In recent times the demand for vaping products has moved on from the standard eGo electronic cigarettes with batteries built in, to the box mod. The box mod is a separate battery which you can add to any tank, with features that are far superior to the regular e-cigarette. These types of electronic cigarettes however, in most cases, use a separate removable battery known as the 18650 or 20700. This type of battery is now in high demand, and unfortunately with high demand comes some inferior products with many less reputable manufacturers trying to take advantage. To vape safely you need to understand how to properly use your e-cigarette to avoid accidents that could harm you and your device. These types of batteries are very powerful and can be dangerous if misused.
Here are some of the top tips to keep in mind when it comes to 18650/20700 battery safety with e-cigarettes:
- Recognize that your e-cigarette is not a toy. It is a high-tech device that deserves your respect. As such, you should only purchase your electronic cigarettes, mods, and related products from reputable vendors that have a track record of providing quality offerings to their customers.
- Given the importance of battery safety, never opt for cheap chargers. With electronic cigarettes – as with so much in life, you usually get what you pay for. No matter how much you might like the thought of saving a few pounds here and there, you definitely don’t want to cut corners with your e-cigarette power source.
- Make sure that your charger is the right one for your battery. Every device will have recommended charging instructions for that device and are the best option for ensuring the safety of that e-cigarette and anyone who comes into contact with it.
- With mods, you need to ensure that you are charging at the right amp level. The most common charge level for properly regulated internal battery units is 0.5 amps (500 m/a). Your device’s manual should provide the exact specifications you need to know.
- Do not charge overnight! Since many accidents can occur when devices are left unsupervised. Instead, only charge your battery when you are awake and around to keep an eye on everything. For the same reason, try to avoid overcharging your internal batteries, as this can diminish the device’s life span. Batteries should be taken off charge once they are full.
- Make sure that any battery wrap is in good condition. If that plastic sheath has holes or other damage, then replace it immediately.
- Replace the top (+) insulator ring if it’s also damaged.
- Every time you buy batteries also buy battery boxes or sleeves, wraps and top insulator rings. You…will…need…them.
- Always verify that you are inserting batteries properly. Check out the correct orientation specs for any mod batteries, and follow those guidelines to the letter.
- With multiple batteries, it is best to replace all of them at the same time. So, if you have a mod powered by two batteries, always charge, or replace those batteries in pairs.
- Clean your mods on a regular basis. When your threads become dirty, your mod circuits can be disrupted. Also, buttons can get stuck in place. Use a cotton swab or wipe to clean the unit with alcohol.
- Watch your coil resistance limits. This is especially true for vaping aficionados who build their own coil setups. Remember, most experts recommend that you never go below 0.2 ohms, since anything below that level can increase the risk of accidents or other mishaps.
- Store your batteries properly, to avoid shorting them out. Short circuits can occur when the negative and positive terminals come into contact with the battery simultaneously, or due to careless storage habits. For example, batteries can experience a host of problems when they are stored with objects made of metal. As a rule, never store them in a junk drawer or tool chest (keep away from keys, loose change). If your battery or mod heats up inexplicably, you may have a short circuit on your hands.
- Never totally deplete your battery’s charge either. With most batteries, there is a recognizable reduction in capability as they near depletion. When you get those indications that your battery is low on power, replace that power source for another.
- Use caution when disposing of your old batteries. Batteries are filled with dangerous chemicals that can produce toxic fumes or cause an explosion, so avoid throwing them in fire or other careless disposal options. Instead, locate a recycling centre and take them there.
When should you replace a battery?
Here are a few things to look for and be aware of while using your batteries. You should replace your battery…
- When you start getting earlier and more frequent “low battery” alerts from your regulated mod even though you haven’t increased the power.
- If it starts getting warmer during use or charging even though you haven’t changed power settings or your coil resistance.
- If your charger will no longer get to 4.20V before stopping. Make sure the charger is functioning properly and try switching charger bays before replacing the battery though.
- If you see physical damage to the metal top or can of the battery. Things like dents and deep scrapes should not be ignored! A damaged wrap and top insulator ring can be replaced without needing to replace the battery.
- If it vents and leaks fluid, even the smallest amount. Continuing to use a battery after it has vented can lead to the battery overheating and possibly going into thermal runaway and bursting.
- If it has rusted badly. You don’t need to worry about a few small spots but if they are pushing the wrap up or growing larger then replace the battery.
- If it has discharged down below 2.0V for a long period of time. Accidentally discharging down below that for a short period of time is ok. But if you left a battery unused for a long period of time and it’s now dropped below 2.0V, replace it. You might be able to “recover” the battery with certain chargers but it’s probably damaged and it’s just not worth it.
- There’s no need to replace a battery on a fixed schedule, e.g., once a month. Those who use their batteries at high power levels might have to replace them every few months, or even sooner. Low power vapers can easily get longer use from their batteries.
- You do not need to replace a battery if you dropped it but there’s no physical damage.
Most of us are so accustomed to electricity and battery-powered devices that we often give little thought to how we are using them. Small battery-powered devices like e-cigarettes, however, can pose a risk for consumers who fail to take the proper precautions. The good news is that battery safety is not rocket science, and there is plenty of information available to help vaping fans enjoy their electronic cigarettes without fear of accident. By following these simple safety tips, you too can enjoy all the benefits your e-cig has to offer, and do so with the peace of mind you deserve.