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Repairing clogged Chauvet 1800 Flex fog machine

Discussion in 'Special Effects' started by LesWilson, Mar 23, 2017.

  1. LesWilson

    LesWilson Member

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    These DMX controlled units put out a lot of fog at a low price. Unfortunately, whatever I do, I can't keep ours from clogging up. After putting in a new pump and using it in our annual show last year, drained it and I ran water/vinegar through the system. But after sitting for the summer, it was clogged ... the pump just buzzed.

    After replacing the pump, I took apart the one I removed and found nice stainless steel parts inside along with intact ring washers. I felt the plunger and springs moved with more friction than they should. After a water rinse and reassembly, the pump ran like a champ.

    This year I'm blowing out the system with air just to save the disassembly. Cross fingers. YMMV
    2017-03-22 08.34.55.jpg
     
  2. Amiers

    Amiers Custom Title of Awesomeness

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    After running water and vinegar in t put it in front of a space heater or a small room to try and get the rest of the moisture out. Try to store it in a dry place.
     
  3. LesWilson

    LesWilson Member

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    I am in Florida. What is a space heater? LOL. This unit is under AC 24x7. Thanks
     
  4. Amiers

    Amiers Custom Title of Awesomeness

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    Well there is your problem. Moisture can build up anywhere. Look into a dehumidifier for the room that it is stored in.
     
  5. JohnD

    JohnD Well-Known Member Premium Member Fight Leukemia

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  6. JD

    JD Well-Known Member

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    Darn little pumps! In everything from Espresso machines to rug shampooers and they always fail!
    I am not sure cleaning them like that and letting them dry is the best way to go. They seem happier if they are left immersed in fluid. I have two of those Chauvet foggers, both about 7 years old and still run. Sometimes they go a LONG time between usage, but I always leave juice in them. I would say, if you want to flush them out, that's fine. But, afterwards, I would put some fluid in the and run them for a bit until they are fogging.

    I think they are more prone to corrosion when they are left to dry and exposed to air. When submerged they are not exposed to air/oxygen. All it takes is a little stiffness and they hang up.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2017
  7. porkchop

    porkchop Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like someone needs a monthly office party that features the use of the fog machine.
     
    EdSavoie, JD, Amiers and 1 other person like this.
  8. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    I was always told to keep submersible and liquid pumps "primed" when possible after they enter their service life. They are designed to have fluid in them (actually as a motorcycle owner I can say they aren't the only thing, fuel systems without pumps need to stay "wet" as well). However many fluids will coagulate or otherwise leave a deposit when left to sit for long periods of time.
    I would suggest if you aren't using it for extended periods, flush the fog fluid with DISTILLED (NOT TAP) water (assuming water based fog machine). just to keep the rubber tubing and pump happy.
     
  9. Wheezy

    Wheezy Member

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    Compressed air has a ton of moisture itself. If your air hose does not have a dessicant dryer, you'd be doing more harm than good. I agree leaving pump filled with non water based fluid with regular cleaning is the way to go.
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Yeah I think I would try firing them up for 30 seconds to a minute every couple weeks would be an easy solution.

    Or

    How about one of these vacuum bags? It's a giant ziplock bag with a one way vacuum valve. Clean up the fogger. Put it in the bag. Suck out the air with a shop vac.
     

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