Fog machine spitting fluid

partyanimal

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Location
Trinidad
Hi wizards, I have a question. I'm trying to repair a Chauvet Hurricane 1301 fog machine. It's a relatively cheap model but it's quite reliable. I have a couple of these units but one is spitting fluid so I am seeking some answers here in this forum. The unit heats up fine and the remote triggers the fog output as expected but the unit eventually starts to spray fluid, signalling that the heater is cooling thus reducing the vaporization of the fluid into fog. Now, the heater seems to be working fine, getting quite hot and the output is also fine so I figured it's a faulty thermocouple. The thermocouple in these units is cast into the aluminum block so there's no way to access it to change it out. So.......... I drilled a small hole in between the two heater element terminals at the rear of the block, tapped it out to 6MM and installed a screw type K type thermocouple but the result was the same, hot fluid spraying out after some dense fog output. My question is, is it possible that the heating block is not heating up sufficiently, causing the fluid spraying, signalling a failing heating element an the end of it's life span? Or could it be that the wrong value of thermocouple was used? The original thermocouple doesn't have color coded wires, just red and black push type terminals and, after some research, it seemed like the K type is the type regularly used in fog machines in general. I've had an "incident" in the past with too high a value of thermal fuse used in a unit and the heater block melted completely so overheating of the block is a concern. There are also 2 small blue adjustable pots on the pcb and I'm wondering if these can adjust the working temperature of the heating element. I've included a pic of the pcb for reference. (Note: the picture is of an old non-functional pcb)
HURRICANE 1301 PCB 002.JPG
 

Amiers

Renting to Corporate One Fixture at a Time.
Joined
May 28, 2009
Location
Phoenix, Az
Sounds like a clog somewhere. The fog is pushing through it and then it stops. Run fog cleaner through it and then give it a try.
 
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Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
You say the heater is fine but then you say it might be a faulty thermo-couple. I'm confused. If the heater is cooling down then yes this would be the issue you experience. It sounds as if the heater and thermo-couple are an integrated unit, replace them, do not f around with trying to rig a new thermal switch, or re-calibrating then Pots on the PCB. Crafty? Makes you McGyver, Yes. Destroys the units UL rating and exposes you to any an all liability due to the unit malfunctioning and melting down ? Yes!

Perform standard maintenance, run a vinegar and water solution through the unit then pure water until it doesn't smell like burned pickles.

Check the fluid path. I'm not familiar with this particular unit, some use a 'Roller pump' when the tube gets worn it can lead to all sorts of inconsistent fluid issues. on roller pumps the inside tubes are almost always accessible.
@ $200 USD new, I'd say you've already paid for a new unit with the amount of brain time you've put into this.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
No response? I'm sure someone has had the same issue. Come on guys. Don't leave me hanging.......
Did you inquire of Chauvet? While I doubt it will be economically viable to return it to them for service they could end the speculation and say "recycle it" or "try this...."

These devices operate by both heat and pressure, so one or both is not correct.
 

partyanimal

Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2009
Location
Trinidad
I can't return it as I'm located in another country. I would think that the heating element itself could fail as I've encountered elements that do no heat up at all in the past. I was wondering if it's possible that the spitting may be caused by the element not reaching maximum temperature.
 

chausman

Chase
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Location
Spokane, WA
When's the last time it was cleaned? We run around 50 fog machines and that fixes a surprising majority of the problems we have. Including things like this.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
I can't return it as I'm located in another country. I would think that the heating element itself could fail as I've encountered elements that do no heat up at all in the past. I was wondering if it's possible that the spitting may be caused by the element not reaching maximum temperature.
I didn't suggest you return it, I was suggesting you contact the Manufacturer and ask them for advice.