Do vapes explode?

Glen Waters
Do vapes explode?

First things first lets point out one extremely important fact. Ecigs do not explode, batteries do.

Looking at the relatively minuscule number of vape explosions that do occur, nearly all of these relate to ‘mech mod’ style vaping devices, through the batteries that power them. As you may know there are several types of vaping devices, and mechanical mods are drastically less common, catering to the more hands-on, hobbyist vapers.  

So what’s occurring?

Point 1 - Mech mods don't carry supplementary electronics that properly regulate the power being sent from the battery to heat the vape coils. Battery safety knowledge is therefore fundamental for making sure a mech mod device works suitably and is safe.

Point 2 - The 18650 battery used in mech mods is the most cloned battery in the entire battery industry. Why? This battery is one of the most commonly used batteries in laptops. It's been in circulation for many years now and there are masses of these older laptop power packs waiting to be recycled.

Point 3 - Naive users are carrying these batteries around in their pockets. Exposed batteries and a bunch of keys or coins are a dangerous combination, so it’s essential you invest in a battery case like the one shown here.

On the flip side to unregulated mech mods are the widely used regulated vape mods. These vape kits don't have the above safety issues as they regulate the battery output based on the ohm, voltage and wattage. To my knowledge, no battery has ever exploded in a regulated vape device. Anti-vaping media has portrayed this as an industry wide ecig risk with all vapers being vulnerable, when in reality it’s a problem with a tiny number of mech mods only. This is generally caused by user error, be it the incorrect atomiser used, or an old and unwrapped battery on it’s last legs. 

A few points on 18650 batteries for your mech mod vape kit:

  • These batteries were not built for the ‘swap in/out’ use of of a portable vaping device. They simply are not durable enough.
  • Batteries can overheat if you aren’t matching your batteries to the power output your coils require correctly.
  • The wrapper might start to peel and result in the battery leaking.
  • The batteries can dent easily, causing shorts or bad contact with the atomiser pin.

If you are going to use a mechanical mod, you absolutely have to understand and apply ohms law and ensure the batteries you use are safe and genuine. A lot of people are using batteries that cannot handle the amperage requirements for vaping with a subohm build. When you draw more amps than a battery can handle, the battery overheats. When it overheats, it vents various gasses and flames. Then it explodes.

How to avoid an ecig blowing up? 

  1. If you are using a mechanical mod, you must be aware of the amp load and resistance of your build. Lower ohms means higher amp output.
  2. Battery wrappers must be intact. The entire surface of the battery is live and if the wrapper is torn, you're almost guaranteed to have the battery short.
  3. Always check for and use genuine batteries like these.
  4. Don’t carry your exposed batteries around in your pocket under any circumstances. Use a battery case and be safe!

Vape battery case

All electronic devices that carry batteries have the potential to vent. Sadly it’s the ones that relate to ecigs that make it on to the news. This is mainly because vaping isn't popular with tobacco companies, pharmaceutical companies and governments. Did you know that lit cigarettes are one of the biggest and most prolific causes of domestic house fires here in the UK? That's a fact that's often overlooked in the midst of ecig scaremongering. 

In short, bad things can happen when people use batteries and mechanical mods without the proper knowledge and precautions. If you're thinking of playing with mech mods, I recommend you do your research first, even if you've tinkered with electronics before, in order to fully understand what you're getting into.

As always you can stop by one of our UK vape stores and ask one of our vape experts any questions you might have. We have vape stores in London as well as vape shops in Essex and Kent. Check out our store locator here or speak to us using the live chat box on our website. Be safe and vape on! 

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