strange LAVA LAMP malfunction!

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Rachael B, Jul 8, 2002.

  1. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    One of my lava lamps has gone strange. The purple lava isn't flowing properly. It's sticking to the sides. It's flowing up the walls and not fully liquifying. Furthermore, when the lamp is off all the lava isn't settling in the bottom. Little spots of it are sticking near the top, on the sides, little round spots of small substance.
    Is the lava going bad or is the light bulb a bit cool? Neither? Other? Where is Mr. Wizard when you need him?[​IMG]
     
  2. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Sounds like the lamp is too cool. Try another bulb.
     
  3. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

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    I had a lava lamp a few years ago that I really liked, used to keep it on all the time. Then, the bulb burnt out. No big deal, right? Except they apparently stuck the original bulb in with frikkin' cement! So I've had the lamp with the bad bulb in it sitting there unused for about two years now.[​IMG]
     
  4. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Had a similar problem with my black lava (clear liquid) lamp. Changing the bulb solved the problem. Andrew, I was standing in line at Home Depot yesterday and saw some stuff advertised as "light bulb lube." I wondered if anyone would actually buy such a thing and it sounds like you'd be a good test case. [​IMG]
     
  5. Keith Mickunas

    Keith Mickunas Cinematographer

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    Light bulb lube could be similar to liquid wrench. That stuff can work pretty well.

    If another bulb doesn't work, try heating the lamp up some other way. Put it outside in the sun on a real hot day, submerge in really hot (but not to hot) water, or throw it in the clothes dryer. Please don't blame me if you try that last one. Anyways, I think the lava is just wax, so if you can heat the whole thing up, you'll get it to melt off the sides. Is the surface of the glass portion as hot as your others?

    I don't know if the bottle cap on top is air tight or not. So if you expose it to more heat than normal, keep an eye on it and make sure the liquid isn't expanding too much.

    Also, see if the company has a website. I think one main company has been making these for ages. I saw on a show once where they went and visited the factory and saw how they're made. I wouldn't be surprised if they have some support service.
     
  6. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    I'll try another bulb. It's a big lava lamp and runs on 75 watt small recessed flood bulbs. I have it running on a timer so it comes on eight hours a day. So, I don't think the lava is too cooked. I hope not. I've had a bunch of lava lamps and I've never seen one do this. Thanks![​IMG]
     
  7. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    Keith, when I turned off the lamp a bit ago, it sure felt warm enough. I don't think th bulb is the problem. I'm gonna try putting the glass in a hot bath tub and see if I can get the lava back in gear. That sounds worth trying. I've got nothing to lose. Best wishes! [​IMG]
     
  8. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    I had a lamp cook the lava once, what happened is it kind of separated, like you had shaken it while it was hot. the lava actually had dark spots on it and didn't flow properly, but parts of it just kind of floated around. Doesn't sound like the same thing that's happening to you.
     
  9. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    The end of the world is near!!!!!
    [​IMG]
    Jay
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Hmmm. Lot of people here have lava lamps. Interesting, man. [​IMG]
     
  11. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Addressing the stuck bulb issue:
    This one is easy, first UNPLUG THE UNIT.
    Next, place the lamp in a box or some other container that will catch the glass you are about to break.
    Break the lightbulb, then use needle nose plyers to loosen the base of the bulb or in a worst case, bend and twist it out of the socket.
    Been there, done that.
    Not unplugging the unit will turn your hair into one of those freaky spark devices. A cool effect, but not recommended. [​IMG]
     

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