I've got a few lamps with these problems (don't we all?) and to date, I don't think anyone has a solution for either one. I've tried poking the bubbles with an unfolded paper clip, but the fix is very temporary.
My theory is that lava with this bubbling problem is either the lava heating too quickly or wax breakdown. I kinda lean towards wax breakdown, as this lamp in particular is very clear when cold, but clouds up a little when running. Also, and it's hard to notice, you can kinda tell good wax from bad. The bad wax can seem to have little flakes or chunks in it, even if the flow is good. As far as I know, there's no way to fix this problem.
Although this lamp doesn't really have the lava "column" problem, I snapped a shot so you could see what I mean by "lava column". I have a really lovely red/white that does this almost 90% of the time it's running. Never breaks up, never does anything really except undulate in this one column.
I've talked to a couple other members who have red/white 52.oz globes and both of them have the same problem. Lamphead seems to think the problem lies with the red liquid.
If anyone's ever found a fix for either of these issues, I'd love it if you're share!
The bad wax can seem to have little flakes or chunks in it, even if the flow is good. As far as I know, there's no way to fix this problem.
Super heating the wax is one way of trying to get rid of chunky wax - it can help
As for the lava column try adding a bit of surf to it (possablie gookit surf) - that should in theary brake down the wax into blobs.
1 or 2 of my Mathmos lamps do the column but after a while they sort them selves out, but it dosent surprise me that some don't.
Arne, it's this: http://theoatmeal.com/comics/apostrophe
Loooooooove The Oatmeal.
Btw, can you show me a pic of the apostrophe poster? Looks interesting:-) thx
When it columns like that you can try turning it off for a few minutes then back on. More heat would break it also. Try a 40w clear or a frost 60w with dimmer.
A 60 watt on a dimmer will break the column. I think the darker water lamps (red & green) absorb the heat so well from the white wax it never gives the wax a chance to heat and cool. The wax is staying at a constant temperature so it will not blob, if you notice in the column the wax is flowing just not breaking apart.
I tried poking my bubbles with a chopstick, was fun for 10mins but they came back eventually... I thought the problem was too much soap/surf in the wax. Hmm.