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Psychomaniac
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Discussion Starter #1
I opened up all three of my new Chauvet Hurricane 1250 foggers yesterday to get them filled with juice and tested. I'm concerned about power draw for my haunt so I put my meter on each of them.

All three foggers drew about 800 watts each when the heater was running. I found that quite interesting since these are supposed to have 1200 watt heaters.

I put a call in to Chauvet and they made some comments about 1200 watts being the maximum the heater could draw but it might not need to all the time. Sounds strange to me. They're supposed to do some testing and call me back.

I also noticed that the heater does not run while the pump is on. I found this on another fog machine as well. That seems to be strange since it guarantees that the heater will cool down and need to recycle. I always thought that the process of heating up the fog juice cooled down the element requiring a pause and reheat. I never knew that they don't run the heater at the same time. I wonder if there is a limit on how long the heater can run continuously without burning out? This would seem to be a standard thing on all (non-continuous) foggers.

One last observation is that the split yoke bracket/stand is useless as a stand. There is so much weight to the rear of the machine when it's filled with fog juice that they drift to a nose high attitude after a little while no matter how much you tighten the knobs.

I'll follow up with what Chauvet has to say when they call me back.
 

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Bête noire
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Good luck on that call-back. They've never returned a call to me. Very interesting about both the power draw (800W) and the heater shut-off during pumping. Seems to me that you could get a longer burst/shorter re-heat cycle if the heater stayed on.
 

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Hey OTR, do you have a Kill-A-Watt meter? If so connect it and meter it for an hour and see what it comes to.

The one thing you need to be more concerned of and if it only draws 800 watts that might not be a bad thing, is the power consumption. A 1200 watt machine will pull 10 amps. So if you have 3 of these machines that is 30 amps right there. Depending on how many outlets and circuits you have to work with you might be limited in your set up. You need to check your outlets and see if the circuit is 15 or 20 amps that way you can distribute your power accordingly to your machine and other devices that use power in your haunt. Because if you are limited in power you might only be able to run one machine.
 

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Psychomaniac
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Discussion Starter #4
Yeah, I let it run for a while and a number of cycles and it always came back to right around 800 watts. It's great for power consumption but lousy if I paid for a 1200 watt fog machine. We'll see if Otaku is right about them calling me back. I have the technicians name so if they don't call me, I'll be calling them.

I am using a Kill-A-Watt to test the power draw. It's an excellent little meter. They should be drawing 10 amps each which is why I was testing and sorting out all my circuits to make sure I don't start blowing breakers. That's one Halloween surprise I don't want!
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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Most of the foggers i have seen seem to be pretty simple. I am wondering if they are sophisticated enough to either have a 2 stage heating system, or multiple heating coils as the technician stated ? It would seem to make sense that you used 1200 watts all the time (esp. on the initial heat up) . If you are not using it then when ? esp if it is shutting down during fog output.

On an simialar note, last year I bought a cheap 400 watt fogger from Rite Aid just to use in a prop and it really worked quite well. This year i picked up another 400 watt from Target and I immediately noticed that the heater assembly appears to be way smaller than on the model from last year on an otherwise identical fogger....:mad: I am really not very impressed at all with the output of the new one even though I am only using it in a limited capacity I've noticed the fog barely seems to linger....
 

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I ran this same test with my Kill-a-watt and discovered the same measurement.

I feel a little ripped off. Wait, a lot ripped off. My Kill-a-Watt also only measured about 800watts. Actually, it always seemed to somewhere in the 790's. I only did a brief test and thought maybe it would surge when I actually blow fog with the combination of fog pump and heater.... however, I was in a hurry (wife had dinner on the table) and I had to stop the test. I was going to retest... but at this point the measurement is a mute point until after halloween. It'll only frustrate me.

It makes me want to go buy one of those cheapy 1000watt foggers at Party City to see if the results are way under the spec as well.

I have an old LiteF/X (fog f/x?) 800watt fogger I will run the test on as well. Probably not until Fri/Sat.

400watts under the spec seems insane. That's only 66.666% of the spec'd power usage. And the lack of heater during fog pumping is also hard to swallow. I bet there is a warranty breaking rewire to get around that. I recently saw a how-to guide for my lite f/x fogger... but now can't find it.
 

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Bête noire
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Hey OTR, do you have a Kill-A-Watt meter? If so connect it and meter it for an hour and see what it comes to.

The one thing you need to be more concerned of and if it only draws 800 watts that might not be a bad thing, is the power consumption. A 1200 watt machine will pull 10 amps. So if you have 3 of these machines that is 30 amps right there. Depending on how many outlets and circuits you have to work with you might be limited in your set up. You need to check your outlets and see if the circuit is 15 or 20 amps that way you can distribute your power accordingly to your machine and other devices that use power in your haunt. Because if you are limited in power you might only be able to run one machine.
Agreed about the potential limitations on the number of foggers one could use on a single breaker, but if they advertise 1200 watts, I would expect the hardware to meet that claim. I'll reserve further comment except to say that my 1250 isn't markedly different in output than my old 700 watt Lite F/X fogger - maybe now I know why.
 

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Diabolik, Are you using the same fog juice? I experienced something like that as well but sort of determined it was the cheap brand of fog juice... I say sort of because testing fog out put is so subjective.


I am really not very impressed at all with the output of the new one even though I am only using it in a limited capacity I've noticed the fog barely seems to linger....
 

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Keeper of Spider Hill
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Diabolik, Are you using the same fog juice? I experienced something like that as well but sort of determined it was the cheap brand of fog juice... I say sort of because testing fog out put is so subjective.

I actually have 3 or 4 different brands of juice and tried them all. none really seemed better in this particular machine. :(

I do need to break down next year and invest in some Froggies.

Otaku and OTR , Are there any manuals or spec sheets with the foggers ? I am curious as to what the MFG. cut sheets rate them at for actual current consumption... :confused:
 

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I'm totally hip to this too. I paid $150 for 1200 watts. Not for something that only uses 800 watts! I would have saved my money and just bought a 1000 watt machine.

I guess in reality... its all about the cubic feet of fog it puts out. The Chauvet 1250 brags 10,000 cubic feet per minute (cfm) Which is odd since many websites advertise it at 7,000 cfm. example

I thought maybe they enhanced it at some point. Now I want everyone to go and get a Kill-a-watt and test their other brand foggers! Kill-a-watt Link

I always thought 10,000 seemed unusually high for even a 1,200 watt fogger.


Agreed about the potential limitations on the number of foggers one could use on a single breaker, but if they advertise 1200 watts, I would expect the hardware to meet that claim. I'll reserve further comment except to say that my 1250 isn't markedly different in output than my old 700 watt Lite F/X fogger - maybe now I know why.
 

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Yea I agree those Kill-A-Watts are awesome little meters and a must have IMO for any decorator. I know with Christmas displays they are widely used but I think a lot of people over look there power consumption during Halloween especially when using Fog machines because they draw a lot of power.

I knew better but overlooked it and I had that problem last year. I didn't do a full on test with all my machines running because I didn't think it would be a problem because of so little I was running. So come Halloween night with all my machines going I was tripping breakers right as it got dark because I over looked it. Fornately for me I have a lot of power to work with so I was able to fix it rather quickly.

I have heard some machines when they factor in there total wattage factor in the overall draw. In your case you are measuring the overall drawing when you use the Kill-A-Watt so that is strange it is pulling just 800 amps overall. Maybe it is what they told you that the heating elements max draw is up to 1200 watts? Sometimes they will have a UL label that will tell you what the draw is for each thing. That would kind of suck if you bought a 1200 watt machine and only getting 800 watts out of, but then the spin is you are saving on power. Do you see any draw back on performance compared to like a 700 watt machine?
 

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I guess if you really want to get technical to see exactly what just the heating element is drawing you could put it on a Voltmeter that why you are not getting the draw from like the pump and other electronics in it.

This has got me wondering now. I am going to test my high end Martin and Lightwave 1700 watt machines now.

Yea I agree about the output, I guess that is truly what matters. If the performance is up to par with what is advertised I guess the power should be a bonus since you are drawing less.
 

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the 1200 watts is the max as you know, you will never see this, same goes for a 700 watt machine, I've seen as high as 670 but that's it! it's all about performance! :)
 

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Psychomaniac
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Discussion Starter #15
I have a few of the cheap 400 watt foggers from Target. I also tested it last night and it drew just under 400 watts. That's what really got me thinking. It also shut off the heater when it was ready to pump and while pumping.

Mine puts out a pretty amazing amount of fog. I does depend on the fluid though. I put in some old American DJ fluid and it fogged up a storm. I replaced it with some newer (but still old) Fitco fluid and it barely fogged at all. The Chauvet fluid I have seems to work well. The local place I was getting it from (for $17 a gallon) isn't going to carry it anymore. I had to buy a gallon of American DJ so we'll see how that works. I guess I need to drain out one fogger so I don't mix. What a hassle.

I know the heating element on the Chauvet is drawing 800 watts or less so there is no need to test it in isolation. The question is why does a fog machine advertised as having a 1200 watt heating element only drawing 800 watts? I don't buy what they said on the phone about drawing what it needs. That makes no sense. If it's a 1200 watt heater it should draw 1200 watts.

Chauvet didn't call me back but I will be calling them tomorrow. Something is not kosher here.
 

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I
I know the heating element on the Chauvet is drawing 800 watts or less so there is no need to test it in isolation. The question is why does a fog machine advertised as having a 1200 watt heating element only drawing 800 watts? I don't buy what they said on the phone about drawing what it needs. That makes no sense. If it's a 1200 watt heater it should draw 1200 watts.
I agree that is kind of bogus...

I hate to play devils advocate but there might be some truth to what Chauvet is saying. It still doesn't dismiss the fact though.

Try this if you haven't yet. Test it on a different outlet that is isolated and see what the draw is.
 

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If your using an ext. cord. due you have the right gauge cord?maybe a lower gauge cord may show higher wattage going though.12GA instead of standard 18GA cord. also just for laugh hook your watt meter to something else and see if it might be the gauge isn't calibrated right.
 

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  • I tested my Chauvet 1250 plugged into a $3 power strip at the end of a 50ft extension cord rated at 1625watts.
  • I tested it without the powerstrip on the extension cord.
  • I also tested it plugged directly into a completely different outlet.
They all read about 796 watts during the initial warm-up phase. Remember, this is only tested during my initial warm-up phase. However, OpenTrackRacer tested his over several cycles with similar results.

I also agree that 1200 watt is the max and it may not always use it. But 400 watts below the max during initial warm-up and possibly every warm-up seems like crap to me! Wouldn't it warm up a lot faster if it was warming with 1200 watts? Yes.

I'd love to see readings from comparative 1200 watt foggers.

I think my obsession with fog machines is going to get the better of me someday...
 

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Psychomaniac
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Discussion Starter #20
I have serious doubts about the presence of a thermostat or dual stage control system on the heating element. There is no reason to have that level of complexity. The control system in these is usually just a thermocouple. You want it to heat at it's maximum rate. That reduces startup and recycle times. There is no valid reason to run the heater at less than it's rated capacity.

The Kill-A-Watt has been tested for accuracy against a clamp meter and I've used it extensively over the past few years. This is not an issue involving extension cords or circuit load saturation.

These 1200 watt foggers are using only 800 watts. No ifs, ands or buts.
 
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