Vape tank leakages can happen anywhere at any time. The worst is when it happens in a public place. It can make things embarrassing and awkward, especially if the leakage has stained your clothes. This can happen to any tank, even though the frequency might vary from daily to once a year. This guide not only comprehensively provides solutions for users who are facing frequent tank leaks, but is a must-read guide that provides best practices recommended for any vape user. In order to stop the leaking, you need to find out the source of the leakage and apply the appropriate solutions presented below. Understanding your device and applying the best practices for operating your vaping device will go a long way. In order to find your tank leakage, it is vital to understand the parts of a vape tank.
The Anatomy of a Vape Tank
The vape tank is one of the most critical parts of a vaping device. The vape tank rests at the production heart of the device, namely where the e-juice is stored and where the e-juice is vaporized into vapor. If you look at your tank, you will be able to see both the e-juice tank as well as the coil head. The tank is connected with the vape devices using a connector. This connector is responsible for transferring power from the battery to the coil. A “chimney” (air passage) is connected to the coil head and is responsible for transferring the produced vape to the drip tip. The drip tip (or mouthpiece) is the part of the device from where you fill up the e-juice in the tank as well as inhale the vapor.
Now that you understand the anatomy of the tank, it is now much easier to narrow down the reason causing the leakage.
LEAKAGES FROM THE AIR PASSAGE
Fill Your Tank Properly
Although it may seem rather easy, filling your tank improperly is one of the most probable causes for your tank’s leakage. It is vital to understand the anatomy of your tank. Similar to a chimney, tanks are built with a passageway for the air to travel. The central air tube running from the drip tip to the main body of the tank should always be left clear of any vape juice. Make sure to fill your tanks properly and not spill any vape juice in the chimney. We recommend the following best practices for filling up your vape tank:
- Make sure when you fill up the tank, no liquid gets spilled into the center air tube “chimney”
- Just like pouring a glass of beer, tilt your tank when you fill up
- Don’t overfill your tank. Vacuum is created by leaving a little amount of air in the tank when you close the tank opening after filling it up. This vacuum helps hold the e-juice in the chamber.
By tilting your tank, it is ensured that the liquid fills up in the right compartment and keeps any liquid away from the air passage. While you are filling your e-liquid in the tank, gradually decrease the tilt or straighten the tank as the tank fills up. This avoids any spills and is particularly applicable for thick (high VG) juices. However, if any liquid manages to get spilled in the center tube, make sure to clean the airway before vaping by:
- Blowing the excess liquid out of the passage. Make sure to have a paper towel at hand because you are going to blow the liquid out of the main tank inlet airway holes.
- Flicking the atomizer. Make sure to have a paper towel at hand because you are going to flick out the e-juice from the drip tip (from where you inhale).
- Absorbing the excess e-juice. If you feel any e-juice has spilled into the incorrect hole, please ensure to clean the air passage using a cotton swab or a paper towel
If your e-juice is leaking from the air holes on either side of the tank, it is probably due to improper filling of your vape tank. Each tank has a specific e-juice capacity and should never be filled more than that. If a tank is too full, leakage will happen as the e-liquid will flow out of the top fill hole. For a consistently fulfilling vaping experience, it is advised to make a habit of refilling your vape tank within a threshold (not above not below). With excessive fill, you will experience tank leaks and with too little e-liquid you will end up burning your coils.
Air Flow Adjustment
Too much restriction in the air intake holes can also cause leakage problems. If you have set the air intake setting of your vape device at the minimum, it means that you’re restricting the amount of air allowed to flow into the tank. This type of setting is preferred by mouth to lung (MTL) users, however, when you suck in too hard, you risk flooding the atomizer coil by forcing more liquid into it. If you feel your tank is leaking at the times you take powerful long drags, it is most certainly due to air restriction. In that case, open your airflow to a wider setting than before in order to allow sufficient air to enter the tank.
If your tank leaks right after you fill it up, it’s because you left the airflow hole or the e-juice hole open. Make it a habit, you simply cannot fill a tank with e-liquid without closing all the holes (valves) of the tank. This creates a path for the e-liquid to travel while you are filling up and even doesn’t stop after closing the tank. That is because a favorable path has been provided for the e-liquid to travel and leak out of the airflow holes. I can’t stress this enough, make sure to close your tank’s airflow and e-juice holes before filling it up.
Make sure to close your tank’s airflow and e-juice holes before refilling the tank.
Tank leakage issue related to coils can be further divided into four reasons:
Defectively manufactured coil
Coils are mass produced and as with all similar products, there is a probability of defective or fake coils. In some cases, the manufacturing defect makes the coil incapable of properly holding the e-juice as it should. Please change your coil with one preferably different batch, and see if it helps and makes sure to always buy vape products from authorized sellers
The coil is not screwed in properly
If your coil is not screwed in properly, it is most surely going to leak out. Examine the threads and make sure that they are not damaged and screw the coil back into the tank properly and tightly (keep in mind that you will need to open it up again).
The coil is worn out after use
If your coil is old. Even though you might not feel the need to replace the coil but replace it anyway. Coils do burn and leak out.
Make sure you are using appropriate coils
If you have recently replaced the coils, make sure that your coils are recommended by the manufacturer of the tank. Different coil models have different sizing and improper coils can definitely lead to tank leakages.
Avoid flooding your tank
Flooding is one of the most common reasons for vape tanks leaks, especially if it happens at the air holes. This is due to too much liquid being drawn into the coil for it to vaporize. This results in the excessive e-juice being leaked out of the coil housing. Steps you can take to stop or avoid flooding are:
- Increase your power settings
- By switching to higher power settings, you will increase the flame of your “stove”. It will also increase the vapor production, so do so gradually, carefully and remain within the recommended range of the coil.
- Clean using a paper towel
- Use a cotton swab or a paper towel to absorb all the excess liquid in the air passage as well as the coil.
- Blow out the excess liquid
- You can also blow out the excess liquid accumulated in the coil from the air holes by applying positive air pressure by your mouth into the drip tip. Make sure to have a paper towel at hand because by blowing excess e-liquid will leak out of the air intake holes (air flow).
There’s always leftover vapor in the chimney, which if not taken care of, will condense back into liquid. This can accumulate over time and cause the tank to leak. It’s a good practice to take an after drag to clear out all the remaining vapor. If you do not have the habit of clearing out the extra produced vapor, you will need to clear the air passage after some time. That is exactly the reason why sometimes even though you might not hear gurgling sounds or any indication of flooding your tank but you find some e-juice leaking out of the holes. In short, it is a best practice to make a habit of clearing the chimney, because eventually, you do have to take care of it either way.
Leftover condensation can also be minimized by correctly controlling the firing button. In order to minimize the waste, you should also follow these best practices:
- Inhale as soon as you press the firing button, don’t let those delicious clouds go to waste.
- Take the finger off the firing button preferably a bit before but not later than finishing your inhalation.
Understanding the effect on viscosity of VG/PG ratio of your e-liquid is vital. E-liquids containing a VG ratio lower than 70% are quite thin, runny and prone to leakages; especially in large coil heads (35W +). The massive juice ports in such tanks may leak if the e-liquid has high PG% ratio. Please check out the recommended range of e-liquid PG/VG on your tank’s manual and ensure that the liquid you are using lies within the recommended limits. In general, if you will use a high VG e-juice, your leakage will reduce. As a rule of thumb higher PG %, e-juice should be preferred in smaller low powered devices and vice versa.
If you are having vape tank leakage problems while using a re-buildable coil, then don’t worry, it is almost certainly due to its wick. There should be clearance between the coil and the wick so that e-liquid can thoroughly get absorbed in the wick. So if you feel your wick is a bit less, it is advisable to add extra wicking cotton. When you wick your coils, make sure that the wick can be pulled on either side with ease and doesn’t bunch up.
LEAKAGES FROM THE EDGES OR SIDES OF THE GLASS
Before checking for damaged seals, it is better and easier to check if your tank is fastened properly. Whether your tank is not screwed together tight enough or due to cross threading, e-juice can leak out of the tank. In order to make sure that your tank is assembled free from any leakages, follow these steps:
- Make sure the threads are in sync and correctly fastened.
- Make sure that the threads are tight enough for the tank to be airtight.
- Be careful not to screw too tightly to damage the seals.
- If you need to open the tank frequently, find your tank’s sweet spot and stick to it.
If your leakage is coming from the edges of the glass it’s because the seals of your tank are not working. The seals are the O-rings (like rubber bands), most probably extra O-rings will be provided by the manufacturer of your tank. If you don’t find any O-rings in the tank packing, they can be easily bought and are quite cheap, just make sure to use the right size. Damaged or worn out O-rings are a fairly common reason for vape tank leakages. Take apart your tank and inspect the O-rings closely. If they are damaged, worn out or even missing, this implies that the seal has been compromised. On the bright side, you have found your problem. Reasons for leakage due to seal issues are:
- Overtightening of the tank causing damage to the O-rings
- Worn out O-rings due to repeated use (frequent opening & closing of the tank)
- Damaged O-ring/s
- Missing O-ring/s
If you encounter any of the above-mentioned problems, you just need to replace/ add the O-rings. Anything such as a toothpick, a small flat head screwdriver or much better a pair of tweezers can be used to easily replace the O-rings. You should also check if the O-rings are installed correctly so that the glass of the tank is completely sealed off, leaving no visible gaps for e-juice leakage.
Some tanks such as the Aspire Triton and Nautilus may use better sealing and hence have the need to add extra sealing. If leaking tanks is a usual problem for many users of the same tank, then probably you need to add an O-ring. Just make sure to insert the right sized O-ring in the right location to provide additional sealing.
Vape tanks are usually made with Pyrex glass which can sustain wear and tear to some extent. A thin crack in the glass or deformation in the tank can cause your tank to be no longer airtight, causing the e-liquid to leak. If your glass is cracked, it can be inexpensively replaced. Replacement glass tubes are readily available and often an extra is provided with the tank. Sometimes the crack may be minute and barely visible, examine your tank closely and replace it if you find any damage.
LEAKAGES DUE TO MISCELLANEOUS REASONS
It is strongly advised to keep your device in a vertical position. The tank should be placed in a vertical/upright position especially for extended periods of time. For example, if you leave your device in a horizontal position overnight, you may find the e-liquid seeping out of the air holes. Whenever you charge your device ensure that the tank is in vertical position. This can also be achieved by unscrewing your tank and placing it upright while your battery is being charged up.
When the tank is completely filled with e-juice, the chances of leakage due to horizontal positioning of the tank are minimal, however, your tank will most certainly leak if its half or less filled. It is difficult for the e-liquid to escape when the holes are thoroughly soaked in the e-juice, however, when the tank is not completely filled and is resting in a horizontal position, the coil is quenched out of e-liquid. This also allows the juice to seep through the coil into the air passage and exit from either of the air holes.
Burning e-juice produces a residue or “gunk” which builds up with time in the coil. This can also cause blockages or complications with the various parts of the tank, leading to leakages. If you haven’t cleaned your tank in a while, it’s time to do it. For thorough cleaning unscrew the different parts of the tank and wash them with hot water and a moderate dish soap/liquid. After cleaning the tank, make sure to dry it thoroughly before using it again. We recommend that you leave everything out overnight so it dries properly. If you have access to alcohol, it is an even better cleaning agent than water.
If you have tried all the above solutions and your tank is still leaking it might be due to your incorrect inhaling style. Particularly if you are a beginner, this most certainly could be the problem. There is a core difference between inhaling a cigarette and a vaping device. You need to realize that the drawing force required for a cigarette is no longer required, in fact, may well be causing the e-juice leaks. When you draw harder, you are applying more force, pushing more liquid into the coil chamber. If this excess e-juice is not being used at the same rate, it will accumulate and leak out of your vape tank. The solution is simple and easy but you might need to get used to it. It doesn’t matter if you take long inhalations, just do so gently. Continuous soft long drags produce a constant supply of consistent vapor. Isn’t that what you want?
If none of the above-mentioned solutions have worked for you and your tank is still leaking excessively, you should change your tank. The leakage can be due to a manufacturing defect, one which cannot be removed, so instead of reverting to cigarettes or facing the hassle of your tank leaking and staining your pockets, buy a new tank, preferably which has leak resistant properties such as the Aspire Nautilus X. Remember that vaping is supposed to be a fun experience. If it has become a hassle due to tank leakage then replace your tank.
We’ve put in a ton of effort to provide you with all the possible leakage problems along with their solutions to help you take care and avoid your tank from leaking. Get familiar with your device, use it, get to know how it works and keep the above points in mind in order to minimize vape tank leakages. You should also clean your device regularly, clearing out all the residual vapor. Also keep a check on your coils and replace/rebuild them on a regular basis. Vape on!