If your e cigarette is going to have a problem this will usually happen during charging and often because it hasn’t been charged properly or safely. Lithium batteries are used to power all e cigarette devices and despite their small size they pack some wallop in the power output department and need to be taken care of.
Everyone has seen the newspaper articles, Facebook posts and new stories about exploding e cigarettes. What is rarely reported is the fact that the majority of these instances occur because of the user not following the safety guidelines the manufacturer of their e cigarette had provided. They may modify their e cig without understanding the power requirements and the need for components and battery to be compatible or they might well have not taken notice of safety warnings and advice about charging their e cigarette (“Vaper blows up e cig by not following instructions” doesn’t make for such a newsworthy report)!
By taking note of and following the below rules and valuable advice you will better understand how to keep your e cigarette and yourself safe.
Never Leave an E Cigarette or Lithium Battery Charging Unattended.
While popping your device on charge and going off to do something else seems reasonable and convenient you have to remember that your device contains a powerful battery and that it shouldn’t be left to charge alone. The reason for not leaving the battery/e cig alone when charging is that if you overcharge you e cig the result could be thermal runaway. It is thermal runaway that causes failure and more often fire/explosion. You don’t need to leave your e cigarette charging for excessive periods, indeed many charge in just three or four hours. Check the charging needs of your particular device in advance.
Staying with your e cigarette enables you to see when it has finished charging (usually the LED light will change colour) so that you can switch off the charger and remove the e cigarette pretty much straight away. No risk of overcharging there! You can use a charger, such as this one which not only detects each individual battery’s power/charging requirements, it will also stop charging as soon as it detects that your battery is fully charged. These chargers offer a brilliant way to charge safely however it still isn’t advisable to leave your e cig charging alone.
Don’t Charge Your E Cigarette Overnight.
As well as not being left to charge unattended your battery / device should not be left to charge overnight. Not only does your battery not need to charge for that length of time your battery needs to be attended by someone who is awake!
If you are asleep while charging, even with a charger which will switch off when the battery is full, you won’t see if something goes wrong during charging and while this is rare it is not unheard of. You need to be aware of what your battery is doing during charging. If it starts to get over-hot or swell-up the charge needs to be cut off immediately. If you notice this happening move the unplugged charger somewhere safe to cool down. If this doesn’t happen you will see an explosive reaction, and not a tiny one!
Despite being small these batteries are powerful and if they are overcharging or there is a fault with them and they continue to charge this charge will tip them over the edge. Again, while rare it can happen and you won’t notice the warning signs if you are charging while asleep!
Treat Your E Cigarette with Care.
While most designs are fairly self-contained, using a pouch or a case to carry your e cigarette around in, or ensuring it is somewhere clean, free of dust and won’t bang against anything (i.e. in your bag) will greatly reduce any risk of damaging the casing and any of the components, the battery included.
Be aware of where you keep your e cigarette when in use / during the day. As you would with your mobile phone, don’t allow your e cigarette get too hot (i.e. leaving it in a hot car or in direct sunlight/near a radiator) or too cold. Obviously avoiding naked flames / anything flammable would be a good idea too!
Charge in a Safe Place
You wouldn’t (hopefully) leave your e cigarette on your desk during the day in direct, hot sunshine. Make sure you choose to place your charger somewhere safe too. Similarly, your battery shouldn’t be charged somewhere too cold. When stored or charged in somewhere below zero degrees (in the garage, out an outhouse, utility room, cold car etc) the battery may fail as the anode (positively charged electrode) that is non-lithium becomes layered up with lithium within the battery and simply won’t work. This type of failure can’t be fixed or reversed and so the battery would need to be discarded.
Ensure that when charging your e cigarette that your charger is placed on a suitable flat surface away from children and animals. You might be surprised how many chargers, devices and batteries get knocked to the ground and damaged (you should NEVER charge or try and use a damaged lithium battery) this way.
Ensure That You Are Using the Correct Charger
Always use the charger that your device came with and if you can’t, ensure that what you do use is a suitable replacement that is compatible (many people wisely choose to purchase the same charger again from the manufacturer of their e cigarette or contact them to check what they want to buy instead is safe).
While there are some chargers out that that boast the ability to charge a number of different models it is always best to stick with a charger you are certain is compatible. Thankfully many chargers match their threads to a specific model which means that they won’t fit other types of e cigarette but as not all do you need to be especially vigilant. If buying a replacement e cigarette battery charger do so from a reputable retailer and don’t hesitate to contact them to check compatibility with your device. Any retailer worth their salt will be happy to help with this.
If you look after your device, follow manufacturer guidelines and are aware of and abide by these safe battery charging rules the risk of any problems with your battery is greatly reduced. Charge safely and don’t modify your e cigarette irresponsibly and all you’ll have to worry about is which e liquid to load up next!
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