There is nothing like a low lying fog snaking through the trees on a spooky Halloween night. At the push of a button, a fog machine can produce a constant stream of fog for hours on end. All you need to do is make sure the machine is handled with care and the fluid tank properly topped up. As simple and sturdy as these machines are, glitches can occur. Before taking your machine in for a service, there are a few steps you can troubleshoot on your own.
Check the level of fog fluid in the tank regularly. Fill up the tank every half hour when the machine is running. Operating the fog machine without fluid can cause the pump-motor to burn out. The fluid also acts as a lubricant to the system. Make sure that the fluid tube leading into the machine is not kinked or bent.
Replace the fog switch if the machine does not fog when the READY light is on and the fog button is pressed.
Check the seals on the pump for any cracks or damage if the fog machine pumps but there is no fog coming out. A compromised seal could cause air to leak into the system.
Check to see if the heater block is clogging if the fog machine pumps but has a low smoke output. Flush out the heater block with distilled water.
Replace the thermocouple if the fog machine spits out hot fluid.
Check the home electrical panel for any tripped breakers or blown fuses if the machine will not operate at all. Reset any breakers if necessary and replace all fuses with others of the same rating.
Ross Glyn began writing for film and television in 1986. He wrote and directed the film “After The Rain” as well as the play “Soweto's Burning.” He is a member of the Writers Guild Of America, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists. Ross holds a performer's degree from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.