Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I got the Red/clear Grande from a thrift store about a year ago.  Finally decided to change the fluid on it.  It should have been quick and painless, but I guess today was not my day, lol.

So, here it is uncapped;

Not a pretty site.

Drained the fluid into a jug just in case I need it again.  I then rinsed out the globe to get any residue out from under the wax.  It was really surprising because some of the wax floated out with the water.  This was done on a room temperature lamp, I don't think it's normal for the wax to be liquid at all in these when cold.

Got my bargain find fog juice ready;

Now here is where things got dicey.  I was in major brain-fart mode.  I put all of the fog juice in and then topped off the globe with distilled water.  Umm, whatever happened to slow and easy, and trying to balance the flow?  Well not good results;

Floating wax, cold!!!

Yes my friends, NOT the way to fix a lamp!!!

But it gets worse!

Why does the wax normally sink?  Because the water is lighter, less dense that the wax.  So in my brilliance I go to the next step I had prepared for - using epsom salt to adjust the flow.  Not the thing to do to reduce the weight/density of the water!!!  Oh boy what is wrong with me!!!

So after a break for dinner, and re reading info on OG I pour the new fluid into another jug, pour a gallon of distilled water into the globe and then pour enough new fluid back out of the jug to fill up the globe, and place the stopper and cap back on (not sealed though).

Then place on base and fire her up to see what I have to change to fix it.  

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So here is the first test run - 

Lots of background noise so no need to turn up your speakers.

Turned out good after all!!!  With no additional tweaks! 
Now I just have to seal the cap and clean it up.

Keith, that looks amazing!!!  So are you saying you used no fog juice at all?  Or you did the distilled and then topped it off with the original juice or the fog juice?  I think I'm gonna keep my eyes peeled for a junk grande so I can kit it one of these days.  I looked on ebay last nite and they had a few, but they were new at 90.00.  Isn't it nice when they look horrible, then transform into a thing of beauty?  Oh, by the way, my purple neon wax was coming out soft floating in the water on a cold lamp also.  I think that means the wax is BEYOND fried!!!!  lol!!!  Flow looks awesome too for a 1st run!

Thanks Carol!  My first mixture ended up being nearly a full gallon of distilled water, a half gallon of fog juice (which is 50/50 water and propylene glycol mix), and epsom salt (didn't need the salt but being in brain-fart mode I did things backwards!).  So that is approximately 192 ounces of fluid.  I poured all of that out of the globe and started on the second mix.  Second mix was a gallon of distilled water and topped off from the first mix.  So I used about 60 to 64 ounces of the first mix in the second mix.  Or about 1/3.  Again there was little rhyme or reason behind my method at this point so results WILL vary!!  With the second mix I just wanted the wax to sink and then fill the globe to see what would happen.  Honestly I had given up on it and was ready to order a goo-kit.  But I am so pleased with the result!

It is running hot on a 100 watt bulb so I plan on putting a 75 watt in.

Sometimes I noticed with these lamps Keith that there really is no rhyme or reason.  I've learned that through doing fluid changes.  One of my lamps flowed with no Epsom salt at all, while the other needed it!!  Both china lamps.  So, who knows.  Another mystery of life with lava!!!  I just say, if it stays clear, flows well, I don't care to know the science of it, lol!!!   Enjoy it, looks great!!  It's really clear too!!!!

Well I put a 75 watt bulb in and it still runs hot.  Gonna have to get a dimmer on it.  I'm also thinking of adding yellow wax dye to make orange wax.  Might use candle wax dye.

That turned out awesome Keith! It flows and breaks up real nice in the video, well done! It would be interesting to see the wax take on an orange hue, a Sunkist orange would look pretty nice.

Thanks Vox!  With the 75 w bulb it doesn't have the same type flow, more like the china "ball" flow.  I didn't add any surf so I still need to do that.  I hope it will stretch out the flow.

Keith it sounds like your fluid is still too dense if you are running hot with 75 watts. I always start with distilled water and surf and get it fully hot with my chosen bulb wattage running then I start raising fluid density until the wax moves. Then finish by tweaking surf if necessary.

You know, I think your right.  The goo likes to stay at the top even when just starting to flow.

I ASSumed that the fog juice I had was not enough to make the correct density and was planning to add epsom salt to help.  The only thing I didn't do backwards was taking the cap off!

Keith. Just give it another go....what the Hell it is kind of fun. Don't make it too complicated just use distilled water with surf and I use Kosher salt for increasing water density. I am sure many different salts would work but I have had good luck with kosher salt not clouding up the water so I stuck with it.

For surf I use a mixture of water and SLS. I use 1/4 tsp of SLS for every six ounces of water. Then I apply this mixture to my lamps at about 10 ml per quart of fluid. Of course you can try other methods too I am just relaying what works for me. I have used bubble stuff....it is ok but unpredictable at times. And I have tried dish soap too but I have had dish soap cloud on me so started using pure SLS.

Good to know!  I on the road now but I will dilute the water mix with distilled sometime soon.  This has NO surf in it right now, just what the propylene glycol provides.

Critter said:

Keith. Just give it another go....what the Hell it is kind of fun. Don't make it too complicated just use distilled water with surf and I use Kosher salt for increasing water density. I am sure many different salts would work but I have had good luck with kosher salt not clouding up the water so I stuck with it.

For surf I use a mixture of water and SLS. I use 1/4 tsp of SLS for every six ounces of water. Then I apply this mixture to my lamps at about 10 ml per quart of fluid. Of course you can try other methods too I am just relaying what works for me. I have used bubble stuff....it is ok but unpredictable at times. And I have tried dish soap too but I have had dish soap cloud on me so started using pure SLS.

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