For most clearomisers, you can fix (or at least reduce) problems with leaking pretty easily, so here are 10 tips for staying leak-free!
1 – Make Sure You Fill Up Properly
Want to know what causes most leaks?
It’s how you fill your clearomiser.
All tank style atomizers have a central tube extending from the coil up to the mouthpiece.
If you get e-liquid in there, you’ll almost certainly run into problems with leaking or gurgling.
The fix for this is simple…
Ensure that when you fill up, you avoid getting any e-liquid in the central tube.
Tilt your tank when you fill up, like you’re pouring a glass of beer.
This ensures the liquid runs down the inside of the glass or plastic of your tank – and stays as far away from the centre tube as possible.
As it fills up, gradually straighten the tank to avoid spills.
2 – Tighten Everything Up – and Watch Out for Cross-Threading…
There’s another basic issue that can lead to leaking.
And that’s when the various components aren’t securely screwed in.
- where your coil meets the base of your atomizer
- or where the base of your atomizer meets the tank
can be enough to create a leak.
This is easy to avoid. Take time and ensure that:
- when you re-attach your atomiser head to the base (or to the top of the central tube, for top-coil clearomizers)
- when you re-attach the base to your tank
everything fits snugly.
You should also check your atomizer head even if you haven’t done anything with it specifically, because its connection can sometimes loosen when you unscrewing your tank.
The biggest problem you’ll encounter when screwing everything in is “cross threading”.
That’s where the threads on the two components you’re screwing together don’t line up properly, leading to an imperfect seal.
As suggested before, the best solution to this is to:
- line everything up
- turn it anti-clockwise until you hear a click
- screw it in clockwise
3 – …But Don’t Over-Tighten
There’s one problem with this…
And that’s when you over-tighten.
O-rings are tiny rubber rings. You’ll find them near the threading and where two parts of your tank meet.
They are key to making a perfect seal – and reducing the chance of leaks.
However, overtightening can damage these little helpers.
And a little split or break gives e-liquid an “escape route” – meaning you end up with juice leaking out into your pocket.
(Which is embarrassingly close to somewhere you really don’t want e-liquid!)
Of course, the line between tight enough and too tight is a little hard to define.
The basic lesson is to screw everything in place firmly, but remember that you shouldn’t need to put much strength into it.
There’s no need to Hulk out; screw it in so it fits snugly – but not as tight as you possibly can.
4 – Check Your O-Rings and Replace Them if Needed
It’s not just over-tightening that can lead to issues with O-rings.
They can also degrade or get budged out of position over time, and may just be faulty when you first receive them.
To check your O-rings, take your clearomizer or tank apart – this usually just requires unscrewing the various parts – and look for the rubber rings on the atomizer head and at the base of your tank.
You should be able to see if any are degraded or out of position. If they are, remove them– and replace them with fresh ones.
Something like a small flat-head screwdriver, a toothpick or a pair of tweezers can help with this.
Some tanks will come with spares, but if not, you’ll have to buy some more in the correct size.
It’s also worth checking that your O-ring is installed correctly, so everything fits together with no obvious gaps e-liquid can leak through.
5 – Adding Extra Seals for the Aspire Triton and Nautilus
Sometimes, tanks and clearomizers could use more sealing – particularly where the atomizer head meets the centre tube.
Many vapers run into this type of problem with the Aspire Triton, with juice leaking out of the bottom after making its way into the centre tube, and it can also affect the Nautilus.
The fix is simple.
For the Triton, you’ll just need one of those little silicone drip tip covers and a pair of scissors.
Unscrew the tank and remove the coil from the base.
There are two sets of threading on the coil, one at the bottom – which is surrounded by little O-rings on both sides – and one at the top, just above the ridged section.
The upper threading has no seal below (or above) it, which is the source of the issue.
Cut yourself a section of your silicone drip tip cover, so you end up with a ring just wide enough to fit between the raised, ridged section and the upper threading, and put it there.
You can cut the ring to size more precisely once you’ve got it in place. This makes it less likely to get in the way when you’re trying to re-assemble, but be careful!
Once everything is re-attached, you should be able to vape leak-free.
The problem on the Nautilus is almost identical (as so is the fix). The only difference is that you can use the lower O-ring from another coil instead of cutting one for yourself.
6 – Increase Your Power Setting
One of the most common causes of leaks is actually flooding.
That’s when too much juice gets pulled into your coil for it to vaporise.
Tons of excess e-liquid that can leak out of the coil housing.
There are a few ways to solve this…
The simplest is to switch to a higher power or voltage setting.
This will vaporise more juice per puff, so it can cope with the amount of e-liquid making its way to your coil.
It will also lead to more vapour (which you may not want), and can bring out different elements of the flavour of your juice. So it isn’t always ideal.
It’s not the only solution, though…
7 – Add Extra Wicking Material
There’s another solution…
And that’s simply to add some extra wicking material into the coil housing.
This will work with any sub-ohm tank with horizontal coils – and many clearomisers too.
Effectively, it slows things down so your coil has more time to do its work.
How does it work?
Simply take a small piece of organic cotton and stuff it in beside the coil.
Be careful to avoid moving the coil in the process. Use a straightened paperclip or something similar to poke it into place, and leave at least one side free from cotton to maintain airflow.
Your airflow will be reduced, though, so there is a downside to this approach too.
8 – Switch to Higher-VG Juices
This is a bit of a simplistic solution, but thinner, PG-based juices will generally leak more than VG-based ones.
So switching to VG juices will often at least slow down the leaking.
You can add in extra wicking material or boost your power setting to prevent your coil head from flooding and leaking – as in the previous two tips. But switching to VG-based juices has pretty much the same effect, because the liquid can’t be drawn into the coil head as quickly.
If you combine approaches, you might have problems with dry hits, but choosing any one of the approaches should minimize flooding and leaking without taking things too far.
9 – Inhale Slowly and Softly, Not Firmly and Sharply
If you’re still having problems with leaky atomizers, particularly if you’re relatively new to vaping, your inhalation style could be the cause.
There’s a core difference between inhaling from a cigarette and from an e-cigarette…
Drawing harder on a cigarette gives you more smoke, but inhaling more sharply on an e-cigarette accomplishes little.
In fact, when you puff sharply on your e-cigarette, you may be pulling liquid into the coil housing faster than it can vaporise it.
That leaves you to sucking some excess liquid up through the centre tube like a straw – and potentially causing leaking.
The solution takes some getting used to, but it’s easy:
Make your puffs much longer, and don’t worry about inhaling sharply. Vapour will come even with gentle inhalation, and you won’t flood your atomizer.
10 – Minimise Condensation with Long Draws
There’s one source of leaking you can do little about.
It’s hard to inhale all the vapour you produce when you press the fire button and take a puff, and any remaining vapour will eventually condense into your centre tube or mouthpiece.
This is not a lot of e-liquid, but it will build up over time.
That’s why, even when there are no clear signs of leaking from the connections on your atomizer and no gurgling to indicate you’re flooding your coil, you may still notice e-liquid has leaked through onto your device’s connection.
To minimise this happening:
- inhale as soon as you fire up your e-cig
- take your finger of the fire button when you have finished inhaling
You can also clear any accumulated e-liquid out of the tube by removing your clearomizer, putting a paper towel below the point that connects to the battery and blowing firmly through the mouthpiece.