What's up goo people. I recently bought a purple/yellow grande and i didn't like the purple liquid when it was off and the overall red glow when it was on. I wanted to change it from day one. I ordered a 16 color wax dye kit from Amazon, Some water based food dyes, pure SLES, Perc (Brakleen), and I had some glycerine around. I opened it after it cooled for a long time by prying off the metal lid with a small flathead screwdriver and then pulled off the rubber stopper. Dumped out all the water into the sink refilled with distilled water by pouring down the walls of the globe. I saw that someone on here mentioned they refilled with distilled water and it ran fine with no modifications so I started heating it up to see. It did not run right. After 5 hours the wax was still in one giant clump but some had broken free and risen to the top. I started to think that maybe some of the perc of whatever solvent is combined with the paraffin in the factory had evaporated so I added a little perc (maybe 10ml). This made the wax melt evenly and it looked great. However after coming up to full heat it remained on the bottom and with some air bubbles. I heard that glycerine is great for breaking up air bubbles and also adds density to the water which should make the wax rise better. It did just that and i used probably about 60ml. Now i needed the wax to break apart easier and release smaller balls so i added SLES as a surfactant. It helped a lot but make sure to mix with hot water in a cup and then add that as it is bad about clumping. I didn't add any food coloring bc i thought the yellow wax with clear liquid looked pretty cool. I let it run for a while to stabilize and just kept adding a little glycerine to get the wax to flow great and at good intervals. I wanted a little more of an amber look so I added a few flakes of orange wax dye to it while it was running to get the right shade. Its running better than it was before i opened it. Here are some pictures. I also added a plumbing plug that seals as the nut is tightened on the top. I machined a little of the bolt and some plastic down so that the top brushed metal can sit as low as it normally does. Check it out! Added a dimmer as well so I can control the flow.
Looks really good! I love the color :)
Just a note, perc hasn't been used in new lava lamps since the early 90's. It's usually not needed when re-doing lamps made later than that. If perc is used then more glycerin/glycol will have to be used to increase water density. I'm not saying perc shouldn't be used, just that it's probably not necessary. But by your description it sound like the perc enhanced the look of the wax so that's good to note.
Good job on the lava lamp! I just got a grande lava lamp that needs repair and I might need the guide to fix my lamp.