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You see a wet spot on your jeans. You reach into your pocket and, along with your vape, you retrieve a fistfull of piña colada-scented goo. After wasting a roll of paper towel cleaning yourself, you take a pull. The tank gurgles. It spits hot liquid onto your tongue. You decide to leave your mod on your desk. Later, you notice e-liquid leaking out of the tank’s airflow control opening. It drips down your battery, spreading like a pool of blood over your tax return. Why is this happening to you? What did you do to deserve this?

The dreaded leaky tank is one of, if not the most frequent problem new (and sometimes seasoned) vapers encounter. Here is a list of potential reasons why your tank is leaking, ordered from most to least likely.

1. Your wattage is set either too high or too low

Printed on most coils are two sets of numbers. The top numbers indicate how high and how low you can set your mod’s wattage before you either burn your coil, or get no vapour out of it  (e.g 40-100 watts). Below this wattage-range guide is another set of numbers that tell you which wattage range the coil performs best within (e.g 60-80 watts). Always set your wattage somewhere within the range specified by this second set of numbers. Yes, you can run the coil at 100 watts. However, you might burn the coil’s wicking material if you do this. A burnt coil is a damaged coil, and a damaged coil can make your tank leak. If you run your coil at too low a wattage, the coil may absorb more liquid than it is capable of vaporizing when you puff on it. Then the liquid has nowhere to go but in your mouth or out the airflow control.

2. The seals inside your tank are damaged or missing

Most tanks have seals or “o-rings” inside them. Typically, these seals are placed between the glass and the bottom and top pieces of the tank. If you notice that the seals have become frayed, have snapped, or refuse to fit inside the tank when you thread it closed, you may have found the source of your leaky problem. Fortunately, most tanks come with a spare set of o-rings. Replace them, and your tank will leak no more.

3. You haven’t been using it

Unused tanks get lonely. When they get lonely, they spill juice out of their airflow control openings. (This is how they cry.)

If you haven’t touched your vape for a few weeks, it will probably start to get a bit gooey. This is because the wicking material in the coil gets oversaturated with liquid. Easy fix: remove the coil, blow the excess liquid out of it, then thread it back in place.

4. It’s hot outside

Leave your vape in the car on a hot day and there’s a chance you’ll return to find a puddle of liquid in your centre console. When e-liquid gets hot, it gets thinner. The thinner it gets, the more likely it is to leak out of the tank. Solution: don’t leave your vape in the car on a hot day.

5. You got a bunk coil

Sometimes imperfect coils make it out of the factory and into the vape shop. Maybe the coil has too little wicking material. Maybe its resistance is much higher or much lower than is normally the case for coils of its type. Maybe it’s bent, or broken. If you know that your tank isn’t leaking because of one of reasons 1-4, try using a new coil.

6. You got a bunk tank

It’s rare for a well-designed tank to come off the assembly line with defects that cause it to leak. It’s more common for a poorly-designed tank (that shouldn’t be sold in the first place) to make it into vape stores. That said, most e-cig manufacturers are on the hunt for the holy grail — the 100% leak proof tank. Likewise, most vape shops don’t want to sell their customers crap. Vape shop employees know which products have stood time’s test, and these are the ones we want to see in your hands. Trust us. We don’t like it when your tank leaks either.

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