A lot of vapers put up with their vape spitting or leaking because they think it’s just part of what happens, but it’s not.
If your vaping device is leaking or spitting, there are things you can do to stop it. It doesn’t matter what kind of e-cigarette you’re using, either – even though some are more prone to these problems than others, these simple steps can minimise any problems you’re having with your tank or atomiser head.
So, if you don’t want to spill your favourite e-liquid everywhere while you vape, and you don’t want to get e-liquid in your mouth from spitback, take a look at these ways you can avoid it. You can make your whole vaping experience much better just by doing these things.
Why does my e-cigarette leak?
Your tank leaks when e-liquid escapes, usually through the airflow system. Whether this is just a few drops or a tidal wave of e-liquid washing down your vaping device and covering your hands, it’s pretty annoying. There are several common causes for this but the good news is there are several easy steps you can take to stop it happening, so read on to make sure your tank never leaks again.
How do I stop my vape tank leaking?
The first of these steps are really easy day-to-day maintenance that shouldn’t take much, or even any, extra time. If your vaping device insists on leaking even when you do these things, you will need to investigate a little further using the last steps below – don’t worry, it’s not tricky and it shouldn’t take long.
Check your seal
This is the first thing to do if your tank is leaking. It might have worked loose so checking your tank is fastened together properly is the first step. If it is loose, it might be that your tank has worked loose, which might indicate it’s time for a replacement, or it might just be that you didn’t quite screw it in tightly enough (it’s easy enough to do if you’re in a hurry).
Don’t over-fill your tank
If you over-fill your tank, it’s obviously much more likely to leak. Leave a pocket of air at the top and this’ll help prevent leaks.
Keep your chimney clear
The chimney is the central airflow tube that runs from the body of the tank to the drip tip. If you get vape juice inside this, your e-cigarette starts to gurgle and leak. All you need to do to correct it is clear any liquid from inside the chimney – just use a paper towel to soak it up.
Keep your tank upright
This is not always possible to do but it’s best to keep your tank upright as much as you can. When you lay your device down on its side, the vape juice seeps through the airflow holes and causes leakage. If you’re at home or in an office, or even in your car, put your e-cigarette down with the tank upright. If you carry it in your pocket, keep it the right way up. The worst culprit for causing the e-liquid to seep out is putting your device down at night – make sure you don’t lay it on its side as it’s going to be there for a long time.
Put a lid on it
If you leave a tank with the top cap off, it will leak. Even though the airflow holes are tiny, they’re still holes – your tank is not watertight.
Check your O-rings
O-rings are the little rubber rings that stop your vape juice from leaking out of your tanks. It stands to reason, then, that if they’re worn or damaged, they won’t work properly and your e-juice will leak. Take your tank apart to check your O-rings. If they’re damaged, replace them. They’re not expensive and they’re easily available.
Check your airflow
Your airflow holes should be completely closed when you’re filling your tank with e-liquid. When you vape, though, they should be open enough for you to vape without having to force it. If you inhale too forcefully, you risk sucking too much e-liquid into the coils, which will then be too full and are more likely to leak.
Check for cracks
Check your tank for cracks, chips and other damage. It might not be obvious until you look for it. Even a tiny crack in the glass will stop the tank being watertight, or a slight bend in the metal will mean the coil doesn’t sit snugly in place. If the tank is damaged, it’s easy to buy a new one and they’re not too expensive to replace.
Check your coil
It’s sad to say but sometimes you just get a dud coil. Tiny flaws will stop it functioning properly and will cause it to leak. However, don’t assume it’s a dud straight away – the first thing to do is to check that your coil is screwed in properly and, if it is and it’s still leaking, replace it.
Use the right e-liquid
E-liquid is made up of PG and VG, and you can choose which ratio you want. PG is much more runny than VG, so a high percentage of PG will make your e-liquid thinner. It will be more likely to leak if you have a sub-ohm atomiser head designed for creating large clouds, as these function best with high quantities of the thicker VG (which produces the cloud).
Check your wick
This only really applies to vapers who use rebuildable atomisers (RBAs) and wick their coils themselves. It takes a lot of skill to get them perfect – using enough wicking material to ensure it doesn’t leak without over-stuffing the coil – but practice makes perfect.
Get a better design of e-cigarette
Because this is such a widespread problem, some manufacturers are putting more effort into designing their tanks to combat leaking and spitting, so you can look forward to a time in the future when this is no longer a problem. However, in the meantime, keep following these simple tips to minimise problems and, if you can, get a quality vaping device. Take a look at our What Vape To Buyblog to get some ideas.
Why does my e-cig spit and pop?
Most vapers have heard the popping, sizzling and gurgling sounds that can happen when they vape.
Spitting tanks can also be known as ‘popping’ because of the sound they make. If your tank is spitting or popping, you need to do something about it.
Spitting is when you fire the coil and tiny droplets of hot vape juice shoot in all directions. The biggest problem is when they shoot up the mouthpiece and burn your mouth – this is known as spitback. It’s not dangerous but it’s not a pleasant sensation.
It’s caused by e-liquid pooling in the coil so when the coil heats, the e-liquid doesn’t all vaporise – it boils and spits. Because you’re inhaling from the mouthpiece, it can catch you. The most common cause of your vape starting to spit is a flooded coil (although it’s not always the case).
Below are some easy steps you can take to prevent spitback and popping.
How do I stop my vape tank spitting and popping?
Again, the first steps are easy and are just good vaping practices. As you get more experienced, you’ll do these things naturally and it won’t feel like any extra effort. However, until you get the experience to do that, follow these steps to make sure that you avoid your vaping device spitting and popping.
Don’t over-prime your coil
Vapers prime their coil to avoid getting a ‘dry hit’ but there is a delicate balance to be had between not enough and too much. Priming your coil is the process of ensuring your wicking material is saturated with e-liquid before you heat it. The most common method is dripping, which means you drip e-liquid directly onto the wick to saturate it but make sure you don’t put too much vape liquid in the coil as this will flood it and cause spitback. It’s best to give the wick time to absorb the e-liquid. If you want to know more about why vapers prime their coils, check out our blog post How Long Do Coils Last.
Don’t inhale too forcefully
This causes flooding by drawing more vape juice into the chamber. Inhale more gently – you only need to draw the vapour into your mouth or lungs, which only takes a natural breath to do. If you have trouble doing this, reduce the airflow setting but make sure you don’t start inhaling more forcefully to compensate. If you do, perhaps increase the airflow so you don’t need to inhale with much force at all.
Clear the chimney
Spitting and popping can be made worse by e-liquid collecting in the chimney as this runs back down into your coil and floods it. It’s easy to clean with some rolled-up paper towel or (slightly less efficient but good for a quick fix every now and again) flick the tank over the sink or some tissue so the excess e-liquid flicks out.
Use thicker e-liquid
Because PG is thinner than VG, a high ratio of PG will make your e-liquid runnier and this will make it more likely to flood your coil. Changing your e-liquid to a high ratio of VG will make the e-juice more viscous and it will take longer to seep into your wicking material. Cloud chasers should be using a higher VG ratio anyway as it’s this which produces the large cloud.
Press the fire button a few times
Press the fire button a few times before you start to inhale. Wait for the popping sounds to fade as your vaping device stops spitting. It won’t stop it spitting, but it’ll stop you getting in the line of fire and getting that spitback in your mouth.
Increase the power
By increasing the power, you’ll make your coil vaporise the e-juice faster. It could be that your wattage is currently too low and so your wick is supplying e-liquid faster than the coil can burn it, which causes flooding. Increase the wattage, but do it gradually so you can monitor the effect as you don’t want to turn the power up too quickly and then burn the wick. This is particularly common with sub-ohm vaping as the wattage doesn’t need to be very high in sub-ohm coils for them to work.
Reduce your airflow setting
If you don’t want to increase the wattage on your vaping device because you prefer a cooler vapour, then you can reduce spitback and popping by reducing your tank’s airflow. By reducing the airflow to the coil, you limit the amount of e-liquid that is drawn up with your inhale. For this to work properly, make sure you don’t inhale harder to compensate.
Get an angled, anti-spit drip tip
Some drip tips have been especially designed to minimise spitting by angling the tip more. It makes it harder for the spitting e-liquid to get out of the atomiser and hit your mouth as they hit the bend in the drip tip instead. Also, curved drip tips work in the same way. It doesn’t stop your atomiser from spitting but it does mean that you don’t get the spitback in your mouth.
Use a long drip tip
This works in a similar way to an angled drip tip. It stops the spitback reaching your mouth so it doesn’t bother you when your e-liquid spit and pops.
Use a pipe screen
It’s much more common for atomiser heads to be designed with screens over the coils these days, but not all of them do. These are useful because every vape pen spits occasionally so it stops you from noticing when it does. The screen is a mesh that catches the droplets of vape juice when they spit, which stops them from reaching your mouth. If your vaping device doesn’t have one already, you can install one yourself. Just get a pipe screen (they’re easily available and not very expensive) and cut it to size, and push it down the chimney to just below the drip tip. Make sure it doesn’t touch the coil, since the screen is metal and therefore conductive. If you have trouble getting the screen to fit inside a small chimney, cut it into a circle and then cut across the radius and twist it into a cone, which you will be able to push down the tank’s chimney.
Use simple coils
Vapers who use rebuildable atomisers (RBAs) can use complicated coils because they want a greater surface area to generate more vapour. However, multi-strand coils often spit because their design makes it easier for vape juice to pool in the coil. Twisted coils are particularly well-known for this as they have a lot of nooks and crannies which catch e-liquid, making it pool. Pooling e-liquid pops and spits when it’s heated because it cannot all be vaporised at once.
Check your wick
If you’re using a rebuildable tank atomiser (RTA), you may need to re-wick your coils. The wick should cover the juice holes in the coil so that the e-juice soaks into the wicking material. However, you don’t want to stuff the wicking material in as this will cause its own problems.