FOG MACHINE FAQ
Fog definitely has that
foreboding look to it, things can slither around in the fog unseen adding the element of
the unknown, and can add that extra scary touch to your Halloween Haunt or party. Below
are some of the most commonly asked questions people want to know before buying a fog
What would I use a fog
Fog is a great addition for Halloween yard haunts, graveyards, parties and more. In fact,
it is often what sets one yard haunt apart from another. For your trick or treaters, it is
very scary to have to walk through an area filled with sinister fog.
How much does a fog
Fog machines can run anywhere from twenty or thirty dollars to several thousand dollars.
They are available at most department stores, drug stores
and even hardware stores during the Halloween season now.
Some can be found for as low as $19.99 making it possible to
purchase two or three. First you'll need to decide on the
use and placement of them in your haunt to figure out how
many you'll need.
What size fog machine should I get
and do I need more than one?
The answer to this question depends on several factors. What will it be used for? How much
fog do you need to cover a particular area? How dense do you want the fog to be? Generally
a small fog machine will do a good job for very small yard haunts and parties. You might
end up buying various sizes for different jobs, such as two small or medium sized fog
machines rather than one large one.
Halloween we used one large fog machine to haze the front of our property with general
purpose fog, two small fog machines, both connected to fog chillers for our graveyard, and
one medium fog machine for our backyard. This coming Halloween we'll be adding another
small fog machine for the Vortex effect. Again, it depends on what you will be using
it or them for.
How do fog machines make fog?
Fog machines generally use a very pure glycol and water based fog fluid that is pumped by
the machine into a temperature controlled heat exchanger that vaporizes the fluid into
thick clouds of fog.
Can I build a fog
We've seen plans on the Net for building fog machines, but we highly recommend against it.
Doing so could be very dangerous.
Do fog machines make fog
While all fog machines need an initial
warm up period, usually around five minutes, the basic difference between consumer and
professional models is that consumer models usually cannot sustain a continuous output of
fog. They will usually generate fog for a couple of minutes then need to pause for
several minutes to reheat before they can make fog again. This is a continual cycle during
it's operation. Professional models can generate fog continuously without the reheat cycle
in between but they cost much more than consumer models.
What is a Timer and do
I need one?
All fog machines come with some type of
activation device, usually in the form of a simply remote control connected to the fog
machine via a long cable. To start making fog you hold down the button on the remote. When
you let up on the button it will stop making fog or it will stop automatically when the
fog machine needs to re-cycle. The problem with this type of remote is that it requires a
user to operate it every time you want more fog.
A remote control with a built
in timer/volume control eliminates the need for you to spend precious Halloween time
manually operating a fog machine. They allow you to set the intervals at which the fog
machine will come on, how long that interval will last and the volume of fog to produce.
As an example, you could set the timer to activate the fog machine every five minutes,
with a duration of 2 minutes and set to product 75 percent of the machines fog output
What is a cubic foot of
What this means is that the
manufacturer claims that their fog machine will produce X amount of cubic feet of fog per
minute. But just because one fog machine claims to produce 5000 C.U. per minute doesn't
mean that a different machine that claims only 1000 C.U. per minute doesn't actually
produce more useable fog. Sound confusing? The problem is that there is no industry
standard on what exactly a cubic foot of generated fog is, such as what density is the fog
in that cubic foot? The numbers shown in manufacturer descriptions are only useful as a
very rough guideline. Your best bet is to talk with someone that already owns the
fog machine you are considering and ask them.
How much fog fluid do these machines
This depends on the type of fog machine, the volume of fog you set it to produce, and the
amount of time it is producing fog. Generally, the smaller machines will use about one
quart of fog fluid every two hours if run continuously. Larger machines can use four times
as much fluid if run in the same manner.
How much will wind effect the fog?
Wind is a fog machines enemy! The particles that make up the fog are very small, 1 to 2
microns in size, and even a light breeze will quickly disperse the fog as it shoots from
the fog machine. Sometimes you can move your fog machine to different locations to help
redirect the fog to where you want it. Don't try to aim the fog into the wind, its a
Can I pipe the fog around to
Yes, fog can easily go through large Shop-Vac type hose for about 6 to 8 feet, but after
that you'll need a small fan to help push the fog through the hose. Smooth hose works
better than corrugated. You should never attach the hose directly to the fogger, an inch
or so of space between the hose and fogger is safer and will give you better fog
distribution. This works great when attached to a Fog Chiller as show to the right.
How do I make the fog stay low to
The fog produced by these machines comes out hot, and therefore rises. One of the easiest
ways to cool down the temperature of the fog so that it doesn't rise in the air is to
build a Fog Chiller.
For more information read our
article with do-it-yourself plans.
I've found a source for
less expensive fog fluid, can I substitute it for the manufacturers?
We highly recommend against this. First, you will probably void the machine's warranty and
second you could damage some of the components of the fog machine, such as the heat
exchanger and/or pump.
What about using scented
and colored fluids?
We see little use for either of these, and they can damage heat exchanger, pump and other
components of the fog machine. Be sure to contact the manufacturer of the fog machine for
their recommendations before using any scented or colored fluids.
Do I need to clean the fog machine
Yes, after using your fog machine, you need to clean it out thoroughly to prevent
the tubing, pump and heat exchanger from becoming clogged. This is usually accomplished by
running distilled water and vinegar through the fog machine for a couple of minutes. Only
use the manufacturers cleaning instructions, or you'll probably void your warranty and
could even damage the machine.
Do fog machines break
Yes, they are machines and like any
machine it will fail at some point. Your goal should be to properly maintain your fog machine to
extend the life of the machine and between failures. The first thing is to only use fog fluid
that the manufacturer recommends. Next you should always clean the fog machine according
to the manufacturers instructions. If a part such as the pump does break you should
contact the manufacturer.
Can a fog
set off a smoke detector?
It is possible, particularly with optical smoke detectors.
We do not recommend disabling or removing your smoke
detectors. One solution is to build a low-laying fog chiller
to help keep the fog close to the floor and away from your
fog machine more information visit Got