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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been trying to find information on this because I've seen this happen two years in a row now. Like many here on the forum, I store my fog machines with a bit of fluid in them every year. Two years ago one of my machines leaked out fluid in one of my storage boxes, and the fluid ended up soaking into the cheap fabric (probably polyester) connected to a hanging reaper. The foggers are stored in offsite storage without temperature control in Southern California. Where I live it rarely gets hotter than 80 degrees. Anyway, last year I opened the storage box with the fogger and found small unmistakeable burn marks all over the reaper's fabric. There were no burn marks in the sections of the reaper fabric that did not get soaked with fog fluid. That was surprising to me, but I thought maybe it was a combination of factors that caused the burn marks. Fast forward to this year. I stored my foggers the same way on Nov. 1st 2013. I open the boxes just last week and find that one of the oem plastic fog juice containers that sits in my fogger has a 1/2 inch black burn hole that developed right in the bottom corner that allowed the fog juice to leak all over the box. This hole could not have been there before I put the fogger in storage for the year because the size would have allowed the fog juice to immediately leak out. I would never have missed it. My guess is that the fog heats up to a high temperature in the storage box (and especially in the metal casing of the fog machine) and then somehow eats away or burns through plastic and fabric. This really alarms me, but I haven't heard anyone else talking about this. Obviously fog has been deemed safe when it's heated up and put out into the air, but I'm surprised that it can perhaps combust or at least dissolve particular materials if left sitting in high temperatures for a long time. Anyone else experienced this phenomenon? I know it's not a fluke because I've seen it happen with my own eyes on two separate occasions, in two separate fog machines, over two different years, and using two different fog fluid suppliers. :eek:
 

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Most fog juice is a solution of glycerin in water. Glycerin (or glycerol) is flammable, but at a very, very low level - flash point over 300 degrees, and being in solution with water I'd imagine lowers the risk some. It's a sort of sugar alcohol solution, and very stable (not like isopropyl alcohol or gasoline or something that burns easily). The fog does heat up to a high temperature in the machine, but if it's functioning correctly I would NOT expect it to get hot enough to flash the glycerin. Without seeing the holes here, I'd suspect something else about the machines or environment (bugs or mice that like sugar water?) rather than the fog juice.


I've never had this problem. I store my fog machines in a non-climate-controlled storage building, and they've gone through some pretty hot (100+) summers with no such issue.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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There is another option besides combustion. You are putting this stuff in offsite storage, I assume some sort of rental unit. Maybe the place has vermin,which would be drawn to the fog juice the same way they'd be drawn to the highly toxic ethylene glycol still found in many car antifreeze brands. Once the fluid leaks, and is exposed to filthy vermin, it would decompose naturally and produce the staining you're seeing on the reaper.

Incidentally,I blame left over fog juice for a rodent infestation in my garage about 8 years ago. They go after partially used containers, but I've never seen them damage any full and still sealed containers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
There is another option besides combustion. You are putting this stuff in offsite storage, I assume some sort of rental unit. Maybe the place has vermin,which would be drawn to the fog juice the same way they'd be drawn to the highly toxic ethylene glycol still found in many car antifreeze brands. Once the fluid leaks, and is exposed to filthy vermin, it would decompose naturally and produce the staining you're seeing on the reaper.

Incidentally,I blame left over fog juice for a rodent infestation in my garage about 8 years ago. They go after partially used containers, but I've never seen them damage any full and still sealed containers.
I appreciate the replies Kakugori and Blarghity. I thought it might be vermin too. But I have zero evidence of any vermin. The storage unit is free of droppings, and there's not any evidence of chewing in any of my boxes. The fog machines are stored in the black and yellow tough boxes pictured in the attached. The other pictures show examples of the fog juice damage:

This is an example of the fabric "burn" marks I described.


This picture shows how the fog juice container sits in the metal fog machine housing. There's no way for vermin to get at the bottom of the container because it's all metal in the back of the machine. And there is less than 1/2 an inch clearance around the plastic fog juice bottle.


This is a picture of the burn hole (now patched with white liquid nails) in the fog juice container. You can't really tell how it looked originally, but imagine a hot poker going straight through the bottom corner. The plastic had clearly melted and burned in this corner.


This last picture shows the black and yellow storage bins that have held my foggers these past two years. The white substance on the top black box is chalk that got on the box while stacking the boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah! Looking at the pic of your totes - those black ones that you store the foggers in have those flip open lids with the metal hinge pins don't they? Check the pins for rust and if it's there, you've found your answer.
You were close! I took a second look at the insides of the fogger. And there is an exposed metal screw that I didn't notice before right where the hole in the fog container is! So the brown coloring is indeed rust. However, this still doesn't explain the dozen rust spots on the fabric reaper (that one was only touching plastic), and it doesn't explain how the hole got into the fog container. It could very well be that there was a ton of pressure on the fog juice container on the top and over the whole year in storage the screw eventually pushed a hole into the plastic and allowed the fog juice to leak out all over the place and induce rusting on the screw and the container. That's the most likely explanation. However, the fabric rust/burn is still a mystery to me. It seems that every year when I store foggers with fog juice in them the juice ends up leaking out SOMEWHERE all over my stuff. Does this stuff evaporate? I suspect the motors/pump leak the fluid as well over time.
 

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I have only used my foggers twice years ago and after each use I have lasting damage. My cement sidewalk is stained and the grass is dead and will not grow back no matter what in another spot. That fog juice is some strong stuff!
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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Yes, fog juice evaporates to an extent. In fact, for the most part, the glycols used in it tend to actually evaporate faster than water. But there are still materials left behind once the glycols and water evaporate, leaving a residue described as oily or sticky depending on what was left behind. perhaps this residue reacted with the cheap artificial fabric of the reaper.
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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If fog juice is combustible, wouldn't it explode being heated inside the fogger itself?
It is combustible, just not at the temperatures a fogger works at. However, for years there have been warnings that a very limited level of combustion occurs in foggers, creating a number of toxic and carcinogenic byproduct compounds. The main byproduct to worry about is acrylamide. However,we consume far more of that in fried, grilled and baked foods than we'll ever inhale from vaporized fog juice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It is combustible, just not at the temperatures a fogger works at. However, for years there have been warnings that a very limited level of combustion occurs in foggers, creating a number of toxic and carcinogenic byproduct compounds. The main byproduct to worry about is acrylamide. However,we consume far more of that in fried, grilled and baked foods than we'll ever inhale from vaporized fog juice.

So given that fog juice does combust at high temperatures, I wonder what temperature is needed to get it to that point?
 

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Human Candy Shovel
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So given that fog juice does combust at high temperatures, I wonder what temperature is needed to get it to that point?
You'd have to distill it down to the flammable components, in particular whatever glycols were used in the particular formula and attempt to ignite those. The flash point for pure glycerine is 349F while ethylene glycol is 770F and propylene glycol is 710F.
 
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