Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Newbie here; likely a boring problem with my lamp but help assisted ;)

Hey all!

Longtime follower and recent member. 

I have a bit of a problem with my lamp which I have not encountered before.

The lamp is a used and a recent purchase. It has a 40 watt clear bulb. The lava flows great for the first 90 mins or so and then accumulates up top as a fairly cohesive blob.

I likely made matters worse but I added some drops of palmolive (clear dish washing liquid). Then it all sunk to the bottom with 20 mins. So I added a touch of canning salt (diluted first in liquid) and it broke up and floated back to the top (also in about 20 mins).

Now the lava sits near the top and won't flow even after 3 to 4 hrs.

Any suggestions please? I'm familiar with the boiling method where you put it on a stove top to "cook" in the water for 15 mins.  I'd like to avoid that if possible.

Thanks!

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welcome to og!

it sounds like you're willing to experiment, so here is my suggestion.

if the wax sinks when you added dish liquid, but floats when you added canning salt, perhaps add another drop of dish liquid to see if that helps? typically dish soap is used as a surfactant, so it's puzzling that it altered the specific gravity of the fluid. alas, experiment away and try to dial it in.

I would be careful with adding soap. My experiences with soap are mixed. Too much and your lava becomes bubbly and foamy.

Maybe your water density is now too high, lava won't sink anymore, cause it has a lower weight. So why not first try to bring in some distilled water, then the specific gravity of the liquid decreases, and maybe the wax sinks again?

Your starting problem could be solved with a dimmer. My LavaLite Lamps mostly have 40W Halogen bulbs, which I dimm to 50-60% when the wax is melted and starts to flow. After 2 hours I dimm up to 75-90% --> flow stays calm and nice.

Without a dimmer, 6 from 8 LavaLites I owe end up in one column after ~60-90 minutes.

Oh wow, thanks guys. I'll try both options and update...plus a dimmer...interesting....how do you place the dimmer in conjunction with the wall plug? thanks

it was just to hot

all it needed was a dimmer

i agree with your statement about soap potentially making the wax bubbly. distilled water can work, but only if there is enough room in the globe for the amount of water needed to modify the specific gravity. i agree with trying the dimmer first - excellent suggestion.

Peter Panussi said:

I would be careful with adding soap. My experiences with soap are mixed. Too much and your lava becomes bubbly and foamy.

Maybe your water density is now too high, lava won't sink anymore, cause it has a lower weight. So why not first try to bring in some distilled water, then the specific gravity of the liquid decreases, and maybe the wax sinks again?

Your starting problem could be solved with a dimmer. My LavaLite Lamps mostly have 40W Halogen bulbs, which I dimm to 50-60% when the wax is melted and starts to flow. After 2 hours I dimm up to 75-90% --> flow stays calm and nice.

Without a dimmer, 6 from 8 LavaLites I owe end up in one column after ~60-90 minutes.

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