Heat is an important part of the vaping experience, since it's what turns the e-liquid into vapour. Sometimes, however, the vape can get too hot, which can worry some vapers. Don't panic though, as it doesn't mean disaster, so long as the mod is regulated. The London Fire Service have estimated that a smoker is 255 times more likely to cause a fire than a vaper.
Batteries still have a very very small chance of failing and possibly exploding, but this can be stopped thanks to the multiple safety features most modern devices have.
For more information on battery safety, check out our blog!
Here is a guide on why your vape gets hot and what you can do when it happens.
Where Is Your Vape Getting Hot?
When your vape gets hot, the first thing to do is check where the heat is coming from in the device. If your vape gets hot, either it will come from the battery or from the tank, especially around where the coil is connected. Heat emitted from one place can, of course, radiate to another, so it's not always that easy to work out where it is coming from. Feel the tank base where the coil is and around the section of the battery, the source will be the place where it's hottest.
How Hot Is Your Vape Getting?
The temperature of your vape is one of the most important things when the vape gets hot. Usually, the heat comes from around the coil but, even with the tank and the juice protecting the coils, the surface can still be hot to touch. Usually, you will be able to touch it without any issues, but you wouldnt want to grip it for a long time.
If it's too hot to touch at all, it's generally a sign of a more severe problem, and it's worth using a cloth or covering your hand with your sleeve and replacing the tank in case it's auto-firing. If the extreme heat comes from the battery section, this could be an indication of a major issue and you may need to take quick action.
The Most Common Cause of a Hot Vape
If you have a hot vape, it is most likely because vapes are supposed to get hot. As anybody with a temperature control system would know, the coil itself will sometimes reach and even exceed 300 ° C / 570 ° F in temperature when electricity passes through. While the tank wouldn't generally get this hot, it's still the most likely reason why the vape gets so hot.
If you chain vape, i.e. vape continuously for a long time, your coil can certainly get hot, and that often causes your tank's exterior to get noticeably hot too. While the heat usually stays near the coils, it can make the body of the device hot too.
The heat can also be affected by the type of coil you are using. Even a Clapton coil gets hotter than a regular coil. Basically, if the coil is more complicated than a simple wound wire, it is likely to generate more heat than a standard coil.. This is notably true when you vape at a high wattage.
Overall, a hot vape is most commonly caused by chain vaping or by the type of coil used.
How Do You Cool a Vape Down?
Cooling down your vape is a very simple thing to do, and doesn't involve technical knowledge at all. Just stop vaping for about 10 minutes and the vape will cool down. Because the coil is not being heated, it will cool down quite fast.
Other Causes of The Vape Getting Hot
While chain vaping and the choice of coil is the most common causes of the vape getting hot, it isn't the only cause. If you vape normally on a regular coil, the heat may be due to:
Residue around the coil is one potential cause since it stops it from soaking up juice as efficiently. When this occurs, the coil gets hot, but it doesn't have as much juice to absorb all the energy that your system generates, so the temperature rises significantly faster. If this is the case, you'll typically experience "dry puffs" when you're vaping, since the wick material isn't completely saturated, allowing the wick to burn slightly and the juice to overheat.
How Do You Cool The Vape Down?
Switching to a new coil is the fastest and simplest way to fix the problem. If you do not have a spare coil or you want to make the most out of the existing one, you can try to clean your coil to get rid of the sticky e-liquid residue. It will not always be effective, since there is only so much that you can do with cleaning–eventually the coil is done with. After cleaning, letting the coil dry out again takes a while, but you can generally remove the residue by soaking the coil in warm water or grain alcohol.
Restricted Juice Flow
Coil gunk is basically caused by wicking, since the gunk stops the wick around your coil soaking up e-liquid. This same problem can also happen for other reasons, including a limited juice flow caused by either the thickness of the e-liquid or to some part of the construction of the tank. VG is thicker than PG and high VG juices (70% VG or higher) may result in the same problem of wicking. Some tanks also have "liquid flow control," which basically allows you to close the path from the tank to the wick, and it can cause the same problem if you have this set too low.
How To Cool It Down
This is also easy to fix. If you have a liquid flow control on your tank, simply open it back up and the problem should be solved. If you are using high-VG e-liquid but, when you are vaping, you notice a lot of heat and dry puffs, your tank may not be up to the task. Either use a sub-ohm tank instead with the liquid, or use e-liquid with less VG in while using the same tank.
In both these instances, though, the wick you were using could already have been burned, and if you still get dry puffs, you may need to change to a new coil.
If it's the vapour that's too hot, not your actual device or tank, it's probably down to the combination of airflow and wattage that you're using. The higher your wattage, the higher the temperature of your coil, and the hotter the vapour that comes out. The more open the airflow becomes, cool air from outside combines with the e-liquid, and the colder the vapour becomes. If your airflow slot is mostly closed, or you use a small airflow hole, and if your wattage is high, it will produce a hotter vapour.
How to Cool It Down
To cool down, just open the adjustable airflow on your device. Many tanks have secondary airflow slots in the mouthpiece, and these are particularly helpful when cooling down the vapor, so if you have them, use them. This can often work without turning down the wattage, but if it doesn't cool down enough you can always turn it down too.
If Your Battery Gets Hot
In very rare instances, the cause of the vape being hot can actually be the battery. Batteries often warm up when you use the device a lot, think about how hot your phone battery gets when you use it a lot. If batteries get a bit hot, it's not really much to worry about, unless it gets very hot. If you take the battery out and it is warm, it is fine. If the batteries are hot, to the point where it hurts to touch them, you need to take it more seriously.
How to Deal With A Hot Battery
The first and most obvious thing to do if you notice heat from your battery is to stop vaping. If the heat seems pretty extreme or you're worried, the safest thing to do is remove the tank and put the mod on one side, away from anything flammable. Then, wait to see if it cools down.
If it's a milder temperature, and you feel safe, you can remove and examine the batteries. Place them on a non-flammable surface if the batteries are hot to the touch. Listen for hissing noises and look out for bulging on the battery's structure: these are indications of potentially severe overheating.
The chance of explosions or fires is much greater with bulging or hissing, because it could be undergoing thermal runaway. This is effectively a positive feedback loop where internal heat is gradually destabilising the battery and contributing to more heat, thereby impacting the battery even more. Sadly, there's nothing you can do to stop it if this occurs. Take the battery or batteries outside if possible and let them burn out.
You can use CO2 fire extinguishers or even just water on a battery fire, but you can just let it burn out and deal with it after it's cooled down if you have been able to minimise the risks to anyone in the building.
If the batteries are hot but not bulging or hissing, it's still worth being alert, though it's likely only an indication that you've run the battery up to or even above its capacity and it will slowly cool down.
Remember that battery failures are extremely rare. Battery University have estimated a one in a million chance of a lithium ion battery failing, with a one in 10 million chance for quality cells. This means you are more likely to be hit by a meteor than to have a battery fail on you.
Your vape will often get hot when in normal use, but this is natural. Always take this advice so you know the cause and how to deal with it. Remember that battery failures are very very rare, so don't worry when your vape gets hot. Happy vaping!