The common 18650 vaping batteries may look like an oversized AA cell, but it has little in common with an everyday disposable battery. A lithium-ion battery stores massive power in a small metal can. Put enough of those cans together, and you’ll have enough juice to make an electric car travel hundreds of miles. You can’t trifle with lithium-ion batteries – a fact that you know well if you’ve seen reports of exploding e-cigarettes in the news. At Triple 7 Vaping, we believe that a single battery explosion is one too many, and we’d like to do what we can to disseminate some actionable vaping battery safety information.
Using any lithium-ion battery entails a small risk. Fires and explosions don’t only occur with vaping batteries. We’ve also seem them happen with hoverboards, phones, computers and more. The key, then, is to minimize that risk by treating your batteries with the respect they deserve. In this article, we’re going to share some tips that can help you vape safely and keep your batteries in tip-top shape. Let’s begin!
Transport Your Vaping Batteries Safely
By far, the biggest mistake that vapers make with their batteries is carrying them in their pockets. The problem with transporting lithium-ion batteries without protection is that they’re packaged in conductive metal cans. The entire metal surface under a battery’s shrink wrap, in fact, is conductive. If another metal object touches the positive pole at the top of the battery – and any other part of the metal can – simultaneously, you’ll have a short circuit. Releasing its full power across the circuit, the battery may immediately vent hot gas, catch fire or explode. Damage to the battery’s plastic wrapper – something that’s probably very common among batteries that aren’t transported properly – exposes more of the metal can and makes a short circuit even more likely.
If you must transport your vaping batteries, do so in a case that covers the batteries completely and prevents them from touching each other or other metal objects.
Inspect Your Battery Wrappers for Damage
The heat-shrink tubing that encloses a lithium-ion battery is thin and fragile. Have you ever dropped one of your batteries or dropped your vaping device with batteries installed? It’s likely that some of your batteries have torn wrappers. Don’t kid yourself into believing that a small tear isn’t a serious problem; any exposed metal on a lithium-ion battery can lead to a short circuit under the wrong set of circumstances.
Does a torn wrapper mean that it’s time to send a battery to the recycling bin? Not necessarily; many neighborhood vape shops offer cheap battery rewrapping services. If you don’t have a local vape shop that can rewrap a battery for you, you can always do the job yourself. It’s a fairly simple process that involves cutting a length of tubing, placing it over the battery and using a hair dryer to shrink the tubing over the battery. If you’re nervous about rewrapping your batteries and don’t have a local vape shop willing to perform the service for you, you’ll have to retire your damaged batteries for maximum safety.
Get a Regulated Mod
Although there’s no longer much of a reason to do so, there are still many vapers around the world using unregulated mechanical mods with no built-in safety features. The problem is that using a mechanical mod makes you responsible for your own safety – and many vapers simply don’t know enough about battery safety to handle that responsibility. Are you checking the resistance of your coils regularly – not just when you first build them, but throughout their life? Are you removing your batteries and charging them when their voltage begins to dip? Do you even own the equipment necessary for checking battery voltage? Do you understand how to tell whether a tank or atomizer is safe to use with a hybrid mod? Do you know how many amps your atomizer draws from your battery? Have you looked past the exaggerated manufacturer claims and determined the maximum current that your battery really supports? There are so many variables affecting safety with mechanical mods that few vapers are truly qualified to use them safely.
Mechanical mods are great for their simplicity and durability, but they’re really a relic of a time in which people demanded far less from their vaping devices than they do today. Although the reputation of mechanical mods is that they “hit harder,” the fact is that today’s regulated mods can deliver higher wattages. Regulated mods also offer features – such as temperature control and adjustable wattage curves – that mechanical mods lack. Most importantly, a regulated mod has built-in safety features that detect short circuits, overheating and other problems. Unless you have a specific reason for using a mechanical mod and consider yourself a true battery safety expert, you really have no excuse for not using a regulated mod.
Don’t Use a Mobile Phone Charger
These days, practically every vaping device has a built-in USB port for charging. That’s a massively convenient feature, but it doesn’t mean that you can simply connect your device to anything with a USB port. If possible, use a wall adapter recommended by the device’s manufacturer. If the manufacturer doesn’t recommend a specific wall adapter, you can use your computer’s USB port or any wall adapter that supplies the voltage and amperage the vaping device expects. You should not, however, use a mobile phone wall adapter. Many mobile phones ship with “fast charging” adapters that bring a battery up to about an 80-percent charge in a matter of minutes before trickling the rest of the way. Fast charging causes stress to a battery, and mobile phone makers test their batteries thoroughly to confirm that they can handle the stress. Your vaping batteries don’t undergo the same testing, so don’t charge them with fast charging adapters.
About the Author
Jason Cugle is the Owner/Curator of Triple 7 Vaping. Triple 7 Vaping offers premium vaping products at wholesale prices and specializes in Aspire tanks, mods, parts and other accessories. Triple 7 Vaping offers lightning-fast same-day shipping on orders over $30.