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Author Topic: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?  (Read 4638 times)

Merlin

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smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« on: May 25, 2004, 06:40:37 pm »

Hi,

In the club where I play keyboards, they have a smoke machine that drops fluid onto the stage - whether it's being used or not. It's turned on when doors open, and off at closing time, but not used all night - mostly in the second half of the night.

Can anyone suggest some likely faults that could cause this problem? Maybe heater not getting hot enough, or pump up too high, sending too much fluid into the heater, perhaps? I haven't actually seen the unit up close yet, as it's mounted above the stage and I'd have to crawl through the ceiling to get to it, and I'm not keen on doing that, as it's "not my job". But the lighting guy has had it down and pulled apart in the daytime [I was told], but it's back up there and still the same as before.

I'm hoping some of you here may have some suggestions I could pass on to him...
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Merlin Zener
Piano, Synthesizer
Thailand.

Adam Feldstain

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Re: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2004, 09:31:00 pm »

What kind of dripping? If it was spitting fluid then it is most likely the heater, if it dripping from the underside of the unit there is most likely a break in the line somewhere.

Good luck, that stuff is a bitch to clean off wood or clothes
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Adam Feldstain
Pro-Optic Lighting
djallf AT djallf DOT com

Nick S.

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Re: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2004, 08:44:26 am »

I had a smoke fluid spill, and hard a ton of trouble getting it off the wooden (stage) floor...best of all, it was scented fluid, meaning the place stank of this sickly sweet perfume Smile
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Erik Jerde

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Re: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2004, 04:19:30 am »

I've had this happen with my neutron hazers when the heating element gets plugged.  If you arn't doing regular maintenance on the equipment it can eventually get plugged with fluid residue which will block the path out, and can cause a leak to spring in the system from the pump pressure.  If you are lucky it's a simple hose being loose.  If you're not lucky and the pump is messed up then it can be expensive to fix.

If the system has been worked on recently the root cause of the problem like a plugged heating element may have been fixed, but that could still leave the leak in place.  A slow leak that has too pool up before it's noticed may not show up in a 20 minute bench test.

A quick fix, if you don't want to work on the hazer is just stick a plastic pan under the thing.  Just hang it well so it doesn't upend on you someday.  Then let the lighting guy know since he really needs to fix it permanently.

-Erik
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Merlin

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Re: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2004, 04:34:53 am »

What would be the suggested "proper regular maintainence" on a smoke machine? [the normal type, not a hazer.]

They've put an aluminum tray under the unit which helps with most of the problem, [catches the drips when it's not making smoke] but when it's making smoke it spits fluid out the front, about 2 or 3 meters. Hot fluid too - - so the singer tells me........

I'm gonna see if they can get a replacement unit in while this one gets a proper look at.
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Merlin Zener
Piano, Synthesizer
Thailand.

Erik Jerde

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Re: smoke machine dropping fluid - what to do?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2004, 05:09:12 am »

Depends on the unit, check the manual.  I havn't used foggers in a while, haze is just so much nicer on my lighting rig.  I know this won't help exactly, but for example my hazers should have the heating element cleaned every 20 hours of use.  That invoves a little peroxide bath and a "reaming" out of the element.  Could always try contacting the mfgr, they might know exactly what the problem is and be more than happy to sell you a kit to fix it.

-Erik
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