Battery safety is a serious issue in the vaping industry. In the past, careless battery handling has resulted in fires and explosions, which could pose a risk to you and others. That’s why it’s important that all vapers understand the importance of battery safety, no matter how long they’ve been vaping.
First, you need to understand why vaporizer batteries are different from other batteries and how you can protect yourself.
What’s Special About the Vape Mod Battery?
Vape mod batteries are lithium ion batteries, similar to the batteries that are used in your other electronics. The major difference lies in the amount of power produced by these batteries and how it is used. In your cellphone or laptop computer, a lithium ion battery is used to give you enough power to connect to the internet or turn on your screen, but even under the most demanding functions, the battery is designed to discharge relatively slowly.
By contrast, a vaporizer needs to create a lot of power in short bursts to heat up the coils. The lithium ion batteries inside of a vaporizer are designed specifically for high-drain usage, and instead of being used to power a controlled, enclosed system of diodes or pixels, all of that power is dumped into an open, exposed coil. It takes a lot of power to heat up an open coil to the point where it can vaporize e-liquid in an instant. That’s where things become a little risky.
So now that you understand why lithium battery safety is important and why it applies specifically to vape mods, it’s time to look at ways that you can keep yourself and those around you safe.
Here is a list of things you should do to avoid dangerous battery situations.
Buy a brand name battery
There are a number of brands offering high-drain lithium ion batteries online, but not all of them are held to the same manufacturing standards. If you receive a battery that has a torn wrapper or other signs of damage, do not use it. Look for batteries from reputable sources that are made for use in vapor devices.
Buy a device with safety features
Always use a battery case
Buy a great charger
Don’t leave batteries in your car
Learn Ohm’s Law
Almost all modern vaporizers come with a number of built-in safety cutoffs. While some vapers insist that these measures limit their vaping potential, the truth is the features could save you from a dangerous explosion. Today, it is common to see vaporizers that have short circuit protection, overheating protection and other protective circuits that will cut off your device if a battery problem is detected, giving you time to let it cool down and figure out what’s wrong.
The benefit of having interchangeable batteries in your device is that you can always carry a spare set just in case your batteries die before the day is done. However, a number of people have discovered that carrying loose batteries in your pocket with your change, paperclips and other random items can be a recipe for disaster. Carrying your extra batteries in a protective case that keeps them from coming into contact with other metals will not only preserve your charge, it could also save you from burns or worse.
In all honesty, it is actually the charging process that damages more batteries than the discharge process. This is because too many people place batteries on a charger and then walk away and don’t check on them for hours or, worse, days. If your vaporizer charger doesn’t know when to cut off the power, it’s possible that your batteries could begin heating up, bulging and eventually exploding. While we always recommend that you should charge your batteries during the day so that you can take them off the charger as soon as they’re done, it doesn’t hurt to have a smart charger that will keep an eye on things and shut off when all of your batteries are full.
Or really anywhere else that will get hot. Leaving your vaporizer or batteries sitting in your car during a long, hot day is just asking for something bad to happen. If you’re headed to the beach, put your vape in a small baggie inside of your cooler to keep it safe. Alternatively, be aware of water as well. You already know that your batteries won’t do well if they get soaked.
Forward and backward, backward and forward. At some point in your vaping career you will get curious about all of those crazy builds you’re seeing online. That’s fine. We’d love to have you join the community. However, understanding Ohm’s Law is an imperative part of wrapping your own coils and creating a safe build. If you build a coil that draws too many amps you could cause your batteries to discharge very rapidly – or, in other words, explode. More on this later.
What Not to Do
Practicing good vape battery safety is as much about what you do as it is about what you don’t do.
Here are a few things that you should absolutely not do with your vape batteries.
Don’t leave your vape lying around
Don’t discharge to zero:
Any damage is too much damage
Don’t mix batteries
Don’t buy cheap chargers
Often it’s the little things that really get us. You unthinkingly leave your device sitting on a countertop or windowsill where it bakes in the sun all day, or you set it down on your bed, but it tips over and the firing button gets depressed on your pillow. Either of these simple scenarios could create a hazard. Make sure that your devices are always put away safely and there is no risk that they get tipped over or dry-fired for an extended period of time.
Lithium ion batteries operate in a very specific window. If you discharge your battery beyond the operating range that it was built for, you could damage the internal structures of the battery itself. In some cases this means that it simply won’t hold as much charge the next time you try to use it, but in other cases it could be far more dangerous. Most modern devices have cutoffs set to shut your device down and give you warnings as your battery is draining to this threshold, but if you happen to be using a mechanical mod or a device without safety cutoffs, don’t ever risk this.
Seriously. We mentioned this above, but we need to mention it again. Whether it’s a small nick in the casing or a weird bulge in the side. If a battery appears to be damaged at all, dispose of it safely and don’t look back.
It’s almost the end of the day and your vape is dying quickly, but you just need to get through the next hour. You have an old set of batteries in your bag so you try to pop one of them in with the battery you currently have to see if that will get you through. Don’t do it! Your device is designed to discharge your batteries evenly. When you start mixing and matching your batteries you get into a situation where the device is drawing too heavily upon one or the other and can’t compensate appropriately.
Different chargers work at different rates. Make sure the charger you are using is approved for the type of batteries you have. Otherwise you could be quick-charging batteries that can’t handle the amperage that’s flowing to them. In general, the slower the charger works, the less heat it produces and the safer your batteries are. Quick chargers should be used in moderation.
Understanding Ohm’s Law
Since Ohm’s Law is such an important part of battery safety, we’re going to get into some of the details of how to understand the amp rating of your batteries and whether or not you’re operating a safe build.
To put it simply, Ohm’s Law states that voltage equals current (amps) multiplied by resistance (ohms). To determine whether or not your build falls within the safe range of your battery, you need to rearrange this formula: current (amps) equals voltage divided by resistance (ohms).
Most batteries operate at 4.2 volts when fully charged, but always double check your batter to make sure. You should use the upper limit of a fully charged battery to do all your calculations because you know your battery will never exceed that voltage.
Now, if you are using a 0.25-ohm coil, that is your resistance. In this case, the current equals 4.2V divided by 0.25 ohms, or 16.8 amps.
What does that mean? Well, if your battery is rated for up to 18 or 20 amps, you’re probably fine to go ahead with your build. However, if your battery is only rated for a 12-amp draw, you have a problem. This formula allows you to determine the lowest resistance coil you can safely use with your particular batteries.
There is a lot more to learn about Ohm’s Law as it relates to building coils and measuring power, but for now, understanding amperage ratings is a good place to get you started.
There’s plenty to know and learn about vaporizer batteries along the way, but these are the key things you need to know to stay safe as you get familiar with vaping. The more you dive into custom builds and advanced features you will get to know Ohm’s Law better and have a better grasp of what your batteries are and are not capable of withstanding.
VaporFi has a large selection of batteries, mods, accessories, and vape juices available online for vapers of all levels. Visit us today to find your next set of high-drain lithium ion batteries designed specifically for vaping. Don’t forget to take advantage of our awesome Rewards Program to stock up on all your vaping needs.