If you mention 18650 battery safety to most vapers you’ll be met with glazed over eyes and a stifled yawn! But we’ve all seen the headlines…
The video below shows the kind of thing that can happen to your 18650 vape battery if you don’t give it the care it deserves:
Now the idea of learning some 18650 battery safety doesn’t sound like such a bad idea right!? The good news is that malfunctions with your vape battery are avoidable. And with millions of vapers worldwide the number of reported incidents is, thankfully, comparatively low.
Most reported incidents of 18650 vape battery explosions actually stem from either misuse of the battery or a poorly manufactured battery to begin with. The battery in your vape is really no different from the batteries you find in your phone, laptop and even in medical equipment. Lithium ion batteries are the most common in the world and account for 37% of all battery types worldwide!
There’s a very good reason for this. Lithium ion batteries like the 18650 battery in your vape, offer great amounts of power while remaining relatively safe. Where problems arise however, is people not giving their vape batteries the respect they deserve. Taking a little time to learn the basics of how you should use and care for your batteries might just stop one exploding in your pocket!
18650 Battery Safety – The Do’s
Do your research first –
Before you buy an 18650 battery for your vape, make sure you do a little research into what it is you’re buying. Knowing a little about the brand and the vendor can go a long way to ensuring you don’t buy an unsafe battery. Feel free to check out our guide to the best 18650 vaping batteries for some advice on where to get started!
Buy a high quality smart charger –With so many high quality smart chargers on the market today, it’s easier than ever finding an affordable charger without cutting corners in terms of safety. A poor quality battery charger can affect the life-span of your 18650 battery, or even cause your battery to explode… bad times…! The key takeaway here is to make sure you purchase a charger with safety features that prevent your batteries from charging past their maximum capacity. As with your batteries, make sure to purchase a charger from a reliable vendor.
Use the correct charging cable –Plenty of mods now also feature the ability to charge your external 18650 battery via USB without having to remove it from the device. If you’re buying a mod from a reliable vendor, you’ll more often than not be provided with a charging cable for this purpose. It’s important to only charge your device using this cable, as using another may damage the battery.
Use a battery case –We’ve all been there, rushing out the door with vape in hand, stuffing your spare 18650 battery in your pocket. The issue here is that other metal objects such as keys or coins, can complete a circuit between the positive and negative of your battery. In a nutshell, this interaction can cause your battery to overheat and even potentially explode. Given the low cost of battery cases (less than £/$1) there’s really no reason not to add this to your cart during your next vape spending spree!
Buy a high quality vaping device –We know this should be a given, but you’d be surprised how many vapers are enticed by the draw of a bargain. While it’s fine to pick up a mod at a decent price, make sure you’re not compromising on quality. Many of the Chinese vendors offer thousands of cloned mods at ridiculously low prices. We’re all for getting a bargain but safety features are essential and shouldn’t be overlooked.
18650 Battery Safety – The Don’ts
Never use a damaged 18650 battery –
Inspect your 18650 battery regularly and be sure to keep your eye on the wrap that encases your battery. When the wrapping on a battery becomes damaged or frayed there’s a chance the battery can come into contact with the mod you’re using and create a short. This can permanently damage your battery and potentially cause an explosion. New wraps aren’t expensive and if in doubt, purchase a new battery to avoid any unwanted malfunction.
Never leave your batteries charging unattended –While its tempting to put your batteries on charge while you sleep, or worse when you leave the house completely, we really would recommend against this. Most chargers and mods have safety features to prevent overcharging of your battery but alas, this isn’t always a guarantee. To avoid overcharging your battery and permanently damaging it, make sure to check it regularly while it’s charging!
Don’t exceed the recommended Amps of your battery –All 18650 batteries come with a recommended maximum discharge current (Amps). Exceeding this is a sure fire way to risk damage to your battery. If you’re unsure what the recommended discharge rate on your battery is, you’ll usually find it printed on the sleeve of the battery. You can even use our ‘Ohm’s Law’ Calculator to check that you’re not exceeding the recommended discharge rate when you vape.
Never over-discharge your 18650 battery –In the same way that you wouldn’t let your car completely run out of gas, don’t completely drain your batteries! This can be just as damaging as overcharging your batteries. You’ll know when the battery is nearing the end of its charge when you start to get less of a ‘hit’. At this point it’s far safer to just replace the battery than to squeeze every last drop of power from it.
Don’t mix and match sets of batteries –As a general rule of thumb you should never mix different brands of batteries in any electronic device. The same can also be said for mixing older batteries with newer ones. This becomes especially true when talking about dual battery mods. It’s essential to make sure that the batteries you’re using in a dual battery mod were purchased together and only used in a pair. Batteries that have been used in a single battery mod develop their own life span and personality and mixing these at a later date can be a recipe for disaster.
So there you have it folks, our top ten tips for keeping your batteries cared for! We hope you found our 18650 battery safety tips helpful and if you have any feedback or comments feel free to drop us a message below!
Don’t forget to share with your friends and family…Happy Vaping!