Did you know that there were more than 2000 e-cigarette explosions in 2018? Fast forward to 2022, and we still hear about cases like 21-year-old Noah’s leg injury.
Vape explosions are a serious issue that can set your clothes on fire, burn your skin, and even end your life. Fortunately, they are also completely avoidable. All you must do is educate yourself on how to know if your vape is going to explode.
And we will help you with exactly that. In today’s post, we will discuss signs of vape explosion, its causes, and how to avoid it. Let’s dive in!
Which Vapes Are Likely to Explode?
First things first, not all vapes are likely to explode. Only mechanical mods pose this risk because they have no built-in protections to safeguard against explosions.
The battery is directly connected to the atomizer. Since there is no circuitry, the battery delivers raw electrical energy to the atomizer. As a result, vapers can draw more power and create high clouds of smoke.
However, this also means a high chance of exploding. The vape will continue to provide low vapor even when the battery life is almost finished. It won’t stop when the battery is overheating with too much power, either.
It’s why people (especially beginners) should avoid using mech mods. If you do want to use it, make sure you know about 4-important factors:
- Ohm’s Law
- Battery Amperage Limits
- Battery Safety
- How Mechanical Mods Work?
You should also know the signs of a vape explosion. With this knowledge, you can potentially save yourself and others from a deadly incident or lawsuit.
Signs of Vape Explosion
The number one sign of a vape that’s about to explode is overheating. It will become hot enough to burn the back of your hand or the inside of your arm. Please note that the palm and mouth are capable of tolerating high temperatures.
So, if a vape feels mildly hot in your palm or mouth, take it seriously and touch the vape slightly on your skin to confirm the hotness. If it’s indeed burning hot, quickly turn it off, remove the battery, or toss it somewhere safe.
Other signs of vape explosion include:
- Low Vapor – you will only get a few puffs out of the vape device, and they will be really hot.
- Burning Cotton – typically, the cotton burns when you vape at extremely high temperatures, and the juice evaporates faster than the cotton wick can re-saturate itself. But, if the cotton burns even when it’s soaked in the juice, the vape is about to explode.
- High-pitch Squeal – sometimes, the battery will let out a high-pitch squeal or noise.
What Causes Vapes to Explode?
There are several reasons why a vape explodes, and all of them link to one important component; the battery. So, let’s have a look at each one of them!
1. Improper Battery Storage
As mentioned before, mechanical mods have no safety features to prevent battery overheating and explosion. This makes the metal terminals highly dangerous.
When carrying loose batteries with other metal objects (like keys or coins in your pocket), an accidental circuit can form. The metal objects can come in contact with the positive or negative terminal and allow power transfer.
Unlike a regular circuit, the generated power keeps going back into the e-cigarette battery. This results in overheating until the battery explodes. It’s why loose batteries should never be carried without a storage case.
The case also protects the battery from direct heat, sunlight, and moisture. You can leave the batteries in the car or bag without stressing about overheating.
2. Incorrect Usage
Using mechanical mods requires great care and responsibility. You must be aware of the components like coil resistance, battery amperage, and other important details. Otherwise, you can end up using the vape incorrectly and blowing up the device.
For example, if the mechanical mod has a low-resistance coil, the atomizer will draw more current with each puff – allowing you to produce high clouds of vapor and get more flavor. But, if the vape has a low-wattage battery, the vape will overheat and explode.
This is why one should not try these electronic cigarettes unless they have complete knowledge of Ohm’s Law and the connection between resistance and electricity. Modifying a vape is not a game!
3. Counterfeit & Mislabeled Batteries
Generally, the lithium-polymer and lithium-ion batteries used in vapes are safe. But they aren’t cheap at all. A single battery can cost anywhere between $10 to $40. If you vape a lot or don’t recharge the batteries, this can add up to hundreds every month!
Some people try to save money by using counterfeit batteries. These are low-quality, replica batteries with unbranded wrappers. While these may work in regulated mods, they can easily become overheated in mech vapes.
Another rare but possible manufacturer-related issue is mislabeling.
Usually, batteries are labeled with the amperage for continuous use. But, if a battery handles 25-amp for a few seconds and the manufacturer hasn’t specified this detail on the packaging, one can use it on high power and risk an explosion!
If you leave the vape pen on charge for the whole night or use a defective charger, the battery can overheat and explode. It’s also possible to overcharge batteries by using a charge intended for high-capacity cells.
Most batteries can be charged up to 4 to 4.5 volts. Anything above that can make the battery unstable. You can find the charge limit of your vape batteries by looking at the wrapper or packaging box.
Dropping the vape again and again, playing with it, or leaving it in extreme temperatures are just a few examples of mishandling. Remember that vapes are sensitive devices and must be used with care to avoid battery issues.
How Do You Make Sure Your Vape Doesn’t Explode?
Vape battery explosions are a rare occurrence, but when they happen, the damages are quite severe. If you want to avoid them at all costs, make sure to follow these tips:
1. Use Battery Storage Cases
Since loose batteries are dangerous, always carry them in a simple storage case or sleeve. We are pretty sure that you will have plenty of spare plastic and cloth bags at home. Just grab one and wrap the batteries in it before traveling.
If you prefer, there are also dedicated vape battery cases available online. These are inexpensive products that keep your battery cool, dry, and safe from overheating.
2. Educate Yourself on Modifying Vapes
This is an obvious yet highly-important tip. Up till now, you must have noticed that the majority of battery explosions occur because of user mistakes. Even buying a counterfeit or mislabeled battery is the user’s fault.
So, before you use an unregulated or mechanical mod, make sure to research and educate yourself on the topic.
3. Purchase Reliable Products
Buying rewrapped batteries may seem like a genius hack to save money. But saving a few dollars isn’t worth risking your life for. Always purchase batteries from reliable and reputable manufacturers like Epoch, Efest, and Molicel.
4. Never Overcharge!
A great way to prevent battery issues is to charge it for a limited time. If the battery requires a 2-hour charge, keep a track of time and remove it the instant it is fully charged. Never leave a battery charging overnight.
If you cannot do this, invest in a high-quality battery charger with built-in protection. Such chargers cut the power supply when the battery is full.
5. Take Good Care of Your Vape Battery!
Lastly, learn to handle your vape properly and maintain it. Avoid dropping it from great heights or keeping it in random places. Instead, place it in the storage case and clean it regularly.
For cleaning, just turn off the device and disassemble the parts. Then, wipe the dirt with a dry cotton bud. Here’s a useful video on how to clean vape devices!
Will a vape explode if it gets too hot?
Yes, vape explosions occur because of battery overheating. If you keep it in extreme temperatures or there is an internal battery issue, the vape will become too hot and explode.
Will my vape explode if I drop it in the water?
No, dropping vape devices in water will not cause them to explode. But they will become unusable and dangerous. It’s best to get the vape checked by a professional or just get a new one.
Can a vape explode if you drop it?
Yes, the vape can explode if you drop it. The impact from the fall can rupture the battery and electrical components inside. This can lead to overheating and an eventual explosion.
All in all, the biggest sign of vape explosion is overheating. Your vape device will become burning hot. It may also produce low vapor, a high-pitch squeal, or burn the cotton wick even when it is soaked in e-liquid.
If you notice one or more of these signs, immediately turn off the device and/or remove the battery. In cases when you can not remove the battery, toss it somewhere safe!