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Discussion Starter #1
Ok, I followed Froggy's fog rules for cleaning.

First, the solution is one part white vinegar and 3 parts distilled water

Poured the solution in all 3, swished and poured out.

Poured new solution in, ran foggers for 4 bursts each

Poured out remaining solution

Poured in distilled water, swish around then pour out.

Poured new solution in, ran foggers for 4 bursts each again

Poured out remaining solution

Poured in distilled water, swish around then pour out.

Filled all 3 with fog, ran each for 5 bursts each


Now, after checking the instructions (of course) I missed one step of running the machines with distilled water only before adding back the fog solution.

Is this critical or should I be ok since I ran the fog solution a little longer in each one??


 

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I have used the same 5 fog machines for years and never cleaned them. Never had a problem. You should be ok.
 

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I empty the machines each year and voila they work the next. Let me add this to the discussion. We are an online store and one year we attempted to order the fog cleaner solution from a vendor. They canceled our order saying not enough people ordered the cleaner to make a production run. That says it all.
 

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Psychomaniac
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Wow! That's a pretty elaborate routine. I empty mine, mix in 20% white vinegar and distilled water, run the machines until clear, drain the solution and store. I wouldn't leave fog juice in the machine. It get's sticky and clogs.

That said, I've had machine I cleaned and didn't clean all die in the past.

YMMV!
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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I've never cleaned mine either. I just dump them out, wipe them off, and back in the box the go. I also store mine in the attic. My oldest one is about 7 years old and still chugging along. It is a 700 watt Lite F/X . It will be a sad day when that one dies. She has been quite the workhorse. :rolleyes:
 

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Hauntless
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OK, this is getting frustrating. So far here are the options for what you should do to prior to storing your fog machine:

Leave the juice in

or/

Drain the juice.

or/

Rinse out with vinegar/water and drain

or/

Rinse out with vinegar/water, drain and refill with juice.

UGH!!!!!!!!

;)
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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I clean mine with distilled and vinegar and one is clogged beyond repair. I like LordGrimley's method.
I had someone give me 3 foggers a few years back that were used in a haunt. Someone had apparently cleaned them using the vinegar method and the pistons in the pumps actually rusted and had seized up. I was never able to get them working right again.

I have fog juice that is 2 + years old and I have not had any problems with it gumming up. I am not saying it is gospel, but i go with what works for me. ; ) I have never had any new foggers i bought crap out yet. I'll never run water though any of mine.
 

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I know the feeling Terra.

A lot has to do with your fog fluid, and where you are storing your machines.

Some fog fluid gets real grimey if it's left to sit. Especially if stored in an area subject to extreme temperatures. (like my non-climate-controlled garage)

My first year, I left the fog fluid in, as was suggested here when I asked.

The next year, I had a layer of gunk in the reservoir, and the little strainer thing on the line was gummed up. The leftover gallon of fluid did the same. I'm not sure if it was the heat or the cold, but something ruined that juice. (My old chemistry background wants to suggest freezing/near freezing caused some of the glycols to seperate and gel, but I'm not positive) Once that was cleaned away, and new fluid bought, it worked fine.

I stored them in the house the next year, with fluid in. No problems with either.

The following year, I emptied them and stored them back in the garage, fluid in the house. No problems. This has become my norm.

So, from my experience, it depends on where you're storing them. If it's the proverbial "cool dry place", you're probably fine to leave fluid in. If you're using cheaper fluid and/or storing them where they are subject to temperature swings (storage shed, garage, attic, etc), you're probably best off draining them.

Running some distilled water and vinegar through does help clean up any gunk caught in the line, and I have done this when machines have become plugged in the past (along with the poking the nozzle with a needle). But, I certainly wouldn't be leaving that mixture in a line over a year, myself. It could react with some of the glycol residue to produce oxidation (rusting). So, you probably would want to run fluid back through after doing this if you do. I'ld only clean as needed, myself.

I think the biggest keys are using quality juice to begin with, and proper storage of the juice. Drain the machine if they're not going to be stored in a cool dry place, and you're most likely going to be fine.
 

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Regarding first post, why would you put fog juice back in and burst it before storing the units? That puts you right back where you started.
 

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I agree with Lordgrimely's method. I cleaned my very first fog machine following the instructions they provided and it has never worked since. My other 3 fog machines have never been cleaned, though drained of fluid, and are running strong each year. Go figure.
 

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Psychomaniac
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One other thing to add... fog juice is mostly water and glycol does not inhibit rust so there isn't really a difference between the distilled water and fog juice.

If you do a search about cleaning your fog machine all you'll find are conflicting answers. A lot of "Don't clean it" information comes from club and DJ users who don't store their machines for a year.

I called Chauvet (who makes three of my five machines) and they recommended cleaning with the vinegar solution and then storing with that in the lines.

Last year, I packed away my two cheap $20 Target fog machines without cleaning them and both were toast this year. I also had two VEI machines pack it in after storage without cleaning as well.

Time will tell!
 

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to answer the question about why you would put juice back in it and store it that way... it keeps the lines from drying out. Just my two cents worth: I have over 30 fog machines for our haunted house and my DJ businesses. Every year, once finished with them, I dump out and filter the remaining fluid. I them wash the tank out with distilled water, but keep fog fluid in the line. I've only had one machine crap out on me in the 7 years i've been using them.
 

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Hauntless
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So, from my experience, it depends on where you're storing them. If it's the proverbial "cool dry place", you're probably fine to leave fluid in. If you're using cheaper fluid and/or storing them where they are subject to temperature swings (storage shed, garage, attic, etc), you're probably best off draining them.
That's for the great explanation. That makes a lot of sense. I'm storing mine in the basement; the perfect cool, dry place. So, from what you and some others say I will store the juice in the lines. Every other year, I will clean them out with the vinegar/distilled water routine (to keep the gunk at bay in the lines).
 

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Discussion Starter #16
to answer the question about why you would put juice back in it and store it that way... it keeps the lines from drying out. Just my two cents worth: I have over 30 fog machines for our haunted house and my DJ businesses. Every year, once finished with them, I dump out and filter the remaining fluid. I them wash the tank out with distilled water, but keep fog fluid in the line. I've only had one machine crap out on me in the 7 years i've been using them.

Thanks a bunch Bob. Your kind of experience means a lot
 

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I have used the same 5 fog machines for years and never cleaned them. Never had a problem. You should be ok.
I agree with this method. I used fog cleaner on all of mine last year, and this year, NOT A SINGLE ONE worked! Had to buy all new ones. I talked to a guy in a halloween store, and he said he leaves the fog fluid in his, and has never had a problem. I guess even distilled water will cause the pump to rust. Almost seems like a scam to get people to screw up their fog machines so they have to buy new ones.

Needless to say, this year, all 6 of my new machines got put away with nothing more than pouring out the remaining fluid and packing them up. So we'll see what happens next year!
 

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One other thing to add... fog juice is mostly water and glycol does not inhibit rust so there isn't really a difference between the distilled water and fog juice.
Distilled water, yes. My argument is that a vinegar and distilled water solution should not be left in.

While Glycol does not inhibit rust, some of the byproducts of natural glycol degridation DO. Namely Formic Acid, Oxalic Acid, and Glycolic Acid.

Vinegar (Acetic Acid and water) added into the system would change this process (I'm not entirely sure HOW at the moment and don't feel like running the maths) if there were any Glycols left present (ie, not a full flush, some residue left, etc).

It also could form some salt compounds if there was existing rust present. Normally, this is not a bad thing as it can be used to strip the iron and stop/slow the rusting. But, leaving those salt compounds in the system over a prolonged shutdown could lead to further rust once the acetic acid was neutralized.
 

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Purely and Simply....EVIL
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OK-so Im new on the Fog Machine Ownership...we still have a lot of Fog Juice left in our machine (Dyno Fog American DJ 1000 watt, I think) Anyway..the juice is just stored in one container, not the whole machine. Is it ok to just leave it in there and store in the basement? What does "fill the lines" mean? Also, we have a bubble fogger. I bought it on clearance for walmart the day of Halloween, but the instructions were not in the box. There is still some bubble and fog juice in there...how should these be drained? TIA for any help!
 

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This is my first year owning a fogger, so I'm not too experienced with storing/cleaning them, but Gemmy suggests you clean their fog machines like this:


1. First, unplug the machine and allow it to cool down.

2. Next, empty the solution by turning the tank upside down.

3. Fill the tank about halfway full with hot water.

4. Close the lid and shake the machine a bit with the water inside. Repeat this three to four times.

5. Empty the water and allow the Fog Machine to air dry.

6. To store, place all components in the original packing and box.

Keep the Fog Machine in its box, and store in cool, dry area until you’re ready for its next use.

NEVER store your Fog Machine with fog solution inside!
Gemmy.com: Customer Support
 
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