Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

So I got my 52oz purple/yellow lamp yesterday. Heated it up and it was a bit lethargic. I'd get one big blob that would seperate, travel about halfway up the lamp and then fall back down, but not much else.
I picked the globe up out of the base, and I noticed there was about an inch or so of exposed coil. I've read about putting the globe on a solid surface and twisting it, but I'm not exactly sure what's involved. I know it SOUNDS simple, but I don't want to just guess and mess up.
So, I fully heat the lamp, set it on the top of a table or something sturdy, the I just rotate it around while keeping the lamp as stationary as possible? How fast do I do it? Do I make full rotations, or just slight twisting? Do I make slow controlled twists? Or fast sharp twisting?

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When I have had to do this, I set the globe (wax fully melted) on a smooth, flat, sturdy surface and twist in one direction in a continuous motion (full rotation). You will see that the wax pulls down and to the sides (centrifical force). Start spinning slow and build up speed. Use enough speed to cause the wax to come into full contact with the coil. Don't spin so fast that the wax climbs up the side of the globe very far. If tiny wax blobs start coming off, stop spinning. It is indeed as simple as it sounds.
Just tried that, and it looks like it's had some effect! I see a few small bubbles in the lava now, but they're not large, and I'm not too worried about them. They look like the sort that just sort of work their way out.
It's back on the base now, wish me luck!
Thanks a TON for the tip. That really IS as simple as it sounds. I guess I overthink things sometimes :)
Okay, it seperated a little bit again. But it's still coating more of the coil than it was before! I guess I'll have to do it a few times to get it completely there :)
Oh, and I forgot to ask! Do I do the twist once the lava heats up completely? Or do i do it while it's still getting warm? And about how long should I spin it each time?
You should do it when its fully heated. Twist the lamp back and forth - similiar to the motion of screwing a screw but faster.

If it keeps happening, you have a bad coil. You can call lava world/lite/lamp/haggerty - and request a new globe, return the one you have or replace the coil and see if that works.
Lava Louie sells coils for lava lamps.
Okay, so I got the shipment in from UPS today on the original purple/yellow 52oz I ordered. I figured that since I wasn't having much luck (After repeated attempts, the wax just isn't sticking to the coil. Going to keep trying though.) with the spin method, and since I still really wanted a purple/yellow, I went ahead and opened the one I got from UPS rather than mailing it back. Turns out I'm having the exact same problem with the other purple/yellow!
I can probably return it though, and see if the next purple/yellow has a better globe (Because darn it, I'm really set on that color combo!).
I can only take back one of them, because I foolishly threw out the tube it came in. Come to think of it, I don't know if I have the reciept either. Anybody happen to know Spencers return policy on lamps?
On the plus side, looks like I have a globe to toy with and try to fix :)
Oh, forgot to mention, that's my second purple/yellow 52oz globe. I got fed up with delayed shipping from Amazon, so I bought one $10 cheaper at Spencers with the intention of returning the Amazon one when it came.
When I signed up, I didn't really believe the horror stories of the new quality of the lamps, but it seems like it really is hit or miss these days.
My clear/red is going nicely, and my purple/pink is flowing like a champ. But 3 defective lamps out of 5 isn't too good of a start for me (Also have a blue/clear 20oz that has a bubble problem that doesn't show signs of working out. Trying a frosted bulb tomorrow, but it doesn't seem to be overheated otherwise.) :-/

How are the vintage ones on EBay? Pretty reliable? Do they usually show up cloudy from shipping? I'm sort of wary of buying a product I can't return with the high possibility of having to tinker with it a lot before it actually works as it's intended :-/
China lamps have inherent issues with them. Most seem to have crap coils. Once the coil is replaced, the lamp flows really nice. Take a look at my photos, specifically my clear/white (it's a bleached blue/white). I replaced the coil on it and it flows better than any lamp I have now.

If you can only return one, return it and get another. If that one works out, use the packaging to return the bad one to spencers. Only thing is, you won't have packaging for your current working lamp. Most people don't care so you might be in that boat too :)

The other issue with China lamps are the cloudiness. If you get one that is clear your half way there. If you get one cloudy, it has to be filtered. It's a 50/50 chances these days.

You can ask around and see if someone can fix the lamp for you prior to purchase, that way you know you get a good, working lamp like it should be.
How difficult is it to swap out the coil? I'm really stuck on the purple/yellow, so I'm going to exchange it for another and think positive thoughts. If that one fails too, I'm going to resort to some tinkering.
Seems like I'd be able to take the cap off with a regular bottle opener, provided I'm careful about not tearing it. As for the recapping, do I need a special crimping tool? Or can I just head to my toolbox in the garage and go McGuyver on it with some Vice Grips (Gently!)? Also, I've heard about IBC rootbeer caps working. Do they just screw straight onto the bottle? I thought twist tops had to be threaded properly for that? Or are you just crimping them on as if they were a regular cap?

Looks like this lava newbie is getting ready to jump into the deep end XD

Also: I got a pretty quick and nice response from the company about the blue/white I'm having issues with. Seems they're going to replace the globe for me. Though with my luck, I'll end up having to tinker with the new one as well. I also told them about the issues the new lamps have been having. I know they've heard it before, but maybe if they hear it enough they'll do something about it. Power in numbers, right guys? :)
Swapping the coil is pretty easy. You need to let the lamp heat up fully to the point the wax is trying to flow. You can remove the top before or after the heat. Either way. Once it's heated up, turn it off. You can now remove the spring. You need a long device with a very small hook at the end. A coat hanger with about a 1/8" or 1/4" L shape at the end will work. You don't want a full hook, just a little more bend than an L. This allows you to release the coil easily without it getting stuck on your removal device (for when you put the new coil in). Put your pulling device down in, latch on to the coil and gently pull up. The wax is heavy and should remain in the bottle. Some wax will be stuck to the coil and that's ok. As you pull it out, keep the coil from springing back into a circle otherwise you will have a mess.

Your done. If you have a new spring, reverse the steps. Just make sure you don't squeeze it permanently together when you put it through the opening. Just be gentle and all will be well. First time I used my pulling device to ease the new coil down. Second time I just let gravity do it. Either way works. First way would prevent wax splashing and stuff.

As for re-capping, you will need a bench capper. It runs about $40 bux. It's only worth it if you are going to be doing this a few times. If not, might be better just to get a new globe and hope it works. New caps are like $2.50 for 100. Cap it and your done. ALWAYS CAP COLD! NEVER HOT! Don't cap a lamp that has been running. The IBC screw type you are referring to is due to the rings on the bottle itself which allows it to screw. Lava lamps do not have this ring. They need to be crimped back on.

There are lots of good threads on this. Most are recent as well. Check my photos to see the old spring/new spring photos and the packaging. The springs can be bought at lowes, 2 for like $3.50 I think.
Okay, I've seen some cheaper bottle cappers for about $15 online. There's a homebrew store nearby, so I was wonder if the cheaper style will work okay. If so, I'll pick one up (Or see if they'll let me use one for a few minutes :-D. Though transporting lamps is scary, ESPECIALLY without a cap...).
Update: I've decided to keep one of the crippled purple/yellows. I'm determined to fix it now. You guys have got me hooked.
I took back the other one, and got a clear/green in return (Apparently this one is available only at spencers. It's heating up pretty well so far. I'm a bit concerned, because there are a couple coils of the spring that don't seem to be coated, but it's starting to flow, so I'm not sure if I should be too worried.

So now I'm up to 3 52oz lamps and 2 20's. All lined up in the corner on my table. It's going to look pretty impressive once they all start flowing, I think. Though in about a week I realized I've spent nearly $100 on lava lamps... You guys are killing me :). Thank goodness for tax returns.

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