Glad to be here. I never realized so many people were so passionate about lava lamps but I find it really cool that people make their own and refurbish them.
Anyway, I recently was given my first lava lamp. My roommates boyfriend dropped it while he was packing and broke the top. It is a screw top with no bottle cap so he asked if we wanted it since he didn't want to pack it, I of course jumped on it. I tried to find a replacement online but could not find one so I decided to just glue it back together and then wrap some duct tape around it since it was missing tiny pieces in the plastic and could leak. After that I put the cap back on loosely and let the glue dry overnight. In the morning I snugged it down tight and then in the evening turned it on to see if I was successful.
The first night it was on about five hours and only formed stalactites and nothing else. I was worried it was broken. The next night I turned it on again and this time it warmed completely up and began to form columns and bubbles. So far it's working quite nicely.
From looking online I can see it might be a Century but I'm not sure. There are no dates on it. I was wondering if anyone here had anymore information about this lamp or what it might be or how old it is. He told me he had it for fourteen years and was given to him by an ex who had it for sometime before she gave it to him. It's in really good shape other than some chips on the glass and of course the broken cap. Also any suggestions about the cap would be appreciated but so far no leaks and I guess it's holding pressure alright since it flows so nicely.
Thank you in advance!
Welcome Lori! We are a great bunch that love these things!
It looks like you do in fact have a Midnight Century lamp, very cool! Those caps can become brittle with age and it is unfortunate that they crack. You may be able to fix yours though if it is simply cracked.
I would remove the cap and tape and fill the crack with an epoxy solution. This will create a very strong rubberized bond that should prevent the cap from splitting further and will give a cleaner look. Once you get the seam of the crack filled with epoxy I would wrap a rubber band around it holding it together tightly. Set it aside for a night to ensure a full cure on the adhesive, try not to get any in the threads of the cap or it may hamper the screw down. Once it is all cured you should be able to cap it back up, not too tight, and be back in action.
They say you can cap at any temperature but with a cracked cap I would probably bring the lamp up to temperature and cap it back up after it has run for 4ish hours. This will ensure that the liquids have expanded completely and will not put any outward pressure stress on your fixed cap. When capped hot the liquid level will be at full expansion and should only provide a vacuum on the cap when cooled down.
Hello VOXul, thanks for the welcome.
Glad to know what I have. Any idea on the year?
The cap was pretty much broken in half. I'm not sure of the exact make up of the glue I used but it's sort of like super glue but doesn't get old and fall apart like super glue does, it may be a form of epoxy but it doesn't say. I didn't know how hot lava lamps get so that was the other reason for the fancy Halloween duct tape. Mine doesn't appear to get very hot. It's full height is almost 17" from bottom to top of the cap. I thought it might be a grande but not sure.
Hmm the year I am unsure of. They usually ink stamped the felt on the bottom of the base or put a sticker on the inside lip of the cap that had the date info, I would put it in the 90's era. I have heat gunned my 52oz lamps (same size as your Century) at around 125-130f at the bottom of the globe, base seam tends to hit around 160f. That lamp runs on an a15 40w appliance bulb, make sure you are running that bulb and not a lower wattage/higher wattage as you will experience flow issues.
A grande lamp is about 2ft tall and holds 10 gallons, they are quite massive in comparison though the 52oz globes like your Century are the next size down.
It doesn't have a felt bottom. It's plastic with three feet at the bottom and a screw to take the bottom off to change the bulb in the base I'm guessing. It doesn't look like there was every any felt glued to it as it's clean. No stamp or stamp marks either. may have had a sticker at one time.
HAHAHA durrrr, I should have known that, sorry, haha. They sometimes heat stamped it on the plastic, you may want to unscrew the plastic base off, it could be on the underside. There should be about 3 screws going through the plastic, these will let you remove the plastic portion.
You change the bulb under the globe, you won't get access to the bulb from the bottom as it should be a sealed metal inner wall.
Ah ok. I thought maybe it had an extra one in the base to light it but I suppose that would make it too hot. Next time the lamp is cool I'll unscrew it and see.
I really appreciate all the help VOXul, thank you so much.
You are very welcome! Let us know your findings if anything shows up there!
AAAhhh the lava bug has bit again!!!!! Congrats Lori on your lamp!! You will get much enjoyment out of it!! I absolutely adore all of my lamps.......even my problem children, haahaaa....hey, they need homes too!!!
Thank you Carol!
I love my lamp. I always wanted one as a kid but just never got one as an adult. I'm glad my first one was a nice one. It's really fun to watch. Makes my wish my days of, ahem, youthful indiscretion weren't over.
Haaahaaa, yeah, they have a way of doin that!!!!! A blast from the past!!!
Lori that is a nice looking lamp! You may want to check out this topic
for another solution. Basically it's about a small bottle with a gasketed screw cap that will work on 52 oz lamps like the Century. You could then use a metal cover from a newer lava lamp over that. Or you could come up with some other decorative cover. At least you would have a cap that you know seals the globe.
Also, check this out;
It should be between 1995 to 1997. Get that cap fixed/replaced because the fluid will slowly evaporate. Nice first lamp and welcome to the lava bug club !!