The simple vape battery safety guide
If you’ve just taken up vaping, or are interested in getting started, it might seem as though there’s a whole world of advanced electronics to get your head around. Some of the information out there concerning vape batteries can be intimidatingly technical, but when it comes to battery safety it’s really important to understand the basics. So without further ado, welcome to our vape battery safety guide for beginners – guaranteed to be simple, straightforward and jargon-free.
Why vape battery safety matters
If you use any of the portable electronic gadgets widely available today – from remote controls to smartphones – you might wonder what the big deal is about vape battery safety. We’re accustomed to using batteries of all shapes and sizes in all sorts of gizmos and we don’t normally think of them as dangerous. So what makes vape batteries so different?
One reason is that vape devices require some serious power, which can be dangerous if misused. Another is that vape batteries are more open to misuse than the batteries in other common devices. While smartphone batteries are ‘idiot-proofed’, designed specifically to fit and function with the phone they’re shipped with, many vapers choose to build their own, customised vape devices, choosing the batteries and other components themselves. If you’re going to take that level of control over the elements of your electronics, it’s vital to have a good understanding of vape battery safety – or you could put yourself in serious danger.
Caring for your vape batteries
Vape battery safety isn’t complicated. To ensure the safety of your batteries, look after them well while they’re not in use:
- Store your batteries in a cool, dry place, to keep them in good condition and ensure that they don’t leak or come into contact with metal objects, which could create a short circuit in your pocket! A dedicated battery case is a great solution to avoid this.
- Always use the correct charger for your batteries.
- Try not to over-charge your batteries, as this will cut down their life expectancy – so if possible, avoid keeping them in the charger overnight.
- If your charge time is getting longer, it may be time to replace your batteries.
- Never attempt to recharge a disposable battery!
If you need to replace your batteries, here are some tips:
- Choose the same make as the ones originally supplied with your device, and order from the same supplier. Don’t be tempted by cheap knockoffs!
- Check your batteries for signs of damage before inserting them. Never use a battery that isn’t securely wrapped.
Choosing the right batteries for your device
As a beginner, you’re likely to opt for a vape kit that has batteries included. This takes the mystery out of choosing a battery, and also ensures vape battery safety, as long as you buy it from a reputable vendor. However, if you’re a more advanced vaper and you’re experimenting with mechanical mods, you’ll need to keep something called Ohm’s Law in mind as you select your batteries, coils and variable settings. This will help you ensure that the power in your circuit is never too much for your battery to handle – which could result in dangerous overheating, leaks or explosions.
Ohm’s Law and safe circuits
If GCSE Physics is but a distant memory, we’re here to help you brush up on a few simple laws of electronics. With a basic understanding of the concepts of voltage, current and resistance and how they relate to one another, you’ll be equipped to ensure your vape battery safety at all times – however advanced you become at building your own mods.
- Voltage is the unit used to describe the potential difference in energy between two points in an electrical circuit. In other words, it denotes the size of the force pushing the electrical current along. When you choose batteries for your vaping device (or for anything else), you’ll notice that they come in different voltages depending on your needs.
- Current is measured in amperes (amps for short). It describes the speed at which the electrical charge is flowing through the circuit. Imagine a river’s current, which can be fast or slow. When you buy a battery, you’ll need to take note of its maximum ampere allowance in order to ensure that you use it safely.
- Power is measured in watts. By multiplying the voltage by the current, you can calculate the total power being generated in your circuit.
- Resistance is measured in ohms (named after Georg Ohm, who first discovered Ohm’s Law). The resistance in a circuit slows down an electrical current – either as a side-effect of the elements in the circuit (for example, a thin wire makes it harder for electrical current to flow) or by design (it can be dangerous for electrical current to flow too freely, so resistors are commonly built in to a circuit to ensure safety).
So where does Ohm’s Law come in? It’s like this. Ohm’s Law describes how current, voltage and resistance affect one another, and it is vital when assessing which types of components to use in a circuit. It has a simple formula:
Current = Voltage / Resistance.
So, if you know the voltage of your battery and the resistance of your coil, you’ll easily be able to find out the size of the current they will create, by dividing the voltage by the resistance. You can switch the formula around, too: to find the voltage in a circuit, simply multiply the current by the resistance, or to find the resistance, multiply the current by the voltage.
Sub ohm vaping
Sub ohm vaping, as the name suggests, involves vaping with a setup that has less than one ohm of resistance in its circuit. That means more power and a more intense hit – but as we’ve seen, resistors are there for a reason, so minimising the resistance in your circuit means you have to take extra care to ensure the safety of your vape. If you are into sub ohm vaping, it’s vital that you don’t abuse your batteries beyond their limits.
- Never exceed the continuous amperage limit on your battery. Always ensure that you know how many amps your current will draw, by multiplying the voltage (probably 4.2V in a typical battery) by the resistance (e.g. 1 ohm). In this example, you would have a 4.2 amp discharge rate.
- Consider using a battery specifically designed for sub-ohm vaping, such as an unprotected IMR, which is better able to handle larger currents.
Whatever hardware you choose, vape battery safety is always paramount. If in any doubt, don’t be afraid to ask your vendor for recommendations or guidance. At Vapetto we’re always here to help – contact us here with your enquiry and we’ll be happy to make suggestions or recommend the right kit for your needs.