Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi all,

I have a 90s USA lamp with some strange flow. I have uploaded photos below;

The majority of the melted wax tends to stay in a dome at the bottom, while releasing little "bubbles". It stays at the bottom the entire time, even though there is still some minimal flow. I tilt it side to side, and the wax at the bottom moves around- it's almost like the wax stays with the coil.

The issue may not be the heat output.. I leave it on for 4 hours and it flows this way. I left it on overnight, and it flows this way.

The issue may also not be the wax, because I have seen it flow optimally for a little a couple times before. I have even used a hairdryer to get more of the wax up, which had a small effect.

- I tried with and without a heat ring

- Correct bulb is being used

- Coil is always in correct position

Because of the flow issue, the lamp appears awfully dark in person.. so I have been wondering, how can I correct this flow?

Why is the wax behaving this way? Is there a water density problem? Is there any way to get it up and moving correctly?  Any help would be highly appreciated.

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I don’t know fore sure and i wouldn’t do this unless I had to but , maybe the wax to needs re melted without the water inside, then cool down then add the water back? I had a 90s lamp that flowed bad or not at at and I did that and it works.

if you wana know more let me know I’ll find some of the post from here about how to do it . I also wouldn’t open the lamp until I had no other choice . In lava library they have some good tips also . Let me know how it goes . The color looks cool . Good luck 

What temperature is the globe getting to? It should get to about 120F to flow and can get up to about 140F at full temperature. I can't say for sure, but this could be a density issue. You can add glycerol in 1-5ML amounts at a time and see what it does. If it doesn't react after 5ML I'd leave it be. If you see it start to rise a bit you can keep adding it until it flows. I have yet to come across this specific issue so I can't say for sure though.

Hi!

The globe has been at the correct temperature, roughly 120-25F. I have added the glycerol to the lamp which totally saved the problem- the wax is up and flowing nicely! And wow, did it take a whole lot. The wax must have been very heavy. However, I think that adding the glycerol may be the cause for extremely bubbly wax. Do you know if the glycerol has any correlation to bubbly wax? I am thinking of refilling this lamp using propylene glycol instead for altering density to see if that makes the bubbles go away.

Autumn said:

What temperature is the globe getting to? It should get to about 120F to flow and can get up to about 140F at full temperature. I can't say for sure, but this could be a density issue. You can add glycerol in 1-5ML amounts at a time and see what it does. If it doesn't react after 5ML I'd leave it be. If you see it start to rise a bit you can keep adding it until it flows. I have yet to come across this specific issue so I can't say for sure though.

Yeah I've noticed that glycerol will do that. Propylene glycol won't, but you can really only add about 30% before the liquid starts to cloud. I've been extensively researching the formula and I do not totally understand the impact of each thing added. I wish I knew more about what each ingredient does exactly, but I am focused on the wax portion of the formula right now and what I am working with is good enough.

This is a formula I have been using for my own wax mixes if you want to try a total refill. It is really close to the original density used and would be a good starting point for you. No promises on how close it is to the correct density you need, but it should be close. As this formula heats up it becomes less dense so it should protect from some over heating type flow. There should be no sticking or clouding. I've tested this with the wax from only 1 original formula though so again this isn't a guarantee for success.

If the master fluid is too dense add water. If it is too light add propylene glycol.

Master Fluid Mix
Density by weight % by volume (ml) %
PURE WATER 1 1150 65.65 1150.00 67.25%
SLS 1.01 30.3 1.73 30.00 1.75%
SLES 1.034 31.02 1.77 30.00 1.75%
Propylene glycol 1.036 414.4 23.66 400.00 23.39%
Glycerin 99% 1.261 126.1 7.20 100.00 5.85%
LIQUID Density
1.024
TOTAL 1751.82 1710.00 100.00%



Kyle S said:

Hi!

The globe has been at the correct temperature, roughly 120-25F. I have added the glycerol to the lamp which totally saved the problem- the wax is up and flowing nicely! And wow, did it take a whole lot. The wax must have been very heavy. However, I think that adding the glycerol may be the cause for extremely bubbly wax. Do you know if the glycerol has any correlation to bubbly wax? I am thinking of refilling this lamp using propylene glycol instead for altering density to see if that makes the bubbles go away.

Autumn said:

What temperature is the globe getting to? It should get to about 120F to flow and can get up to about 140F at full temperature. I can't say for sure, but this could be a density issue. You can add glycerol in 1-5ML amounts at a time and see what it does. If it doesn't react after 5ML I'd leave it be. If you see it start to rise a bit you can keep adding it until it flows. I have yet to come across this specific issue so I can't say for sure though.

What ?!? no after pics of the lamp running successfully?  Come on, if there are no pics it did not happen!

MaGoo!

Wow, thank you for that list! That sure helps, considering I have my hands on all of those except for the SLES. Do you think there would be much of a difference without the SLES added? I will continue to search for it online, but I am going to try your formula for refill but leave the SLES part out. Will definitely post some new photos of the current action (bubbly wax) and after the refill process soon.

Autumn said:

Yeah I've noticed that glycerol will do that. Propylene glycol won't, but you can really only add about 30% before the liquid starts to cloud. I've been extensively researching the formula and I do not totally understand the impact of each thing added. I wish I knew more about what each ingredient does exactly, but I am focused on the wax portion of the formula right now and what I am working with is good enough.

This is a formula I have been using for my own wax mixes if you want to try a total refill. It is really close to the original density used and would be a good starting point for you. No promises on how close it is to the correct density you need, but it should be close. As this formula heats up it becomes less dense so it should protect from some over heating type flow. There should be no sticking or clouding. I've tested this with the wax from only 1 original formula though so again this isn't a guarantee for success.

If the master fluid is too dense add water. If it is too light add propylene glycol.

Master Fluid Mix
Density by weight % by volume (ml) %
PURE WATER 1 1150 65.65 1150.00 67.25%
SLS 1.01 30.3 1.73 30.00 1.75%
SLES 1.034 31.02 1.77 30.00 1.75%
Propylene glycol 1.036 414.4 23.66 400.00 23.39%
Glycerin 99% 1.261 126.1 7.20 100.00 5.85%
LIQUID Density
1.024
TOTAL 1751.82 1710.00 100.00%



Kyle S said:

Hi!

The globe has been at the correct temperature, roughly 120-25F. I have added the glycerol to the lamp which totally saved the problem- the wax is up and flowing nicely! And wow, did it take a whole lot. The wax must have been very heavy. However, I think that adding the glycerol may be the cause for extremely bubbly wax. Do you know if the glycerol has any correlation to bubbly wax? I am thinking of refilling this lamp using propylene glycol instead for altering density to see if that makes the bubbles go away.

Autumn said:

What temperature is the globe getting to? It should get to about 120F to flow and can get up to about 140F at full temperature. I can't say for sure, but this could be a density issue. You can add glycerol in 1-5ML amounts at a time and see what it does. If it doesn't react after 5ML I'd leave it be. If you see it start to rise a bit you can keep adding it until it flows. I have yet to come across this specific issue so I can't say for sure though.

SLES is a surfactant. A surfactant is required to to prevent the wax from sticking to the glass.

Okay, I have never seen the sticking wax issue before. Do you know if SLS will also prevent stickage? I am having difficulty finding pure SLES, but I can't keep myself from starting this refill, haha.

Autumn said:

SLES is a surfactant. A surfactant is required to to prevent the wax from sticking to the glass.

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