5 Tips for Handling Your Vape Batteries Safely
A vaping device from E-Cigarette Empire or another vape store might look like a perfectly ordinary consumer device, but under the hood, your vape packs a ton of power.
Think about it this way: A phone like the iPhone 11 has a total battery capacity of around 3,000 mAh. A vaping device with two 21700 battery cells, on the other hand, has a capacity of about 8,000 mAh. While a phone might last a few days before it needs recharging, you’ll be lucky if you get a single full day out of any vaping device. So, your vape doesn’t just have a massive amount of battery power; the act of vaping also draws a huge amount of power from the batteries.
If you keep an eye on the news, you’ve probably seen reports of devices with lithium-ion batteries catching fire – or even exploding – during charging or use. That’s even happened with a few vaping devices, and that should make you stand up and take notice. Lithium-ion batteries are not to be trifled with, and they can fail violently if they’re not treated properly.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that battery-related incidents with vaping devices are extremely rare. They’re much rarer than fires related to smoking, which are disturbingly common. The even better news is that almost all battery incidents with vaping devices are directly related to improper handling or charging. Therefore, if you handle your vape batteries safely, you can reduce the chance of an incident to almost zero. Here’s how.
Charge Your Vape Batteries via USB or Manufacturer-Supplied Equipment
The only acceptable way to charge a vaping device is by connecting it via USB to your computer or to a manufacturer-supplied wall adapter. If you have a vaping device with a removable battery, you can also take the battery out and charge it in a high-quality standalone charger. Make sure, however, that the charger supports the battery type and chemistry. A charger designed for rechargeable AA batteries, for example, may not support 18650 battery cells. Confirm the charger’s capabilities before using it to charge vape batteries.
Don’t ever attempt to charge a vaping device with the wall adapter for your tablet or phone. The battery in your mobile device can handle a strong charging current, making it possible to get the device back to a usable state quickly even if the battery is completely dead. Your vaping device isn’t certified to handle a quick-charge current and may overheat if you try to charge it with the wall adapter for a mobile device.
Transport Loose Batteries Properly
One of the benefits of owning a vaping device with a removable battery is that you can have a spare battery available to keep the device running when the battery that you’re using dies. You should never, however, carry a loose vaping battery in your pocket.
One of the most common reasons why vaping batteries have failed is because they were transported improperly – and the last place where you want a vaping battery to fail is in your pocket. A short circuit can occur if a metal object touches a battery’s top and bottom terminals simultaneously.
Batteries have literally caught fire in people’s pockets because they touched keys, spare change or other batteries. If you need to transport spare batteries, put them in a carrier that keeps them protected and prevents them from touching other metal items – and don’t put the carrier in your pocket.
Don’t Use Batteries With Visible Defects
Do you have a vape battery with a tear in the outer wrapper? Stop using it. Either replace the battery’s wrapper or take the battery to a vape shop that can replace the wrapper for you. The plastic wrapper on the outside of a battery isn’t just there for show; it’s also there because the entire metal surface of the battery is conductive. The wrapper, therefore, prevents metal objects – such as the inside of your vape mod, perhaps – from touching the metal on the side of the battery. If a metal object does touch the outside of the battery while simultaneously touching the top of the battery, that’s a short circuit.
A torn battery wrapper is easily fixed if you have the appropriate knowledge. Problems that can’t be fixed, however, are other signs of serious battery damage such as dents and bulges. If you have a battery with one of those problems, stop using the battery immediately and recycle it.
Don’t Use a Mechanical Mod
Nearly all vape mods have built-in circuitry that helps to keep you safe from problems like short circuits and overheating. If the internal temperature of a vape mod is too high, for example, a good mod will shut down and display an error message informing you of the problem. There Is another type of vape mod, however, that has no such circuitry.
A mechanical mod is a vaping device with no electronic components. In the early years of vaping, mechanical mods were popular because they offered significantly better performance than the cigarette-shaped e-cigarettes that were common at the time.
Today, though, using a mechanical mod is no longer a good idea because modern vape tanks require significantly more battery power than the tanks of the past. You should only use a vaping device with built-in protection features that help to ensure your safety.
Stop Using a Device That No Longer Charges Normally
Eventually, every lithium-ion battery reaches a point at which it no longer holds a charge. If that happens to a vaping device with a permanent internal battery, that’s when it’s time for you to buy a new device. Do you have a vaping device with a battery that seems to die instantly after you’ve recharged it fully? Is your device suddenly taking much longer than usual to charge – the indicator says that the battery is still charging even though the device has been connected to a USB port for hours? Those are the tell-tale signs that the battery in your device is done. Stop using that device and get a new one right away.