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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey everyone,
New guy seeking help here to purchase a good fogger. I figured folks here probably know a lot about them so here I am. I did search but could only find stuff from 8 years or so ago. Would anyone be willing to give a recommendation on foggers? I use it during Halloween and Christmas only. I had a Chauvet 700 but it stopped working after two uses but that is about 1 year time total. I tried to fix it but no go. It may be the pump which I pulled apart and cleaned but could not get it to work. I would prefer something a little bigger as it will be used outside in the yard but am just curious as to which devices you guys would recommend. I appreciate your opinions and your help.
 

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I have the Chavett 1600 flex ( I think that’s the name anyway, I’ve had it for many years. I only use it on the occasional Halloween. It produced a lot of fog but it will still blow away if it’s windy. Check out people’s builds where they have put ultrasonic misters in the output of their fog. It works really well at making the fog heavy and stick to the ground. Better than a chiller in my opinion.

Because of my infrequent use I can’t vouch for the durability of it too much but since you and I use it similarly I can provide my post use routine that has helped make it last many years now.

Following every use I run distilled water through the machine, I just drop the weighted filter into a dedicated bottle of water and let it “fog” until it’s clear that it is not fog fluid any more. It’s pretty easy to tell when it’s mad it’s way out of the system.

Following the water flushing I let the pump run until it’s dry. Not too much though, pumps don’t like to run dry too much.

Pre season, I use a syringe to prime fog juice into the pickup hose so to prime the pump. I jut put a enough through it until the fog starts to puff out a little. The pump runs nice and quiet after that.

The reason I flush water through after use is because fog fluid can cause the heat exchanger and pickup filter to plug up when it sits for a long time.

The reason I run the water dry is because I store the machine in the attic where it is exposed to freezing temperature.

I’m not saying this is the best way to make them last long, it’s just what has worked for me over the years. I’m curious to hear what others do to get them through the off seasons.
 

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I guess when it comes to foggers, there are always "the usual" high end names...Chauvet, Antari, possibly American DJ. Though you say you have a Chauvet and it already bit the dust? Sorry to hear that, though I'd also mention that quality fluid seems to go a long way to fogger longevity, too. Not sure what you're using.

Also, if you can describe or video 'not working' in more detail, possibly we can troubleshoot more. Completely dead / no sound / no movement is most likely something electrical. Buzzing / humming / vibrating, but not moving fluid might be something more on the plumbing side.

On the storage side, I think everyone has their 'secret recipe'. I typically just leave mine full of fluid and store in the basement, so it is somewhat temperature moderated. My thinking is that the fog fluid is somewhat of a seal / o-ring conditioner which should help keep everything free and lubricated. I worry that water or air exposure might cause things to dry out.

So far, my walmart fogger has been going strong for a couple decades. Though I did have an issue of blowing a thermal fuse - which I think was due to covering the fogger to hide it. Documented the teardown / repair in a couple threads on here, most linked from the FOGduino thread.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have the Chavett 1600 flex ( I think that’s the name anyway, I’ve had it for many years. I only use it on the occasional Halloween. It produced a lot of fog but it will still blow away if it’s windy. Check out people’s builds where they have put ultrasonic misters in the output of their fog. It works really well at making the fog heavy and stick to the ground. Better than a chiller in my opinion.

Because of my infrequent use I can’t vouch for the durability of it too much but since you and I use it similarly I can provide my post use routine that has helped make it last many years now.

Following every use I run distilled water through the machine, I just drop the weighted filter into a dedicated bottle of water and let it “fog” until it’s clear that it is not fog fluid any more. It’s pretty easy to tell when it’s mad it’s way out of the system.

Following the water flushing I let the pump run until it’s dry. Not too much though, pumps don’t like to run dry too much.

Pre season, I use a syringe to prime fog juice into the pickup hose so to prime the pump. I jut put a enough through it until the fog starts to puff out a little. The pump runs nice and quiet after that.

The reason I flush water through after use is because fog fluid can cause the heat exchanger and pickup filter to plug up when it sits for a long time.

The reason I run the water dry is because I store the machine in the attic where it is exposed to freezing temperature.

I’m not saying this is the best way to make them last long, it’s just what has worked for me over the years. I’m curious to hear what others do to get them through the off seasons.
Thank you for this - especially the mister. I gotta try that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I guess when it comes to foggers, there are always "the usual" high end names...Chauvet, Antari, possibly American DJ. Though you say you have a Chauvet and it already bit the dust? Sorry to hear that, though I'd also mention that quality fluid seems to go a long way to fogger longevity, too. Not sure what you're using.

Also, if you can describe or video 'not working' in more detail, possibly we can troubleshoot more. Completely dead / no sound / no movement is most likely something electrical. Buzzing / humming / vibrating, but not moving fluid might be something more on the plumbing side.

On the storage side, I think everyone has their 'secret recipe'. I typically just leave mine full of fluid and store in the basement, so it is somewhat temperature moderated. My thinking is that the fog fluid is somewhat of a seal / o-ring conditioner which should help keep everything free and lubricated. I worry that water or air exposure might cause things to dry out.

So far, my walmart fogger has been going strong for a couple decades. Though I did have an issue of blowing a thermal fuse - which I think was due to covering the fogger to hide it. Documented the teardown / repair in a couple threads on here, most linked from the FOGduino thread.
I used it once last Halloween and it worked fine. I loaned it to a friend to troubleshoot a car. He returned it and did not say anything about it not working. I tried it a couple of months later for this Halloween and it would shoot a little wisp of smoke out but that was it. I took it apart, cleaned it and put it back together and got about the same. I came up with a bad pump and I can't remember why now. I think I blew through the hose and got smoke but I am not sure. I took the pump apart and reassembled and got a little more but it isn't fixed. I will have to take it back apart and see if I can relate what I saw. It was only a $35 700 by Chauvert so not getting it fixed is more of a challenge than a need. I got in touch with Chauvet and the pump for it is $42. I got one from the company before I got this one and it did not work. I contacted them and they did not even try to troubleshoot it. They just sent another one. I can't find that one or I would try parts and pieces. I really just want to connect with folks who have experience and see if one is better than others. You get a lot of random information when you do that that is so helpful. I think I am going to order a 1200 from Amazon and get the 4 year warranty for $29. That way if it breaks in a year or two I am covered. I really do appreciate the help and I will try to get back with information.
 

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I used it once last Halloween and it worked fine. I loaned it to a friend to troubleshoot a car. He returned it and did not say anything about it not working. I tried it a couple of months later for this Halloween and it would shoot a little wisp of smoke out but that was it. I took it apart, cleaned it and put it back together and got about the same. I came up with a bad pump and I can't remember why now. I think I blew through the hose and got smoke but I am not sure. I took the pump apart and reassembled and got a little more but it isn't fixed. I will have to take it back apart and see if I can relate what I saw. It was only a $35 700 by Chauvert so not getting it fixed is more of a challenge than a need. I got in touch with Chauvet and the pump for it is $42. I got one from the company before I got this one and it did not work. I contacted them and they did not even try to troubleshoot it. They just sent another one. I can't find that one or I would try parts and pieces. I really just want to connect with folks who have experience and see if one is better than others. You get a lot of random information when you do that that is so helpful. I think I am going to order a 1200 from Amazon and get the 4 year warranty for $29. That way if it breaks in a year or two I am covered. I really do appreciate the help and I will try to get back with information.
You describe exactly what happened to me the first time I pulled mine out from storage after my first season of use.

I would bet your pump is air locked. This is why I use a syringe to push fluid through the pump before starting it up now. It purges the air out of the line so the pump has liquid to push. They are terrible at self priming. Technically they can do it but it takes a long time and if the check valve has any leakage then it just won’t do it.

To prime mine, I pull the brass pickup filter off the hose so I can get the syringe to press up against the hose (without a needle attached). You could probably fill a balloon and stick the whole pickup assembly into the balloon then squeeze the balloon to pump the fluid into the pump if you don’t have a syringe. You may need to get creative with it, or just go to your local drugstore and get one. Get a large one if you are provided with an option. I use a 5cc syringe and need to fill it about 3 times through the process.

Give it a shot before buying a new fogger, I would bet it will fix your issue.
 

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I should clarify, my pump is noisy when it is air locked. If your pump is seized or electrically failed then my recommendation above won’t work for you, but if it’s trying to pump but just not moving any fluid then that is a possibility.

Other things that can cause failure to pump would be a plugged heat exchanger, and a plugged inlet filter. You can remove the filter and see if it will suck up any juice with it off. Or plunge fluid through the inlet tube using the syringe after the unit is on and warmed up to see if any fluid will move through the heat exchanger.

Let us know how you make out. If I’m on the wrong track let us know, there is a lot of knowledge on this site that can help you troubleshoot the fogger you have and hopefully save you from having to buy a mew one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
First off let me apologize for taking so long to get back. I am a paramedic and it has been a crazy time. The fogger is putting out some fog but not nearly enough. So what I did just now was I took the line loose from the downside of the pump (leading to the exit nozzle) and blew through the line with compressed air. The did not seem restricted though I have nothing to compare it with. The heater works well (ouch). I then blew through the line from the tank to the pump. There seemed to be some restriction though I would think there would be as the pump was not on. I then put the line back in the tank and, while leaving the downstream line unhooked I turned the pump on. It pumps but what I would think is not enough. It kind of spits and spurts where I would think there should be a steady stream. At times, it blows a steady stream of smoke for about 1 second and then spits and spurts. At no time does it seem to produce enough. I took a 5cc syringe and pushed fog juice from the bottle through the pump and the heating element to the nozzle and did not notice enough resistance that would be unusual (I don't think). I also tried pushing it while running the pump and it blows a steady stream but I still feel the bump, bump, bump that seems to be coming from the pump but I am not sure. I am guessing it is the pump. What do you think?
 
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