May 24, 2023


A leaky vape tank is one of those things. You don’t know how annoying it can be until it’s your turn to deal with it.

And like most little annoyances, it can happen anywhere and when you least expect it – when attending a job interview, prior to the Monday meeting at the office, when out on a date, when meeting the in-laws for the first time, you name it.

Call it a classic case of Murphy’s Law – Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. That means you have yourself a mess to deal with, and heaven forbid if the mishap occurs in your little designer handbag, or worse still, around the crotch region.

Causes of Leaky Vape Tanks and Associated Solutions 1. Improper Filling of the Tank

One of the most common causes of a leaky tank is filling up e-liquid the wrong way. Most vapers will experience this before they become accustomed to the art of refill or get the hang of the new device they are using. To avoid this, take caution when filling your tank so you don’t accidentally get any vape juice into the chimney. The chimney is a central tube present in most tanks that runs from the coil to the mouthpiece. If vape juice gets into the chimney, the tank starts to gurgle and leak. When refilling, pour e-liquid into the tank by letting it slide down the inside walls of the outer glass. And if by bad luck any juice gets into the chimney, use a paper towel to dry it out.

2. Storing or Carrying your Device in a Horizontal Position

Some tanks are not designed to spend long durations in a horizontal or side position. And that’s because of the airflow holes on the device. The leak won’t likely happen when the tank is full. But when the juice levels reach half-empty, the liquid will easily seep through the vents and find its way to the chimney. To address this, avoid leaving your device in a laid down position for extended periods and always carry it in a vertical or upright position.

3. Damaged O-rings

The O-ring is a rubber ring mostly located at both the bottom and top ends of the tank – similar and serving the same purpose as the rubber rings you find in liquid faucets or fuel tanks. O-rings do get ripped from time to time, and if a ring in your tank gets damaged, it means there is no air seal and this will result in vape juice leakage. Fixing this is as simple as getting replacement rings, removing the damaged ones and installing the new.

4. Faulty or Old Coil

The problem can sometimes be less obvious. If your coil is faulty or past its sell-by date, it will have problems wicking juice properly, consequently resulting in a leak from the airflow vents. To address this shortcoming, it is best practice to change your coils every couple of weeks (or depending on usage). As well, ensure the coil is screwed in all the way, otherwise even new coils won’t fix the issue.

5. Poor Tightening

As with every component that requires opening up and closing, vape tanks and coils are liable to cross-threading or poor tightening when refilling the tank or replacing the coil. To avoid leakage problems stemming from any of these two causes, take time to properly reassemble your tank and its components. Ascertain the coil is tightly fastened to the base (or top cap in the case of top-coil tanks) and that all parts fit snugly, and make sure to avoid cross-threading when screwing the tank back together.

6. Over-tightening

Just as loose tightening can lead to vape tank leakage, so too can over-tightening. That’s because over-tightening could damage the rubber O-rings located near any threading. Too tight and not tight enough will vary from one tank to the next, but as with everything else that needs tightening up, you should know when enough is enough. Screw the tank firmly until you feel a bit of resistance, but not so much that it needs brute force to open.

7. Poor Inhaling Technique

Sometimes, a leaky tank may not be an issue with the tank or other device components. Poor inhalation technique could as well be. Unlike analogues, e-cigarettes are quite sensitive to how fast or forcefully you inhale. Short and quick inhales may work in smoking, but can flood the chimney and cause juice seepage in vape devices. This is due to the fact that there is so much liquid in the coil that can be vaporized at a given time. Try slow inhales when vaping, especially considering vapour will always form irrespective of how fast you draw. Besides, longer draws are more flavoursome, and you don’t risk flooding the coil this way.

Wrap up

Lastly, we can’t stress the importance of regular maintenance enough as it touches on vape leakage. If you don’t clean your tanks on a regular basis, the gunk build-up can cause issues with the tank’s air seal, leading to seepage. Vape maintenance doesn’t have to be a full service every two weeks. Simple cleaning of the tank and device components depending on usage will do. Plus, it will help avert a lot more than just leakage problems. 

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