Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I took the plunge and filtered both my of Grandes last week with an MSR filter (non-carbon version).  They were a bit low after filtering as was mentioned they might be, so I fill them back up with distilled water.  

I've let the lamps run on a timer in my office over the weekend to see how they did.  When I came in today they have little bubbles of lava all over the glass that wasn't there initially. 

My fear is when I filled them back up with distilled water I threw off the surfactent ratio.  Anyone know what I can do to fix???

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Thanks Critter.  The flow on the lamp is actually really great.  My concern is the bubbles of lava that are stuck all over the  inside glass surface.  I've been watching it and it almost seems like the bubbles hit the glass sometimes little pieces of lava come off the big bubble and stick to the glass.

I'm guessing he may have a bigger issue here. When the globes were filtered I bet they did lose some surfactant, especially if he lost some liquid. What I have found out through my experience filtering lamps is that the foam that comes out of the filter at the end of the process is the surfactant. If the pump was not fully purged of all liquids the lamps could have lost a lot of surfactant. I would suggest first running the lamps and seeing how it runs on a full cycle before continuing to tamper with the lamps. If the wax sticks to the glass again add some surfactant. If it continues to stick you will have to empty the globes completely and clean the glass.

Quick question... did you completely dump the liquid out and refill it with water? If not how much did you replace? If you did that without adding anything to the water that will cause a lot of issues.

Critter said:

Oh, if that's all, give it some time, it'll probably clear with use.

I dumped all the liquid into a bucket and filtered the actual lamp liquid.  I only filled maybe 1/2-1" of missing water back with distilled water.  

I did pump and pump and pump that filter to try and get as much of the foam out of the filter, but my guess is that I didn't get all of it.  The lamps themselves have run for 4 cycles now and it's still going on.  

If I do need to add surfactant, what would you suggest?

I only use pure glycerin. Magma tower sells glycerin on ebay, but it can be found in a lot of dish soaps.

Newgoo said:

I dumped all the liquid into a bucket and filtered the actual lamp liquid.  I only filled maybe 1/2-1" of missing water back with distilled water.  

I did pump and pump and pump that filter to try and get as much of the foam out of the filter, but my guess is that I didn't get all of it.  The lamps themselves have run for 4 cycles now and it's still going on.  

If I do need to add surfactant, what would you suggest?

Thanks Autumn,

Any thoughts on how much I should add?

i agree - sounds like there isn't enough surfactant in the globe.  if you decide to add more, i would remove the liquid and wax, clean the globe with warm water and dish soap, rinse, add surfactant to the lamp liquid (1/4 cup maybe?  not sure how much you lost while filtering, so adjust as you see fit), heat and put the wax back in the globe, then add the lamp liquid.  having the surfactant premixed with the liquid helps resolve the sticking issue.

i forgot to add - BEFORE adding the wax back to the globe after it's clean, coat the inside of the globe with surfactant.  just a small amount to get a thin coat on the glass is fine.  this also helps prevent sticking.

Well I think I've turned the corner on it at this point.  Over the past few days it's definitely cleared up a lot more than it was, so I'm hoping with a few more cycles it gets completely clear.  The weird thing to me is right after I filtered I ran the lamps with no problems, it was sometime over the weekend it's like the wax exploded into tiny balls and went all over the glass (in both lamps!).  

Thanks for everyone's suggestions though!

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