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Battery and Vape Safety – How to spot a fake 18650 battery, ohms law and more

Fake batteries are deadly and can have given vaping some bad press in the past. However, they are still being sold and unknowingly bought online. It is these fake batteries that cause vapes to, as the headlines say, “explode”.

Using an unregulated battery can cause the battery to overheat, causing a bang and red hot metal shards. We’re pretty sure this isn’t the vaping experience you have in mind…

Battery safety vape safe ohms law

Spot a fake, vape safe


In this blog, we are going to make sure you know how to spot a fake battery, all about ohm’s law, different battery types and general vape safety. 

How to spot a fake battery 

spot a fake 18650 battery

Fake batteries tend to flood eBay, Amazon and other selling sites. One that we have seen is the Sony VTC. This is easy to spot as a fake, because they are no longer even being produced! If you see one of sale online for an absolute bargain price, or in fact any price, stay clear. This will be a fake. 

We’ve heard that Chinese manufacturers are taking cheap power cells and rewrapping them in Sony VTC packaging. This will look like the real deal, but it isn’t. Remember, buying a fake Louis Vitton handbag from China is very different from buying a fake battery. The handbag isn’t likely to blow up.

We’ve also noticed that Samsung 25r batteries are also being rewrapped. Genuine Sony VTCs have 2 indentations on the top of the battery, whereas fake ones just have the one. 

Ways to spot a genuine VTC battery include:

  • Text alignment – If it is a genuine battery then it will have printed text aligned left. 
  • Seam of wrap – If there is a raised seam in the middle then it is a rewrapped fake.
  • Flat bottom – A genuine Sony VTC battery will have a completely flat bottom. 
  • Is the top clean – If there is a sticky fluid on the top, this is a sign of a battery leak. Steer clear.

Samsung 25r – how to tell if this is a fake

Samsung is a good 18650 battery for vape kits. They offer 22amp constant and 35 amp pulse. They will be either powder blue or lime green, with the text aligned at the base of the battery, to the left. If there are any suspicions of a rewrap, or if the alignment or colours are off, stay well away. 

The Samsung 25R operates in the following fashion

Continuous discharge of 22 amp

Pulse discharge of 35 amp

Fires at 3.7 volt

Battery capacity 2500 mHa

Why are fake batteries dangerous?

Without knowing what ampere the battery runs at, what voltage etc the user on an unregulated device is in danger of overheating the battery and causing an almighty bang, followed with an explosion and red hot shards of metal flying everywhere. When dealing with tanks and drippers that have varying levels of resistance etc different standards of 18650, 26650 et al batteries are needed. An unclearly marked power cell, is an accident waiting to happen – it also makes bad press about vaping that much easier to come by. Let’s not make it easy for the mainstream media to down talk our beloved vaping. Buy legit.

How can I prevent my vape with an external battery from exploding?

Vape explode battery safety

  • Don’t buy fake batteries. If the price is too good to be true, it probably is.
  • Never keep a spare battery in your pocket amongst your keys and loose change. This could complete the circuit and lead you straight up A & E. Get yourself a battery case!
  • Never leave your vape on charge overnight or unattended. 
  • Keep out of direct sunlight, especially on holiday or in hot cars. 
  • Match the batteries to the power output your coils require.
  • If the wrapper starts to peel away, the battery may leak. Recycle this and buy a new one.

Are you worried about your vape exploding with an internal battery? 

It has to be said, a very small number of vape devices actually do explode, and if you’re getting them from a legit brand (not a fake!!) and using them in the correct way, then you should be fine.

Just to be on the safe side, here are a few things you should avoid:

  • Using the wrong charger for the device

When you buy your device it should come with a charger. This is the charger you should use for your device. While your mate’s phone charger might fit in the hole, the voltage could be too high for the battery to handle.

  • Buying cheap knock offs

The device you want is cheaper on ebay- it looks the same, you just have to wait for it to be delivered from God knows where. Buy a device made by a reputable brand, from a reputable shop. Also remember, buy cheap and you’ll buy twice!

  • Keeping it on charge for too long

When you charge your device it will probably get a little warm. Your battery should only need charging for approximately an hour, so no need to keep it on overnight or anything. If you’re worried about what causes vapes to explode then overcharging is certainly one to avoid.

  • Charging it next to flammable items

If your vape is getting super hot when you charge it then take it back to the shop, and don’t leave it close to anything flammable!

  • Holding your fire button down for too long

Holding down the fire button or chain vaping can cause the atomizer to get pretty heated. If you find your device burning up, turn it off and leave it to cool down (not close to anything flammable). An overheated atomizer probably won’t cause a vape pen explosion, however, it could burn out your device. Also, remember to click the button to turn the device off – otherwise it could go off in your pocket.

  • Skipping the instructions

Instructions are boring, but necessary… Just check what the manufacturers say about where to store your device (probably best to keep it out of direct sunlight and hot cars!)

Ohms Law – The Basics 

Battery safety - ohms law explained

If you are going to use a mechanical mod, then you have to make sure that you understand ohms law. This will take you back to your science days at school, but don’t worry if you missed that lesson, because we didn’t and here it is in simple terms.

Ohms is resistance. Ohms law means that you can alter the power and current of your vape by making adjustments to resistance and voltage, which you can do on the LED screen. When you increase volts or lower resistance, you boost the current and power. When you have a higher power in your device you will enhance flavour, warmth, and cloud. 

You will need to calculate your current. One way to do this is: Current = voltage /  resistance. You must understand that there are three main components, wattage, voltage and resistance. If you change one everything else shifts. If it can’t shift, then the others will shift more.

If you only know any two of the three components, then you can calculate the other one. IE-if you know amps and volts then you will be able to calculate resistance. 

battery safety

Check out our chart here >>

Internal batteries – can they be fake too?

vaping safety ohms law vape explode

On the market, you will be able to find clone devices and replicas. Particularly of the most popular brands and kits on sale. It is unsafe to buy such devices, so you need to make sure that you are purchasing your kit from a reputable vendor, who wouldn’t go near a fake. 

The problem is, they might look like exact, genuine copies on the outside, but the inside can be a very different story. 

Read more about the safety of e-cigs on our blog, including how safe it is for your health >> 

How to spot a fake vape device:

  • Look at the back of the product box. Many brands have included a scratch and check label which reveals a verification code. You can then verify your device via the brand’s website. 
  • Analyse the box and device for spelling mistakes. It seems simple, but it happens. 
  • If you are buying coils, check for smooth edges to give you a clue if it is genuine
  • If it is not in a box, this could be an alarm bell. 
  • It doesn’t have a neat finish. 

If you are concerned that you might have brought a fake device, then bring it into a Vape and Juice store. Our staff should be able to tell.

How do I prevent my vape with an internal battery from exploding?

  • Only use the charger that came with the device/battery – Do not use a phone or tablet charger to refill your vape. 
  • Never buy a fake device, it isn’t worth it!
  • Keep your device out of the heat, including cars or direct sunlight.

Read more advice on vaping safely on our blog >> 

Final thoughts 

On a final note, the key to battery safety is not buying fakes and ensuring that you understand ohms law when building coils. 

Always buy your vape devices, coils, and batteries from a reputable company that you trust. And remember, if the deal or price seems too cheap to be true, it probably is. 

NEXT: Vaping Deaths – Should I be worried?

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