How to Fix a Smoke Machine

Written by marshal m. rosenthal
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A smoke machine, also known as a "fog" machine, is designed to create a haze of non-toxic smoke for use in carnivals and haunted houses, among other uses by private individuals as well as companies. The smoke machine generates heat, which vaporises a liquid that becomes the smoke, which an internal fan then wafts from the machine with air currents. You must troubleshoot a smoke machine that isn't functioning correctly if you're to continue using it. There are a number of potential problems that can occur with a smoke machine; these can be corrected once discovered using common household supplies.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Bucket
  • Distilled water
  • Heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord, 25 feet
  • Phillips screwdriver
  • Flashlight
  • Tweezers
  • Replacement fuse

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  1. 1

    Empty the intake tube of all of the smoke liquid into a bucket and then flush it down the toilet. Fill the intake tube with distilled water and run the smoke machine to clean out the tube using the steam from the water. Once the steam is flowing freely, turn the smoke machine off, empty the water from it, and, after waiting an hour for the machine to cool down completely, refill the intake tube with the smoke liquid. The smoke liquid can clog the intact tube in the smoke machine, resulting in a lack of fluid being heated.

  2. 2

    Turn the smoke machine off. Remove the low-wattage extension cord from the smoke machine. Plug the smoke machine's power cord into a heavy-duty outdoor-rated extension cord's female socket. Plug the extension cord's male plug into an outside wall outlet. The smoke machine, when turned on, will now heat up according to the manufacturer's specifications. A smoke machine will not heat up properly if it's attached to a low-wattage extension cord.

  3. 3

    Turn the smoke machine off and remove the power cord from the AC outlet. Unscrew the cover plate from the smoke machine with a Phillips screwdriver. Typically the cover is on the bottom of the smoke machine, although in some cases it's on the top. Shine a flashlight on the electronic components until you locate the fuse that's lying horizontally on a circuit board. Pull the fuse out using a tweezers. Insert a replacement fuse and close the cover, reattaching the screws. Plug the smoke machine's power cord back into an AC outlet. The fuse that regulates the electricity going into the smoke machine's heating element can blow, causing the unit to appear to not be functioning.

Tips and warnings

  • If you're using a smoke machine in your backyard, informing the neighbours and even the local fire brigade could save you problems if someone thinks there's a fire because they don't know what's going on.

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