Halloween Forum banner

1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a small 400 watt fogger that I will be using very sparingly with an "ice pipe" indoors at a party on the 31st. I like it because it has the settable interval and duration on a remote. I have had it for 1-2 years and have left fluid in it (I know, that's bad).

It kind of works, but is real sporadic. If I leave the continuous fog button pressed down, it maybe shoots for a few seconds then stops for 5-10 mins. I have left it plugged in for a long time with the button down, and eventually it just stops. I was hoping to run it full blast for a bit to clean it out.

Is there any tricks to maintaining these things, cleaning them out, tuning them up? Its a cheap dept store one, I can hear the pump running when nothing comes out. Tank is full of very clean looking fluid. Do I remember reading somewhere about running water through them?

I search on "fog machine maintenance" here but didn't find anything. I will buy another low power inexpensive unit before Halloween if I have to, but don't want to wait until the last minute and have to buy local and spend more....

TIA

JH
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Run distilled water through it before you store it for the season. NEVER leave fog juice in it over the winter, as it will gel inside the pump, and clog it up. I know because I did just that, and ended up throwing two of them away. Luckily, they were the cheap ones from Walmart.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
400 Posts
Hmm. After reading the link from yubney, it would appear that I was misinformed. Sorry!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, I found that article about cleaning after I posted. I think I will dump what is in there, and try the vinegar thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
395 Posts
I used to have similar problems, and I would clean my machines after each season with distilled water and vinegar. I never understood why a clean machine would sputter so much. It eventually failed. It was always the pump that seemed to have problems. The heater never really got clogged.

Later I discovered that it's better NOT to clean the machines. Now, I always dump out the fog juice at the end of the night, put a small amount of fresh juice back in, run a few long blasts, then dump out the rest of the juice prior to storage. This will keep the pump lubricated during storage so it doesn't sieze up.

When you're ready to fire it up again next season, flush the tank with fresh juice a few times, then fill it. It should work fine for years to come.

-dgm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
I'll probably putz around with a bit, maybe see if I can take the pump out and clean it. I think the pump might just be failing though.

I was just checking target.com, they sell a few 400watt units. They also sell a remote timer for $10. It is just like the one I have on mine. Does anyone know if their $19.99 or $39.99 unit can use this timer (the one they sell)? I ask because I spent $9 for a some 3 conductor power tool cord at Home Depot and replaced the cord on my timer with a 20 foot one. If I could buy another cheap machine and use my timer, that would be great.

The website doesn't say if the fog machines can use the time, or on the timer page, what machines it can be used with....
 

·
Where wolf?
Joined
·
1,277 Posts
I bought the target machine and timer last year and they work fine for small areas. The machine housing is plastic and on the flimsy side, but they work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
cleaning PRIOR to storage is always good.

BUT.....

If your 1200 is clogged... chances are you can just goto Wallwart and get a replacment pump out of one of those $19.95 400w machines...swap the pump, and yer back to foggin'! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
311 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
I took it apart last night, drained the tank, took off the high pressure line from the pump, put some water in the tank and jumper-ran the pump. Some water dribbled out, but I could easily stop it by putting my finger over the pump outlet. I would expect this to be a pretty high pressure pump. Anyone ever test one like this?

I have another non-timer fog machine that I may see if I can scavenge the pump out of. Looks like a similar manufacture and design (so far).

Anyone ever test a pump like this? The sporadic, bursty and low output of this machine could be explained by a bad pump....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
I dont know why I never thought about pulling pumps from cheap 400w machines (after halloween sales) to replace my higher wattage pumps when they go out.. /facepalm


but just to say whatevery one else is saying, I have owned many many many foggers over the years and I never clean them, the only time I will clean them is if the fog output starts to diminish.

I kill mine when I have several running at once and one (or more) run out of juice on me.. ive tossed a few in my day
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
312 Posts
I cleaned the first fog machine I bought years back, using the instructions you read about, after I used it then it never worked again. I never cleaned any of the others I bought since and they kick of fog year after year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11 Posts
I am responsible for maintaining a bunch of fogger units. We run them year round, roughly 14 hours a week. We use three models. Chauvet 1250, v-940, and Jem ZR33. I have seen lots of articles talking about cleaning with distilled water and vinegar. DON'T DO IT! Hopefully the attached picture uploaded OK. This is what the inside of your machine will look like if you do.

The pumps are not high pressure at all. The pressure is from the oil heating up. I have had a few pumps "sieze" on me after 6 months on the shelf. Taking the pump apart and cleaning it up seems to do the trick. I have never had to replace a pump.

If you still have a little bit of fog coming out, jumping the pump and running straight simple green through the unit works wonders. Make sure the unit is not hot when you do this though. Once you get a little simple green out of the nozzle, turn the pump off and let it sit for about 15 minutes. Do this a few times then run straight fluid through the machine. Now you should be ready for business.

If you have zero fog output, you may be done for. The chauvets and the v-940 can be taken apart. If you need some pics and instructions, send me a message. I am not sure about the box store units though. If you have a blocked ZR-33 you are out $389 bucks for a replacement heat exchanger.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
130 Posts
Hmmm. I have never cleaned my fog machines and they have always worked. I would buy the small ones during the after-season sales. My maintenance technique was not planned just a combination of a lack of will to read the manual and laziness... I guess that's kinda the same though. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
It's odd that in this situation, neglect is your friend. I never got around to cleaning or dumping the fog out of my machine last year... and apparently that was a good decision. Looked in the fogger tank today and saw some mold though...
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top