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Ghost Maker
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I am always on the look out for doing something cheap. I like the fog chiller design with the 10' section of 4" PVC full of ice, but gagged at how expensive 4" PVC has gotten. I have been keeping an eye out for cardboard carpet tubes at a local carpet place I drive by, and I have been seeing more plastic tubes lately. Then it struck me, these may be ideal to make a fog chiller out of. So I grabbed some, and will be seeing how cheap I can make a functioning fog chiller for. The tubes are approximately 4 1/2" in diameter.:D

 

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Good find HJ. Those should work great. I've got two chillers, one made of PVC and the other is made of the corrugated black drain pipe. I fill them with frozen water bottles and they both work equally well.
 

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ScareFX said:
Good find HJ. Those should work great. I've got two chillers, one made of PVC and the other is made of the corrugated black drain pipe. I fill them with frozen water bottles and they both work equally well.
Do you have pics? I would love to see how that works. How long does it last? I've seen the 4" pvc layout, and a friend who tried it (he works construction so had scavenged all the parts) said it didn't work. Then again, we live in FL so pouring ice down a pvc pipe doesn't last long when it is 80 degrees out! :p

We have made a cooler chiller and find that our garbage can chiller was faster to make, lasts longer and was way cheaper, too! I bought a plastic garbage can with lid (dark green, so no painting necessary) from Dollar General for $7, a length of dryer tubing (forget cost, but cheap) and cut 2 holes near the bottom of the garbage can with a box knife, one on each side. I stuck an end of the tubing out each hole(hitting the exposed ends with some black spray paint), then fed it in a spiral from one end until it was all in the can. Making the other end go straight up then start the spiral down. I fill it with a couple of big bags of ice and it stays cold all night.
 

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I have a PVC fog chiller as well. I used a metal pipe of some sort attached to the nose of the fogger and surrounded that with ice (it's cool enough here for just ice) and that all went down the middle of the PCV (4"). I put holes in the PVC so as the ice melted it just dripped out. In this pic you can see the PVC on the right a little. The fog stayed pretty good considering it was breezy here. I did have fog stay for a good 10 minutes at least in the area of the opening.
 

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IshWitch said:
Do you have pics? ...
Here's a pic of the original materials. But last year I just used the reducer and the 10 foot PVC. I changed out the water bottles once in 3 hours and it was a warm 70-degree Halloween in Virginia last year. I've also got some video of a test of the 4-inch black pipe. I'll try to get it into a web ready format and post it.



In this flash pic you can make out the black pipe between the stones. The fog hung low on the ground and oozed across into the neighbors yard. It looked wild.

 

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Ditto for me on the PVC chiller. I've got two and they both were easy to make and quite effective. I've got about forty 16oz. bottles in a couple of old coolers that have been full of water for 3 years that I freeze the day before Halloween. After it's all over, I just toss 'em back into the coolers and store 'em for the next year.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One idea I had about the frozen bottles was to attach a couple of sticks or something to the sides of the bottles to hold them right in the center of the pipe, so the fog would have the entire surface of the bottle to cool against.

Another idea I want to try is to use salt water in the bottles. I remember from my old chemistry classes that normal water ice bath basically stays at 32 degrees while the ice is melting, once the ice melts the temprature starts to go up. A salt water ice bath stays several degrees colder while the ice is melting.
 

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gmacted that is a great video, your chiller design works very well.

Back to the el' cheapo chiller. I learned today that the 4" PVC fittings fit the carpet tube, how convenient is that! I'll have to make some pictures and work out a cost for this thing, it should easily be under $10. I have water bottles frozen in the freezer, gonna test drive this thing this afternoon with the fogger I just recieved from Jeff at Frightners Entertainment.
 

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I am very happy with it's performance, but it was somewhat expensive to make. Keep us informed of your progress. You can't beat under $10. I'd be curious how effective it will be on cool/cold nights. Where I live, it can be fairly cold on halloween night.

heresjohnny said:
gmacted that is a great video, your chiller design works very well.

Back to the el' cheapo chiller. I learned today that the 4" PVC fittings fit the carpet tube, how convenient is that! I'll have to make some pictures and work out a cost for this thing, it should easily be under $10. I have water bottles frozen in the freezer, gonna test drive this thing this afternoon with the fogger I just recieved from Jeff at Frightners Entertainment.
 

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I'll be providing details soon, I had some things happen that require my attention for a bit. The preliminary test went very well, though I used only 2" bottles of frozen water (video can be seen here http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=2761. The fogger is 700 Watt.

I plan on using the 3 1/2" water bottles for the real thing, which if I remember my geometry will provide a volume of 4 1/2" squared between the 4 1/4" pipe and the 3 1/2" frozen water bottles, which is slightly more than a 2" pipe would provide. However, if you can imagine a 3 1/2" frozen cylinder centered in a 4 1/4" pipe, it seems like that should provide a lot of cooling, especially down the length of a 12' pipe.

One difference from other PVC pipe chillers I have seen is instead of adding a T to the inlet for venting, I used 2" PVC for the inlet, and left an air gap around the outlet of the fogger and the 2" inlet pipe. barely any fog leaked out. I also found the large elbow at the end was not neccesary since I was using frozen plastic bottles there was no need to retain ice / water in the pipe.

The result is I will only need to purchase a 4" to 2" PVC reducer (I also found a "3 to 2" reducer works too, it fits snugley inside the pipe), and a short peice of 2" PVC (mine was about 2'). I will work up a complete how-to soon.
 

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The fog looks great! What was the outside temperature?

heresjohnny said:
I'll be providing details soon, I had some things happen that require my attention for a bit. The preliminary test went very well, though I used only 2" bottles of frozen water (video can be seen here http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=2761. The fogger is 700 Watt.

I plan on using the 3 1/2" water bottles for the real thing, which if I remember my geometry will provide a volume of 4 1/2" squared between the 4 1/4" pipe and the 3 1/2" frozen water bottles, which is slightly more than a 2" pipe would provide. However, if you can imagine a 3 1/2" frozen cylinder centered in a 4 1/4" pipe, it seems like that should provide a lot of cooling, especially down the length of a 12' pipe.

One difference from other PVC pipe chillers I have seen is instead of adding a T to the inlet for venting, I used 2" PVC for the inlet, and left an air gap around the outlet of the fogger and the 2" inlet pipe. barely any fog leaked out. I also found the large elbow at the end was not neccesary since I was using frozen plastic bottles there was no need to retain ice / water in the pipe.

The result is I will only need to purchase a 4" to 2" PVC reducer (I also found a "3 to 2" reducer works too, it fits snugley inside the pipe), and a short peice of 2" PVC (mine was about 2'). I will work up a complete how-to soon.
 

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we used the trash can chiller with metal dryer duct... the problem we had was that there were heat pockets in the system, where the ice acted like an igloo and heated the fog back up before it left the system... baring any solution to fix this problem, we may try the PVC pipe/frozen aquafina bottle trick this year... how long was your pipe in that pic scare FX?
 
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