Hello Christmas Decoration Enthusiasts. There has been some messages posted about the Gemmy Inflatable Snow Globes where you guys (and gals), have experienced some issues with your snow globe and panicked and or simply posted a message in search of help.
First and foremost, the issues of moisture, fogging and snow clumping, sticking and not circulating, as well as cracking and dim lighting etc that I have read about are NOT the result of the product being defective. What’s happening is part nature and part physics, and I will try to tell you how you can resolve the issues and prevent them from happening again.
Condensation / Moisture
First lets deal with fogging and or condensation. Condensation is defined as a film of water droplets… tiny drops of water that form on a cold surface such as a window, metal, plastic or other surface when warmer air comes into contact with it. So how or why does this create condensation in the snow globe? Well unlike the other Airblowns that have been produced in previous years… the snow globes have a thin clear plastic window and Styrofoam type of snow pellets inside. These along with cold air… and a warmer ground are all we need to create condensation.
After you install your Snow Globe on your lawn… and you turn it off for the night, the inflatable lays on the ground, where the temperature is warmer then the air temperature. The pellets are a perfect source for insulation, and this insulating the warmer temperatures that arise from the ground and are in the inflatable. Already condensation is starting. Once you inflate the snow globe the warmer pellets circulate thus creating slightly warmer air inside the snow globe causing the condensation to get onto the plastic windows of the globe thus forming the fog like condition. Shortly after, The pellets also build condensation as the air gets cooler then the pellet itself, thus forming condensation around it. With over 1-1/2 million pellets banging into each other etc. They pick up and exchange moister from other pellets. Which makes the pellets that collect the moisture even wetter and the ones that lost the moisture re-creates more with more condensation.
Ultimately the pellets start to stick together. Just as if you were to cut open a Styrofoam filled teddy bear or bean bag over a pool of water or puddle… what happens to the pellets? They clump together. Once the pellets get to a certain level of moisture and clump together, they will stop circulating in the snow globe. And this is enough to make some of you panic thinking the item is defective.
Well I hate to say this but condensation is not a defect. It’s a natural occurrence. Just like getting condensation on your car after a very cold night and then the morning sun warms up the air a bit. One customer I told this to on the phone said… True, but condensation does not inhibit the care from functioning properly. But she’s wrong. You can not get into a car that has windows fogged with condensation and drive the care safely. So you turn on your windshield wipers… so you are taking a corrective action to solve the problem so the car can operate as intended. The same has to be done with the snow globes. We have to correct the issue at hand, abd then take preventative steps to prevent the problem.
First things first!
You have to get the snow globe to dry out so it’s back to its original state. Once this happens the snow pellets will fall again. How do you dry them out? Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. You can leave the snow globe in its location and constantly keep it inflated and running. It can take one or more days to clear up and dry out as long as the air around it is dry.
2. Depending on what part of the country you are in… if you have warm days still in the 40’s or better… a good constant running of the snow globe in the sun can dry it out within a day or so. It all depends on the temperature and moisture volume in the air and in the snow globe. So if its sunny, I would suggest moving the inflatable on a concrete or hard surface… and let the inflatable run 24 hours a day until it dries and the snow starts to circulate. Then another hour or two after that, just to be sure that all the pellets have time to circulate a few times to make sure they are dry.
3. In bad weather you may want to inflate the snow globe indoors, in a spare room… basement or garage. Leave the item plugged in and constantly running until the item is dried out. If doing this in a garage, you want to be sure the garage is heated in colder climates. This will make the drying process go faster.
Once the item is back to its dry original state. You will be all excited and you will love your inflatable again and remember why you fell in love with it to begin with.
Re-Install or Display
Simply re-install your inflatable in the desired location. I would suggest that you place it away from your home or from dense trees and bush. Again these elements can help cause condensation.
Hint: only install your snow globe when you have the time to actually install and inflate it. Don’t just bring it to your lawn… go and get other inflatables or decorations and then get back to the snow globe later. You may have condensation problems all over again. So when you bring it back to the location of its dispay, immediately inflate it, and tether it down.
Okay, so we know that moisture inside the inflatable causes the pellets not to circulate and fall like snow, so we have to try to keep the inflatable as dry as possible. How do we do this when displaying outdoors? The simple answer is this:
Keep The Snow Globe Running All The Time. – That’s right… 24 hours a day… 7 days a week. This will practically solve the condensation problem… because the inflatable will not be resting on the ground allowing the pellets to collect and distribute heat. This will also keep air being forced into the inflatable, which is the same temperature air outside… so there’s no difference in temperature to create condensation.
Now you may be wondering is it safe to run inflatables all the time, even though the instructions state that you can only run an inflatable for a certain number of hours? YES IT IS SAFE. Just like a car manual states do not drive your car for more then 4 hours at a time. If I did that it would take me a week to drive to Tenn. For PLUS events. LOL
It is safe to run them constantly. Lots of people do. When you drive around your neighborhood you seen them displayed at all hours. Some people simply don’t shut them off… because not only are Gemmy Airblown Inflatables Spectacular at night… during they day the characters are alive with vibrant colors.
Its perfectly okay for the item to remain inflated during a light rain or light snow fall. But if you are forecasted to get heavy rains, strong winds or heavy snow, I would suggest that you deflate the item and take it indoors to protect your investment. And once the storm passes, simply bring them back out again and put them back on display. This will prevent excess water from getting into the globe during heavy rains. It will prevent possible damage due to strong winds and possible damage to the motor in deep and heavy snow where the air intakes are blocked.
You paid good money for your Gemmy Inflatable Snow Globe. It may be one of the more expensive pieces in your decorations display. So protect your investment especially in extreme weather.
Cracking or The Plastic Globe Seams Coming Apart
Noted in the instructions included with your inflatable, it states something like:
Do not Inflate During Freezing Temperatures.
This does not mean that this product is meant for indoor use only or for southern or warmer climates. What it means is to not actually inflate during freezing temperatures. When the inflatable is turned off and laying on the ground, the plastic gets wrinkled as the snow globe collapses on itself right? The plastic globe is thin plastic. What happens to plastic that is subject to stress in cold temperatures? It can crack or breaks. For those of you in the colder climates experience this from time to time.
If the plastic is folded and frozen, when you try to bend it and stretch it out into the globe shape it can crack and seams can crack or come apart.
How do you prevent this… Keep the item inflated at all times. If the plastic is not moving, its not under stress, therefore will not crack.
Dim Snow Globe Lighting
The snow globe’s holiday scene is illuminated from the inside with a couple of C-7 Bulbs. These bulbs do what they were intended to do and that’s light up the scene. You can see snow or the hint of snow falling around the scene but its hard to see it when driving by or from across the street.
The best way to solve this problem is by going to your local home depot, and pick up a spotlight stake kit. I think they are around $10 - $20. It’s basically a weatherproof light socket that you can place in front of the globe with a spotlight and it will illuminate the globe perfectly. You will not only to be able to tell it’s a snow globe, but that there’s also snow falling inside. Trust me when I say it does wonders!
If you can't find a spotlight stake kit… I have them and will sell them to you for $15. each which will include shipping anywhere in the upper USA. All you will need to do is buy an outdoor spotlight bulb… either 50 or 75 watt. And your in business. You can use color bulbs too, but I would suggest using white.
Static Tips & Trick...
This tip came from a fellow member, Thanks Matt!
The use of Static Guard helps in changing the attitude of those little snow pellts that just want to stick together as if they were part of a gang and such. LOL Matt also states that after using it in his globe... He gets more snowfall. Now thats great!
I know this is a lot of information and seems like a lot of care and trouble for an inflatable, but it’s not just an inflatable. It’s a Gemmy Inflatable Snow Globe. The Snow globe is an investment no matter what price you paid. A Christmas decoration that not only caught your eye enough to want to purchase it or pre-order one from us months in advance… but it will also capture peoples eye as they pass by your house. Think of the many smile and memories you will create with your centerpiece.
I hope this short message helps and you enjoy your inflatable snow globe for seasons to come. Any comments or other suggestions, tricks etc are welcomed.