Problems with Marx water tower bubbling .... Now Working!!!

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Problems with Marx water tower bubbling .... Now Working!!!
Posted by rockn77 on Friday, December 11, 2009 6:35 PM

Bought an old Marx water tower (had one as a kid) and it bubbled perfect for the first six or seven times I used it.  Now it will not bubble unless I tilt the tower down and it appears the oil or whatever is being used to make it bubble goes back down to the bottom.... then I tilt it back up real fast and after one or two tries it begins to work like it should.  I guess the age factor is involved here and the particle isn't settling back down like it should when I turn it off?  If I need a new tube any ideas where to get one?

Thanks! Robert

Well it took almost 30 minutes to kick in gear... this after I added the foil and soldered the two little strands that had come loose... thanks for everyone's help

 

Rob

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 11, 2009 6:43 PM

Robert,

            Remove the cover over the light bulb and be sure that the bulb is touching the bottom of the tube.

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Posted by rockn77 on Friday, December 11, 2009 6:49 PM

Ok,  maybe that's it.  I know the cover is loose... I just thought the heat generated from the bulb with the cover over it was all it needed.

Rob

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Posted by Anonymous on Friday, December 11, 2009 6:55 PM

Robert,

            One other thing that I just remembered is to line the inside of the cover with aluminum foil. This will focus more light and heat towards the tube.  MDK (K Line) used to make replacement tubes, but they are no longer in business. 

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Posted by sir james I on Friday, December 11, 2009 8:25 PM

A new tube will not help. You need lots of heat. Thats the story. it's just a long christmas bubble light tube.

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Posted by dsmith on Friday, December 11, 2009 9:02 PM

Robert,

I have one and it didn't bubble when I first got it.  I did the same thing that others have suggested, making sure the bulb touches the tube and lining the inside with aluminum foil.  Mine works great after doing this but remember that it might take several minutes before the bubbles start.  After about 10 minutes, mine has a steady stream of bubbles.  If yours still won't work after doing this, perhaps your voltage is too low.  I think mine operates on 16 volts.

  David from Dearborn  

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Posted by rockn77 on Saturday, December 12, 2009 12:01 PM

I'm hoping to get a bigger transformer for Christmas.  I just have the mth z-1000 hooked to it now..but that doesnt explain (at least to me) why it worked great for a half dozen times and then it just stopped... and why I have to tilt it down...and the air pocket goes down and then I raise it up and it works?! I'm going to put the foil in it today while the wifey is out shopping.

Thanks again fellas!

Rob

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Posted by Buckeye Riveter on Saturday, December 12, 2009 12:47 PM

I have a relative new K-Line water tower and it takes longer for it to begin bubbling than when it was right out of the box.  Store the tower upside down for a day or two and then see what happens.  It seemed to help mine.  I believe the "rocks" at the bottom settle in so tight that bubbles have a difficult time forming.

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Posted by rockn77 on Saturday, December 12, 2009 2:44 PM

Well I re-soldered one of the wires.... two little strands had come loose.... I then put foil in like suggested.... it looks brighter... but I'm at the fifteen minute mark and nothing.... I do notice those little rocks shaking loose when I would tilt it down... I thought it was the air bubble I needed to get to the bottom but maybe it's those little rocks or whatever they are... Im not going to let this thing beat me...

Rob

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Posted by brianel027 on Sunday, December 13, 2009 7:36 AM

Robert, just so you know I have brand new tubes and have modified my towers so that the light is in a metal tube that fits perectly to the outside diameter of the bubbling tube and it still takes some time for the bubbling effect to start. This includes both the K-Line Bubbling Tower and the much smaller bubbling tubes that are typically commercially available around the holidays: I've used those too for my own creations.

So here's the little trick I discovered long ago with no ill effects: I use a small dental type hook (that also comes in handy for other train functions) and I gently tap the tube once or twice and the bubbling effect starts right up. A small mini hobby screw driver would work as well. Again, I've been doing this for years with no trouble.

But let me note I do mean just a gentle tap is all it takes. You don't want to use something bigger like a full size heavy screw driver and accidentally hit the tube hard enough that it breaks.

brianel, Agent 027

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