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eCigs, Mods, Batteries and Safe Vaping


While eCigarettes and personal vaporizors have been used billions of times without issue, they do involve batteries- which are not all the same. Using the incorrect battery or damaged battery in a PV can stress the battery cell into venting, and possible explosion. With the use of “mods” or devices that can use a variety of batteries, the possibility of using an incorrect battery could be more probable. This article applies to mods, or PV’s that do not use your standard ecig “stick” battery.

Knowing a few key points about mods, battery ratings and “what if” is a good thing. With the right device, a GOOD battery charger and the correct battery- you should have little to worry about when vaping.

Battery rating, volts, ohms and safety

Devices have different requirements when it comes to battery rating. Always follow manufacturer instructions. If it says only use IMR batteries- take the warning seriously.

  • Use Li-Mn cells, or protected Li-ion cells. (AW brand IMR has great ratings)
  • Make sure the C rating on your battery is at least 2 amps (2,000mA)
  • Don’t overcharge. Even if your charger has protection against overcharging- it could fail.

Stacking batteries- The warning: Stacking batteries is not suggested- and hugely warned against. Stacking improper batteries can place a strain on the battery cell and cause venting and/or explosion. When stacking batteries, the risk goes up.

If you decide to ignore the above warning, do NOT ignore the following tips:

  • Never stack an old and new battery together
  • Never use a damaged battery
  • Test your batteries after charge to make sure they aren’t overcharged
  • Test your batteries after charge and then a rest for a couple days. Make sure they are holding the charge.
  • Always use a protected battery
  • High drain devices should use an IMR battery

Safety Features in your mod-
Some mods will have proper venting built in as a safety feature. A lot of mods use a collapsible spring that will prevent the battery from coming in further contact with its ground. Some mods design a “weak spot” such as weaker end cap threads, or door.


More battery information:

Current advice (from ECF)
The following advice can be given at this time:

  • For ultimate safety, use a single-battery mod.
  • For high-voltage, use a single-battery mod with a booster circuit of some kind.
  • Use the best and most expensive battery you can get. It doesn’t seem worth it to economise on batteries. Our opinion is that, at this time, the AW IMR ‘red’ cell has the best reputation. It is a lithium-managanese ‘safe chemistry’ cell that does not need the integral protection circuit a Li-ion cell needs. Although these have never been known to explode, no lithium battery, ultimately, is absolutely safe: they will certainly meltdown with plenty of heat and flame if abused; and if they were sealed into a perfectly gastight container, and then made to fail, an explosion might result under those particular conditions.
  • We know that using a two-battery metal tube mod is intrinsically more dangerous because these are where the explosions are.
  • Using such a mod with no proper gas vents and no bottom-end blowout plug seems to involve the highest risk.
  • You should think very carefully before buying a metal tube mod with no physical safety features.
  • Mods need safety features because nobody really knows what battery they have, you just assume it is what it says on the label. But there are a whole lot more Gucci handbags out there than the factory ever made. Lots of people think they have a Gucci handbag but they don’t. So, you may think you have two AW cells, but they could be cheap clones with counterfeit labels. And they might not even be Li-Mn cells: they might just be unprotected Li-ion cells.
  • Mods need safety features because users make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes. If your safety depends on never making a mistake, then you are not safe.
  • Mods need safety features because the battery condition may be faulty but not have been noticed. Some mod owners don’t even own a meter, so we know this is going to happen in some cases.
  • Mods need physical safety features because electronic ones might fail. That’s what electronics does. And according to the most basic law of engineering, it will fail at the worst time in the worst way and in a chain of failures. People who say it can’t happen aren’t engineers and should not be building consumer products to be used in front of the face.
  • You should think very carefully before buying the cheapest batteries you can get, then stacking them. Especially in a metal tube mod. And especially in one short on safety features.
  • Batteries all have a C Rating. Don’t use batteries with a C Rating below 2 amps (2,000mA) as they ARE NOT up to the job.
  • Bigger batteries are safer because they can handle the heavy load an atomizer puts on them. No big battery (i.e. an 18500 or larger) has ever exploded.
  • All batteries can meltdown and cause a fire if faulty and/or abused.
  • DON’T put a mod in your pocket or purse with the atomizer connected or the master switch (if fitted) on; or along with keys and change.
  • Adapters can be treacherous, so be careful – they can short out.

ECF Thread on battery safety

 

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7 Comments on eCigs, Mods, Batteries and Safe Vaping

  1. vapor weapons

    This topic is very important and real! I just had a two week old Sanyo 18650 2600mha blow up while charging this week 2/26/2012. It was in the new Joyetech ego- t tube mod on a usb charger, on my computer for my tv streaming setup. 7:00am I was woke up by a very loud kaboooom!!! followed by smoke alarms going off, my crying wife saying she just saw a large fire ball in the living room! After grabbing the fire extinguisher I soon discovered It was my PV that had blown up! After hours of clean up (soot is bitch to remove), and investigation. I found that I had used the incorrect charger, the ego 4.2v 150mA instead of the recommended ego 4.2v 420mA charger. I had mixed them up! The end cap had blown off as intended, but the explosion was so powerful it ripped the 510 connection apart from the switch on the tube, and left a nice hole with black mark in my wall ! This is nothing to play with folks. Follow these guys advise it’s real ! I would have never thought using a lower mA rating charger could cause this, but it did. It did not allow the Joyetech circuitry to read voltage levels as intended . And I had to pay for a new Joyetech tube- mod and battery because I really like the unit, works great! Plus scaring the bejesus out of my wife, dogs, and self. All because of a simple oversight, and leaving it unattended , my bad… don’t be next…..

    • Bummer Vapor weapons! Imagine if you were both gone for the day when it vented! Being there and getting to the fire extinguisher in time is key. It sounds like it could’ve been worse- but I bet you’ll check your battery chargers a bit closer from here on out. Glad there were no injuries.

  2. With the latest publicized incident of the man in Florida, there has been many people coming out of the wood-works telling different happenings. I’m sure many vapers have had different things like this happen, some worse than others. But if anything, it brings more awareness to us and the stories are only a reminder of what could happen. – On a more personal note, my wife’s roughstack recently shorted out and caused her battery to melt just a tad bit of the coating off at the bottom of her AW IMR 18650 and the spring collapsed. Thankfully her quick reaction to open up the mod and pull the battery out and the spring collapsing made for this case one of those ‘not so worse’ incidents. Mind you, the stacking of two 510 to 510 extensions was probably not the best judgement and I still am not sure that it was the exact reason. – I’m sorry to hear all of that Vapor Weapons, but I am glad that it’s taught you to be more careful and aware, just like with my wife. – Good luck and vape safe.

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