When it comes to vaping devices, they are as simple and user friendly as you would expect them to be. Vaping can be as safe as easy as you allow it to be with so many kits these days designed for the simple yet functional ability that can capture a vaper within a few puffs on the device / tank. When you read the news and hear about the horror stories that seem to circle about vaping, devices blowing up for example, it makes you question just how safe that vaping device truly is. However what is never reported is the fact that user error plays a large part in many of these stories, from roller skating with a mech mod or leaving a device USB charging with external batteries overnight. Things can go wrong in vaping much like anything else but more often tan that, preventing it is an extremely easy process to follow. Just by showing some care and attention to your vape kits, you can ensure that you keep being safe when vaping and don’t end up on that newspaper story blaming e-cigarettes for exploding after you have abused a set of batteries to the point of no return.
The question you may be asking is how do I make sure I am safe when I am vaping? Maybe you are a new vaper who is still new to the world of vaping and are still working everything out. Perhaps you are an experienced vaper who has never given this much thought before? Anyone can benefit from a little extra knowledge, especially with the safety and good practices that can be easily followed. So here at Drip Hacks we want to take a look at some of the ways you can keep yourself safe when vaping and ensure that you keep safe no matter what. We may be preaching to the choir but even something small overlooked can have a dire consequence. So join us today as we look at the top ways to vape safe and maintain your vape devices.
Watch out for Leaking
If you go back to the early days of vaping sub ohm tanks especially were notorious for leaking E-liquid out of their air-holes. Whether it was the wicking being too loose, a dodgy coil or poor design, even the very best tanks suffered with this issue every once in a while. Certainly spend enough time on any sort of social media platform and someone will have bound to make the most watertight tank leak at some point. It can be a frustrating experience, even I have had that before, the SKRR tank leaked its entire tank out the first time of filling for me and never did again. You can watch out for leaking after filling, see if the juice level has dropped noticeably, if so then it may have filled the chamber below. Simply shake the bottom of the tank in your hand and see if any juice comes out, if it doesn’t then you are all set to go.
The reason why watching for leaking is so important comes not from the tank itself but your mod. Much like modern tanks, mods are designed to be watertight , to protect itself from any and all possible external influences. After all, you have to remember that a mod really is just an electrical circuit powered by batteries. So much like using wet hands to touch a light switch, it can be potentially dangerous to have leaking go into the tank. It can disrupt the circuit at the very least or cause shortages , all through juice leaking via the 510 plate. This will be more apparent on older mods that have had a fair bit of wear and tear.
So simply put, always check for leaking and if you find any, clean it up ASAP. Always get into the habit of unscrewing your tank every now and again to check underneath and make sure all is well.
Looking after your Batteries
We have a wonderful in depth battery guide HERE but when it comes to batteries, they are the most important part of a vaping device and yet some people seem to forget that. A battery is a stored electrical charge that is balanced by a chemical reaction that requires a circuit to discharge itself. A very simplified way to describe a battery (seriously, check our guide out, it explains everything), the gravity of abusing a battery is never to be underestimated and their care is of absolute upmost importance. So saying this there are a few ways you can look after your batteries that will keep them working just fine for as long as you need them to.
The first one is make sure they are always in good condition. The battery wrappings on a battery is there to protect you, so any tears or rips in the cover can expose you to battery venting when it is creating that circuit if it connects with another metallic surface (an incomplete circuit). If you notice any tears, stop using a battery immediately and either seek to replace the wrappings or dispose of it safely. Something as simple as this can save it exploding in your pocket, or worse. Same as any dents that you may find in the battery, always check for any and if you find one, just get rid immediately. The chemical reaction in a battery could be offset by a simple dent and that could prove to be dangerous as well. So always check your batteries, its importance is vital.
The second way is to always charge them in an external battery charger. These days more and more mods are being designed for internal battery charging with features such as 2 amp charging and USB C connections and the quality has gone up considerably over the years to almost make this advice outdated but its importance as to why still has weight to it. The reason why you should never charge your batteries in a mod is simply because many things could go wrong, even if you don’t ever encounter them. Unbalanced batteries can be dangerous if one battery is attempting to pull power that just doesn’t exist, you can picture the rest of that. So regular charges that don’t match up will reduce capacity unevenly, meaning at some point one battery will drain much faster than the other, a danger in a 2 battery circuit. Similarly, as mods aren’t designed for charging, they may overcharge the battery reducing its life span, or even worse, have a failure and forget to stop charging the battery. So use a battery charger, it will save you in the long run even if it is the cost of not having to replace batteries half as much. It is much better to take precaution here and as battery chargers are designed for such a thing, it is just common sense to utilise one. Spend a few quid and there are ones that can even bring a battery back to life so well worth investing.
Finally, this is probably the most important one of all, don’t carry batteries loose in your pocket EVER. I cannot stress the importance of the ever part there, it is so dangerous you wouldn’t even believe it without seeing it first hand. A basic battery function is to create a circuit and for the power to loop around back to the battery in a cycle. So say for example a battery loose in your pocket connects with your keys, or a loose coin, something metallic. It will start to create a circuit right? Except there is nowhere for the current to go and that can spell danger. A battery that cannot flow its current will discharge and vent, leading to explosion. So always use a battery case for your batteries, it will save you each and every time. Buy your batteries from a trusted retailer and they send you one with each set anyway, plus a repair kit so you have all bases covered.
Look after your Mod
In a time when the Aegis has ruled the roost and other companies have lept on board with the protective features, it is often forgotten that most devices were never designed for wear and tear. From paint jobs easily coming off to weak parts, vaping devices are just not usually designed for what life throws at them unlike their owner. So part and parcel of looking after your mod is tpo make sure you are well aware of its capabilities and what treatment it has had over time, something inconsequential can have a much bigger impact otherwise.
Don’t put a mod through an awful lot of punishment if you want it to survive for a longer period of time than your wallet or purse can afford it to. If you regularly drop a device then perhaps upgrade to one designed to be able to withstand punishment, such as the Aegis range or the new Smok devices. You may not think anything is wrong but a slight out of place internal component can render a mod dead or potentially create issues for you. A broken screen would be the end of most devices anyway never mind internal damage, you couldn’t survive repeated abuse, don’t do that to your mod neither. If you notice anything doesn’t seem right after a pretty heavy fall, simply stop using the device, it is not worth the risk.
The next way to look after your mod is to make sure you do not water damage it! I know this may sound silly on the face of it but how many times has someone dropped a phone or a mod in the toilet or bath whilst rushing around? Even if you are quick to retrieve it, the damage it may have caused could be catastrophic. Reading about recently on Reddit, there is still people who ask if they can still use a device after dropping it into a toilet and the short answer is no, do not ever risk it. The damage way not ever be immediately noticeable but one day that ‘fine’ device could well short and leave a smoking crater in your counter top if you are lucky! If you severely water damage it, stop using it, get rid and replace, it is as simple as that.
Always check the condition of thing such as door clasps or magnets on a regular basis because for reasons stated above, it could prove to be very dangerous. That device that seems fine in your pocket, could have a faulty door. That faulty door opens and dumps your batteries into your pocket full of metal coins and before you get to the end of the street you are in the back of an ambulance. Again this seems like common sense to say but always make sure it is in fully functioning order, you may not realise that something as simple as that can be dangerous.
Always make sure your mod is locked in your pocket or switched off after you have finished using it because you can reap the consequences otherwise. Most devices are fitted with a cut off point of around 10 seconds to prevent any real disaster from taking place but for the most part, those 10 seconds can do enough damage by itself. An unlocked mod could therefore fire in your pocket and have issues from burning your coil out to the device itself on a very rare occurrence (when combined with other issues above) fail entirely. It can even shatter your glass through continuous firing which then leaves you prone for cuts / lack of vape. So always check this, it can be easily overlooked in a rush but it could be much worse if you don’t take that extra couple of seconds to check.
Looking after your Tank
Something that is quite often never mentioned is the glass on a device and the danger it could pose if you do not treat your tank right. You tank is essentially a collection of parts of metal and glass that all service a very specific purpose and in all honesty, there isn;t much that can ‘go wrong’ in the same way that it can do in a mod. So this section is not focused on a mechanical failure, it is what could happen if you do not look after your tank and stress it to the extent that something can go wrong.
The first way to look after your tank is to gauge its temperature all the time because this can play an important part in treating it right. As the tank is just a coil heating your E-liquid up for you to inhale, the key word there is heat. Most sub ohm tanks deal with heat rather well these days and more often than not, you may never encounter this issue through regular use which is great for vapers now. However chain vaping can increase a heat issue within your tank that may not be able to dissipate between each vape you take. This can be through external weather or an older coil on its last legs or simply the power you are putting through the coils. If you continue to vape on a hot coil/tank then eventually something has to give and 9 times out of 10 it will be your glass. Too much heat and the glass will break leaving you with a very dangerous job of removing and replacing which can be impossible if you are out without a spare. So if your tank is feeling a little warm then stop vaping for a little while and wait for it to cool back down, otherwise you may be picking broken glass out of your tank and wishing you had listened to this advice whilst you are vape free for the rest of the day.
The next way to look after your tank is to make sure you have secured it completely each time you have to adjust it. This is common sense again but something overlooked can be extremely frustrating. When you refill a tank, make sure it is closed over again or that E-liquid may find a new home in your pocket or bag. Make sure your airflow is open or you may be inhaling hot vape that is extremely unpleasant to say the least. Make sure you secure the tank back into the mod or something leaning against may take the tank (and the 510 connection) with it without you realising it.
Finally make sure you look after the tank by not letting anything get inside of the coil itself as it could have repercussions for both your tank and your health. The problem most tanks have these days is that they use what is called an 810 drip tip designed to be wide and open for the airflow. With that can bring a big open hole in the top of your tank leading straight down to your coil that can potentially fill up with all sorts of nasty things if you are not careful. If it hits the coil then that next pull will almost always burn the coil out but you will then be inhaling whatever is suddenly getting 65w of power to heat it up. So just simply use your tank in places that this won’t happen, if you find yourself in these places then use a pod style system instead that is closed.
Look After your Coils
What is a coil? It is, in its most basic explanation is a coil of metal wire that is heated up by the mod to a regulated power level that in turn evaporates the E-liquid soaked into the cotton stuffed alongside or within the coil. The coil is essentially the important part of what vaping actually is and it is this care of your coils that can make vaping all the more safer. You would think that a coil can be the safest thing in the world when you compare it to mod care or battery care and to some extent that is true, after all a coil cannot malfunction or short out by itself. It will just sit there in your tank, except it is how the overall vape kit acts with the coil that you need to take care in regards to it.
The first way to look after your coils is to always replace the coil when the cotton has finally died on it. The cotton depending on type and E-liquid used can last for ages or it can last a day, there never really is an answer to its lifespan. However once the cotton darkens or even blackens then you have to then replace the cotton itself or in a tank, the coil. At the very least what you will get with a burned out coil cotton is a bad taste or none at all. That is usually the indicator, when the flavour drops off considerably. However continuing to use a coil that has burned out can create carcinogens, which are cancer causing elements that you would associate with burning things. They don’t exist until you start burning that cotton so always replace your coil, just for your own health is not to get that wonderful flavour back. You can achieve coil burning as well through a significantly increased power surge through your coil in a short succession. If you vape that 65w at 150w then chances are it will fry the cotton and leave it burned so always vape the recommended rather than thinking any power will work.
The next way to look after a coil is more for the rebuilder vapers, always vape within the confines of safe vaping. Coils can vary in resistance depending on coil wire type, thickness and even how they are built. There is a whole science to it, as we covered in our coil building guide HERE. To break it down simply however, coils follow something that is known as ohms law. It means that power has to be at a level that the coil can handle, otherwise something can go wrong. On the most basic of levels, that coil could just disfigure and ping off the posts, but the worse repercussions can come with using an unregulated device. As the device is simply putting battery power into the coil without the usual mod protection, it can lead to the battery struggling to cope and simply exploding. Not checking that resistance on your coil in terms of ohms law can have a grave effect so always build to ohms law and only ever build and use mods that cater for rebuilding with expert knowledge from YOU and not someone you know.
Finally if you are building your own coil, make sure that you build it fully with the wicking before you start to use it. Make sure the coil glows evenly before you start to wick it, that can determine if it is a good build or not. Always test the resistance prior to using, even if you are 100% sure of what it is, use an ohms reader or check on a mod what the resistance is. Always check to make sure your wicking is correctly done, otherwise what you may find is that it burns rather than vapes which can be rather unpleasant. Check to make sure your coil is not touching another that it isn’t meant to in your rebuildable deck, as this can have a knock on effect when using unregulated devices as well. Always make sure everything is secure before you finish as again a lose connection can have huge issues if you have no idea what the issues are. Just double check everything with a coil to make sure it is safe secure and fine to use, that little extra time can save you in the long run.
You have read all of the above and suddenly think vaping requires you to remember 101 things just to keep yourself safe and the truth is that is not the case. As much as this list tries to cover all possible avenues the truth is most of them you may never encounter in your vaping experience. As long as you make sure the batteries are safe, your mod is in good condition and the tank isn’t overly stressed at any point you will be fine. However it is helpful to know the rest on the basis of those what if scenarios you can apply to anything, Vaping is safe no matter how it is portrayed in the media these days and if you follow our handy guide then you will wholeheartedly agree. Just remember, 90% of anything that can go wrong in vaping is user error somewhere down the line, devices that fail have a reason they fail, so by keeping safe whilst using them you will never experience that.