Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

LL runs for 2 weeks then 'mounds' - normal operation or is it depressed :)

My new LL is quite lovely and flows nicely. It's so nice I hardly ever turn it off. I noticed that after about 2 weeks of solid successful 'action', the wax returns to the bottom of the globe in a mound. Questions: Is it harmful to not turn off a LL? Is this serious? I've seen the word 'cycle' used a lot. What is cycling and why/when should it be done? Thanks to you all for you LL wisdom:)

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Unless something's changes, the instructions suggest not running the lamp for more than 8 hours at a time. Two things happen over time:

  1. The lamp may lose the temperature differential that allows the lava to flow, depending on the ambient temperature and other factors, and/or may simply overhear. What you're describing sounds like overheating. The lava has most likely become entirely detached from the spring at the bottom of the globe (because it's too buoyant even after cooling at the top to reconnect) and subsequently is no longer being heated effectively (so won't flow at all).
  2. The globe may become clouded or filled with tiny wax bubbles over time, as they're not given a chance to coalesce. As blobs of wax break off, you may notice they sometimes form a few small bubbles near the point of separation. These bubbles are generally too small to reconnect with the main mass of wax unless the lamp is allowed to cool completely (at which point they'll be subsumed by the mass of wax during the heating process).

Personally, I find half the fun of a lava lamp is watching it heat up. Unless you're home 24/7, just turn it off when you're out and you should be good. You may also find a dimmer helpful if the lamp overheats too quickly, though it doesn't sound like that's the case.

What Alfred said, but also, repeatedly running a lamp to overheating stage or letting it run hot for a long time can "kill" the wax.  Hopefully that hasn't happened.  Recommended run time is 6 to 8 hours or until too hot.  Then let the lamp completely cool before running again.

Hope you did not burn your wax.

Could be that the wax is definitely burnt. The lamp will not do its thing for more than just a few (3?) hours. After a short time, the wax just collapses in to a mound of disappointment.

How to fix?


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