Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello all,

I am new to the site and I am glad I found it! I got this lamp years ago and I have fond memories of it. It got me through late night study seasons in college. It got tipped over when it was running and I thought it was ruined and turned it off and it has sat on my shelf ever since. I turned it on again after awhile and once it started I remembered why I had not turned it on for years it didn't work or look right. More years past and I saw it again and thought it should be in the living room. So I cleaned off the layers of dust and plugged it in forgetting about the previous tries. The wax was a pinkish color at first and didn't really stick together. It sat at the top of the lamp. So I did some research about having to get the wax to melt again and it would separate out of the liquid. I got out the pressure cooker and set it in and let it heat up. It seemed to help it a ton and I am happy it works sort of.

The first picture is what the wax looked like when I first turned it on. The second is what it looks like in between the column state. The last is a glorious picture of the column.

The wax now flows and the color is what i remembered it to be. The water is very clear and does not cloud after it starts. however, it cycles were it forms a column and all the wax goes to the top. It then breaks and the wax falls and it starts over. It is not the end of the world but it's not as I remembered it working.

Now here are my questions.

1. What model is it? Think I got it in the 90's. it uses a 40 watt bulb and the sticker on the inside of the base notes E-42050 but I don't know what that means.

2. I also notice that the water level is low. Can I add distilled water and does anyone think this will help with the column issue and work better?

3. Looking at the cap, I think it is a screw cap but I am not sure as I know it could also be a plug. Does anyone know for sure and how do I remove it?


I am thinking that the loss of water has shorthand the water column allowing the wax to stay hotter and this is causing the column behavior and to gather at the top. I also think the loss of liquid has changed the surface tension of the water as well.

Any suggestions on how to fix the column issue and what would happen if I added distilled water or if I need to add water along with anything else or, since it has not been run, it will take care of itself with use.

Thanks all!

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Thanks. When I first turned on the lamp after deciding to try to use it, the wax looked flakey, and the color looked pinkish instead of purple. Never knock over a hot lava lamp! After heating it on the stove in a double boiler, it improved dramatically but bubbles remained but seemed to come out of the wax at the top of the bottle. This morning when I turned it on, I saw a few tiny air bubbles come off the wax as it heated up. By tonight it, it seems like the larger liquid bubbles were gone and the lava did not column as much and the wax looked very silky. Sooooo happy!

I can't thank everyone enough for the information and advise. I really like the clear with purple as I don't think they sell it anymore. I looked on eBay and a century was listed for 98 bucks. Is that a realistic price? Thanks again everyone.
That seems to be about the average on ebay, but most centuries/ aristocrats I see on there are red/yellow. I think the purple is a bit more rare (not sure though). I really like your century's color. I have seen centuries on ebay going for around 200, this seems like way too much to me, maybe I'm missing something though. I buy my lamps from thrift shops, except my midnight starship I bought new in 1998, so I really don't know fair ebay prices.

Sometimes when they sit they get flakey and weird, the best thing to do for this is just to use the lamp about 8 hours daily, with several days of use all bubbles will go away and the wax will become more silky

Andrew said:

Thanks. When I first turned on the lamp after deciding to try to use it, the wax looked flakey, and the color looked pinkish instead of purple. Never knock over a hot lava lamp! After heating it on the stove in a double boiler, it improved dramatically but bubbles remained but seemed to come out of the wax at the top of the bottle. This morning when I turned it on, I saw a few tiny air bubbles come off the wax as it heated up. By tonight it, it seems like the larger liquid bubbles were gone and the lava did not column as much and the wax looked very silky. Sooooo happy!

I can't thank everyone enough for the information and advise. I really like the clear with purple as I don't think they sell it anymore. I looked on eBay and a century was listed for 98 bucks. Is that a realistic price? Thanks again everyone.
If it is liquid at the top, how would a higher wattage bulb help this? Maybe I need to change the bulb? Thanks

Brad said:

if you want more spheres and less columns, you need a higher wattage bulb.  if you were to add a dimmer or lower wattage bulb to the globe, it may not flow at all.  it would likely just dome at the bottom.

What do you mean by liquid at the top? After it's all molten it will stay liquid and move up and down, that's normal.
Yes. Exactly! Thanks.

I have heard that today's lava lamps don't work like the ones from he nineties. Is this still true? I have seen you tube comparisons and it is not pretty. Defiantly not as active.
Today's lamps aren't as good, by that I mean 2003-present but 90s and pre 90s lamps are very good quality for the most part. Your lamp is from before the 90s since it has a screw top
Well I wanted to update everyone on my lamp. Is is working great. Lamp was brought back from the dead! Thanks again everyone. The color is great. The lamp doesn't column nearly as much as it did a few days ago. I want another one!

Andrew
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Here is another pic!!
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I forgot to mention the liquid is CRYSTAL clear! Happiness.

Wow that color is amazing!! and you cannot beat crystal clear liquid... Congrats on a great lamp, take well care of it and never let it overheat and it will last forever! the base looks to be in great shape as well.

Well on that note, I hope to take are of it in the future. When it comes to on time, lava says 10 hours, but I find more than 6, is enough. I have one final question. Is it 6-8 hours from the time the lamp is switched on or from the time it starts to flow? Thanks.

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