Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I've got a 1974 lamp that used to run awesome.  The lava moved smoothly from top to bottom in a soothing fashion.  But there was a little bit of the lava stuck up on the glass above the liquid.  I thought if I turned it upside down and let it sit like that for a few seconds, it would melt that lava and allow it to rejoin the rest.  Well it didn't.  All it did was make it so now 90% of the lava STAYS up at the top.  It no longer moves smoothly.   I am very distraught about this situation, because I loved that lamp!  Can someone please help me resolve the issue??  I'm freaking out worried that I ruined it for good!

Thank you for your time!

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The best way to ruin a good lava lamp is to shake/move it while it is warm :(

You could have easily resolved the problem by simply covering the lamp with a towel which would have made it hotter and melted the wax on top.

A hairdryer could have been used to do that as well.

If the lava and liquid have not been mixed up too bad you should be able to simply let the bottle sit cold for a month or two and maybe it will return to it's original condition.

You should have requested help or asked questions BEFORE doing anything to it  ;)

believe me I'm well aware that this was my own mistake.  I don't need to be lectured about it.  All I need right now is help fixing what I messed up

not lecturing - just informing you of the proper way of resolving a problem like that in case you ever need to do so again without ruining your lamp ;)

Gotcha.  It'll be a while before it's an issue again. New lava lamps, basically all of them I've seen, flow like crap. and these retro ones are 120+ on ebay and I'm not at a place right now to be spending that kind of money on antique novelties.  

If anyone has an idea for fixing this, I'm all ears

I agree -  most new lava lamps perform like crap when compared to vintage/older lamps.

The only new lava lamps that I purchase are Grandes which can flow nicely if you get a good one - 

https://lavalamp.com/product-category/lava-lamps/standard-silver-ba...

The Grandes go on sale periodically and can sometimes be purchased for as low as $80.00 with free shipping.

And youve seen good performance out of them??  What light bulb do they use? Still the 40 watt?

Grandes use 100 watt bulbs and take about 2-3 hours to start flowing.

I purchased three grandes about 8 years ago and they all sucked as they were either super cloudy or did not flow.

At the time I vowed never to buy their crap again!

However a few years later they released their new Heritage Grande and I took a chance on it based on positive reviews I had read.

I am glad I did as the Heritage Grandes and every new Grande ( 5 ) I have purchased since then has arrived crystal clear and flows well.

It is best to purchase new lava lamps in the fall or winter as there will be less of a chance of problems developing during transport ( cloudiness ) when the temperature is cooler.

I will be adding the new Yellow/Red Grande to my collection this year.

I am waiting until just before Christmas to purchase when it's cold outside and the Grandes go on sale.

http://oozinggoo.ning.com/photo/custom-granda-lava-lite-yellow-red?...

So I called one of the local hippy supply stores and explained that I have a very high standard for how good a lamp flows, and they said if I go in there and see a particular one ON DISPLAY that i really like, they would sell that display lamp to me!  Now that's the way to do it!  I'm stoked to go and pick one out.  The ones they have on display are always flowing beatifically, so I'm going to leave with one that I KNOW i am happy with!  I would recommend asking that question to anyone looking to buy a lamp retail!  In the past they've had ones on display that are awesome, and then I get home and turn on the one I bought, and it's nothing like it! Problem solved!

So the lava stays at the top even when cold?  The towel method can still work to fix your globe.  Basically, the top of the globe needs to get hotter to allow the wax to melt.  A blow dryer can work also, but for me a towel (or even some foil) is easier.  just place over the globe so the top half or so is covered and run the lamp.  Check after the first hour and about every half hour after that.  

You may have to do this several times before blockage is gone. 

Keep in mind this is to help break up the block of wax at the top, but it may also allow the original bit of stuck lava to release also.  Or maybe not.  "Results may vary."

The only problem with your plan is that you will not be able to safely transport the lamp the same day that you viewed it flowing.

So the store would need to hold it for you until the next day when you could pick it up cold.

The environment in the store and your house could also be different which would have an effect on how the lamp flows ;)

New lamps usually require several runs to"break in" before they start flowing their best.

I double checked about the cool down waiting period, and they said they would set it aside safely for me if I had already paid for it.  I'll go in there and pick one out near closing time, and then return to pick it up at open the next day, so they won't even have a need to remove it from the display shelf while hot.  I'll come and get it right off the shelf that it last ran on, and it will have not been moved so much as an inch while warm.  And as far as the break in period, Those display units are run all day every day, so I'd say the break in period has been long passed

I'll report back about how the one I take home with me flows, compared to how it flowed while on display at the store (-:

and yes, the temperature in my home won't be the exact same as the store, but I'm counting on it being close enough to not be an issue!

If there isn't a display that I like, I'll probably buy 2 or 3 boxed ones, take them home and run them a few times, and keep the one that I'm happy with.  Fortunately lava lamps aren't like buying something like a headset where it's obvious that it's an open box item.  If anything, I'll have done the break in period already for whoever buys the returned ones (-:

"In the past they've had ones on display that are awesome, and then I get home and turn on the one I bought, and it's nothing like it! "

Maybe your new lamp had not been broken in yet or the environment in your house was different than that at the store.

Not sure I would want to purchase a lamp that has been run all day every day, but good luck!

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