A Guide to Refilling Vape Pens

Generally, with the exception of some disposables, vapes require refilling once the e-liquid has run out. For an adult user who has recently switched to vaping, it is useful to know which types of vapes need refilling, and learn how to refill a vape pen cartridge or tank. Of course, all vape pens may differ, so it is important to follow manufacturer instructions according to the product you are using. 

Why Vapes Need Refilling

Unless you’re using a pre-filled or disposable vape, the chances are you will need to learn how to refill a vape device with e-liquid once it runs out. That is because vapes require e-liquid to work, and this e-liquid is heated to produce a vapour. You can usually learn how to refill vape devices by referring to the manufacturer’s guidance provided with your device. 

Device maintenance is typically an important part of using a reusable vape, and learning how to refill vapes will help to ensure the device works as intended by the manufacturer. As is often the case with most first-time tasks, with some practice, you will likely develop more of an understanding on how to refill a vape pen. 

When to Refill a Vape

Generally, the frequency with which a vape is refilled depends on the type of device. This is because vapes will have different mechanisms inside and therefore will likely use the e-liquid in ways specific to the device’s design. The number of times a vaper should refill a vape pen also comes down to personal choice. Some adult vapers might wait until the tank is completely empty before refilling it. Ultimately, you should follow the manufacturer's instructions on when and how to refill a vape. With devices that have a window or those with a completely clear tank, it may be easy to see when the e-liquid has run out. 

Vapes That Need Refilling

Common types of vapes include closed pod systems and open vape systems, including what are sometimes known as bottom-fill and top-fill tanks. There are certain techniques for how to refill a vape according to the vape type. Let’s look at how to refill vapes, depending on the device. 

Closed pod system: many closed systems in pod and compact styles use a pre-filled tank of e-liquid. It is generally not possible to refill this type of vape. Instead, the pod is typically replaced once it runs out.

Open vape system: these vapes usually need to be refilled once the e-liquid is empty. Depending on the brand, an open system may have an atomizer or a tank that can be refilled manually. While an adult vaper should always adhere to the manufacturer's guidance, there are some common signs that may indicate the e-liquid is ready for refilling. This can include a situation where the device begins to produce a weaker flavour, or when there is a low volume of e-liquid remaining. It is sometimes possible to identify the level of the e-liquid by looking through the tank window. 

Generally, there are two different types of open vape systems that use top-fill and bottom-fill tanks. Knowing how to refill a vape tank for each of these vapes is therefore slightly different. 

Top-fill: Top-fill tanks usually require the tank to be unscrewed from the vape device to refill it, whereas a bottom-fill tank commonly detaches from the main body of the device. Carefully unscrew the tank by accessing the section between the mouthpiece and the tank’s main body. Take out the coil as this can help to preserve it. This is often accomplished by unwinding it from the bottom of the tank. By removing the mouthpiece and connector from the tank, it may then be possible to refill the device with e-liquid - taking care to fill only to the level indicated by the manufacturer. Put the mouthpiece back and reattach it to the main body of the device to complete the process. 

Bottom-fill: The process of how to refill a vape for a bottom-fill tank device is typically similar. Start by unscrewing the tank from the body of the vape kit, and removing the coil carefully - usually by unwinding it from the top of the tank. For certain devices, some manufacturers recommend adding a drop or two of e-liquid here as this can help to preserve the coil’s life. Return the coil to its position and unscrew the bottom of the tank to access the section that requires refilling. Remove the atomizer first, then gently fill the tank with e-liquid to the appropriate level indicated by the manufacturer. Ensure no liquid falls into the tubing. Once refilled, the tank can be reattached to the body of the kit. 

How to Prepare for Vape Refilling

For those new to tank refilling or who are unsure how to refill a vape tank, some manufacturers recommend that you take some simple precautions before you start. 

  • Put down newspaper and have a piece of kitchen towel on hand in case of spillages. For example, this can help to stop any e-liquid from getting into the battery and causing electrical problems or long-term damage.

  • Check which type of device and system you are using ahead of refilling. If you are not sure which type you have, check the box your device came in - or find the manufacturer’s leaflet, which usually contains details about the kit. 

Good maintenance and care for your vape can not only improve the chances of it lasting the length of its intended life, but it may also increase the chances of the e-cigarette working as it should. Best practices for vape maintenance include routinely cleaning the vape tank and replacing the coil regularly. Remember, of course, to always follow manufacturer recommendations. 

Learn more about vapes and how they work with the article, How Do E-Cigarettes Work?

Available Smoke-Free Alternatives

There are hundreds of devices out there, and types of devices for that matter - from technically advanced mods to smartly designed devices. It is worth taking the time to read reviews and do your research before making a commitment to buy. Of course, many smoke-free alternatives to cigarettes contain nicotine, which is addictive. The best decision any adult smoker can make is to quit tobacco and nicotine use altogether.  

Consider heated tobacco products.

For adult smokers that have previously tried but not got on with vaping, there are alternative products out there - including heated tobacco. Tobacco heating systems provide nicotine and are not risk-free, yet IQOS heated tobacco products are an option worth consideration - IQOS emits on average 95% lower levels of harmful chemicals compared to cigarettes.* 

Important information: It does not necessarily equal a 95% reduction in risk. IQOS is not risk-free.  

* Reductions in levels of a range of harmful chemicals (excluding nicotine) compared to the smoke of a reference cigarette.  

The IQOS ILUMA SMARTCORE INDUCTION SYSTEM heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the taste of real tobacco. IQOS ILUMA provides real tobacco taste and satisfaction.

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