E-Cig Troubleshooting Guide – Fixing Vape Issues and Problems
I get a lot of questions regarding electronic cigarette problems, and vaping issues. I have tried to cover these vape issues in this concise e-cig troubleshooting guide.
E-cigarette troubleshooting – Replacing e-cigarette atomizer coil
E-cig problems issues vary from vaporizers not working properly, cleaning issues, batteries going flat, e-cig tanks leaking, and various other e-cig problems. This is why I have written this article covering all of the possible problems with vapour cigarettes and solutions on how to fix an e-cig.
Below is the new e-cigarette troubleshooting guide which I hope will answer many of your questions.
I have specifically made this page so it applies to the particular models that I sell on this site. However, this guide should be helpful for any general e-cigarette model issues.
Basic Models Evod and Ego Newbie Tips
I’d like to start with a nice little video which explains all the basics when dealing with your first new starter kit. This first video is for you newbies who have just got your first ego ce5 or evod mt3 starter kit. The cool blue haired girl is using an evod mt3 and an ego ce4 as examples, but if you have the ce5, these tips still apply exactly.
Possible Electronic Cigarette Issues
1/ Atomizer and Coil
*Dirty Connections: The most common reason that an e-cigarette doesn’t work is that the connections are dirty. Both the battery connector end and the atomizer connector end need to be cleaned properly every day.
- Scrunch up some tissue paper and dip into a cleaning agent (such as isopropyl alcohol or similar). Then twist and turn the tissue inside the connector ends, wiping the connection area. This should rub off and remove all the grit and grime.
- Next, use some dry tissue to clean even more and dry the area completely.
The majority of the time doing this will be enough to get your e-cig firing again.
Basic Ego Style E-cigarette Issues
In the video above a young vape dude explains some of the more common issues an ego style e-cigarette can have. He then offers solutions and tips on how to rectify these annoyances. (He calls the coil… “the core” for some reason, but we know what he means. :))
*Coil Issues: Another common problem that an e-cigarette has is the coil. Coils can easily burn out, and over time they will eventually burn out anyway. Coils can burn out when you try vaping when there is no e-juice in the tank. Dry vaping can cause the unit to have a dirty taste as well. Coils are easy to replace and very cheap. We sell coils for most of our vaporizers for around $5-00 each. Ninety-nine percent of the time a new coil replacement will get your e-cigarette firing like new again.
However, before replacing a coil, you can try cleaning the old coil first.
- To do this, unscrew the coil from the atomizer. (You may need to unscrew the atomizer head first. Then unscrew the coil unit from the atomizer head.
- Okay, now run the coil unit and the other atomizer parts through hot water, and then flick dry.
- Next, look carefully at the atomizer coil and notice any carbon build up which will likely have built up in the middle of the wicks. Or (if it’s wickless) right where the coil wires activate. This build-up is what is blocking your air-flow, prohibiting you from getting a good vape. Sometimes, it is just too hard to remove the dirty little carbon grit. If that’s the case, it will be safer and easier to just buy a new coil unit. However, a baking powder and vinegar solution (see video further down this article) and the hot running water may have loosened the carbon build up enough for you to dislodge it. Try blowing at it, tapping it against the table, or even poking and prying at it with a needle. See if you can break it loose from the coil, but be careful, do not force anything. You could easily break the coil wires by mistake.
- Now run under hot water again and wipe clean dry.
- Blow as hard as you can through the air tube to push out any remaining particles and water.
- Dry and wipe clean all the other parts and screw everything back together again.
- Now, before filling up with e-juice there is one more thing to do. Attach a fully charged battery to your newly cleaned atomizer and press the activate button. Hold down the button and listen to the hissing sound. This is the wetness and any leftover grit being burned up and evaporating. Keep pressing the button until the hissing noise goes away. (You can also do this dry burning technique before you have even screwed everything together. Just screw the battery to the atomizer head and press the button. This way you will be able to actually see the coil wire burning. Keep pressing the button until you can see the wires glowing.
- Now fill your tank to halfway and see if it works. If after all that it still doesn’t work, replace the coil completely.
- If you’re very clever, you can take the coil apart and replace the wire and wicks. However, I won’t explain that here and now. That’s another article.
*White Vinegar and Baking Soda Cleaning Tip:
- Unscrew all the parts of your atomizer and e-cigarette (everything that you can take apart). Place them all except the battery into a shallow bowl.
- Now sprinkle a teaspoon of baking soda over all the parts. Get the powder in all the holes and everywhere.
- Next poor some white vinegar into bowl just covering the parts. Watch as the solution bubbles and froths up.
- This is a fantastic cleaning agent, so swirl the solution around over the parts until it settles down.
- Next rinse the parts through running hot water and wipe with a dry cloth.
- Leave parts in a dry place for a few hours until completely dry.
- Screw everything back together and try your device again.
Use this cleaning tip whenever your device needs a good clean.
*Fully Charge The Battery:
- Make sure the battery has been fully charged for 3 to 5 hours.
- Do not over charge the battery. Although it will automatically turn itself off after it is fully charged, if you still leave it plugged in, it will begin to lose charge again. Therefore, for best results, it is best to disconnect it from the charger as soon as it’s fully charged.
- Most batteries will last a few months before you will need to purchase a new one. This is provided you look after it properly and aren’t constantly maxing it out. We have a good selection of batteries and most of them are compatible with all our vaporizers as they all use the same 510 thread.
- As stated in the atomizer/coil section above, make sure the battery connection end is also clean and dry.
- Clean it regularly.
- If the battery connector end has e-juice or grime on it while charging, it will not charge properly in the charging cord. Likewise, if the battery end is still a bit dirty it won’t function properly when attached to the atomizer either.
- This also applies to the charging cord itself. Make sure the connector end of the charging cord is cleaned regularly.
Battery Still Won’t Charge?
*NOTE: This little thing can easily catch you out.
I once had a battery which seemed clean and seemed to be fully charged. The charging lights went from red to green and I had left it charging for the recommended 3-5 hours. I would then screw it back on to my cleaned atomizer unit and vape with it. The damned thing would only last about one hour and then it would start blinking, indicating it had run out of power. And YES…it really had run out of power. I thought to myself what a stupid battery. How could it be dead so quickly? I only had this battery for a few days. Anyway, I would recharge it again and again. Each time the damned thing would run out of charge after less than an hour.
One day I decided to clean the the battery end thoroughly with a cloth and some alcohol. Even though it already looked clean, I cleaned it anyway. I also cleaned the actual charging cord contact ends well.
This time after I charged it, the battery lasted 2 whole days. Longer than any battery I had ever used so far. It was fixed, amazing. I thought that battery was surely a dud. However, it turned out that it was just a bit of grit or something. It was so small I could not even see it. And that was enough to prevent it from getting fully charged. Even though the charging light said it was fully charged by glowing green, it actually wasn’t.
So, take note of this story and do not always trust what the light says. Always charge your battery for at least 3 hours. Also, make sure the contacts are absolutely spotless on your battery end, and the charging cord end.
*Store in Cool Place:
- Keep batteries in cool, dark place.
- If exposed to heat the battery can easily be damaged.
- Also, always detach batteries from device when storing.
- Always keep stored batteries having some charge.
- Also store the whole e-cigarette in a cool dark place. Exposure to heat or cold for any length of time can cause leaking or other issues.
*Never Over-Tighten the Connections:
Not only can this easily burr the threads, over-tightening the battery in the USB charger can also cause the charger or battery to malfunction.
3/ Leaking Issues
E-cigarettes in general can leak. Yep they can. The following are some possible reasons your e-cigarette may be leaking. Also, some tips to remedy the issue and prevent the leaking from occurring in the first place. Of course each brand and even each individual device will have different levels of susceptible zones to these factors. However, in general these tips can apply to most makes and models. Try to follow them as much as you can.
- Filling the tank – The most common cause of e-cigarette leaking is spilling a little of the e-juice down the center tubing of the chamber. This can happen when filling the tank. (This will cause leaking and gurgling, and it will get in your mouth – yuck!). Be extra careful to make sure the juice drips down the side of the chamber avoiding any spillage down the middle air tube. Also, I have personally found that some devices actually work best only filled half way. For best results, you will need to experiment with your particular device, as each one has its own preference. #However – Most devices work best with a good amount of e-juice in the tank. S,o keeping them completely full all the time is more likely to reduce the possibility of leaking. Please do experiment with your particular device to determine what level of fullness it works best with.
- Leaving your e-cigarette with juice in it and not using it – Yep, this is another common cause for e-cigarette leakage. If you are not going to be using your electronic cigarette for a day or two or longer, be sure to empty it first. There are several reasons for this including environmental changes, gravity and technicalities. But as a rule of thumb, follow this tip and you won’t have any problems. However, if for some reason you do leave it with a little juice in it for some period of time, make sure it is sitting upside down.
- Technical application – If you slightly cross-thread, over-tighten or under-tighten the pieces of your your device, it could easily result in a bit of leakage. Be careful when taking apart and re-attaching the bits and pieces of your device that you do it just right.
- Extremities in temperature – Exposing your e-cigarette to too much heat or too much cold conditions can cause it to leak. Never leave your device (especially if it has e-juice in it) exposed to direct heat or cold. That means on the dashboard of your car, outside in the rain, snow or cold, near a heater, in the fridge etc…
- E-Juice mixture – And here’s a tip! If you happen to live in hot or cold climate and can’t get away from these extremities, try to make your e-juice mixture contain more VG to PG. That is because VG is thicker and less likely to leak. PG is a lot more runny and thin so will be more likely to find the gaps and leak out all over your new t-shirt.
- Bangs, breaks, bends and pressure – Another common cause of e-cig leakages is because the device has been physically altered. This can be caused by sitting on it, dropping it, hitting it, knocking it, simply leaving it in the wrong place. Or it could be simply good old wear and tear. Often this will be where the atomizer and the tank are joined together. (The glass or plastic will slightly lift from the metal and allow juice to seep out.) This can be very slight and hard to notice. It can easily be fixed by physically pressing it together as tight as possible. Another possible alteration which can occur and cause leaking is when the whole atomizer is bent slightly askew from any of its joins. Examine your device and carefully re-position back in place.
- O-Rings and Seals – Another common cause your e cigarette could be leaking is because the o-ring has been positioned out of place. It could also be broken or just worn out. It is also possible it could have come off completely and lost. The o-ring is a small rubber seal which keeps the e-liquid tightly inside the tank. There is an o-ring on both ends. One where the mouth piece joins the tank, and one where the tank joins the atomizer unit. Carefully check your devices o-rings and make sure they are in good shape and sitting flush in the space they should be. Usually re-positioning your joins, and getting your o-ring flush in place will fix the issue. If the o-ring is actually broken or missing, it might be time for a new atomizer. Some models also have a rubber or plastic seal which can become displaced or damaged. Try re-positioning this seal to fit nice and snug or even turning it upside down and re-positioning it like that. You could also try positioning a second seal on top of the first to make it even more air tight. (See second video below where a girl is doing just that with her Evod atomizer.
General Leaking Issues and Tips to Remedy the Problem
Is your Evod Leaking or Gurgling?
This video shows a simple tip to fix an Evod model type e-cigarette from a leaking and gurgling issue.
CE5 Leaking into Mouth?
In the video above, a guy shows you how to adjust the mouth piece of the Ego CE5 to fix a leaking issue where the juice gets in your mouth. You know that taste? Well this tip will fix it.
Oh no… my brand new Topbox is leaking! This is a rare occurrence but there is sometimes a manufacturing fault with this model which can be easily rectified. On some of the Topbox coils there is a very small part of the actual coil wire that protrudes from under the rubber seal. Because of this, it leaves a small gap where the juice can leak from. To fix this issue, you simply locate the protruding wire and push it back in a bit. If you can’t do that, you can snip a tiny piece of the end of the wire off, so that it fits snug under the seal and doesn’t protrude. Watch the video above to see exactly how to fix a leaking Topbox mini tank.
4/ Burnt Taste and Dry Hit Issues
A dry hit is something which can happen to any device at some stage of its life. See my article on how to vape which has more information on dry hits. A dry hit causes your vape to taste burnt and is quite unpleasant. This happens when the juice is not flowing correctly to your coil and the actual wick is being burned instead of just the juice within it. Once this happens the device will continue to produce dry hits until you fix it. Usually a good clean will fix it. Get any grit or dirt out of the holes in the coil and atomizer so that juice flows properly again. (See the cleaning instructions in the previous sections above).
3 Possible Causes for Dry Hits
There are 3 things which can produce a dry hit, so learn what these are so you can take measures to prevent a dry hit from occurring in the first place.
- When your tank is running out of juice and wick drys up. – solution is to keep your tank full.
- Your juice has too high a level of VG (vegetable glycerine). – solution is to use more PG in the mix.
- The coil has gunk on it which diminishes the flavor and creates a burnt taste. – Solution is to either clean the coil or better still, replace the coil.
I hope these e-cig troubleshooting tips have answered your questions and allow you to deal with these pesky e-cigarette issues successfully!
Feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions.
Check out our E-Cig Starter Kits for sale.