How to Fix a Leaking Vape Cartridge
These days, it seems like everyone owns and uses a vape device of some sort on a fairly regular basis. With this immense rise in popularity over the last few years, there are bound to be lots of questions and concerns that need answers. We're going to start with a common question: Why is my vape cartridge leaking and how do I fix it?
How Does a Vape Cartridge Work?
First, let's take a second to explain what the primary components of a vape cartridge are, and how it all works. A vape cartridge, also known as an atomizer, is designed to hold something like 0.5mL-1.5mL of e-liquid or concentrated oil and it uses a heating element that's powered by the battery to vaporize the contents of the cartridge. Inside each cartridge, and where the magic of vaporization happens, in the part known as the coil which is typically at the bottom of the vape cartridge. The coil, depending on what kind of cartridge you're working with, typically uses some form of metal heating element (sometimes ceramic, or ceramic and metal) in addition to an absorbent material like cotton, known as the wick. The cotton wick will soak up the vape oil or e-liquid and allow the coil its self to then vaporize the liquid/oil that is being stored in the wick.
There are also a number of different holes in the cartridge which each serve their own unique purpose. You'll typically find anywhere from 2-4 holes near the bottom of the center post (that vertical piece of metal inside the glass portion of the cartridge), as well as 1-4 holes near the bottom threads of the vape cartridge. The holes on the center post (inside the glass) are designed to allow a small amount of cannabis oil or e-liquid into the cotton wick in order to keep it saturated so it doesn't burn. The smaller holes near the bottom threading of the cartridge are air holes that allow air to enter the cartridge and then pass through the internals. Then of course there's the hole at the top a.k.a the mouthpiece which we probably don't need to explain. Finally, there are rubber gaskets or seals usually found at the top and/or bottom of the glass portion that ensure an airtight fitting which helps to prevent leaking.
Why Do Vape Cartridges Leak?
Now that you have a better understanding of how a vape cartridge works, let's talk about how you can prevent yours from leaking. There are quite a few different reasons that your vape cartridge might leak. There are also a ton of different types of vape cartridges. We're going to walk you through some common preventative measures to prevent leaks, as well as a few troubleshooting steps you can take should you cartridge begin to leak.
Lack of Quality
1. One of the most common reasons that a vape cartridge will leak is a lack of cartridge quality. Not all cartridges are created equally and some may suffer from poor design and/or low quality parts which can create leaking (and many other issues). If you're stuck with a low quality cartridge, there's not much the average person can do to fix it other than avoid brands that don't prioritize quality. This is something you can research via user reviews, as well as trial and error.
Poor Filling Practices
2. Another common reason that your vape cartridge might be leaking is due to poor filling practices. For cannabis oil vape cartridges, they almost always come pre-filled, so you have to trust the manufacturer to follow proper cartridge filling protocol. If you're filling a cartridge yourself, be sure to watch a few step-by-step video tutorials before attempting this. If you only watch one video, there's a chance that you'll get the wrong info but you won't realize it until it's too late. Here's another video to check out.
Exposure to High Temperatures
3. Additionally, one of the most common reasons vape cartridges will leak is due to prolonged exposure to high temperature areas (i.e the glove box of your '06 Civic during a summer day in LA) and improper storage methods. Avoid storing your cartridges in direct sunlight or hotter than usual areas because the oil will thin as it heats up and become more likely to leak out, and do your best to either stand your cartridge upside down or lean it against something at an angle if you plan on leaving it sitting in the same spot for a while. Oil is less likely to leak from the top, than the bottom.
Changes in Altitude
4. Finally, something that we hear about a lot is vape cartridges leak after bringing them on a flight. This one is tricky, because as we said before, each cartridge is different. Changes in air pressure, like when you're in an airplane, can cause a cartridge to leak and there's not a ton you can do about it.
How to Fix a Leaking Vape Cartridge?
So you have a cartridge that's leaking and you don't want to risk wasting any of your precious oil...so what can you do?
While there aren't a ton of options, there are a few things you may be able to try in order to save yourself from having to buy a whole new cartridge. Our first recommendation is to contact the seller and explain your issue to find out if it's a known issues with a batch/product, and ask if they're willing to replace it for you.
If you can't get a replacement (and you're in a pinch) see if you can open your cartridge to transfer your oil to a new cartridge. Most cartridges have a top that will unscrew or unplug and allow you to access the oil inside. If this isn't an option for you, considering putting your cartridge in your fridge or freezer for a few minutes (too long and you may encounter issues with moisture inside the cartridge). This should cause the oil to thicken a bit which can help prevent it from seeping out of your cartridge.
What's your preferred method to prevent leaking? Comment below, we'd love to hear from you.
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disclaimer: All studies, sources, links, etc. are the words of their respective authors. We are not endorsing any information contained within these resources and we encourage you to do your own research before forming an option.