Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I made up a few colorful names to describe a problem I'm having with one of my lamps.  I just started collecting last week when I got my first 3 Lava Lite lamps (two 32 oz Midnights and a 52 oz)

First off I've labeled the phases my lamps go through to be a bit more clear (plus, I don't really follow the other stages I've read so far).

Stage I - Convection.  This stage begins when the switch is flipped and the lava begins warming

Stage II - Eruption.  Lava travels up the side of the globe and forms in the top of the globe

Stage III - Destruction.  The lava mass formed in stage II falls to the bottom of the globe

Stage IV - Globulation.  Globules form and travel to the top of the globe.  They cool and fall to the bottom of the globe.  They have not reached full size and the lava mass at the bottom is not completely melted

Stage V - Flow.  This is where the lava lamp hits its stride.  Large globules rise and fall in a smooth motion
a)  Glob flow - the best and most captivating flow
b)  Hula Girl flow - attached at the bottom, but dancing like a hula girl
c)  Snake flow - attached from top to bottom, usually a short state
d)  Blinky - Maybe starting to overheat?  Named after Pac Man's nemisis, not an 
unmoving glob at the bottom, taller but not much better

Stage VI - Decline.  Flow will decline in one of three ways.  All of these spell less or no motion
a)  Overheating
b)  Underheating
c)  Equilibrium

Okay, back to my problem, one of the Midnights (the yellow lava, blue liquid) must have been shaken and/or the wax has separated from the coil.  The wax is still partially separated from the coil unlike my other lamps where it fully engulfs the coil.

The lamp starts to experience what looks like tens or hundreds of individual caviar eggs floating around in the liquid.  Or a million stars (thus the reason I call this effect nebulation, like a nebula).  The liquid is not cloudy, but is filled with all these dots of wax.  It is not apparent in the earlier stages, but as Stage IV begins, these little pellets emerge and don't go away until the lamp has cooled.  They cannot be reintroduced to the other wax as they will not merge and remain singular due to a protective "shell" that is a constant liquid barrier between the dots and the other wax globs.

I can only speculate as to the cause as the lamp was purchased second hand.  I would like to try to fix it if possible by non-invasive means.  I enjoy the color combination and the movement of the wax is, well not as good as the others.  I'd rather not have to do a drain and fill if possible.  I've changed light bulbs, swapped bases and the blue/white does great whatever I do, the blue/yellow doesn't seem to stay in Stage V for very long (it goes Blinky on me and stays that way) and has this nebulation problem.  Room temp has been 75.4 F - 76.2 F and the other two lamps work fine.

Any suggestions as to the cause or more importantly, the solution for this effect?

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Your wax may be on its final stage of life, the small balls happen when the lamp gets hot, possibly it was overheated badly at one time. It only takes one bad run to ruin a lamp. If the wax balls above the coil like that try taking the globe off and spinning it a few times, I have a few lamps that pop off the coil but once I give them a few spins they seem to flow great again. Good luck !!
Thanks LampHead. It's only been a week so I haven't given up hope. Most of the power cycling I've read up on takes a month or so. The one lamp that should have been ruined was a purple/yellow display model that has been left on so long that the lava appears to have formed a crust on the top at one time as there are flakes that look like insect wings, etc. floating around in the lava. It's still the most amazing one to watch. I have two more lamps arriving this week. Guess I'll be on the hunt for a green/yellow globe to replace the one that seems to be on the way out. Once I find a suitable replacement, I might start experimenting.

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