Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello everyone!  I would like to ask a question about one of my lava lamps if I could?  I have a novelty lava lamp, it is called Arrrk...Cold Beer.  Here is my problem.  The wax in the clear tubular bottle won't melt.  At some point when I turned it off, the wax got hard in a long vertical position (kinda like a skinny volcano) and has stayed that way.  I turned it on last night and let it run for almost 5 hours and the wax never moved. The liquid is clear, no cloudiness.  The bulb is a Lava brand, 25watt.  Any advise or suggestions what could be going on with it?  I tried to post a picture, hope it worked. Thanks! 

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Friend Tim,

I would try a 35 watt bulb. I have one of those lamps and that is what I have in mine which runs like a champ. Also, I have found that these longer and straighter globes don't do so well if they are under a draft. If you don't know, lava lamps can be kind of sensitive to small temp changes outside of the globes and a cycling air conditioner can make you frustrated waiting for the thing to get moving.

Hope that helps a bit.

Good, clear flow to you,


Hi Jeff, Thanks for the suggestion about the 35 watt bulb.  I have a difficult time finding these small bulbs where I live, where did you find the 35watt? 

Home Depot and Lowes suck in the lightbulb department?

Ace is the place where you can go to get all of the weird shaped and hard to find light bulbs to light up the weird little things in our life that make us happy.

We have several localized hardware stores that carry bulbs which are a bit tough to locate, Ace Hardware has a good selection and I can usually find plenty there. Also, you can go to an electrical supply store and, depending on what they specialize in, there are some that can get them for you. Industrial/construction stores that specialize in lighting, electrical supply, and, oddly enough, computers are where I have noticed the ability to get what you need.

No intention to talk down to you if you already know, but lighting stores generally sell little more than lights and have a shitload of ceiling fans on display which can be seen through the windows of their storefront as you drive by if they have one. Electrical suppliers are generally a bit more off the beaten path and may not have a store front but they can be found on the internet easy enough. They most likely will not carry what you need, but they speak the language properly and know how to get the proper stuff for you. The computer store I found is waaaayyyyyy on the other side of the tracks and is hidden down an alley in spite of being a very busy and happening joint each time I was there. I found the place looking for a computer-type cooling fan to fix a large mill at my job and noticed that they carried a ton of small bulbs for things like control panels and such in addition to the hardware that is used for large-scale computer hardware. I asked if they can find bulbs and they were able to find anything I needed as well.

Lastly, you can try something like Grainger. There are several others like Grainger and I would bet you can find their catalogs online. These companies sell so many things that you never know what you may find there. You will pay a premium at Grainger, but you are only talking a few bulbs and not a few thousand so it should not be too much of a raping on your wallet.

That should help you find your way,


You are right, Lowes and Home Depot suck.  Tried several lighting stores with no luck, but I have not looked at Ace Hardware. Thanks, will try there this afternoon.  Btw, there is a warning on the back of mine that says not to exceed a 25W R-39.  If I put in the 35W, it isn't going to damage the unit, is it? 


Probably the worst that will happen is that you burn the wax up in which case you try to prevent it with a dimmer or change it out and make it pretty again.

Go on, chicken. Take a walk on the edge and burn them extra ten watts.

As I am being Mr. Smarty Pants I realize there is a bit of room for concern. Not all bulbs focus heat the same. A spot type bulb moves heat upwards better than a non-spot type - especially in this particular lamp as there is not a good design in there for focusing heat, if that makes sense.

Still, my bulb is a 35w spot type so give it a try if you can find one.

Good, clear flow to you,


Chicken? I prefer mine fried, and extra crispy, if you are taking orders? I did notice the slight attitude, but giving you the doubt that you are being witty and not trying to belittle.  The reason for my concern at ruining the wax is the resin parrot on top of this unit does not appear to come off without a great deal of effort, if at all. I am assuming this is were the cap is located. I found this at a Pawn shop, with no box, so who knows what modifications it may have had. I tried all of my local Ace hardware locations as well as the local bulbs store. No luck on the 35W.  Looks like internet ordering for me. 

You are right - I guess I never tried to pull the top. You are in the same predicament I would be as mine is on there pretty darn tight as well. I have had others like that and they can be parted with careful torque control, grip, patience, and maybe heat from running it. But damn if it isn't scary to twist on it too hard.


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