Every type of vaping device leaks for a slightly different set of reasons, which means that your approach for troubleshooting the problem should vary depending on what you’re using. With that in mind, we’re going to break this article up into three sections that explain how to fix a leaking vape tank, pod system or disposable vape. Before we dive in, though, let’s talk about some of the general reasons why vaping devices leak.
Why Do Vaping Devices Leak?There are many different types of vaping device on the market today. Before we discuss how to resolve leaking issues with specific types of vapes, though, we’d like to talk about the subject in more general terms because all vaping devices leak for the same reasons. Here’s what they are.
- Inside the reservoir of any vape tank or pod, there’s a weak vacuum that helps to keep the vape juice from leaking between the seams or flowing out through the atomizer coil assembly. The vacuum can’t form if the pod or tank has broken gaskets, or its components are misaligned. The vacuum also can’t form if the tank or pod is filled completely to the top, with no room left for air.
- Every vape tank or pod is designed to work with e-liquid of a specific viscosity. Most of the vape juice on the market has a moderate thickness to work well with the widest possible variety of vaping equipment. However, some extremely thin e-liquids may not work well with vape tanks that have very wide wick openings.
- The vacuum in a vape tank or pod can break if there’s an internal or external change in air pressure. This usually happens because you’ve puffed on the device too firmly and overwhelmed its ability to manage airflow, but it can also happen due to a change in environmental air pressure. For example, if you bring a vaping device with you when driving up a mountain, the change in air pressure will probably force some of the vape juice out of the device’s tank or pod. This isn’t something that you can control, so it’s usually wise to make sure that your device is only half full if you plan to spend the day at a high elevation.
Why Is My Vape Tank Leaking?If you have a leaking vape tank, the first thing you’ll want to do is make sure that the e-liquid you’re using is appropriate for your hardware. If you’re using a large sub-ohm tank – and your coil has very wide wick openings – you’ll generally want to use a thicker vape juice. Most e-liquid uses a combination of propylene glycol (PG) and vegetable glycerin (VG) as a base. VG is the thicker of those two liquids, which means that an e-liquid containing a higher percentage of VG will be thicker than one containing mostly PG.
If you’re using a sub-ohm vape tank, you should generally fill it with a vape juice containing at least 50 percent VG. A thinner e-liquid may seep through the wick, flooding the coil and leaking out the tank’s bottom air vents. If you often hear a gurgling noise when you vape, it’s likely that the e-liquid you’re using is too thin.
If you’re certain that the e-liquid you’re using has the correct thickness for your tank, the next step is to disassemble the tank and take a closer look. Follow these steps to find a potential problem with your tank.
- Disassemble the tank completely, separating the top and bottom metal components and removing the coil. Rinse and dry the components.
- Check all of the tank’s rubber gaskets to see if any of them are broken or stretched out of their correct positions. If a gasket appears damaged, remove and replace it. Most vape tanks come with complete sets of replacement gaskets for exactly this purpose.
- If you don’t find a damaged gasket, don’t worry – it’s possible that the tank was simply leaking because the components were misaligned. Reassemble the tank slowly and carefully, making sure that all of the threads are properly aligned. All of the tank’s components should screw together easily. If you find any of the components difficult to turn, it’s likely that the threads are crossed. Back them up and try twisting them together again until they turn smoothly.
- If the tank continues to leak after you’ve reassembled it, try replacing the coil; it’s possible that the coil you’re using has a manufacturing issue.
Why Is My Pod System Leaking?A typical vape tank has a large hole at the top and several large airflow vents at the bottom. When you think about it, it’s actually surprising that leaking vape tanks are so rare. Compared to tanks, though, vape pods are even more leak proof. You’ll rarely encounter a leaky vape pod – and yet, it does happen from time to time.
Note that when we discuss leaking vape pods, it’s important to note that there’s no need to be concerned unless you remove the pod from your device and find a large volume of e-liquid under it. It’s normal to find a little condensation under the base of a pod, and you can remove it easily with a cotton swab.
If you experience a major leak with a pod system, follow these steps to troubleshoot it.
- When you fill the pod, don’t attempt to fill it all the way to the top – always leave a little empty space. If you don’t leave any room for air, the pod won’t be able to establish an internal vacuum that helps to keep the vape juice contained. Also, you may push e-liquid out of the pod when you close the stopper.
- Make sure that the pod’s stopper is completely closed. A vape pod usually has a silicone stopper, and it’s very easy to make an error when pushing the stopper into the hole.
- If your pod system has a replaceable coil, make sure that the coil is properly aligned and pushed in all the way. Some replacement coils for pod systems are keyed, making it impossible to push them in fully unless their alignment is correct. Sometimes, fixing a leaking vape pod is as simple as pushing the coil in the rest of the way.
- Try to minimize the amount of air pressure that you use when puffing on your device. A pod system will often have tight airflow characteristics to provide a good mouth-to-lung vaping If you puff too firmly on a device with tight airflow, you’ll force excess e-liquid through the pod’s wick and flood the coil assembly. If your pod system has a flooded coil, vape juice will leak from the bottom of the pod – so always use gentle air pressure when puffing on a pod system or other small vaping device.
Why Is My Disposable Vape Leaking?One of the greatest things about disposable vapes is that they’re some of the most leak-resistant devices on the market. A disposable vape usually holds its vape juice in a fabric wick wrapped around the atomizer coil, and that design is perfect for leak prevention because if the wick were to drip at all, that would usually happen before the wick was installed in the device. It’s always possible to encounter an exception, though, so here’s what you could do if you have a leaking disposable vape.
- Puff gently when you use your device. Being small devices with tight airflow characteristics, disposable vapes can encounter the same issue that we described in the previous section about pod systems. If you puff too firmly on a disposable vape, you could suck e-liquid directly out of the wick. At that point, the vape juice will either spit into your mouth, or it’ll leak from the bottom of the device.
- Don’t remove a disposable vape from its package – and don’t remove the device’s protective sticker, if it has one – until you’re ready to use it. Sometimes, a disposable vape will be slightly overfilled at the factory to ensure that it’ll come as close as possible to reaching its advertised puff count. In that case, it’s possible for a few drops of vape juice to leak out of the device if you remove it from its package and put it down for a while without actually using it. Puffing on the device a few times should eliminate that possibility.