Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Recently bought my lava lamp used, lit it up and waited for several hours for the "real motion" to kick in. Never happened, though..

The lava flow seems ridiculous - it's near still. Either the lava stays on top or in the bottom; and that with a lack of as well eruption as motion.

I'll post a link to a video, so you can see for yourselves:

Lava lamp link - see for yourselves

If you have any ideas, clues whatsoever, please do not hesitate to comment/contact me - it's a problem I would most like solved!


Kind regards,

Lava lamp-newbie

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This looks like a heat issue to me. If the lamp doesn't get hot enough, the big gobs never break apart into smaller ones. This can be due to a couple different things. The easiest thing to check is the lightbulb. Make sure it is at least a 40watt bulb (clear, not frosted). I know some users here have had some luck with using a 40watt reflector bulb for a little extra heat. If you don't have a 40watt reflector available, you might try another 40watt bulb. I recently bought two lamps that weren't hot enough with the included 40watt bulb, but replacing them with identical bulbs from two older lamps did the trick. For some reason the other bulbs produced more heat, even though they were identical (even down to the brand).

The second thing to check is the coil in the bottom of the glass globe of the lamp. The coil is the circular spring that lays in the bottom of the globe and helps transfer heat to the lava (wax) in the globe. If the coil is rusty or broken, it needs replaced. This is done by running the lamp until the wax is completely melted, then fishing the coil out with a long object without breaking up the wax or turning the globe upside-down. There is a conversation on here somewhere (the location escapes my memory at the moment) about what springs are appropriate to use as a replacement coil. BE ADVISED THAT OPENING THE GLOBE WILL VOID YOUR WARRANTY if there is any warranty left on the lamp.

I hope this helps. It also appears from the video you posted that the lamp's water is cloudy. There are a few different things that could cause this, and as such is an entirely different discussion. I wish you luck with your new lava lamp and if there is anything else, don't hesitate to ask.

Best Wishes,

Thanks for the quick replies!

As to the water looking cloudy: The water may seem somewhat cloudy in the video, seeing as it is a video - in real life, however, it's more transparent.

I'll try and fix the heat issue with a new light bulb; the one I'm using is mere but a 30 W - the one it came with.

But will heat also fix the eruption of the bubbles? - meaning how they "blob" into one another and become "one" (the surface tension, I reckon).
The coil seems to be neither rusty nor broken.

The main problems at this very instant are the motion of the bubbles (it seems a bit slow to me) and the "blobbing together"-part (being the part where they become one).

Is there any "ingredient" I could add to the water, so that the surface tension increases/decreases (don't know which term to use), so they won't have that big a difficulty in absorbing each other?

Also, is there an ingredient that could increase the speed/action/motion of the lava?

And yes, Bohdan, you are indeed right - it is China made lamp with the exact properties as you described - it seems weird, though, that this being a lava lamp, it is the purpose of it to be slow and non-erupting, as opposed to other lava lamps.

Thanks in regards,




I would suggest trying the lightbulb first. Messing with the ingredients in the globe can have irreversible consequences if it doesn't work. The fluid and wax are very specifically-engineered substances. If, after trying the other options, you find that you still aren't happy with the flow, then you might consider tinkering with the solution with the knowledge that you could cloud up the water or cause the lava to stop flowing entirely. That being said, there is a kit available for re-filling globes that have stopped working with new wax and new fluid, in the colors of your choice.


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