Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Just got home and hooked up a dimmer to my 1990's 32 oz with a Wizard Base.  For some reason I find this base heats up really quick.  Was getting those annoying little balls, adjusted the dimmer, now i'm getting the flow I used to get back when I first got it!!!  I'm soooo happy I found this site with all the groups years of experience and useful knowledge or i'd be seriously lost.  A big KUDOS to all that made this site stay alive for all these years!!!  It's because of all of you lava enthusiasits that lava is still alive and well!!!

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Instead of starting a new thread on dimmers, I figured I'd just add this here.  My 2 vintage lamps that I received from ebay this week are REALLY running HOT!!!  The Enchantress just said, "screw this, I'm just gonna form a big bubble and sit here at the bottom of the globe", (which I thought was weird because usually I get the pee-shooters when my lamps get overheated), and the blue swirl is also forming alot of smaller size bubbles.  I shut the Enchantress off for a little bit and when I restarted her, she was happily oozing herself to oblivion (sp?).  I really got worried there for a minute when I saw the big blob of lava chillin like that.  I thought the lava had seen it's day and was fried.  Anyway, they were on for almost 8 hours.  It was such a rainy, gloomy day here, I turned them on this am.  I usually only run them at nite as I am in and out all day.  So, It's 2 more dimmers for me.  They worked so well for my Wizard and now he's a happy camper, guess i'll order a bunch more.  I really like the fact i can adjust the flow and the speed of the lava somewhat with the dimmer switches.  They should install them on all the lamps imo.

You can hook more than one lamp to a dimmer. Most dimmers will handle at least 300 watts.

Ok critter, didn't know that.  Question, if I dim them all at the same level, do you think that will screw up the different flows or if I lower the dimmer will they pretty much be the same?  You know what I mean right?  Seems the Wizard does well with it turned down just about 1/4.  Not very much.  Aaah, ya know what?  I'm gonna hook the 3 hotties up to the same dimmer right now and try it!!  Wow, you just saved me some money.  This dimmer I bought wasn't cheap so I feel safe hooking 3 up to it.  I just threw the packaging away, but I can go online and see how many watts it can handle.

Just did it.  Oh and I checked the back of the dimmer.  It says 250 watts.  I'm so dumb.  I swear, i never thought about hooking them to an extension cord and then plugging all 3 into the dimmer.  My 80's brain kicked back in again!!!  Now I just have to wait for them to get really cooking to see how far down to dim them....... 

Problem with running more than one lamp on a dimmer is this....one of the biggest benefits to using a dimmer is that you can custom tune your lava lamp to the correct heat maximum for that lamp. Since each lava lamp runs differently even if they are the same type, running multiple lamps on one dimmer totally defeats the benefit. Also, just because the voltage limit isn't being exceeded on the dimmer with multiple lamps does not mean you won't short it out. As a general precaution with power converters, dimmers and similar electric hardware, safety dictates that you maintain at least a 2 to 1 margin of max limit to power input ratio. For the extra few bucks to get another dimmer, is it really worth the risk of a short or a fire?

I will be ordering a few more Tomk.  Just have to wait until the end of the week.  I do like the fact that I can syncronize (sp?) each lamp when I use a different dimmer on each lamp.  However, I did hook up the 3 and the lamps seem to be better as far as they are not overheating, and I am always here to watch while the 3 are on the dimmer.

I once used one of my US Leviton dimmers rated at 300w on a Mathmos lamp(220-240) and within 2 days the dimmer got fried. I was there each time to watch it but it made no difference except that I unplugged it as soon as it cooked to avoid a fire. The closer the power input gets to the dimmer's max, the more strain gets put on it as you slide the switch up and down. I found out the hard way that you don't have to exceed the dimmer's rated max to fry it out. These dimmers were intended for use with house lights & table lamps in a one on one operation. There are multi socket dimmers available to do the job but those have power ratings in the thousands of watts and are priced considerably higher as well. I saw an 8 outlet one on Amazon for over $500.

Dimmers are fine Carol, but be careful, I plugged in GHD and blew the fuse !!!

I saw those Tom and was wondering why they were more expensive.  One of the members, Keith maybe, posted a site that has dimmers for like 4.00 and some odd change.  At that price, I can afford to grab a few and only put them on my lamps that seem to run hot no matter what.  These are the problem children.  You know those lamps where you lower the bulb and not enough heat, then next size watt bulb too much heat, so nothing makes them happy, lol!!  With the dimmer at least you can turn it down little by little.  

I also have circuit breakers.  Once my table lamp shorted out a bulb and it killed the power to my whole living room.  Still though I don't like to leave my lamps on when I'm not home. 

The multi plug dimmers cost lots more because their power max is way higher than the individual dimmers. I use the single dimmer cords which are pretty reasonable to buy--like you said $4 or so. You are right too Carol, about having "problem children" lamps. Those are the ones that really need dimmers! When I have an "in-betweener" lamp like you talked about, I use a dimmer and a 60w bulb in place of the 40w. If it usually gets a 25w, use a 30w or 40w bulb. This way the lamp gets to operating temperature much faster and then you just turn down the dimmer to set things on cruise. You made the most important point too--never leave your home with the lava lamp running!

Carol Morrow said:

I saw those Tom and was wondering why they were more expensive.  One of the members, Keith maybe, posted a site that has dimmers for like 4.00 and some odd change.  At that price, I can afford to grab a few and only put them on my lamps that seem to run hot no matter what.  These are the problem children.  You know those lamps where you lower the bulb and not enough heat, then next size watt bulb too much heat, so nothing makes them happy, lol!!  With the dimmer at least you can turn it down little by little.  

I also have circuit breakers.  Once my table lamp shorted out a bulb and it killed the power to my whole living room.  Still though I don't like to leave my lamps on when I'm not home. 

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