Maintaining Battery Safety
While there is no doubt that vaping has benefited the lives of those who struggled with tobacco addiction, the vaping industry has found itself under constant public scrutiny. “Exploding devices” has been a pretty consistent headline that typically forgoes any mention of user error. Most people outside of the vape community have become complacent to the risk involved with the use of various types of rechargeable batteries because of our constant daily use of them in our cell phones, laptops, tablets and even hybrid and electric cars. However, all of these batteries carry the risk of venting volatile chemicals or even exploding if subjected to misuse or extreme conditions.
Part of our job as a small business in the vape community is to ensure our customers and all those who are new to vaping have the knowledge necessary for safe and enjoyable vaping.
This means that while we advocate for our industry, we also should be conscious of the dangers involved with these devices so we may better educate and communicate.
Most vaping devices (mods) use 18650 batteries. These batteries are purchased with an already existing coating around them. This plastic coating exists to help ensure that the terminals are not exposed to any other metal objects or materials which could cause a short in the battery and potential harm to the user.
You will notice after a period of time that this plastic coating may get a bit worn and possibly crack, exposing the metal casing underneath.
It is extremely important to maintain proper battery upkeep.
If at any point, you notice a tear, snag or wear on the battery wrap, you should re-wrap your batteries as immediately as possible.
Re-wrapping can be achieved with a proper 18650 battery wrap and a plastic heat gun or blow dryer.
To Re-Wrap a Battery:
- Remove the original casing using your fingers. Do not use metal to remove the battery wrap. Using a knife or scissors is dangerous.
- Be sure to save the insulator from the positive terminal. The small white ring on (positive) end of the battery.
- After the original casing is removed, place the insulator back onto the positive end on the battery.
Place the new battery wrap around the naked battery. There should be a few millimeters of overlap on both ends of the battery.
Making sure that both ends are relatively even, rotate the battery under the heat gun device, using the lowest heat setting that will shrink the battery wrap. The shrink wrap will take effect quickly. Make sure to keep rotating the battery so the battery wrap lays evenly without wrinkles or snags.
Do not overheat the battery.
Once your battery looks as it did when it was originally purchased, you are all set!
When carrying your batteries outside of your device, make sure to transport the batteries in a protective case made of non-conductive material like plastic or silicone. Also remember that rechargeable batteries have a finite lifespan. Batteries will need to be replaced after a certain number of charges, depending on make and model. Generally it is best not to use 18650’s for longer than a one year period.