Why Does My Vape Leak? - How Do I Fix It?

By Elina Panayotova


Some of the information in the following blog is based on external, third party sources and is for educational/informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to be representative of the products sold on this website.


Why Does My Vape Leak?

Vapes and electronic cigarettes are subject to product safety requirements introduced by Tobacco and Related Products Regulations 2016. In addition to restrictions on tank capacity, nicotine strengths and labelling requirements, electronic cigarettes and refill containers must be protected against breakage and leakage and all vape manufacturers are required to submit a declaration ensuring the quality and safety of the product. Electronic cigarettes are typically easy to use and maintain, but you might occasionally run into issues such as leakage.

If you notice leakage from your device, consult the information pamphlet provided with your device to avoid potential safety concerns and remember not to touch the leaky pod or tank with bare hands. The guide below can help identify potential causes of device leakage, but if you notice your vape is leaking frequently or during regular use, cease use immediately and contact the manufacturer- you might have a defective pod or device.

To determine the source of leakage, you should first pinpoint what type of device you are using: Vape pens and box mods use tanks to hold e-liquid. If there is a leak, this suggests there is an issue with the tank that is allowing liquid to escape to other parts of the device.

Pod mods and cigalikes do not use tanks. If you notice a leak, then the issue is more likely the pod or cartridge you are using.


What is a Vape Tank?

The ‘tank’ refers to the part of the vape that holds the e-liquid. The atomiser, comprised of the coil and wick, is attached to the tank and heats the saturated wick to produce a vapour.


Why Do Vapes Leak?

Here are some potential causes of a leaking vape:

- A loose tank lid

- The liquid is poured into the chimney of the vape

- Filling the tank too much

- Old coils

- Forceful inhalation

- Insufficient power

- Incorrect e-juice

- Temperature, humidity, or altitude

- Tank damage

- How to Fix a Leaking Vape Tank

If you have a leak, any of the above causes could be the reason why. If you have identified the cause of leakage, you might be able to avoid future leakage by following the pointers below.


Check Your Tank

nspect your tank for damage. Never use a damaged or cracked tank - this is a common cause of e-liquid leakage. When you purchase a replacement tank, make sure the model is compatible with your device for a secure fit. The best fit for a vape tank will always be from your device manufacturer. When placing your tank on your vape, ensure that it is properly affixed to the vape according to the manufacturer's guidance.


Don’t Pour Liquid Down the Chimney

The ‘chimney’ is the part of the vape that runs from the coil and wick to the mouthpiece. Be careful not to fill this with e-juice when reloading. If e-liquid enters the chimney, the coil will flood and your device may leak and produce spitback. Holding your tank at an angle while filling, so the liquid trickles down one wall of the tank, can help avoid e-liquid entering the chimney.


Don’t Overfill the Tank

It’s easy to fill up a tank with more e-juice than necessary. Take your time and make sure there is always a small pocket of air left in the tank. This helps create a vacuum which prevents the liquid from leaking. You should also clean your tank every time you switch e-liquids, as a build-up of residue can cause issues with the seal of the tank. Most tanks can be cleaned with warm water and dish soap and left to air dry. Always check the manufacturer's instructions before removing or washing any part of your vape.


Check The Age of Your Coils

Coils become worn with time, including the absorbent wick. If your wick has lost its absorbency, your coil may become flooded and start to leak. If you have an RTA (Rebuildable Tank Atomiser), remember that these devices are designed to let you replace just the wick. If you use an RTA and have replaced the wick, then the issue may be that you haven’t fitted the wick properly or you haven’t used enough wicking material. This will cause the e-liquid to escape through air holes.

Coils also need to be cleaned and replaced regularly. A standard coil lasts between one to four weeks . You can extend the lifespan of your coil by cleaning it regularly. To do this, carefully dab at it with a cotton bud to remove gunk and congealed e-liquid. If your coil has significant residue and build up, separate your coil from the wick and soak the coil in warm water for a few hours before cleaning.

Other components that you may wish to replace regularly are the O-rings, these are the rubber rings found at the base of your tank which can cause leakage if they after wear and tear.


Don’t Inhale With Too Much Force

Inhaling with more force than necessary can cause vape juice to enter the mouthpiece. This can lead to spit back or leakage once you’ve placed it back in your pocket or on a surface. Never swallow e-liquid – If you accidentally swallow vape juice, consult a medical professional immediately.


Check Your Power Levels

A vape that isn’t set at a high enough wattage will not produce enough power to turn liquid to vapour, which can prompt forceful inhalation as you try to get enough vapour. Most atomisers will have a recommended wattage to use as a guide.


Check You’re Using the Correct E-juice

Different devices require different e-juices for best performance. Generally, PG is thinner than VG, which can lead to the wick becoming oversaturated. Conversely, high VG ratios may also prove to be too thick, clogging the wick and inducing leakage. If you are using a sub-ohm device, you may also want to opt for a slightly higher VG ratio. The appropriate ratio of VG to PG will also be determined by the resistance of your coil.


Avoid Extremes of Temperature, Humidity, Or Altitude

Changes in pressure can impact your vape, while weather, humidity, and altitude may play a role, too. Very hot or humid days, for example, can cause higher pressure which pushes the e-liquid out of the tank and into other parts of the device. Heat will also interfere with the liquid’s viscosity. Vapes are not designed to withstand extreme heat or cold, so try to keep your vape at moderate temperatures. Proper storage can also help avoid leakage. Try not to store your vape flat; keep it standing with the mouthpiece facing up.


Contact Your Manufacturer About a Damaged Tank

If your device leakage issue persists, contact the manufacturer. They might be able to fix the issue or identify a faulty device. Do not attempt to dismantle your device without the recommendation and advice of the manufacturer.


How to Prevent Leaks from Happening

Following the tips above can help prevent vape leakage. While you are unlikely to avoid vape leakage entirely, you can avoid excessive leakage and maintain your device functionality by doing your research and following the manufacturer’s guidance.

For alternatives to smoking that do not risk leakage, there are heated tobacco products. IQOS is an electronic device that heats real tobacco sticks called HEETS, rather than e-liquids. IQOS HeatControl™ Technology heats tobacco instead of burning it to deliver the true taste of real tobacco. Learn more about IQOS here.

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