube plugged) the small amount of vinegar to reach the obstruction would soon become neutralized by the minerals in the obstruction. Which would require it be refreshed to continue working through the obstruction. Also assuming the obstruction is a low density mineral deposit, rather than a piece of plastic from a container..

Dumping raw vinegar into a fog machine, especially one that has a least some history of being plugged by deposits is a good way to plug up the tube for good as the vinegar breaks off chunks which plug the output.

Vinegar can be a useful tool, but also can cause more problem than it fixes if not used properly in a fog machine. I didn't watch the rest of his miracle, but do not leave any vinegar in your fog machine when you store it. I have seen others suggest this, perhaps they wish to sell you a new machine, because if you do that you are likely to soon need a new one.

My 1/50 USD.
 

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Fog fluid that sits for a year can develop small visible particulate that can clog up a flitered line (at the filter), and in a non-filtered line, jam up inside the feed tube.

(I had this happen last season; my machine was sputtering and had low output. Found my line filter COVERED with little white clumps of gelatin-like stuff. Fluid had this stuff floating all around inside the fluid)

Best bet is to empty the machine at the end of the season by using distilled water methods describe in this post.

BEFORE USING ANY FLUID FROM LAST YEAR, simply pour it through something to filter out any particulates that may have formed. I use a coffee filter inside a funnel... slow but works great
 

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I had the same problem this year. My pump wasn't sucking up any fluid. I had to take mine completely apart to clean the pump. My problem was that the pump had so much gunk in it that it didn't have the suction that it needed. I took the pump apart (mine had a small tube that looks like a spark plug that was easily removed), ran the tube under some hot water, reinstalled the tube into the pump, ran some hot soapy water through the pump (while it was disconnected from the rest of the machine), and then flushed it with clean water. Took me about an hour and a half to fix it, but it's running like new now.
 

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Hey I ran across this youtube video that might help. Basically it says to run white vinegar through the fogger to clear obstructions in the tubing. Oops....I just now noticed that AllTimeLow has already posted this video. Sorry, I didn't see it before.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PrDJWH9pkM0
 

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Scary I would be very careful trying this (if at all). I suspect it ranks right up there with other Darwin award ideas.
I haven't watched the video, but without a lot of water added you will be making a flame thrower if the fluid makes it to the heater and there is any combustion source around (maybe a spark from turning fog machine switch off). I also suspect the machine was not designed to withstand the pressure (if the output remains plugged) generated by raising alcohol to above the boiling point of tap water.
Just my 1/50 USD.

Update: I just watched the video.

First, Scary the guy is suggesting vinegar, not alcohol. Vinegar isn't flammable.

Second, I've seen this video before, he is simulating how it would go it it all worked as he demo'd. Basically his machine was empty (not blocked) to begin with, having just a bit of fluid left in the tube. You can see it spurt fog in the early part of the video. There is some question that dumping pure vinegar into a fog machine may cause chunks to break loose and plug it. Very diluted, or just distilled water are what I would suggest to clean a working machine.
 

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BobbyA, OMG! Thank you so much for catching this. Somehow I went brain dead and typed denatured alcohol when I meant to type white vinegar. When I read the first part of your post I thought "how can white vinegar catch fire? I use it to clean my coffee maker all the time" Then I saw your reference to alcohol and I thought "crap what have I done?!!! " I am editing my post right now so someone doesn't use alcohol by mistake and have a very serious problem as a result. I guess my synapses weren't firing in the proper order. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Yeah, I don't know if it will work or not as I haven't tried it. But since it works to clean my coffee maker when it starts getting slow I just thought it might help.
 

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We have repaired enough fog machines from people in the forum so im hoping one will chime in and support me on the advice I am about to dispense.
I am cutting my own throat with this post so hopefully this will be carried on for and passed around and get me some kuddos points with you guys and gals.
Any one that knows us knows we fix all fog machines so im going to tell you things to do to keep from using us.
Hopefully a admin will keep this up for you guys and gals so I can save you all some money.
STOP WITH THE VINEGAR THROUGH THE PUMPS!
As if glycerin or glycol fog juice wasn't acidic enough vinegar will murder your pumps in short order.
Sorry didn't mean to holler, just venting.
I know, I know you've seen a post where secret magic white vinegar saved the day!
What happened after Halloween was over and the so called clean fogger went belly up for good?
I know, im sure there will be a post about fog machine cleaning products, I've been doing this for 16yrs, so i'll just sit back and laugh and watch the foggers keep rolling in.
Here's the deal my evil children.
The proper way to clean your fog machine heater block is to disconnect the input hose and use a big syringe to directly force either vinegar or only in worse case scenarios CLR into the warm not hot heater block and let it sit damp over night, this is dangerous but it works about 60% of the time.
And for god sakes after you ran CLR through the heater block flush it with water for at least 15 minutes as a minimal.
In our shop if we do that and it doesn't work then we do have one last trick that always works but it involves seriously dangerous, caustic chemicals and is only reserved for foggers that have a used value of over 300.00 and with the dangers involved im not even about to post it here or get into that.
True sometimes you get lucky with the old paper clip in the nozzle trick, sometimes calcium favors the brass tips of the cheaper foggers.
Then there's the old vinegar in the syringe trick and the last chance of CLR with a half hour of water rinsing after the CLR has sat in the block for a hour or two.
In the end ask yourself is the 50.00 fog machine from the poo poo novelty store worth spending 8hrs of seriously hurting myself saving?
I've fixed everything from Jem's Glaciator's to Martin Magnum's to 3000watt PR Gladiators to the old decent 1000watt Lite F/X's.
I dispense my advise for free and I will do everything in my power to help you guys and gals out cause I know times are tough but please, pretty please, for me, with sugar cookies bits on top, stop buying into the running vinegar through your pumps, please. lol
 

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No problem Scary.
Although I so wished I had the skills to have copied & edited your avatar to have a bewildered look & short singed beard for that post. lol
 
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