Four or five days ago, I was perusing Instagram and saw a picture by my friend Erin. It was a pretty cool picture of a PCV design that her husband had drawn up. Immediately, I commented and told her we needed to talk further. Their creation NEEDED to be shared. So she wrote this post to tell us about their PVC pipe fog machine!
And now to Erin:
Every year we get together with friends of ours and put on a themed haunted house. It’s a ton of fun and the trick-or-treaters love it! The men-folk (Chad and Ben) are creative when it comes to designing the theme and effects at the house. Over the last couple of years they’ve experimented with different fog machines, lighting and sound to make transform our friends’ home into a spooky fun house.
Fog machines are always a fun addition to a haunted house. The fog adds mystery and is great for lighting effects to (add a strobe and get the party started!) The way fog machines work is by heating up the fog liquid in the machine, and releasing it as a vapor. A decent fog machine (1000 watts) costs about $60. The problem is, hot air rises. So when the fog is released, it just makes a foggy “mess” and you lose some of the other visual effects of the haunted house. The first year with the fog machines we filled up the whole block with a cloudy fog. Yes, we live by the beach, but the marine layer wasn’t the effect we were going for.
Chad and Ben went to work on a solution to this problem. They scoured the internet (the source of all knowledge) and found that by making a homemade chiller for the fog machine, you can actually make the fog stay closer to the ground and stick around longer! This is great for a creepy graveyard theme. The first model- Fog Chiller Mark I- looked like this:
It was made with a tupperware box and dryer hose. Not bad for the first model, but it was kind of messy and the dryer hose is very delicate.
This year the boys went back to the internet and came up with a design for a new chiller- Fog Chiller Mark II- using PVC pipe. The PVC has a smaller diameter, so the fog won’t get stuck in the tube and will get pushed out easier. Here’s the blueprint and materials needed, be sure to use 1” diameter thin wall PVC:
Start by putting together the PVC as shown in the blue prints. It should look like this (minus the toy):
Then, measure and cut holes in either side of your tupperware container. We put tape on the sides of the tupperware before cutting to keep the plastic from cracking. We used a dremmel to cut (more like melt) a hole in each side, at the level where the fog machine output would be.
Place the PVC in the tupperware and secure on both ends with a threaded piece of PVC, insert another piece of PVC (about 10”)
Fill the tupperware with ice or dry ice if you have access to it, since it lasts longer, (we filled ours with what ice we had at the time and some water), put the cover on, and let the machine go!
Erin is a fellow January 2012 mom like me. She lives in Southern California and though she doesn't blog, she should because I find her writing to be captivating and fun (you hear this Erin?)!
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