Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I got my first goo kit on Friday and took a crack at fixing my non-functioning China lamp this morning. It hasn't been a complete failure, but not a total success yet either. I gave it one 8 hour run so far. It domed at the bottom for about 3 hours, then started to make its way up toward the top. After hour 4 we left the house, and when we came home it was snaking really slowly but not quite hitting the top of the bottle. As far as I can tell there were never any blobs.The goo had also gone from almost fully transparent to fully opaque. (I put a little blue dye in it before pouring it into the bottle.)

As far as I know, the bottle was cleaned out properly. I boiled it to get the wax melted and poured completely out. I swished the boiled water around in the bottle to get the rest of the residue out. I scrubbed it with a bottle brush, hot water, and a little dish soap. I then rinsed it out with distilled water, put in the screen and wax, and got it heating up. It's a 32 oz lamp, and I used 10 oz. of surfactant as recommended in the goo kit instructions.

I'm not sure where I could have gone wrong. Do I just need to run it a few more times or is there something else I should be trying?

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You can try adding a bit more surf.  I try 1 ml at a time.  In my experience in kitting, I find that heat plays more of a factor in these lamps then surf.  You can give it a few more runs to let the wax "break in".  It could be that you put a bit too much wax in, but I doubt it.  It sounds like it's not getting hot enough.  If you are using a 40 frosted, it may not be hot enough.  For some odd reason, (and I called MT on this issue), the MT wax needs a ton more heat to get it to flow properly.  Kim at MT blames the problem on the Lava Lite's base construction.  He said that the aluminum causes excessive heat to escape and therefore they're goo needs more heat.  Also, he didn't tell me this personally, but I heard from another member that there are 2 different goo formulas.  One for the bigger lamps and one for the smaller.  One is lighter and doesn't need as much heat.  For some reason I don't really believe this, but it is what it is.  Anyway, if you really wanted to, you could try putting a 60 watt in, I use the A15 Sylvania garage door opener bulb as I have a hard time finding an appliance bulb in the 60 watt.  This may be a bit excessive for the 32 ounce as I use a 60 in my 52 ouncers but you will have to use a dimmer with this.  I use a 60 watt with the dimmer 3/4's of the way up, so I would assume that you would go 1/2 way up or maybe a bit below.  Don't let it run too hot though or the goo will get too soft and start to stick to the inside of the globe.  I found this out the hard way.  I do have one 52 that I can get going on a 40 watter, but it takes literally forever to get flowing.  When it does, it's really not too active until it get's hot after about 6 hours or so of run time, so I don't bother with the 40 watt bulbs anymore.  Unfortunately until MT figures out why they're goo needs so much heat, we are stuck buying dimmers and using higher wattage bulbs.  I hear from some of the older members that used the goo years back that they have no problem with flow on a 40 watter.  Are we to suspect that they changed something over the years?  hummm........

I have the stock 25w in there now, but I have a 40w that I could probably try tomorrow. Ugh--I felt like I was getting so close!

Oh hell no Chris!!!!  I'm surprised it even rose that far up with a 25watt!!!  You'll be fine then with a 40 Watter.  I thought you already had a 40 in there.  Why did they put a 25 watter in a 32 ounce.  All my 32's came with a 40 in them except for my Clearview.  Is your 32 a Clearview?

i agree that you should try the 40w bulb.  25 doesn't sound like it's doing the job!  

No it's a Lava Lite for sure--the one I got a few weeks ago.

The Clearview's are Lava Lite lamps Chris.  They are just a different type and style.  Because they are designed differently, they take a different type bulb.  They use a 25 watt halogen spot bulb.  At least I think it's a halogen.  I had to order a special bulb for my Clearview in a 30 watt online because the stock bulb wasn't giving me the desired flow and it took forever to flow. 

This is a Clearview:

Oh whoops--sorry. Didn't know that! No it has the standard metal base. (Very crappy compared to my 90s model base)

Pics Chris?

Hey Carol--

Funny you should mention pics. So I popped a 40w bulb in this morning about an hour and a half ago. We're flowing like MAD now. The heat did the trick. I do think that I might have poured in a bit too much wax, but some day I'll re-do this lamp and I'll know better. As long as it's working, I don't care about a little extra wax. It's flowing at a beautiful shade of baby blue that looks great against the metallic base.

I can't seem to get a good picture that's not completely washed out from all the light. I'll try to post one later if I can figure out some camera tricks.

Sometimes if you take one during natural daylight and shut off the lamp, but you have to be quick to catch it when it's still flowing it helps with the washout!!!!

Glad you achieved flow!!!!  I think it's very rewarding after doing a kit to sit back and watch your creation do it's artwork!!!!!

Ah yes--that seemed to work. Pic below. Right before I took this I started seeing signs of overheating. I think I'm going to run up to Home Depot and get a dimmer today and I should be all set. 

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