Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello all, I am a small UK seller of vintage lamps and I often sell Mathmos lavas to clients all over the world.  I have just had an unhappy client who has said that her Telstar which I sold to her is not working.  I understand that your voltage is lower, but is there anything that I can do to help her.  What should she do to get the wax moving - it was working perfectly over here.

She is also upset that the legs on the Telstar are unstable, ie they are not a snug fit on the lamp base and now she is threatening to get Etsy involved as if I am an untrustworthy seller which has really upset me.  The funny thing is that the red Telstar that she bought was so lovely that I was really tempted to keep it myself.  If anyone has any words of wisdom, I would be very grateful.

Many thanks, Lynda

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The telstar won't work unless they got a power transformer. The legs always been like this isn't a fault with the early 90s models I would request they return the whole lamp you can then see if there a fault. This is why I dint sell outside UK its not worth the hassle and risks sadly

Hi Jonny, thanks for the advice, really helpful.  I have just looked on Amazon and there are step down transformers 240 to 110 do you think this is the kind of thing that I should be buying for her?  If I buy one on Amazon US and get it shipped to her is it likely to work?  There is definitely no fault with the lamp, it was working perfectly, so I would really like to try to get this resolved, however I take on board your advice about not selling lavas to the US.  It would be fantastic to hear your opinion before I go ahead and buy the transformer.  Thanks so much, Lynda 

Hi a Step down transformation will work you need uk 240v to usa 110v otherwise I think you find it just tricky to get bulb that run the wax perfectly amazon be best place hope that helps

Lynda, if the person is trying to use the Telstar in the US, she has two choices to make it work properly:  

1. They can buy a power transformer/converter that steps up the 120 volt power in American homes UP to 220-240 volts. This will make sure the original Mathmos bulb is receiving enough voltage to work at full power.  Do not buy a step down converter.  Buy a step up converter.

2. they can purchase a new bulb that is compatible with the Telstar and also runs on 120 volts. Compatible bulbs can be found on Amazon. They just need to make sure the bulb wattage and base are correct. If the appropriate wattage cannot be found, buy one that is slightly higher watt and use a dimmer. Using a US compatible bulb means that a step up converter is not needed. In my opinion, this is the best option and this is how I run all my Mathmos lamps here US. 
I’m not sure why some buyers of Mathmos don’t bother to do their research first on how to make sure these work in the US. This is not your fault. It is the buyers responsibility to understand the product they are buying.  There is a wealth of information on this site and Reddit. The person can find the information if they look.

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