Here at Millhouse Vapour, we get a lot of people coming in on the daily basis looking to start vaping and a large percentage of them are worried about electronic cigarettes blowing up. We don't blame them, as it seems that is the only media coverage our industry gets.
Anyway, we are here today to talk about staying safe while vaping and to narrow that down even further, talk about battery safety. Battery safety is one of those topics that are often neglected by shops and we see an overwhelming amount of people that have been vaping for some time and the basics have never been covered. Hopefully, we can change that right now.
Here is a list of safety precautions that everyone needs to know in order to stay safe while vaping. We will keep this really simple and basic, with just the right information for you not to run into trouble.
1. If your device does not have a built-in battery, use only good batteries and in good condition. Let's face it, batteries are not that expensive and you will be using them for quite some time, so invest just a few dollars more and buy a reputable battery from a reputable brand such as LG or Sony. Make sure that the batteries are in good condition, specifically the wrapping that they come in and remember that if the wrapping cracks, either have your battery rewrapped or just grab a new one.
2. Don't overcharge your batteries. Your batteries are designed to hold a certain amount of charge in them, so if you overcharge you run the risk of damaging the batteries and making them unsafe. The easiest way to prevent your batteries from overcharging is investing in a good quality charger that has automatic cut-off when the batteries have reached their capacity. Another important thing to remember is not to charge your batteries through your device/mod. They really don't have the necessary specs in place to do the job safely. Unless of course, your battery is built into the device, in which case it is designed to be charged through the device itself and is safe to do so.
3. Recharge your batteries right away. This one is simple, don't leave the batteries drained for prolonged periods of time. They are designed to have a charge in them, so keep it that way.
4. Proper storage. Batteries need to be stored properly to prevent them from coming into contact with any conductive materials, such as keys or change in your pocket. An 18650 battery, the most common battery in an electronic cigarette is quite a powerful little bugger and believe us they can get pretty violent when coming into contact with change or keys in your pocket. Do yourself and the people around you a favor and get a plastic carrying case or a silicone sleeve for your batteries and avoid being a negative news story.
5. Do not exceed the lifespan of batteries. The lifespan of rechargeable batteries is typically 250 cycles or 1 year. 1 cycle is a full battery charge. Sure, there will be people out there saying they've used their batteries for 3 years and all is good but if you are worried about safety stick to the recommended lifespan.
Here comes the meat...
6. Know the maximum discharge capability of your batteries. You have to know the maximum continuous current ability of your battery ie. 20 amps, 30 amps continuous discharge ability. We will get into why you need that information in the next steps.
7. Understand Ohm's Law (At least a tiny bit). Knowing the ohm's of your build/atomizer is directly related to the current you are giving off. This will help you determine if the battery you are using is suitable for your setup. To make things as simple as possible, the current that is required by your atomizer from the battery you are using is equal to the voltage you are using divided by the ohms of your coil/atomizer. (Pre-built coils will have the ohm's written on the outside of the coil).
Your device should be able to read the voltage you are using when you fire it. So assuming when you press the fire button the device reads 4.2 volts divide that by the number of ohm's of your atomizer/coil ie. 0.4 ohm's. So, 4.2 V / 0.4 ohm's = 10.5 amps of continuous discharge. If your battery is a LG HG2 and has 20A of continuous discharge you are well within the safe cpabilities of the battery.
8. This one should be obvious, never exceed the maximum continuous current of your battery. Don't ask your battery for more than it can handle.
9. Use a Variable Voltage/Variable Wattage device. These are the safest devices by far to use when vaping. They come with an abundance of safety features such as:
- Thermal Protection: Disables the unit if it becomes too hot.
- Discharge Protection: Prevents the device from firing the batteries if they become over discharged.
- Min/Max resistance protection: Prevents the device from firing an atomizer whose coils resistance are either too high or too low to safely fire the device.
- Short Circuit Protection: Prevents the device from firing if there is a short circuit.
- Reverse Polarity Protection: Protects you from incorrectly installed batteries.
Ladies and Gentlemen that's that when it comes to vaping safely. If you follow these simple steps on proper battery safety you should not have to worry about anything going wrong.