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VAPE BATTERIES: A SUBJECT EVERY NEW VAPER NEEDS TO LEARN ABOUT
You know all those news stories about people getting hurt by a vape pen or mod "blowing up" in their pocket?
Many of them were caused by faulty or mishandled batteries. The batteries found in vape mods are not the same as the triple-A's in your TV remote control. If you mishandle them, you could get seriously injured.
The key word here is "mishandle'" Yes, faulty batteries exist, but the vast majority of accidents from all those scary news stories were caused by user error. In other words, the person had improperly configured their mod, used the incorrect batteries, never replaced their batteries, or carried their batteries "loose" in their pockets.
If you're a new or "intermediate" stage vaper, this post is for you. Heck, if you're even thinking about vaping, this post is for you.
In it, we're going to cover some must-know battery info like…
- What can happen if you mishandle your batteries
- How to properly handle and care for your vape batteries
- Resources to understand your mod's impact on your batteries
- Why your charger is an important piece of this puzzle
If you're an old hat in the vaping game, this post probably won't have too much new information for you (though a refresher on best practices and safety never hurts). Instead of just moving on, please forward this post to the vaping novice in your life. As we'll discuss below, it could save them from a world of hurt...
WHAT CAN HAPPEN IF YOU MISHANDLE YOUR VAPE BATTERIES?
Think of this like the vape edition of Scared Straight. Rather than linking you to some of the news stories we mentioned earlier—you can find them easily enough on your own—let's take a look at something that hits a little closer to home.
In a Reddit post on the /r/electronic cigarette forum, one user posted a frightening (and just a little bit gross) PSA for other users in which he begs them to always carry their batteries in a case.
Here's what happened to him. (Note: not for the squeamish. He badly burned his leg.)
At the time of this writing, that was just under two weeks ago. He's likely still in the process of healing.
How did it happen? The Redditor was carrying two spare vape batteries in his pocket alongside his house keys while walking to the grocery store. His pocket suddenly exploded and, as he put it, "started shooting out 4-inch flames." It resulted in second and third-degree burns on his left thigh. He was wearing nylon pants (probably gym shorts) which were burned into his skin.
Here's how to avoid it...
PROPER VAPE BATTERY HANDLING TIPS
Many popular vape mods have removable, rechargeable batteries. More often than not, these are lithium ion 18650's, though other types exist. Regardless of what style of external battery you're using, the same safety tips will apply.
If you have one key takeaway from this post, this should probably be it. Your batteries should at all times be in only one of three places:
1. In your mod,
2. In your charger, or
3. In a plastic battery case.
That's it. There's no reason to leave batteries rolling around on your desk, in a drawer, in your car, or, as we learned above, in your pocket. Make this a habit like now.
Batteries very much exist in the realm of "you get what you pay for." Don't buy knock-offs from sketchy online sellers. Make sure you're getting the real deal. We love online ordering, but oftentimes buying batteries in-person is the best call.
Never store your batteries in a temperature that's too warm, even if they're in their plastic carrying case. Most batteries are rated for use in temperatures of up to 115 degrees Fahrenheit, which shouldn't be an issue unless you live in the Mojave. However, note that during the summer the inside of your car can reach up to 172 degrees. Yikes. Don't leave your batteries in the car.
Occasionally look over the condition of your batteries. At any sign of damage, including small rips or holes in the plastic sheath, you need to replace the battery. Yes, it might suck to have to buy new ones, but it's better than the alternative.
Take care when you're inserting your batteries into your vaping device or your charger. It seems obvious, but if you're in a hurry ("I'll just toss these on the charger before I go") it's not as hard as it sounds to make mistakes—so slow down and take a moment to make sure you have the orientation of your batteries correct before inserting them.
Overall, be careful, use common sense, and ask an experienced vaper you trust if you ever have any questions or concerns about batteries.
IF YOU'RE GOING TO MOD YOUR VAPE, MAKE SURE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING
This is a quick one. In a nutshell, if you plan on altering or modding your vaping device, you need to really know what you're doing to avoid damaging your battery and/or potentially getting injured.
YOUR CHARGER MATTERS TOO
So, you know that your mod itself matters.
Plenty of vape accidents have happened because of a faulty charger or an improper charger operation. Bad chargers can overcharge your batteries and lead to an explosion, venting, or battery acid leaks. Don't "cheap out" on your charger!
It's worth shelling out a few extra bucks to pay for a high-quality charger with a few safety features like voltage controls to avoid overcharging your batteries, digital readouts so you know when your batteries are fully charged, plenty of LED lights so you know what's receiving power and when, and so on.
Also, remember that not all power cables are made the same. Don't switch up the power cable that came with your charger.
We're sorry if this post was a bit of a downer, but battery safety is such a very, very important topic that it was necessary. Spread the word. Accidents are preventable.
Instructions on How to Prime an Atomizer Coil:
Priming an atomizer coil is very easy, simply follow these steps below:
Step One: Attach the New Atomizer Coil
Once the old coil has been disposed of, screw on the new one in its place. This will give you something larger to hold onto while you’re adding e-juice to the coil. It also helps prevent e-liquid from getting on your fingers, as screwing it on after the wick has been saturated could cause it to get on your fingers as well.
Step Two: Saturate the Wicking Material
The next step in priming your clearomizer coil is to locate the juice holes on the body of the atomizer head, where the wick makes contact with the e-liquid. Some coils are designed with the cotton sticking out of the holes, while others have the wick behind them. In either case, the wicking material will be exposed and easily visible. Add one single drop of e-juice in each of the holes in order to uniformly saturate the wick.
Next, saturate the cotton with e-juice. Depending on the specific atomizer coil you are using, the amount of e-juice necessary to adequately saturate the wicks will vary. Smaller atomizer coils, such as the Aspire Nautilus, will require a drop or two of e-liquid, whereas the substantially larger heads that operate with the tanks, such as the Freemax Mesh Pro Tank, will require much more to accomplish this. You will know when you have added enough e-juice when the cotton stops immediately absorbing it. However, make sure not to over-saturate, as this may cause flooding and allow for liquid to get into your mouth. Remember, your goal isn’t to drench the coil, it is solely to saturate the cotton.
Step 3: Take Some Dry Hits
Once you have filled and reassembled the tank, attach it to your battery. The next step in priming your coil is to take 4 – 5 dry hits. A dry hit simply means to take a drag without activating the fire button of your battery. Simply tighten the airflow valve (if your tank has one), cover the air intake holes with your hand, and take four or five normal drags. By doing this, you will syphon e-juice from the tank and into the cotton. However, be sure not to take too deep or strong hits, nor take more than five of them, as it could cause the coil to flood.
Step 4: Break-In the Coil:
Although the most important factor in priming coil is to saturate the wicking material, it is also significant to properly break-in the new wire. Since the wire expands when heated and contracts when it cools, it is good practice to gradually break the wire in as well. To do so, start using the new coil at a lower wattage than you normally do. After a few hits, you can gradually increase the wattage until you reach your normal power setting. It also helps if you take shorter hits for the first 10 drags, so that the wire is not excessively heated at first. This steady increase in wattage and puff duration will ensure that the coil is properly primed along with the cotton.
Benefits of Priming Your Atomizer Coil:
Eliminating Burnt Hits:
The primary benefit enjoyed when a coil is properly primed is the avoidance of dry or burnt hits. When an atomizer coil is unused, the wicking material is completely dry. Since it is making contact with the coil, once heated the cotton will burn resulting in an unpleasant charred taste. By pre-saturating the coil, you will prevent this from happening since the liquid will be vaporized rather than the cotton being burned.
Heightens Flavour Intensity:
The key benefit in priming your coil is that it helps substantially add intensity and robustness to the flavour of your e-juice. By pre-saturating the cotton as well as the coil itself, you will experience a burst of rich flavour from the very first hit. Moreover, since you have avoided burning the cotton, the flavour will not be compromised by the charred taste, as would otherwise be experienced.
Adds to the Longevity of the Coil:
Primed atomizer coils last markedly longer than coils that haven’t been primed. This is principally due to the fact that the materials within the coil have been appropriately broken-in. A burnt or charred wick will itself drastically reduce the life of an atomizer coil.
Correctly priming your atomizer coil is extremely easy and can be done very rapidly. The benefits that coil priming offers is certainly worth the minute or two it takes to do accomplish. You will have a much more enjoyable vaping experience, while simultaneously increasing the life of the coil.