Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

I wish that my first post after joining this site wasn't in the Problems section but sometimes thats the way things are.

I recently purchased what I believe is a Century lava lamp on ebay. The lamp was described as being fully functional with clear blue liquid and white wax.

I received the lamp yesterday and eagerly opened up the package. The liquid appeared to be clear but the wax was more of a pale yellow in colour. I set up the lamp and gave it an hour to settle before turning it on. It took about 1.5 hours before starting to flow.

I was disheartened to notice that once the flow began that the liquid became slightly cloudy and the wax had a very grainy, gritty texture. Almost as if there were small, unmelted flakes of wax. In addition there were lots of bubbles in the wax, some small some large. I let the lamp run for six hours hoping that it would help. After about 3 hours of running time, the wax texture began to smooth out but the bubbles increased in number and in size. When I finally turned of the lamp I had some blobs that basically consisted only of large bubbles. All these bubbles are liquid and not air.

Today I tried cycling the lamp, 4 hours on 2 hours off and repeat. Like yesterday the wax flows fine but starts off with this gritty texture that eventually smooths out and numerous bubbles forming in the wax which progressively get larger. Now that I've turned off the lamp for today and the wax is cooled, I can see that the solid wax is filled with tiny (1 - 4mm) bubbles. It reminds me of that chocolate that you can buy that is full of tiny air pockets.

On a positive note, the liquid seems to have cleared up and no longer appears as cloudy while running.

My questions are if anyone has some suggestions as what else I can do? Am I cycling the lamp correctly? Is this a lost cause? I would really appreciate any help you all can offer. I've attached a picture I took yesterday. I can take more detailed ones if needed.



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Mine is clear when cold and the cold wax is bubbly at the bottom. As the lamp heats up, there's a lot of bubbles in the wax as it stalagmites and then eventually ends up doing great as far as movement. However, it begins to break up into tiny little globular (bb size and smaller) as well as the big glubules/columns has bubbles all through it.

It's a 1971 Starlight that my mother bought me from the antique store. She said it was super clear like all of my other ones (was displayed running hot), but the _ _ _ hole at the store shook it up before he packed it up.

I don't want to "filter/drain/etc" it, but what sequence of on/off etc should I do to fix it? !


I believe I read somewhere 10 hours on and at least 5 hours "rest" time in between cycles. Hope your lamp sorts itself out.  Would be careful pulling lamp off base and setting on cooler surface, don't want to pop it due to temperature differences between the two surfaces, just be careful!

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