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Why is My Vape Leaking? Follow These Steps to Fix It​​

4th Jan 2023

Two Uwell Caliburn A3 Leak Free Devices on Their Side

It’s one of the worst fears with vaping - you have a new kit, including a pod or tank and coil. Ready to go, you begin to add your brand-new vape juice. Lo and behold, it suddenly starts to leak! Or maybe you find that the e-liquid is working temporarily but slowly trickles out vape juice over a longer period. Your vape leaking is frustrating in any scenario!

However, it doesn’t mean you can’t fix it and need to buy replacement accessories straight away. While all devices are never 100% leakproof (despite what product manufacturers claim) - given the nature of a vape device, it’s predominantly the setup that helps to prevent this from happening regularly. That’s why most start with disposable vapes and often carry on using them once they get used to the technology because they’re essentially leak-free. Below, we have a few hints and tips to reduce the chances of leaking with longer-lasting MTL and DTL kits.

Things to Check Before You Vape

1. Make Sure the Airflow Ports are Closed

Before you think about filling up and getting back to what you do best, check that your airflow holes are closed. This helps to prevent any drops from seeping through the port holes to create a smoother experience without leaks. And then when you have refilled correctly, reopen to tailor the vape inhalation to personal preference. Otherwise, you will be dragging too hard on the mouthpiece, which can create more e-liquid than needed around the coil and in turn produce more leaking.

2. Check Coil is Not Loosely Fitted

The coil is the most important component of any vape tank. That’s not just because it vaporises the e-liquid by acting as a heating element; it’s also because the coil assembly allows air to move freely while restricting the flow of e-liquid. Also importantly, connecting securely via the coil seal helps to prevent leaks. Therefore, before vaping make sure the coil is fastened correctly. These days many coils are simple push-fit systems with magnetic connections that fall into place relatively easily.

3. Keep the Tank 'Chimney’ Empty

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 or pod is susceptible to that issue, run a cotton swab down the chimney occasionally to remove the excess vape juice.

Person Filling a Vape Pod With Vape Juice Standing Upright on a Table

Vape Kit Maintenance and Upkeep

1. Replace the Coil or Pod/Tank Seal if Damaged

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.

2. Reduce the Time Your Vape Kit is Horizontal

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 which 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.

3. 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.

Other Thoughts

1. Need a Change of 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 pod 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 when you change the setup. In some cases, a high-PG e-liquid will be so thin that it seeps through your coil’s wick openings and leaks out the bottom of the tank. Switching to a high-VG e-liquid will resolve that issue. Best to stick with the rule that a PG e-liquid pairs well with a low-powered pod device and a mod device requiring a higher wattage are recommended with 70% VG or higher.

2. Time to Swap Your Coil?

No matter what you do with your key accessory, it might just be time to call it a day, no matter how reliable it has been, and replace your current coil with a new one to vape. 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. Or simply you’ve maximised its life of it after several refills. You’ll know soon enough with a fresh vape coil replacement.

3. Based at a High Altitude?

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.

4. 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 coil determine that.

If you puff too firmly when you vape, you’ll suck excess e-liquid into your tank’s 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 coil simply isn’t getting enough power to vaporise the e-liquid efficiently. Or you’re going against the recommendations printed on the side of the coil.

For more information about ensuring a satisfactory vape experience, or to discuss any of our products, feel free to contact us today.