Can You Overheat Your Vape Battery?
Several media outlets have covered high-profile cases of exploding vape batteries. These stories are often sensationalized, highlighting the horrific and grotesque injuries vapers can sustain during a thermal event involving a vape battery.
While true vape battery malfunctions are rare, especially if the battery comes from a reputable vendor, these stories can understandably increase fear and trepidation among vape consumers.
Fortunately, users can avoid almost all thermal potential thermal battery events by practicing proper battery safety protocols.
Do I Need To Be Concerned If My Vape Is Warm To The Touch?
Vaporizers are designed to produce heat. It’s necessary to convert cannabis extract or e-juice into an inhalable vapor, so feeling some heat emanate from your vape hardware is completely normal and expected. It’s often comparable to the heat produced by a laptop or cellphone running for an extended period of time.
However, a crucial part of vape battery safety is understanding the warning signs that precede a battery malfunction. The exact temperature that indicates battery overheating is somewhat subjective, but a good rule of thumb is if your vape becomes so hot that it burns your hand to touch, you may have cause for concern. If this is the case, immediately discontinue using your device, remove the battery, and place it on a non-flammable surface. If you hear a hissing sound or notice the battery has begun to bulge, your battery is likely severely malfunctioning and needs to be safely disposed of.
That said, overheating vape battery incidents are extremely rare, especially if the user follows basic safety guidelines. For context, the London Fire Service has estimated that conventional smokers are 255 times more likely to cause a fire than vapers. Still, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you feel the heat coming from your vape device is abnormal, discontinue use, and make sure you follow the general safety guidelines outlined below.
One of the most common reasons a vape runs hot comes down to prolonged use. Constantly using a vape device for extended periods of time adds stress to both the vape heating element and battery, potentially leading to overheating. Always try to take breaks between vape sessions in order to allow your device to cool down properly and continue functioning at peak performance.
Dirty Coils And Wicking Failure
Additionally, dirty coils can create undue strain on batteries, particularly the kinds of coils that utilize metal wires and cotton wicking material.
When these metal coils become gunked up over time, the vape residue can prevent the cotton wick from properly absorbing e-juice or cannabis extract. This can result in more heat exuding from your heating element and foul-tasting dry hits that can irritate the user’s throat and mouth.
One way to avoid this issue entirely is by utilizing ceramic coils, like those found in S10 Labs’ Zirco Cartridges. Since ceramic coils are naturally porous, they don’t require cotton wicks and therefore aren’t subject to wick failure.
Variable Voltage Set To High
Many vape batteries come equipped with variable voltage settings. This can give users increased customization when it comes to their device’s vapor production and flavor. However, running your vape battery at a higher wattage can increase the overall heat produced by your device, which may present similarly to an overheating battery.
If you feel your vape device is too hot, try turning down any available variable voltage settings and determine if that makes a difference.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Battery Is Overheating
In the unlikely event your battery is overheating, you must take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.
Immediately stop using any battery you suspect to be damaged or malfunctioning. Remove the battery from the vape device, and place it in a non-flammable environment. If you notice hissing or bulging, get away from the battery as soon as possible and grab the nearest fire extinguisher. If there’s no extinguisher nearby, you can use water to limit the spread of a battery fire.
Best Practices And Battery Safety
By following these basic battery safety protocols, vape users can significantly reduce the risk of a battery failure or thermal overload.
- Avoid Counterfeit Batteries: Unfortunately, unscrupulous sellers often sell mislabeled or untested vape batteries. Always ensure you’re buying your vape products from reputable vendors to avoid sub-par and potentially dangerous components.
- Avoid Exposure To Extreme Temperatures: Keep your vape battery in as a temperate climate as possible. Extreme temperatures, like those in a hot car on a summer day, can lead to battery degradation and failure.
- Use A Dedicated Charger: Only use the charger that came with your vape battery or a dedicated charger designed specifically for your kind of vape battery.
- Do Not Leave Charging Batteries Unattended: While it’s extremely rare, batteries can fail or malfunction during the charging process. It’s always a good idea to keep an eye on your vape battery while it charges.
- Do Not Carry Loose Batteries In Your Purse Or Pocket: It may be tempting to carry extra vape batteries in your pocket or handbag. However, batteries may short circuit when they come into contact with metal objects like coins or keys.