A working lava lamp should add a retro chic look to your home decor. So after paying the money for this object you really want it to be in pristine working order. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to repair the most common faults with a lava lamp. However, they require a requisite level of care due to the delicate nature of the lava lamp, and mechanisms that can break during repair.
Leave the lamp plugged in and switched on for four hours if you find the coil floats to the top or stands on end. This constant running process should clear the problem; however, it is not fail-safe, and if this doesn't work then move onto Step 2.
Put on a pair of oven gloves -- the lamp will be very hot -- and rotate the lamp in its base as gently as possible. Once you have rotated the lamp a full rotation switch the lamp on for another four hours until the coil drops down. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 as often as necessary to remedy the problem with the coil.
Switch the lava lamp off if the lava is not flowing. This could indicate an overheating problem -- particularly if the lava has a rounded dome shape. Leave the power off for two hours before switching it on.
Carefully move the lava lamp away from any devices that could be cooling or heating it, which can affect its operations. The temperature surrounding the lava lamp should be kept between 68 and 74 degrees F, and nothing should be allowed to affect that.
Visually inspect the bulb to see if it is broken. A broken bulb, naturally, will not be able to melt the wax and allow the lava lamp to function. If the bulb is broken, you will have to have it replaced.