Battery Safety is one of the most important things to learn in vaping. Proper battery care and use must be exercised always to ensure a safe and pleasurable experience. There are two different types of batteries we will be looking at, the internal or disposable battery and the removable battery. Most vaping batteries will be either Lithium Ion or Lithium Polymer.
Let’s look at the most common vape battery type, Internal batteries. These are normally Lithium Polymer (LiPo) and are made by stacking cells into a variety of shapes and sizes. LiPo vaping batteries can be found in many different vape devices, examples are the eLeaf iStick series, the BO and BO+, Wake Mod Co. Littlefoot kit, Smok Stick series, Joyetech eGo AIO’s, and even in some high-end DNA 200 & 250 Mods. These have a normal lifespan of 2-3 years and once they have exceeded their lifespan, just take them to the recycling center and get a new device. These are the easiest batteries to use and charge, just use the included charger and plug it in. Ease can lead to not taking the same care that these types of batteries require. Care needs to be taken not to drop the device as that can lead to an internal rupture of the protection for the battery leading to a possible venting event and or fire. Always use coils that are within the specified resistance range of the mod, this information will be in the user manual. Always use the supplied charger and cable and never charge unattended or overnight. Never overcharge your battery. Most LiPo batteries will have protection circuits and cutoff points, but those protections can fail on occasion, so it is best to unplug the device as soon as it is fully charged. Also, never store the mod in a car, hot places or on flammable materiel like bedding or paper etc. If you are storing overnight, unscrew the tank or atomizer as well. Last, make sure to properly dispose of any damaged batteries as well as once the battery has reached the end of its lifespan.
Now, that brings us to the removable battery. These are almost always Lithium Ion Batteries. The most common is the 18650, but there are many different sizes of removable or replaceable vaping batteries available. There are 18350, 18500, 20700, 21700, 26650 and more. So, what do the numbers mean? The first 2 numbers are the diameter of the battery in mm. 18650 vaping batteries are 18 mm diameter. The next 2 numbers are the length of the battery in mm. 18650 is 65 mm long. The zero is not used in vape batteries. Charging removable batteries can be done either with a separate charger (recommended) or by plugging in the mod if the device has the ability (not ideal). Separate chargers are the preferred method as they can offer better safety protections as well as the ability to charge multiple batteries at the same time in models with multiple charge bays. The separate charging method is the only way you should charge any batteries used in multiple battery box mods. Removable batteries offer convenience as they can be swapped out for fresh batteries in a flash. But there are extra precautions you must use to ensure a safe vaping experience. First, only use authentic batteries from known battery manufacturers. Off brand or re-wrapped batteries often have wildly varying amperage ratings and quality that can lead to possible venting or fire. Never carry loose batteries in your pocket and always keep batteries in dedicated battery cases or holders. This will prevent batteries from coming into contact with keys, coins or other metal objects leading to battery failure, leakage or even fire. Replaceable batteries also need to have their amperage rating matched to the intended use of the vaporizer you plan to run them in. Amperage is the continuous amp rating that we are concerned with.
Some advanced regulated box mods use 2 or more replaceable batteries. For these devices, you must always use the same brand and model of batter. It is also necessary to “marry” your batteries. Marrying batteries is the practice of purchasing batteries in groups of 2, 3 or even 4 depending on the device, and always using them together and charging them together. This will make sure the batteries drain at the same rate. It can be dangerous to use batteries together with different voltages. Most mods have a minimum voltage requirement. This is easy for single battery mods, but many dual and triple battery mods don’t have the ability to test each cell individually. Once you have married a group of batteries, do not for any reason use one of the group separately or you will no longer have a married group and will need to buy a whole new set.
While many batteries claim high amp ratings, they are the pulse rating and not the continuous draw. 20amps are the norm for 18650 though there are lower rated batteries in that size. Regulated mods can help to lessen the risk from this, but they do not have amperage testing capabilities, so it is always best to get 20amp batteries if using 18650s. The amps of a battery really become critically in mechanical mods also known as mech mods. These have no protection circuitry and the wattage output is decided by the resistance of the atomizer. Mechanical mods are for advanced users with a solid understanding of Ohm’s law as well as an Ohm meter to ensure you do not exceed the limits of your battery. We will get into mech mods and more in a later post coming soon. Removable batteries have a safety wrapping on them that must be inspected prior to placing use every time. If the wrap is torn, damaged or otherwise not intact, do not use or charge and immediately recycle the battery. As with internal batteries, if the battery has been dropped or damaged it is no longer safe to use.
Battery safety is mostly common sense and with a little vigilance you can avoid most risks associated with vaping and battery dangers. To recap:
- Never drop your batteries or mod
- Do not store in extreme heat or cold, (In your car in the sun)
- Inspect your batteries every time you remove and replace them for any damage
- Always keep batteries in battery cases, never put loose batteries in your pocket or purse
- Never Charge your mod or batteries unattended or overnight
- Only use the charger that came with your mod for devices that can be charged this way
- Only use high drain (amp) batteries
- Do not exceed the amperage of your battery
- Always use coils that are within the range of resistance of your mod
- Only use mech mods if you are an advanced user with the tools and knowledge of Ohm’s Law
- Properly dispose of batteries after they have reached the end of their intended lifespan
- Only use married pairs or group in multiple battery mods