Hot-pops, spit-backs, and leaking might sound like names from some kind of hip-hop crime-fighting cartoon team, but they are the names of phenomena that, if you have spent any time vaping (particularly with higher-powered mods), you will have undoubtedly encountered. But what do they mean? What are the root causes of these common and sometimes infuriating occurrences? And can anything be done to prevent them?
Whether you’re a seasoned pro or have just started your vaping journey, or if you prefer tank mods, drippers, or anything else, keep reading this article for the ultimate guide in ensuring a smooth, pleasurable, and stress-free vaping experience.
What does leaking mean in vaping?
Leaking, as the name implies, is a broad term that, when used in the context of vaping, describes any situation where the e-liquid (“juice”) escapes from somewhere it is meant to be and ends up somewhere it isn’t, such as the airflow system, the inside of your coat or all over the work notes that were in your bag…
Like all calamities, leaks can vary in severity from a few drops that you may not even notice, to a full-scale deluge that ends up[ leaving everything in its wake sticky and smelling like a perfume truck has slammed into a French bakery.
Often it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact location of the leak, and this can lead to some frustrating (and messy) situations.
Fortunately, if your vaping device does spring a leak, there tends to be a few common offenders, some very easy steps you can take to remedy the predicament.
How to stop Leaks from Happening
Verify your seals
More often than not, leakage from your vape is attributable to user error. The most common error that can cause your e-liquid to make a break for freedom is simply not screwing your tank back together properly., The thread between tanks and their lids tends to be very fine, and even a slight misalignment of the grooves can result in an imperfect seal.
Store your tank vertically
Some tanks, particularly older models, suffer from a flaw in their design that means that they leak if stored horizontally for extended periods. Normally this is because of back-flow through the wick and into the airflow.
Fortunately, this sort of leakage is easily avoided by changing your practices. As long as you remember to keep your vape from being on its side as much as possible, you should be fine. Or just buy a newer tank that doesn’t have these particular sorts of issues.
Check your grommets
If your tank has rubber grommets or O-rings around the seals it’s a good idea to check the integrity of these as well. Rubber degrades over time, and micro-perforations can result in leaks that are very hard to detect.
Modify your vaping technique
Occasionally, leakage is not caused by any structural problem with the vaping apparatus itself, but instead through the habits of the user.
Inhaling too forcefully can cause numerous problems. Puffing too hard can lead to an overabundance of juice in your coil, which can in turn result in leakage from your device.
Avoid overfilling your vaporizer
Do not fill your tank all the way to the top. Leaving a small gap for air at the top can help prevent e-juice from escaping from the seals, mouthpiece, or air holes. If you experience leakage while filling up your tank, slowing down can help alleviate that.
Examine your vape for damage
Cracks in the glassware are usually one of the most obvious causes of leakage from your vape. Occasionally though, very small hairline cracks can develop over time that can escape detection. Be sure to inspect your vape thoroughly now and then to check for any signs of damage.
As well as cracks to the glassware, it can pay dividends to keep a close watch for any bent pieces of metal, particularly around the joints. Even small deformations in the body can, over time, cause vape juice to leak out (and probably all over your belongings!)
Make sure your juice ratios are right!
Cloud-chasing is the term used to describe vaping with powerful devices that can, as the name suggests, put out very large quantities of vape. The benefits (aside from looking badass) reported by vapers include a better mouthfeel and flavor profile.
Cloud-chasing uses coils that require a lot of power, and using any e-liquid with less than 70% vegetable glycerine can easily result in some leakage due to its lower viscosity.
Take care when making your coils
If you are deep enough into vaping that your method of choice is an RDA (rebuildable dripper atomizer) or similar, you are probably already aware of the importance of getting the quantity of cotton just right. If you use too much cotton you are liable to have a very restricted airflow and find it hard to vape at all. If you overdo it on the cotton front you may even experience dry and burnt hits.
On the other hand, using too little cotton can result in leakage of e-juice from your vape. Unfortunately, only trial and error can give you a feel for how much cotton is “right”. If you’re just starting with RDAs, resign yourself to the fact that you will probably smell like e-liquid for at least the first few times you make a new coil.