Cleaning Fog Machines
Posted 21 April 2004 - 01:02 PM
Smoke Machines, tend to get gunked up over time and their performance and smoke output often reduces the older they get. This can be down to cheap fluids, or just the amount of use they get. The internal effect is similar to that seen in an old electric kettle, and this can quickly block the narrow pipes and pump assemblies used inside all fog machines, and reduce their smoke output significantly.
For this reason its important to flush out your smoke machine on a regular basis. Special Liquid to do this is available, but can be expensive and difficult to source locally. So here are some instructions on how to do it yourself.........
To clean out Fog machines - first of all empty out all of the fog fluid - but make sure you keep some in the feeder pipe to avoid airlocks and pump failure.
Next partly fill the fog fluid container with a mixture of DISTILLED Water (Battery Top up water is what I use - Try Halfords!), and White Vinegar, on average a mixture of 1 part vinegar to 4 parts distilled water is enough.
Then take your fogger outside - because this gets very smelly! and wait until the machine has reached operating temperature. Then operate the machine as you would normally for smoke.
The resulting Steam will clean the inside of the pump, and remove deposit's in the heat exchanger, pipes and nozzle. Usually several 30 second blasts will clean the average machine, however you won't damage your machine if you need to repeat the operation.
Afterwards, allow the unit to cool fully, then clean out any debris from around the nozzle using a pin or small piece of solid wire.
Refill with a good quality fog fluid and re-heat the fogger and run it continuously for a few minutes until the fuild has pumped back around and the vinegar smell has disappeared - This CAN take some time!.
I recommend doing this procedure on average, once every 6 - 9 months.
So some points to remember:-
(1) Always use commerically bottled Distilled water - tap water will corrode the internal parts and give you more problems than you had to start with.
(2) Buy WHITE VINEGAR to mix with the water - We aren't talking Fish 'n' chips here
(3) Do the procedure outside - otherwise the smell will linger in the house for months!
(4) Never let the fluid container run dry at ANY time - you risk airlocks and damage to the pump.
(5) Refill with Fog fluid and ALWAYS run it for a few minutes outside - the smell will take a while to go whilst the fluid pumps back through.
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