What Causes Vape Battery Explosions?
Vaping device batteries are comprised of the same lithium-ion battery components as batteries used for laptops and cellphones. However, the biggest difference between these two types of batteries is the devices and how they are tested. For example, a laptop or cell phone battery is tested time and again to ensure that no matter how much energy is demanded by the electronic device, it will likely never surpass the overall battery limit. However, unlike cellphones or laptop batteries, vaping batteries are utilized in multiple devices. Each with different amperage requirements and coils. Therefore, the stress and demand on the battery can vary from one device to the next, which in turn can easily exceed the battery limits. When these limits are exceeded is when there are battery explosions.
Unfortunately, there are no exact explanations for each and every vape explosion, the majority of these fires and explosions are linked directly to issues with the battery due to some form of battery damage. This is because when a battery is damaged it begins to undergo a process known as thermal runaway.
What Is Thermal Runaway
Thermal runaway is a process that occurs when some type of reaction inside the battery is triggered. This reaction results in a rise in the battery’s temperature, while the rise in temperature causes the battery to react even more. This in turn creates a cycle of increasing temperatures and reactions. The rising temperature causes the inside of the battery to build up pressure which begins to break down the protective layer in the housing of your battery. The pressure can only build so much before the battery will eventually burst or rupture. The burst will cause liquids and gases to leak out from the battery creating either a fire or an explosion (depending upon the severity of the burst).
Are Vape Batteries Safe
It is easy to worry about vaping devices being dangerous with the different stories throughout the media depicting violent, dangerous, and even deadly vaping device battery explosions. However, it is important to remember the media is always looking for ways to sensationalize a story or to showcase the negatives of things. The truth is that although vaping devices can catch fire (or in extreme circumstances even explode) and cause injuries, there is a very low probability that this will occur with your device.
What is the Difference Between Vape Battery Types?
There are two main types of batteries used for vaping devices internal batteries and external batteries. As the name implies, internal batteries are built into the device. These batteries are not removed from the device and should not be handled. If an error occurs with the battery, then your entire vaping device is no longer useful. Internal battery options are the easiest to use, making it a great option for beginners.
External batteries typically come in either a pen or box mod option. While the name implies the box mod as a square battery, it can actually come in a variety of sizes and shapes. Devices that require external batteries will require you to buy extras to put into them. The downside to external batteries is there tends to be more accidents and explosions than internal batteries. This is primarily due to the batteries being handled more, and the amount of energy that is pulled from the battery when they are in use. Due to this, wear and tear should be considered and never ignored. Otherwise, you are prone to more safety issues. The most common external batteries are the 18650 and the 26650. The biggest difference between the two is the 26650 has a little more width (or girth) to the battery.
What Things Should I Do to Keep My Batteries Safe
The best way to avoid battery fires and or explosions is with proper battery storage and care. This maintenance and storage are essential to the overall welfare of your batteries. To avoid the potential of a battery explosion within your vaping device, there are a number of things you can do. These tips include:
Learn as Much as You Can About Your Device and Batteries. The best way for you to protect yourself from a battery explosion is with knowledge. You need to learn as much as you can about how to care for your batteries, what works best for your device, and any other information about your device and batteries that you can. Read your operations guide and stay within the ranges of safe operating that are set for your device by the manufacturer.
Always Use the Correct Batteries for Your Device. Different styles (low wattage vaping, sub-ohming, etc.) of vaping work best with specific batteries. To ensure you do not have any issues, you should always make sure you are using the type of battery best suited for the particular style of vaping you are using.
Take Your Time When Purchasing Batteries. Never rush when making a battery purchase for your device. Take your time and make sure your purchase is the correct one. Never just assume the packaging is correct. Sometimes there can be issues with the numbers provided, so take the time to research and ensure the battery you purchase is the battery you require.
Always Stop Using Your Battery If It Gets Hot. While it is typical for your battery to get warm during use, it can indicate a problem if the battery gets hot. A hot battery can indicate there is a short, that your battery is being pushed beyond its limits, or that your battery is damaged in some way.
Use a Battery Case. If you have spare batteries you are not using, you should never store them in your pocket or a random place. Always buy a few plastic battery cases to keep the batteries from short-circuiting or venting (which can cause the potential for an explosion).
Check Your Battery Wraps. You should regularly check your battery wraps for any form of damage. This includes tears, nicks, cuts, or any other form of damage. If you find anything, make sure to immediately replace the battery wraps. Otherwise, the damaged wrap could cause the batteries to malfunction.
Things to Avoid for Vape Battery Safety
To help ensure your batteries continue to work to the best capacity and performance, you should avoid a variety of practices. These can include (but are not limited to):
- Never Use Counterfeit or Imitation Batteries. Like any other product, when there is a high demand for specific brands, counterfeit or imitation products can be created. Therefore, you should always purchase your batteries from a reputable vendor to ensure you are purchasing quality products and something you can return in the event there is a problem.
- Never Charge Your Batteries Unattended. Whether your batteries require a full charge or just enough to top off the battery, you should never leave them unattended while they are charging. You should always be awake and in close proximity to your batteries when charging them. If you leave your batteries unattended, you run the risk of damaging your batteries or even a possible explosion.
- Always Avoid Using Batteries During Extreme Temperatures. While vaping device batteries are manufactured to withstand both high and low temperatures, you should never try to push the limits of your batteries. When used in higher temperatures, batteries will age faster due to the additional strain; while batteries used in colder temperatures will lose battery capacity.
- Never Over-Drain Your Batteries. When using your device, you should never run your batteries until they are completely dead. Lithium-ion batteries have a tendency to lose their overall battery capacity the longer you go between charges. To help prolong the life of your batteries you should always recharge them before the power is completely drained.
- Never Use Different Batteries. If your vaping devices require multiple batteries, they should always be identical. This includes brand, style, and size. You should ensure you use the same batteries together at the same time. This will help prevent imbalances in the battery capacity and with the performance of the battery.
- Try Your Best to NEVER Drop Your Batteries. Dropping your batteries is never good. It runs the risk of denting or damaging the batteries in some way. If the battery does get dented or damaged, you run the risk of other potential problems (such as shorts, etc.).
- Never Leave Your Batteries In Your Car. While it can be inconvenient to leave your vaping device at home, it is never wise to leave the vaping device or your vaping batteries inside your car. Like other items, if the car gets hot, your batteries could explode (which in turn, could catch your entire car on fire).