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Thread: Fog machines pipes and pumps.

  1. #1
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    Default Fog machines pipes and pumps.

    One of the clubs I'm working spent a good amount of money for decoration and gear. It was about 3 years ago. I think the people who fitted fog redistribution system had no idea what they are doing. They built it out of PVC toilet pipes. And made it like a maze. It works great but every 2-3 months the pump in the fog machine have to be replaced. I replaced it once..and then twice and then heater died so I replaced this as well and it's happening again. And it's not a cheap Chauvet fogger it's Antari. I wasn't sure whats causing it ... But I'm sure now.. It's a back pressure in the pipes. So my question is....where I can get a very powerful inline booster fan. And it has to be cheap! I'm thinking about booster fan out of clothes dryer... But if this will be enough because this thing


    doesn't do anything

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  3. #3
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    Cool

    I agree with Dave; a squirrel cage blower will move more air than a simple fan will. It will also be able to push against more back pressure.

    I'm curious about your fog machine... I just purchased an Antari Z1200 fogger, and was able to repair it quite easily. The pump in that unit is very simple; there is a coil outside the pump that when energized causes the piston to move up and down like a solenoid. Apart from a few rubber o-ring seals and two springs, there really isn't much that can go wrong with the pump.

    I had to disassemble the pump several times to get the piston freed up. I found lots of crystalized fog juice around the piston and all over the internals of the pump casing. Vinegar helped soften it, but it wouldn't dissolve. After scraping and wiping everything clean, I was able to yank the piston out and clean the seals. I did this a few times, each time putting the pump back together to test it. (I disconnected the leads and applied 110V power directly to the pump.) On the third or 4th try it broke free and started pumping like crazy. I flushed it out for a minute or two and then put everything all together again. I tested it, and everything works fine now.

    Based on the design of the pump, I don't think you can hurt it. I mean, unless the coil goes bad, there's nothing else that break. The plunger rides on a rubber o-ring, and otherwise doesn't touch anything, so it can't possibly sieze. I think before I'd ever buy another pump I'd try to fix the one that's installed in the unit first.

    Did you pull the brass core out of the heater and clean it? (The spiral rod that the fog juice runs through?) I found a lot of trash inside mine when I pulled it...

    For what it's worth, the reason I got this unit so cheap was because the nightclub owner thought it was dead and decided to sell it on E-bay. But in fact, it just needed a little TLC. I've been told that Anatri units are darned near bullet-proof; maybe you can resurrect your unit...

    Adam

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    Maybe you could rig up a bunch of bathroom fart fans.

  5. #5

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    Are you drawing fog into the fan? If so, you'll lose plenty, as the impeller vanes hammer the particles out of the air. UPVC pipes aren't that bad, they won't make fog condense on them as much as on metal ducting.

    One idea I've often wondered about is the use of a narrow high pressure jet aimed down the centre of the start of the tube to train air with it. Might be noisy, but effective, no worse than a centrifugal fan. No vanes to whack fog particles out of the airstream. You can shoot the fog either down the back end of the tube to get sucked into the trained airstream, or through the side of the tube just after the front of the jet nozzle. Main problem with that idea is it will cost more, maybe enough to make it not worth it. The big advantage is that you can freely blow fog into the tube after the jet, because the high speed will draw it in. With a fan, you'll be pushing against internal pressure. A lesser advantage is lack of turbulence so it's efficient and you lose less fog on the tube walls. If the tube is really long compared to its width, just go with the fan, you'll need that pressure.

    Edit: One minor detail, the centrifugal fans vary in vane shape, as they extend from the axis, if they curve backward with respect to spin direction, you get force, if forward, you get speed. If they extend flat, you get self cleaning. That might be important for fog if you must draw it through the fan, partly to keep it in the air, and partly to keep the fan from getting cruddy.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 07-13-2007 at 12:08.

  6. #6
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    fog juice is corrosive, I'd try a injector or venturi pump. You aim a small thin pipe down the sewer pipe toward the exit and run high pressure air down it,draging the smoke with it,. this makes for zeo back pressure on the pump. otherwise you need something like a centrifugal fan where the motor is outside the piping. Try Herbach and Rademan surplus in california. They sell a lot of big fans designed for cooling old rack mount style computers like DECs and big IBM mainframes.

    also, have they been cleaning the foggers out with 10% vinegar in water?
    (makes toxic gas, do outside, unless you like being teargassed)

    something like this, only more CFM are there ny bends in the pipe?is it less then say 4 inches diameter? Bends slow the flow to near zero!

    http://www.herbach.com/Merchant2/mer...egory_Code=FAN


    whooopsie, I see now posts before me that didnt load, still try Hand R for the fan, fog juice is glycol, so hot, really hot, water with some methanol usually breaks up the crystals

    Steve
    Last edited by mixedgas; 07-13-2007 at 13:34.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mixedgas View Post
    I'd try a injector or venturi pump. You aim a small thin pipe down the sewer pipe toward the exit and run high pressure air down it,draging the smoke with it,. this makes for zeo back pressure on the pump.
    That's the thing I was thinking of, I didn't know its name though. I'm not sure it will work though, if you have long pipes with or without bends. While the jet is extremely pressurised, the trained airflow isn't, it depends on having a free run. Any turbulence or wall friction and you might as well inject the fog against the pressure of an upstream centrifugal fan, because that at least guarantees a firm fast flow. One trick might be to stick some fixed radial vanes made of card or plastic just after the fan to prevent a vortex forming, then inject the fog into the stream. The fog will already be pressurised. I think most fog machines work like the Venturi pump anyway, the cowling that stops a person getting burnt usually has an opening underneath to allow air to be drawn up into the jet stream of fog. I guess that can safely be blocked if the nozzle is close to the stream from a fan.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 07-13-2007 at 13:57.

  8. #8
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    Auch thanks guys for ideas and info.
    I have to add other things.... first...there was 2 Anatari machines Z1500.
    One theirs and one mine....they are identical. Both had the same problems.
    Because they were both used to push trough the pipes. Both had pumps replaced in the same hour. But one was used in the club and other was used by me at other places. I've never pushed mine trough the pipe and mine works like a jet powered engine with afterburner. They both were like that. Mine still works like a jet but pump inside club's Z1500 is barely working. Both machines used the same type of Martin fog fluid. I had other fogger Chauvet F1550 used trough those pipes when both Antaris died. Next day Chauvet was dead!

  9. #9
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    I'll take bunch of stuff with me tonight and I will see if I can resurrect that machine. Again thanx for all your help.

  10. #10
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    Pull the cover off and take a picture of the pump. Post it here on PL. I'll have a look at it, and if it's the same as mine, I can put together a step-by-step picture guide as to how to take the pump apart, as well as show you (with pictures) where the piston will be stuck and how to free it up.

    Adam

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