Battery safety even beginners should know

Battery safety even beginners should know

Batteries can be dangerous and unpredictable, however they are a necessary evil of the vaping world. Let’s face it, without a battery, it would be impossible to vape.

So if we can’t avoid them, we should all know how to use them safely, and minimise any harm that can occur to us during their usage. As a vaper, and a battery user, it is in your best interest to know everything that you can about your batteries and how to prevent them from causing a catastrophe.

It is not anybody else’s responsibility, it is yours.

If something does happen and you end up on the wrong side of thermal runaway, or even an explosion, in most cases …

  • It is not the vape store’s responsibility, it is yours.
  • It is not your favourite youtube reviewer’s responsibility, it is yours.
  • It is not the e-cigarettes responsibility, it is yours.

You either:

  • Failed to notice something
  • Ignored something
  • Did something stupid

You are responsible for any harm that comes to you whilst using any type of battery for any reason.
This might be a little harsh, but it is completely true.

Ok, so now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, what can we do to ensure we have a safe and trouble-free vaping experience with our batteries?

Use good quality batteries

Not all batteries are made the same, or of the same quality and consistency. I suggest using batteries made by any of the 4 big battery brands. (Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, LG) The big brands are tried and true, also try to avoid rewraps if possible. If you purchase other brands, you may not actually be getting what you think! There are a lot of fake batteries, re-wraps and dodgy brands out there.

Make sure your batteries are in good condition

Batteries, in particular the 18*** range of lithium-ion batteries, have their positive and negative connections only separated by a super thin wrap and cardboard disk at the positive end. These are the only things stopping something from shorting across the contact points and creating a hard short.
This is why it is important to keep your batteries and their wraps, in tip-top condition.
If there is a tear, even the smallest where an object can make contact with the metal underneath the battery wrap, it is time to re-wrap it.

Similarly, dented positive contacts, or compromised casings, should have you purchasing brand new batteries, rather than trying to use them. A $10 replacement battery is a lot cheaper than having a damaged battery explode and cause you possible harm.

Over-charging or Over-draining

Over-charging and also over-draining your batteries can cause damage and premature aging, limiting their ability to not only hold charge but charge properly and effect their ability to reach maximum capacity.

A battery that is not operating at optimal performance can not only be a pain to use, but can be quite dangerous also, specially if pushed to its maximum drain.

It is recommended to discharge your 18650 batteries to no lower than about 3.2 volts.

On the flipside, try to take your batteries off of charge once they have reached 4.2 volts. Most chargers will not overcharge, however not all.

Never leave a charging battery unattended.

Always use a battery case

This is a really easy thing to do, and is something you should be doing already. Battery cases or silicone holders are dirt cheap. Some vendors have even been known to throw them in with your order for free.

All it takes is a set of keys or a bunch of coins in your pocket with an unprotected battery and you’ll be in for some trouble.

Correct charger for your device

Most USB chargers are ok for charging your internal batteries, however, making sure that their charge rate matches that of your mod is really important.

Using a charger or cable that allows a much higher charge rate than the battery can handle will cause it to heat up unexpectedly and damage the battery.

Use the charger that your device came with, or do your due diligence and make sure you are using one with the correct specifications.

Don’t build too low – never exceed amp limits

Here is another really simple thing you can do to avoid catastrophe. For those that build coils yourselves, make sure your build will not exceed your battery’s drain rating.

Manufacturers put these recommendations out for a good reason, and it’s not something to muck around with.

Weather/Temperature

Here is something that we don’t always take into account and can become a real problem.

If it’s a hot day, don’t leave your batteries in the car, even by a sunny window. Heat AND cold temperatures can damage a battery’s delicate chemistry and cause issues when charging or worse, explode.

With summer coming up soon in Australia, it’s a timely warning. Take your batteries with you when you leave the car.

Obviously, there are many other things you can be doing to make your usage of vape batteries as safe as possible, but these are some of the more common things that are often neglected and can cause users huge issues.

Vape safe everyone!

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Shane Presser
Shane Presser has been vaping since 2013, and has extensive experience with advanced equipment, coil builds and DIY mixing. He is the man behind VapersGarage, and also more recently the Vape Database (www.thevapedb.com), a resource to help vapers find hardware and equipment based on their individual needs.
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