When you really think about it, it’s quite remarkable that vape tanks work as well as they do. Somehow, these metal or plastic objects that are full of holes manage to hold several millilitres of e-liquid without leaking – most of the time, at least.
A leaking vape is actually an incredibly annoying problem, and there probably isn’t a single vaper on the planet who hasn’t encountered at least one of these situations:
- You wake up in the morning and find that your vaping device, left out on a table overnight, is sitting in a pool of e-liquid.
- You’re driving with your vaping device. You reach into the centre console and find that your tank has leaked. Now, you’ve driving with one hand covered in e-liquid.
- You’re walking with your vape in your pocket when you notice a strange warmth on your leg. You look down and see a big wet spot in your pants – the embarrassing sign of a leaking vape.
So, do you have a troublesome vape tank that always seems to leak at the least opportune times? We’ve got the solution for you – in fact, we’ve got 10 of them (11 if you count the bonus tip). A leaking vape doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s time to start saving your money for a new vape mod; it’s often possible to fix the tank you have with a few simple steps. Let’s begin.
Disassemble the Tank and Check for Problems
The most common reasons for a leaking vape all involve the assembly and condition of the tank. To troubleshoot the leak, begin by fully disassembling your tank and checking all of the components. A vape tank has several silicone or rubber o-rings that help to seal gaps and maintain the tank’s internal vacuum. If an o-ring is stretched or torn, the tank will fail to maintain its seal, and a leak will result. If you check your tank’s original box, you’ll most likely find a bag of replacement o-rings. Replace any o-rings that show signs of damage.
Reassemble the Tank Carefully
If you’ve checked your tank for problems and found a damaged o-ring, replacing that component will most likely resolve the leaking problem. If you found no signs of damage, improper assembly of the tank is the next most likely cause of the leak. Reassemble your tank slowly, being especially careful not to cross the threads.
A well-machined vape tank should have threads that turn smoothly. If you feel resistance when turning the threads of your tank, don’t force the components together; back the threads up and try again. Twist the tank’s components together until they’re just finger tight. Over-tightening your tank can stretch the o-rings out of place or crack the tank’s enclosure.
Following the steps given so far in this article will be sufficient to fix almost any leaky vape tank. In most cases, leaking e-liquid is the inevitable result of improper assembly or damage to the tank’s gaskets. If your tank continues to leak, though, you need a solution that’s more specific to your situation, read on.
Try a Higher-VG E-Liquid
Have you ever noticed that a bottle of e-liquid often has information about its VG/PG ratio printed on the label? That refers to the e-liquid’s blend of vegetable glycerine and propylene glycol. Most e-liquids contain both VG and PG, because those two liquids have different properties, adjusting their ratio in an e-liquid can change that e-liquid’s properties. A high-VG e-liquid is thick and produces large, creamy vapour clouds. A high-PG e-liquid, on the other hand, is thin and can flow efficiently through the clearomizer of a tiny e-cigarette without producing dry hits.
It’s important to use an e-liquid with the right VG/PG ratio for your equipment. If you upgrade from a small e-cigarette to a larger vape mod, you might experience problems if you use the same e-liquid that you used when you were filling tiny clearomizers. In some cases, a high-PG e-liquid will be so thin that it seeps through your atomizer coil’s wick openings and leaks out the bottom of the tank. Switching to a high-VG e-liquid will resolve that issue.
Keep Your Vape Tank Upright
Many vape tanks only do a good job of resisting leaks if they’re kept upright. If you store your tank on its side, some of the atomizer’s wick openings will not be submerged in e-liquid. In that case, air can enter the tank and break the vacuum that helps to keep the e-liquid in its place. If you find your vape in a pool of e-liquid after leaving it on its side overnight, you probably have a tank that can only hold e-liquid reliably if it’s kept upright.
Try a New Atomizer Coil
The atomizer coil is the most important component of any vape tank. That’s not just because it vaporizes the e-liquid; it’s also because the coil assembly allows air to move freely while restricting the flow of e-liquid. To accomplish both of those things, the coil needs to screw tightly into the base of the tank, and it needs to have just the right amount of wick material to regulate e-liquid flow. Once in a while, you may get a coil with a manufacturing defect that results in your vape leaking. If your tank has just started leaking after a coil replacement, you may have received a rare dud.
Expect Leaks During Altitude Changes
Air expands at high altitudes, and that property can be particularly problematic for e-liquid tanks. Do you live in a mountainous region? As you ascend while driving, the air in your vape tank will expand. The expanding air can push e-liquid through the atomizer coil’s wick openings and out the bottom of the tank. You can mitigate that problem by ascending with a half-empty tank. When you’ve reached the highest elevation on your route, you can fill your tank for the descent.
Do you plan to travel by air with your vape gear? Empty your tank before boarding the plane. No major airline allows in-flight vaping anyway, and it’s almost a guarantee that your tank will leak during the plane’s ascent.
Don’t Puff too Aggressively
One of the most important things to learn when you switch from smoking to vaping is that you can’t puff as aggressively with an e-cigarette as you can with a tobacco cigarette. When you puff firmly on a cigarette, it burns down more quickly and creates more smoke. When you vape, however, the air pressure of your puffs does not determine how much vapour the device produces; the design and operational power of the atomizer coil determine that.
If you puff too firmly when you vape, you’ll suck excess e-liquid into your tank’s atomizer coil assembly, and the excess e-liquid will leak out the bottom of the tank. You’ll likely hear gurgling noises when this happens. The way to get the biggest and most satisfying vapour clouds is by upgrading your vaping device or by taking long and gentle puffs with the device you have.
Is your vape still leaking even though you’re certain that you’re not puffing aggressively? Try increasing your device’s wattage. It could be that your tank’s atomizer coil simply isn’t getting enough power to vaporize the e-liquid efficiently.
Fill Your Tank Carefully
Does your tank’s top or bottom hardware unscrew completely for filling? If that’s the case, filling your tank can be challenging because you can get e-liquid in the tank’s centre air channel if you aren’t careful. Try filling your tank at an angle to ensure that the e-liquid goes into the tank’s reservoir. Excess e-liquid in the tank’s centre air channel will cause gurgling, spitting and leaking.
Keep Your Tank’s Centre Air Channel Dry
Making an error during filling isn’t the only reason why e-liquid can get caught in your tank’s centre air channel. Vapour can also condense on the sides of the tank’s chimney and eventually flow back down to the coil, where it’ll cause gurgling and leaking. If your tank is susceptible to that issue, run a cotton swab down the chimney occasionally to remove the excess juice.
Leave Space for Air When Filling Your Tank
Vape tanks aren’t designed for filling to the absolute top. Your tank’s reservoir needs a little space for air at the top because that’s how the tank forms a vacuum that keeps the e-liquid in its place. Don’t overfill!
RDA Users: Don’t Over-Drip
Here’s a bonus tip for the RDA users out there. When you use a rebuildable atomizer, you add e-liquid to the RDA manually by dripping it directly through the atomizer’s mouthpiece. Your RDA has a drip well that helps to catch excess e-liquid, but your atomizer will still leak if you over-drip.
If your RDA consistently leaks even though you’re careful about how much e-liquid you add, it’s possible that you’re not using enough cotton when rebuilding your coils.
Have you ever encountered a situation in which you thought you were getting dry hits with your RDA? Did you add more e-liquid, only to have the RDA immediately leak all over your hand? If that happens, it’s time to rebuild your coil. The sensation that you’re experiencing when you vape isn’t happening because the coil is dry; it’s happening because you’re using sweetened e-liquid, and sucralose residue has begun to collect on your coil and burn. The only cure for “coil gunk” from sucralose is to replace the coil.
For more information about ensuring a satisfactory vape experience, or to discuss any of our products, feel free to contact us today.