Why is my vape tank leaking?
Have you ever been out and about and suddenly felt a warm damp patch? you are not alone
By the time you have realised , it is already too late, you have a soggy pocket due to a leaky tank.
Leaking tanks can be one of the biggest headaches for anyone who vapes. The thought of having to spend the day explaining to everyone you meet that you have not had an accident is far from ideal.
Thankfully, for most tanks, you can fix (or at least reduce) problems with leaking pretty easily, so here are some top tips for staying leak-free!
The Battle against Leaking: Hard to Win, But Easy to Fight
The first step to a leak free life is to make sure you're definitely filling correctly.
Pretty much all vape tanks have a central tube which connects the coil to the mouthpiece.
They will also have air flow channels, and this is where most of the leakage will appear.
If you get e-liquid in the central tube or the airflow channels, you will definitely run into problems with leaking or gurgling.
The fix for this is simple…
Most tanks available on the market now have a removable top section, or top filling port to make filling easier. When you undo these top sections, make sure you are only holding the tank and undoing the correct section.
Some tanks have also have a coil securing ring, and if you’re holding this whilst unscrewing the top fill, you could unintentionally loosen your coil, causing leaks.
Ensure that when you fill up, you avoid getting any e-liquid in the central tube and coil.
Tilt your tank to the side when you fill up, as if you’re pouring fizzy drink into a glass.
This ensures the liquid runs down the inside of the glass or plastic of your tank – and stays as far away from the leaky danger zone as possible.
As it fills up, gradually straighten the tank to avoid spills. This technique will work with any top fill and bottom fill tanks.
If you do manage to get liquid down the central tube or coil, make sure that you clear the excess liquid first.
You can do this by:
- Holding some tissue at the end, and gently blow the excess out of the bottom.
- or by flicking the tank ( mouth piece down ) into some tissue.
Don’t overfill your Tank
Leaving a small amount of air actually creates a vacuum inside the tank which helps hold the e-liquid in the chamber.
Tighten Everything Up – and Watch Out for Cross-Threading…
This is the second main issue that can lead to leaking.
If the various components aren’t securely screwed in, or have even the slightest gap, for example.
- where your coil meets the base of your tank
- or where the base of your atomiser meets the tank
Any gaps here can be enough to create a leak.
This is easy to avoid. Take time and ensure that everything fits snugly.
- So when you re-attach a coil to the base (or to the top of the central tube, for top-coil tanks)
- And when you re-attach the base to your tank
We’ve found most of our pen style kits like the Innokin T18II,(T18 II images featured in blog) have machined coil locating slots, pins or grooves, so fitting coils correctly should be easier.
You should also check your coil even if you haven’t done anything with it - the heating process as you vape can cause the coil to naturally 'back off' if it's a screw type coil and create a gap that liquid can get into.
The biggest problem you’ll encounter when screwing everything in is “cross threading”.
That’s where the threads on the two components you’re screwing together don’t line up properly, leading to an imperfect seal.
the best solution to this is to:
- line everything up
- turn it anti-clockwise until you hear a click
- screw it in clockwise
…But Don’t Over-Tighten
There are two problems with over tightening.
Firstly, when it comes time to swap your coil out for a fresh one, trying to get your tank undone can be nigh on impossible. the heat generated whilst vaping and the sticky nature of eliquid seem to weld over tightened tank sections together, and even the most experienced of us risk breaking glass if the pliers have to come out.
Secondly, O-rings are tiny rubber rings. You’ll find them near the threading and where two parts of your tank meet.
They are key to making a seal – and reducing the chance of leaks. Over-tightening can damage these little helpers and a little split or break gives e-liquid an “escape route” to your pocket or bag.
Of course, the line between tight enough and too tight is a little hard to define.
The basic lesson is to screw everything in place firmly, but remember that you shouldn’t need to put much strength into it.
There’s no need to Hulk out; screw it in so it fits snugly – but not as tight as you possibly can.
Leave the Tank Standing Up
When you are not using your tank or even in between vapes, try your best to leave it upright.
This doesn’t matter as much when the tank is full. However, it definitely has an effect when the tank is under half-filled.
This is due to the “juice holes” in the coil.
When it is full, the holes are covered with juice and it is hard for the e-liquid to escape.
However, when it is under half full, and not stood up, some “juice holes” come out of the e-liquid.
This makes it easier for juice to seep through the coil, and into either the central tube, or out of the air flow holes.
Use the Correct Coils for the E-Liquid To Reduce Leaking
The design and development of tanks and coils nowadays makes choosing liquids for a device much simpler, as newly released tanks have been designed to work with most e-liquid, but it may depend on the coil you use choose to use.
Most tanks come with replaceable coils with varying resistances. These are suited for doing different things.
Higher resistance coils (1 ohm or above ) very much imitate a cigarette in the way that they are used, and therefore tend to have smaller juice/coil holes.
This is ideal for the higher PG (thinner) liquids as they can flow easily.
High VG (thicker) liquid used in one of these coils may clog up the coil a lot more quickly.
Low resistance coils (below 1 ohm) should be used with higher VG (thicker) liquid, as the juice holes and air flow holes are generally a lot bigger to allow for the thicker liquid.
If you try to put high PG (thinner) liquids in one of these coils you’re likely to flooding issues. These coil allow too much thinner liquid into the coil, which will end up either in the central tube, or leaking out of the air flow holes.
This is a bit of a simplistic solution, but thinner, PG-based liquids can be more prone to leaks than VG-based ones. This doesn't necessarily mean you should be searching out the highest VG content for your kit so it won't leak. If the ratio of VG is too high you may find the opposite effect - the liquid is so thick it can't penetrate the wicks fast enough and you can't take more than a couple of puffs before the coil dries out and burns.
Check Your O-Rings and Replace Them if Needed
It’s not just over-tightening that can lead to issues with O-rings - They can also degrade or get budged out of position over time.
To check your O-rings, take your tank apart – this usually just requires unscrewing the various parts – and look for the rubber rings on the atomiser head and at the base of your tank.
You should be able to see if any are degraded or out of position. If they are, remove them– and replace them with fresh ones.
(Any tank or kit you purchase, should have a little bag of spares including replacement O-rings.
Something like a small flat-head screwdriver, a toothpick or a pair of tweezers can help with this.
It’s also worth checking that your O-ring is installed correctly, you may notice grooves where the O-ring is designed to sit and it's important they're in place so everything fits together with no gaps e-liquid can leak through.
Increase Your Power Setting
One of the most common causes of leaks is actually flooding.
That’s when too much juice gets pulled into your coil for it to vaporise.
A build up of excess e-liquid that only has one way to go - out of the coil housing and probably into the airflow channel of the tank.
There are a few ways to solve this…
The simplest is to switch to a higher power or voltage setting, a lot of new pen style kits have incorporated a basic power setting
The Innokin t18 II has a soft, medium and hard setting
The medium and hard setting will vaporise more juice per puff, so it can cope with the amount of e-liquid making its way to your coil.
It will also lead to more vapour (which you may or may not want), and can bring out different elements of the flavour of your eliquid, so it isn’t always the ideal fix.
It’s not the only solution, though…
Inhale Slowly and Softly, Not Firmly and Sharply
If you’re still having problems with leaky tanks, particularly if you’re relatively new to vaping, your inhalation style could be the cause.
There’s a core difference between inhaling from a cigarette and from an e-cigarette…
Drawing harder on a cigarette gives you more smoke, but inhaling more sharply on an e-cigarette accomplishes little.
In fact, when you puff hard and fast on your e-cigarette, you may be pulling liquid into the coil housing faster than it can vaporise it.
That leaves you to sucking some excess liquid up through the centre tube like a straw – and potentially causing leaking.
The solution takes some getting used to, but it’s easy:
Make your puffs much longer and slower, and don’t worry about inhaling sharply. Vapour will come even with gentle inhalation, and you won’t flood your atomiser.
Minimise Condensation with Long Draws
There’s one source of leaking you can do little about.
It’s hard to inhale all the vapour you produce when you press the fire button and take a puff, and any remaining vapour will eventually condense into your centre tube or mouthpiece.
This is not a lot of e-liquid, but it will build up over time.
That’s why, even when there are no clear signs of leaking from the connections on your atomiser and no gurgling to indicate you’re flooding your coil, you may still notice e-liquid has leaked through onto your device’s airflow channels
To minimise this happening:
- inhale as soon as you fire up your e-cig
- take your finger off the fire button when you have finished inhaling
You can also clear any accumulated e-liquid out of the tube by removing your tank and putting a paper towel around the airflow sections and blowing gently through the mouthpiece.
Choose a Leak Resistant Tank
There has been huge advances in technology and many e- cigarette manufactures have created leak resistant tanks.
We think one of the best available at the moment is Aspire's new Tigon kit
It is an easy to use compact vape pen. Filling is simple with a pull up/slide top cap and it has a genius self-sealing sleeve, so when you come to replace the coil the sleeve slides down as you remove the old coil, shutting off the juice flow and preventing any juice spilling
The Coil replacement is just as easy by unscrewing the base of the tank, pulling out the old coil and replacing with a new one.
It can be used as either a mouth to lung (MTL) by using the 1.2Ω coil or a restricted direct to lung (DTL by utilising the 0.4Ω coil.
Bonus Tip – Taking a flight? or a Chair Lift? Empty your tank!
You see, your e-liquid and tank really don’t get on with air pressure changes.Your e-liquid just wants out!
So before you board your flight, ensure your tanks are empty and ready to be filled at the other side.
If all else fails… it’s time for a new Coil
We all try to eke out the last puff of any coil, whether they’re stock coils or ones we’ve made ourselves.
Unfortunately, a well-loved / used coil will increase your chance of having soggy pockets.
When your wick is dying or your coil isn’t functioning optimally, flooding becomes a much more common issue, and leaking quickly follows. The best solution here is to take out the old coil and replace it with a fresh, shiny new one.
Leaking is an unavoidable fact of life for vapers. Preventing leaking altogether would be a dream but they do happen. You can keep leakage to a minimum though - The key is maintenance. The more you look after your tanks and follow the best practices, the fewer leaks you will have.