When you’re dealing with refillable vape tanks, leaking is a fact of life. In fact, it’s amazing that vape tanks don’t leak even more than they do when you consider the fact that they’ve got holes for air to come in and a hole for vapor to come out – and yet, somehow, they’re supposed to store vape juice without spilling it everywhere. It’s pretty incredible that they actually do their job perfectly most of the time.
There are some times, however, when a vape tank doesn’t quite do its job. How many of these situations have you encountered during your time as a vaper?
- You go for a drive and place your vaping device in your car’s cup holder. By the end of the drive, you’ve got a cup holder that’s full of vape juice.
- You lift up your vaping device to have a puff, and as soon as you tilt the device, vape juice pours out of your tank’s intake vent.
- You notice an enormous e-liquid stain on your pants after carrying your vaping device in your pocket all day.
- You find your vaping device resting in a pool of e-liquid after leaving it out on a table overnight.
If you’ve been vaping long enough, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced every one of the above situations – and while there’s almost nothing that you can do to prevent a vape tank from leaking occasionally, there are ways to minimize the chance of it happening. Let’s fix your leaky vape tank.
Check Your Tank for Correct Assembly and Worn Parts
The most common reason why a vape tank leaks are because it’s not assembled properly. When a tank has a good seal, a vacuum forms inside the glass enclosure. The vacuum helps to keep the e-liquid in its place. If a tank doesn’t have a good seal, though, the vacuum can’t form – and that’s when leaking starts to happen.
To check the condition of your tank, start by disassembling it completely. With the tank taken apart, examine all of the rubber gaskets and check for any warping or tearing. A vape tank always includes at least one complete set of replacement gaskets, so you’ll want to dig out that little baggie and replace any worn gaskets that you find.
Once you’ve done that, it’s time to reassemble the tank. Put the tank together carefully; crossed threads can also prevent the tank from forming an internal vacuum. If two sections of the tank don’t twist together smoothly, don’t try to force them. Back the threads up and try again. Don’t over-tighten the tank; finger-tight is fine. Over-tightening can cause the tank’s gaskets to warp.
Use the Right VG/PG Ratio for Your Tank
Vape juice has gotten thicker over the years as e-liquid makers have skewed their VG/PG ratios more and more in favor of vegetable glycerin. People love the big, creamy clouds that a VG-heavy e-liquid produces, and the manufacturers of vape tanks have adjusted their designs to cater to that preference.
To accommodate the thicker e-liquids that most people prefer today, a typical vape tank has very large wick openings to ensure that thick vape juice has no trouble flowing efficiently to the atomizer coil.
The potential problem with that design, though, is the fact that leaking can occur if you’re not one of those vapers who prefers a thick e-liquid. An e-liquid high in propylene glycol will tend to seep through the wick in a modern sub-ohm vape coil and leak out the tank’s air intake vents.
It’s a good rule of thumb to remember that, if your vape tank is larger in diameter than around an inch or so, it probably requires an e-liquid containing at least 50 percent vegetable glycerin.
Watch Your Air Pressure When Inhaling
Incorrect assembly isn’t the only problem that can break your tank’s internal vacuum; you can also break the vacuum simply by inhaling with too much air pressure. The excess air pressure forces extra e-liquid to enter the tank’s atomizer coil assembly. Once the volume of e-liquid in the atomizer coil exceeds the wick’s capacity for absorption, the tank is at risk of developing a leak. The first sign of that is a gurgling sound when you vape, which we’ll address in the next section.
If you’re new to vaping, one of the most important things to remember is that your device won’t produce more vapor if you inhale more firmly. The way to get bigger vapor clouds is by inhaling as slowly and deeply as possible. You can also get more vapor by increasing your device’s power level if you have a variable-wattage device – but only to a point. If you’re not careful, you’ll burn your coil out.
Fix a Gurgling Vape Right Away
Using too much air pressure when you inhale is almost guaranteed to make your vape tank start gurgling, but it’s not the only thing that leads to that problem. Gurgling is a sign that excess e-liquid is caught inside your tank’s chimney or atomizer coil assembly, and it’s not just caused by using too much air pressure when you inhale. Some atomizer coils are more likely to cause gurgling because they produce vapor with large droplet size. The droplets collect inside the tank’s chimney and eventually drip back down to the coil, which causes gurgling, popping, spitting and leaking.
If your tank has a coil that’s likely to cause gurgling – it’s particularly likely to happen with Clapton coils, for instance – it’s time to consider buying a new tank. These days, the latest tanks use mesh coils that produce a much smaller and more even droplet size. Mesh coils tanks are extremely unlikely to gurgle.
In the meantime, though, you need to do something about the gurgling tank that you have before it starts leaking. Take a paper towel and roll it as tightly as possible. Push it down your tank’s chimney to soak up the excess e-liquid before it leaks out.