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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Many years ago I purchased my first fog machine at Walmart. While most older Gemmy products have issues a few years after production this one did not. It worked really good each year up until 2018 when I noticed that it wouldn’t respond to the remote and would go off once it warmed up. I though that it was maybe picking up signals from other devices ( it’s remote controlled and not manual) and it worked well testing it at a different house in 2020 but it started doing the same thing that Halloween. Lately I pulled it back out of storage and replaced the remote batteries and the fog juice but neither of that fixed the issue. I know some but not a lot about fog machines and I hope this is fixable as this was my go to fog machine for many years and this was my only problem with it. Last year I got access to a abandoned shed full of holiday décor and inside was a fitco fog machine. It also has been having some problems but I’ll make a separate post about that.
 

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You managed to get almost 10 years out of a fog machine? That's pretty great! There's a YouTuber out there who says he's been constantly maintaing his 15 year old machine (new pump hose, etc), though I can't recall the brand. Frankly that's more work than I'm willing to put into something like that and would rather just spend for a new one that will last me another 3-5 years.

There are a couple of videos on YouTube from various channels that break down the parts of foggers and what is worth fixing. Ideally, fog machines should be powered on and run a few times a year, at least once every 6 months. Pick up a bottle of fog machine cleaning fluid from Froggys Fog and run that through your buggy machine - maybe the inner workings are just clogged from such prolonged use.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You managed to get almost 10 years out of a fog machine? That's pretty great! There's a YouTuber out there who says he's been constantly maintaing his 15 year old machine (new pump hose, etc), though I can't recall the brand. Frankly that's more work than I'm willing to put into something like that and would rather just spend for a new one that will last me another 3-5 years.

There are a couple of videos on YouTube from various channels that break down the parts of foggers and what is worth fixing. Ideally, fog machines should be powered on and run a few times a year, at least once every 6 months. Pick up a bottle of fog machine cleaning fluid from Froggys Fog and run that through your buggy machine - maybe the inner workings are just clogged from such prolonged use.


I got to thinking about this tonight and I didn't know if thee pump is controlled by a type of solenoid or other feature like that. I noticed after moving houses that it would constantly leak fog juice. Once I'm finished repairing the Fitco fogger first Ill see if I have some time tomorrow and ill look inside of it. My thinking is a tube is bad (causing the leakage) And the pump is gummed up allowing it to constantly run whenever its warmed up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Let us know your findings and how you intend to fix the issues! Fogger maintenance is invaluable around here.
Alright then! I opened up my Fitco fog machine last night and after taking the entire pump apart I figured out that there was a good 8 years worth of dried fog juice stuck inside of it. It was pretty easy to take out as once I opened it most of it fell out. When I went to test it I noticed it was leaking a bit (probably because I didn't seal it up all the way) but this time fluid was actually moving through the hose. I do advise for anyone reading this that as your getting the fluid closer to the pump through the hose you should turn the machine on and of for short clips of time to prevent overheating of the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Let us know your findings and how you intend to fix the issues! Fogger maintenance is invaluable around here.
Well after fixing what I thought was a FITCO fog machine (turned out to be a generic mid 2000's 1000 watt fogger) I deiced to take a crack at the mini Gemmy fog machine. I've stored it in its original box every year and today I was able to locate the instructions under the carton in the box. I was correct that the fog machine was from 2011. Anyways after opening up the cover I stood in horror as to what was almost 10 years of congealed fog juice inside the unit. It covered the pump, inner casing, heater, heat and thermal fuse and ect. I was embarrassed as a haunter to see that something I've owned and took care for, for years turn out to have such a bad and underlying problem.

As I stated before my first assumption to the problem was the pump but after opening it up it was crystal clear. After poking around a bit more I discovered the source of the leakage was the tubing as it had become brittle and disintegrated overtime from the juice. I spent 2 and a half days inside and outside scrubbing each part clean and evening having to use some steel wool on different parts. I even had to disect the transformer due to a loose wire and I plan to encase it in caulk to prevent any other wires from getting out.

After getting everything put back together and the wiring put back the only issue left was the insolation that had become rancid with clumps of burnt juice inside of it. I left it laying on the fogger as I tested it and while all seemed to be working good I noticed 2 issues. 1. I didn't put the new tubing back on the pump correctly and 2. it still had the issue of fogging the second it warmed up. I also noticed that when it did warm up it would usually make a click sometimes and then the green light would come on showing that it is heated up. Instead this time nothing lit up and once the machine warmed up it kicked on. Also when it kicked on the Heat fuse (or whatever the ceramic thing is on top of the heater/sprayer) sent out a flicker of blue light and whatever that was kicked the pump into action. I know what I've typed was a lot and sry about that but I'm curious if anyone has a solution or a fix as to what I'm dealing with.
 

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Also when it kicked on the Heat fuse (or whatever the ceramic thing is on top of the heater/sprayer) sent out a flicker of blue light and whatever that was kicked the pump into action. I know what I've typed was a lot and sry about that but I'm curious if anyone has a solution or a fix as to what I'm dealing with.
Crazy how such a small problem can manifest without you knowing for so long!
I can't really say I know of a solution for the fogging right on warmup vs when prompted with the remote. The ceramic disc is supposed to act as a thermometer/thermal cutoff - if too much current is drawn, the disc fries and prevents the heater from over-heating, almost like a circuit breaker. I believe on older units like that, once the ceramic thermometer goes, it's toast. On a couple of other fog machines (newer gen but now-discontinued Chauvet Geyser RGBs), the disc had a reset button that could be pushed and it would run again.

I bought a Geyser RGB (older model, w/o the reset button) that wouldn't heat up. When I opened it up, the ceramic disc appeared to be toasted because the leads coming into it from the power socket were heavily corroded, while the leads coming away from the disc and into the heater were fine. I couldn't track down the exact disc replacement and tried to get one similar, yet that didn't fix the issue. It wasn't this exact item, but of the same nature: https://www.amazon.com/Uxcell-KSD301-Temperature-Control-Thermostat/dp/B01A8FKB6E
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Crazy how such a small problem can manifest without you knowing for so long!
I can't really say I know of a solution for the fogging right on warmup vs when prompted with the remote. The ceramic disc is supposed to act as a thermometer/thermal cutoff - if too much current is drawn, the disc fries and prevents the heater from over-heating, almost like a circuit breaker. I believe on older units like that, once the ceramic thermometer goes, it's toast. On a couple of other fog machines (newer gen but now-discontinued Chauvet Geyser RGBs), the disc had a reset button that could be pushed and it would run again.

I bought a Geyser RGB (older model, w/o the reset button) that wouldn't heat up. When I opened it up, the ceramic disc appeared to be toasted because the leads coming into it from the power socket were heavily corroded, while the leads coming away from the disc and into the heater were fine. I couldn't track down the exact disc replacement and tried to get one similar, yet that didn't fix the issue. It wasn't this exact item, but of the same nature: uxcell KSD301 Temperature Control Switch Thermostat 150C N.C 250V 10A: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific
So I ended up putting this project on the back burner as I had some other Halloween items to repair. Recently I saw a lot of décor put up for sale a few towns over and one of the items was a compact Gemmy fogger like ive bein dealing with except this one was black and had skeleton hands around it. While I battered the idea of driving all the way up there to get it I noticed a auction about a town over with some vintage Halloween/Christmas décor. Apon arrival to a desolate farmhouse I noticed a lite f/x fogger almost brand new in box. I ended up winning the tote of décor for $12 and I purchased the fogger from a guy for $5 who got it and the Christmas décor. I've never heard of the brand before but after cleaning its pump the fog shot out and preceded to fill my back yard. This machine was quite unique as its the oldest Halloween fogger I've seen dating back to 2002. Also there is no switch or light on the unit it's self. Instead you have to wait until the light on the remote turns off. Also it came with a bonus feature which is a plug in timer that you can set the waiting period between each burst of fog. While I can say that this is a major advantage than having the compact Gemmy fogger. I later took the pump and a few other items out of the Gemmy one and threw the rest away. Needless to say that while I was able to make the Gemmy fogger last the longest it certainly wasn't the easiest to repair and should legally be considered a fire hazard.
 
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