Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hello Gooers,

So, my favourite lamp has gone all chunky on me. Little annoying pieces of wax are all disorderly and distracting from the larger sexy blobs. 

I've read the section in the lava library on how I might fix this problem, but before I haul off and put my lamp on the stove, I thought I would ask if anyone has tried this super heating method on the stove in a pan of water. Anyone have any stories to share of either successes or failures?


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How old is it?
I've had some success with that method. But make sure u pop the cap, other wise it could explode

I've tried the super heating process twice now and with no improvement.  The chunkiness in my Century isn't prominent, just little white chunks inside the beautiful red wax.  No amount of cycling or super heating seems to resolve this issue completely. 

I collect Century lamps and in a third of the cases with mine the lava & liquid are no good and a complete gookit job is necessary to revive the lamp. A sure sign of bad lava is when it goes "chunky". I would assume that over time the lava quality, as well as the liquid, breaks down. Some Century lamps are pushing 45 years in age, so this makes sense.

This is 1993 lamp. I might give it a try tonight and see if works. I hope that the lava hasn't gone bad. I have another new lamp with the same problem, but it's one of the ones manufacted in China. That's disappointing.

When dealing with China lamps, it's just a crap shoot. They use less dependable hence cheaper materials in their lamp systems. Sometimes they work fine, other times they're a disaster. If your lava has any spunk left in it, more surfactant could possibly smooth the chunks out. Surfactant tends to loosen up lava which may be the answer to your troubles. If you have any Dawn dish wash liquid(blue stuff), a couple drops of that might work better because it's a more concentrated surfactant. Your Century lamp isn't that old so you may be able to fix it without replacing your lava. I wish you luck!

How long have you had the lamp and how long have you run it for over that time - lamps do go bad over time and a lot of use so if it has had a lot of use then it may be dyeing on you

The super heating method has had mixed results - some times it works others not so much as there may be more going on with the lamp and not just the wax. 

I got a century this weekend, the guy told me it probably didn't work, the goo was UGLY, it looked like it had psoriasis and when I ran it it split into two blobs, high density and low density. I boiled it and it INSTANTLY looked better, after a bit of running, it still has that century gritty look but it runs like my other century.

Hopper, I'm a bit new to all this but "its just physics" and I'm diving in.

The original fluid was a proprietary blend, designed to work with the original wax, which was another proprietary blend. And what no one seems to mention is that the original wax was a BLEND and some of that may have evaporated (boiled) out of the lamps. What we call "wax" the Brits call "paraffin wax" and what we call kerosene, they call "paraffin". In other words, kerosense is just another petroleum fraction that can be in wax. Along with the carbon tet that was in the original lamps, and if ANY fluid has boiled out of your lamp, you can bet the carbon tet boiled out before the water did.

So, even "original" goo is no longer what it was and I wouldn't be surprised if that makes it "thicker" and sometimes chunky. I found that after simple fluid change, the wax can take 3-5 days of cycling to recover and smooth out again. Oi'd suggest just patiently running the lamp for a week to homogenize the wax, then consider your options.

New goo kit...new fluid...more solvent in the wax...many choices and from what I've seen, there's no one "right" answer that matches the original stuff, which would be banned as toxic or have to ship as "hazmat" these days.

I'm going to keep experimenting, and start a thread about the wax, and solvents.

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