Vape Battery Safety
Serious problems with vape batteries are rare (the London Fire Brigade have voiced their support for vapes in place of cigarettes to reduce house fires), but there are a few things you should consider when it comes to battery safety and getting the most out of them. Modern e cig designs have a lot of safety features already in place - however the more complicated your vape is, the more you’ll need to know. In this guide we’ll cover what sort of batteries you can get, how to charge them safely, how long they last and what to use to charge them.
To start off with - let’s look at the different types of battery you can get:
One of the more common battery styles, particularly for vaping beginners, is the button operated eGo style. These batteries are cylindrical and have a push firing button to activate them, they simply screw onto your cart or clearomizer/tank. Their simplicity means they’re great for beginners but they also have relatively short shelf lives and are really your entry level model. These usually have an operating strength of 3.7 volts and run for 650 mAh (milliampere hours). These batteries need to be disconnected from the tank in order to charge.
Variable Voltage/Wattage batteries. These are slightly more powerful batteries that allow for the Voltage or Wattage (or both) to be increased or decreased. This means you can customise your vaping experience to give yourself more heat or vapour. This is done by either by manually twisting a dial in the more basic models, or using a digital display as is found in more advanced models.
Sub ohm battery. The V8 engine of the vaping world if you will. Operating at higher a power and deliver larger levels of current meaning a better flavour and some immense cloud production potential.
Mechanical mods are the batteries you need to be most aware of when it comes to safety - usually used by experienced vapers only, these are unregulated devices and have no circuits so wattage/voltage cannot be changed. This means all the power goes directly into the coil meaning checking you have the right coil resistance is super important - as mechanical mods are something you build yourself, if they short out, your battery is at risk of damage or worse - catching on fire.
What’s the difference in how they work and how I use them?
Some electronic cigarettes have a battery pack that you charge via a USB port, while others have rechargeable lithium ion batteries that you remove and charge separately from your vape. If this is the case, it’s a good idea to have a few spares on hand so you can still enjoy your vape while the dead batteries recharge.
Pay attention to the coil resistance of your vape too - if it’s too high or too low, the battery won’t activate and you won’t be able to use it.
Will I need to replace my battery?
Like with all electronic devices, batteries do eventually wear out and won’t hold their charge anymore. As far as how long you expect to keep them for, usually the 12 to 18 month mark is about right - after that and they charge very quickly, but also drain quickly too. However, the good thing about lithium batteries is a part-charge is actually healthier for the battery than always going for the full charge, meaning if you only have time to top it up for 20 minutes before you go out, you’re not actually going to do it any damage. These batteries are designed for frequent use, so they last longer when you use them every day.
How long does a batteries charge last?
This varies massively as some people will use their device only a few times throughout the day, whereas others have their vape in their hand all the time. Battery life span is measured in mAh (milliampere hours) which is the figure you see quoted by manufacturers for specific products. A standard eGo setup using a 650mAh battery will give you around 30 mins of continuous use, however most people aren’t constantly inhaling for 30 minutes at a time! A rough rule of thumb for that battery size will be about 5-6 hours of normal use, also the higher the voltage you have, the more your battery will drain. Similarly, if you have a sub ohm coil, the battery will also run out more quickly.
Should I just get the biggest battery possible?
A bigger battery isn’t always the answer. As mentioned, the voltage and coil play a big part in how long your battery will last but experienced vapers often prefer the box mods with removable rechargeable batteries so you can switch them out when your power gets low.
How many batteries will I need?
If you’re an absolute vaping beast and are chugging on your e cig all day, you might want more than one - it all comes down to personal preference. If charging when you’re out is going to be difficult, it’s good to have a spare on hand so you don’t end up with a flashing red light and no more power to use.
Do your products come with batteries and chargers included?
All our starter kits come with at least one battery and if they’re charged with a USB, you’ll get a cable for that too. It’s important to use the right charger to avoid the possibility of leakage, battery failure or in extreme case, explosion.
Now - the safety aspects:
A lot of this stuff is common sense - apply the same ideas you would when charging any electronic device. You’ll want to use the correct charger for a start, make sure you buy a legitimate one designed for your device. Don’t charge overnight either - keep them in the room with you when they’re plugged in so you can keep an eye on them. It’s also best practice to charge on a hard surface so it can’t overheat as well and, if you notice any warping on your batteries, don’t use them. Delegate them to the designated battery recycling bin and get yourself some new ones. It’s a good idea to switch your ecig off when you’re not using it - you’ll save power but you’ll also avoid accidentally activating it while it’s in your bag or pocket.
Can you boil it down a bit please?
If all of that was a bit much work, the take home from it is:
Don’t charge your batteries overnight - you can overcharge them, reducing their life span and if they don’t have a function that stops charge from running when they’re full you can cause battery failure too.
If a battery doesn’t look right, or gets really hot when you’re vaping - stop using it. All batteries have a limited life so you’ll want to replace them.
Vape batteries, whilst they carry some risks, are a lot safer than cigarettes in the home - since 2013/14, there have been 5,978 house fires related to cigarettes in London alone. Even when you factor in how many more smokers there are than vapers, cigarettes are still 300x more likely to cause a fire than a faulty vape battery
Make sure you use the right kind of charger for your device - you’ll be safer, and increase your battery lifespan while you’re at it.