Halloween Forum banner

1 - 17 of 17 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm looking for some advice on fog machine storage. I'm a yearly haunter, so my fog machine sits, unused, until October. Right now, my fog machines (various Chauvets) only last about two years. I follow the directions Froggy's but am wondering if I'm doing something wrong. In particular, should I take the brass uptake nozzle (I'm not sure what it's really called) out of the fog juice I store in the tank? (Maybe it's getting rusty, I don't know.) Should I even store fog juice in the tank? Last time, fog juice ended up coming out of my machine and onto the pantry floor through the main nozzle. I tried all the "self-help" tricks, but I couldn't get it to work. Anyhow, I'm just curious how other folks store their machines. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
572 Posts
georgekillian, Ok, here is a link to a thread I started regarding my foggers. There is a lot of good info in the reply posts. I have always just stored the foggers with the fog juice in them but this year one wouldn't work. I cleaned it and got it working but now in response to info provided by scruffywolf in this post I now empty the tanks, run cleaner through the fogger and then run distilled water through to make sure nothing is left in the fogger. I also let the fogger dry before storing it. It seems like this is the best policy to keep the foggers working.

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/163105-fog-machine-not-working.html
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
167 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for your insights. I think I'll give it a try since leaving fog juice in the tank seemed to cause problems for me. I'll just run some more distilled water through it and call it a season.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
912 Posts
Scary Papa.....thank you so much for the reference to the discussion we had earlier. I am NOT claiming to be the foremost authority of fogger maintenance and care, i just know what works for me. I had my first fogger before they became commercially available and caught on, it was a Chauvet Volcano that i still use to this day (it HAS to be 20 yrs old). I bought my first fogger from a Theatrical supply store (BEGGED the guy to sell it to me actually......lol) I have used this method of care for my foggers ever since (i have 4 now) and they have NEVER failed me.....not once. I just want to pass on what i know and have learned over the years so i do have to see postings of angst and frustration at the 11th hour. I know how essential my foggers are to the atmosphere of my haunt!......best of luck everyone....cheers!

P.S. I will answer any and all messages if you need ANY help whatsoever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
How To Properly Store Your Fog Machine

You are right about these pumps needing to be run periodically. They are actually designed for continuous operation as unlike diaphragm or peristaltic pumps, the fluid being pumped moves through the pumping mechanism and can either react, leave deposits, coagulate, or cause oxidation/rust on the pump components which will result in either a performance loss or non-operation. And acidic solutions, such as vinegar, should never be run through the pump as it will damage the pump. The pump should never be run without fluid as the fluid acts as a cooling agent and the glycerin in the fog solution provides some minor lubrication for the piston and springs.
The best method for storage is to prime the entire fluid path with "Pump Armor Fluid" by Graco, Store SKU #356143 which can be purchased at Home Depot. It not only prevents corrosion and clogging, it also conditions the O-rings and prevents damage from ozone in the air. It is widely used in Airless Paint Sprayers. I have used it in my VEI Super Fogger V-950 to store it until the next Halloween for 10 years and have never had a pump problem.:) You just have to ensure that you do 2 things:
1. Flush the entire fluid path with the Pump Armor Fluid using a syringe, then plug both ends of the fluid path to ensure that the fluid does not drain out which would create air gaps/bubbles. DO NOT TURN ON THE HEATER CORE AT ANY TIME!! You can circulate the fluid with the pump so long as the heater stays off.
2. Before fogger startup, flush the entire fluid path with distilled water.

Depending upon how many hours that you run your fogger, the use of only high quality fog solutions (Like Froggys), you never run vinegar or any other acidic solution through the fluid path, and that you never run the pump dry, your fogger pump should last for many years and can be relied upon to function every Halloween. ;)
 

·
black light queen
Joined
·
2,630 Posts
people have had different experiences storing their foggers ...

personally, i store my machines full of good quality fog fluld ... my first fog machine that i bought about 10 years ago still works ...

i have, what i thought was a good chauvet that the pump died on me & i couldn't fix :-(

i've had some cheap foggers that i picked up during the after halloween 50% off sales die on me, but i used cheap fog juice in them so it may be a combination of crappy machine with crappy juice ... btw some of these machines i was able to clean out the gunk that was clogging the lines & get some working again & some got trashed :)

so ... ymmv

amk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
This is a topic that just about everyone has their own opinion for sure and I'll add my 2 cents. I have several "cheap" foggers that only get used for the season. They also don't get used very much, they're for props that only require a short burst now and then. I bought 2 gallons of "cheap" fog juice about 4 years ago and have only used about 1/2 gallon. I have never drained/flushed my foggers, I leave the fog juice in the machine. This year when I went to fill them, the partially used gallon that is roughly 4 years old was badly coagulated. I checked the fluid that was still in the foggers and found the same. Needless to say, I cleaned them out and tossed the bad jug of juice. Now here's the interesting part, I opened the 2nd gallon of juice which still had the seal and it was perfectly fine, in fact, I used it this year with no problems. So I guess in conclusion, once the air hits this "cheap" stuff, the fluid's days are numbered, not sure if this is the same with top of line juice but I will be switching to that from now on.
Coagulated fog juice can surely clog up a fogger and make it difficult to get working properly, luckily I caught it before that happened. I'd be curious to hear if anyone has had Froggy's juice coagulate after opening and stored.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Any fog juice will coagulate or what is called, precipitate, over time due to oxidation. It is due to the reaction of O2 molecules with the glycerin. The quality of the glycerin is important as well. Froggy's uses only USP grade glycerin which means that it is pure glycerin, derived from industry acceptable sources, and free from impurities. The fog juice should also be made up of distilled water. Metals, minerals and other impurities in tap water or drinking water leave deposits along the fluid path, accelerate the glycerin coagulation process, and damage pumps and heaters, and filtered utilizing a small enough micron filter to remove particulates from the solution. Even the best fog juice will coagulate over time, the rate though is influenced by all of these things and can be accelerated by exposure to sunlight, heat and humidity. The only absolute sure way and best way to protect your fogger and pump is to flush the fog juice with distilled water, then replace with something like a "Pump Armor Fluid" by Graco, Store SKU #356143 which can be purchased at Home Depot.
And don't forget to store your fog juice in a sealed container in a cool place out of the sunlight.

My time is valuable as I'm sure yours is as well, so I would rather be working on something new than replacing or attempting to fix something that worked perfectly fine the previous year.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Please give mine a try and you will be astonished at how reliable your foggers, even your cheap ones, become each year. There is a reason why professional painters use this stuff to store and protect their high end piston paint pumps which are very similar to fog pumps other than the paint pumps use 304 18/8 SS parts. I have never had a fogger not fire up and operate at peak performance each year or had a pump fail on me.

Or you can do what the manufacturers tell you to do which is leave the fog juice in the machine. They love selling new foggers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
people have had different experiences storing their foggers ...

personally, i store my machines full of good quality fog fluld ... my first fog machine that i bought about 10 years ago still works ...

i have, what i thought was a good chauvet that the pump died on me & i couldn't fix :-(

i've had some cheap foggers that i picked up during the after halloween 50% off sales die on me, but i used cheap fog juice in them so it may be a combination of crappy machine with crappy juice ... btw some of these machines i was able to clean out the gunk that was clogging the lines & get some working again & some got trashed :)

so ... ymmv

amk
Please give mine a try and you will be astonished at how reliable your foggers, even your cheap ones, become each year. There is a reason why professional painters use this stuff to store and protect their high end piston paint pumps which are very similar to fog pumps other than the paint pumps use 304 18/8 SS parts. I have never had a fogger not fire up and operate at peak performance each year or had a pump fail on me.

Or you can do what the manufacturers tell you to do which is leave the fog juice in the machine. They love selling new foggers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
I'm looking for some advice on fog machine storage. I'm a yearly haunter, so my fog machine sits, unused, until October. Right now, my fog machines (various Chauvets) only last about two years. I follow the directions Froggy's but am wondering if I'm doing something wrong. In particular, should I take the brass uptake nozzle (I'm not sure what it's really called) out of the fog juice I store in the tank? (Maybe it's getting rusty, I don't know.) Should I even store fog juice in the tank? Last time, fog juice ended up coming out of my machine and onto the pantry floor through the main nozzle. I tried all the "self-help" tricks, but I couldn't get it to work. Anyhow, I'm just curious how other folks store their machines. Thanks!
These pumps are actually designed for continuous operation as unlike diaphragm or peristaltic pumps, the fluid being pumped moves through the pumping mechanism and can either react, leave deposits, coagulate, or cause oxidation/rust on the pump components which will result in either a performance loss or non-operation. And acidic solutions, such as vinegar, should never be run through the pump as it will damage the pump. The pump should never be run without fluid as the fluid acts as a cooling agent and the glycerin in the fog solution provides some minor lubrication for the piston and springs.
The best method for storage is to prime the entire fluid path with "Pump Armor Fluid" by Graco, Store SKU #356143 which can be purchased at Home Depot. It not only prevents corrosion and clogging, it also conditions the O-rings and prevents damage from ozone in the air. It is widely used in Airless Paint Sprayers. I have used it in my VEI Super Fogger V-950 to store it until the next Halloween for 10 years and have never had a pump problem.:) You just have to ensure that you do 2 things:
1. Flush the entire fluid path with the Pump Armor Fluid using a syringe, then plug both ends of the fluid path to ensure that the fluid does not drain out which would create air gaps/bubbles. DO NOT TURN ON THE HEATER CORE AT ANY TIME!! You can circulate the fluid with the pump so long as the heater stays off.
2. Before fogger startup, flush the entire fluid path with distilled water.

Depending upon how many hours that you run your fogger, the use of only high quality fog solutions (Like Froggys), you never run vinegar or any other acidic solution through the fluid path, and that you never run the pump dry, your fogger pump should last for many years and can be relied upon to function every Halloween.

Any fog juice will coagulate or what is called, precipitate, over time due to oxidation. It is due to the reaction of O2 molecules with the glycerin. The quality of the glycerin is important as well. Froggy's uses only USP grade glycerin which means that it is pure glycerin, derived from industry acceptable sources, and free from impurities. The fog juice should also be made up of distilled water. Metals, minerals and other impurities in tap water or drinking water leave deposits along the fluid path, accelerate the glycerin coagulation process, and damage pumps and heaters, and filtered utilizing a small enough micron filter to remove particulates from the solution. Even the best fog juice will coagulate over time, the rate though is influenced by all of these things and can be accelerated by exposure to sunlight, heat and humidity. The only absolute sure way and best way to protect your fogger and pump is to flush the fog juice with distilled water, then replace with something like a "Pump Armor Fluid" by Graco, Store SKU #356143 which can be purchased at Home Depot.
And don't forget to store your fog juice in a sealed container in a cool place out of the sunlight.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Please give mine a try and you will be astonished at how reliable your foggers, even your cheap ones, become each year. There is a reason why professional painters use this stuff to store and protect their high end piston paint pumps which are very similar to fog pumps other than the paint pumps use 304 18/8 SS parts. I have never had a fogger not fire up and operate at peak performance each year or had a pump fail on me.

Or you can do what the manufacturers tell you to do which is leave the fog juice in the machine. They love selling new foggers.
Froggy's has several varieties of juice, a couple of them state that they're glycerin free which I assume is mostly for indoor use. I would think the glycerin free juice wouldn't coagulate but I really have no idea.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Froggy's has several varieties of juice, a couple of them state that they're glycerin free which I assume is mostly for indoor use. I would think the glycerin free juice wouldn't coagulate but I really have no idea.
I don't know what they are using in place of glycerin, but I'll find out.
Whatever the glycerin is being replaced with could also coagulate to potentially a greater or lesser degree. I'll check into this.

Glycerin or Glycol is what gives the fog it's thick smokey appearance. Glycerin is an inert fatty acid produced from plants. It is used as a carrier agent for other API's, as a skin moisturizer, and as a food sweetener. Alert reactions are rare and it is used in e-cigarettes, it's what gives the cigarette it's smokey output. I guess you could call e-cigarettes, mini-foggers, except that they usually carry the API nicotine. Not good for people with high blood pressure or children unless they are ADHD. lol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
720 Posts
Washed mine out with straight distilled vinegar. Took quite a while for all the fog to stop, and the smell of vinegar to start. It definitely was spurty and interrupted as it ran, and then smoothed out and sounded consistent after an hour. Then I pulled the tube out, and let it run til I heard the "it ran out" sound we all know so well. Swished around some more vinegar in the bottles, then poured them out, and I'll be ready for next year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,705 Posts
Washed mine out with straight distilled vinegar. Took quite a while for all the fog to stop, and the smell of vinegar to start. It definitely was spurty and interrupted as it ran, and then smoothed out and sounded consistent after an hour. Then I pulled the tube out, and let it run til I heard the "it ran out" sound we all know so well. Swished around some more vinegar in the bottles, then poured them out, and I'll be ready for next year.
Not so sure about the vinegar idea, it can be corrosive to metal parts.
 
1 - 17 of 17 Posts
Top