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Vape Water Damage: Should I Be Worried?

Published 5 September 2023, Updated 10 April 2024

Vape Water Damage: Should I Be Worried?

Water damage to a vape is a common issue that can significantly impact your vape's performance and lifespan. When a vape device comes into contact with water, it can cause problems, from damaging the coil and tank to causing electrical short circuits. Although rare, a water-damaged vape can explode.

You can take steps to repair a water-damaged vape, from immediate drying and disassembling to submerging your vape in dry rice. These methods will help recover a water-damaged vape if you act quickly to implement them when water exposure occurs. As disposable vapes like Elf Bars, Lost Mary vapes, and Crystal Bars are non-modular, it's not as easy to repair, dry or recover them from water damage compared to modular vape kits or pod kits.

To prevent water damage, it's important to keep your vape away from water, use a waterproof case, be careful when refilling e-liquid, avoid vaping in wet conditions, and store your vape properly when not in use. By understanding the risks and taking preventative measures against water damage, you can ensure your vape device remains in good working condition.

What Happens When You Put a Vape in Water?

When a vape is dropped in water, the internal components of the vape can become damaged. If not immediately addressed, water damage increases the risk of degraded vape performance and more dangerous outcomes like battery fires or explosions. This is especially true for disposable vapes like Elf Bars, Lost Mary vapes and Crystal Bars, as they are not modular, so dissembling these types of devices is not viable.

The coil, a critical component for heating the e-liquid, can suffer damage, leading to reduced vapour production and a potentially burnt taste. The vape tank, which holds the e-liquid, can also be damaged, resulting in leaks and loss of e-liquid. Water exposure can lead to the dilution of the e-liquid, affecting the flavour and vapour production. The water can also cause electrical short-circuits, potentially leading to permanent damage or a fire. In rare cases, these malfunctions can lead to a vape explosion.

Water Can Damage Your Vape Coil

When a vape is dropped in water, the coil can suffer damage. The coil is a vital component of a vape. The coil is responsible for heating the e-liquid to create the vapour that you inhale. It's a small piece of wire, typically made from materials like kanthal, stainless steel, or nickel, wound into a coil shape.

Water exposure can cause the coil to burn out. This malfunction reduces the amount of vapour your vape can produce and is likely to result in a burnt taste when vaping. Water damage compromises the coil's ability to heat the e-liquid effectively, degrading the overall vaping experience.

Water Can Damage Your Vape Tank

When a vape device is dropped in water, the vape tank can suffer damage. The tank on your vape device is designed to hold the e-liquid and is sealed to prevent leaks. It's a crucial component that ensures the e-liquid is fed to the coil at a steady rate for vaporisation.

When your vape device is submerged in water, the seals on the tank can become damaged, especially if dropped on a sandy beach where particulate matter can rub between the seals. This damage can lead to the tank leaking, causing a loss of e-liquid. A leaking tank can also cause your vape to malfunction. E-liquid from a leaking tank may settle in the connection point between the battery and the tank, which can cause interference in the electrical connection between the components.

Water Can Dilute Your E-Liquid

Dropping your vape in water can lead to the dilution of your e-liquid. The e-liquid, or vape juice, is the liquid that is heated by the coil to produce vapour. It typically contains nicotine, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and flavourings.

When water enters the vape device, it can mix with the e-liquid in the tank. This dilutes the e-liquid, which can affect the flavour and the amount of vapour produced. You may notice a weaker taste and less vapour when using a device that has had water mixed with its e-liquid.

Water Can Cause Electrical Short-Circuits in Your Vape

When a vape device is dropped in water, it can cause electrical short-circuits. Vape devices are powered by batteries and contain electronic circuits to regulate power and produce heat for vaporising the e-liquid.

Submerging your vape in water can cause these electronic circuits to short-circuit. This is because water, particularly if it's not pure, can act as a conductor of electricity, creating unintended paths for the electrical current. This can result in permanent damage to your vape's electronic components and could even cause a fire if the short-circuit leads to overheating.

Water Exposure Can Lead to Vape Explosions

While rare, there is a risk of a vape device exploding if it's dropped in water. Vape devices contain batteries and electronic circuits that regulate power and produce the necessary heat for vaporising the e-liquid.

When these components are exposed to water, it can lead to electrical malfunctions. These malfunctions can sometimes generate excessive heat or cause a short-circuit, which in turn can lead to an explosion.

A vape explosion upon water exposure is a rare occurrence because of the safety measures implemented in most modern vape devices. These safety measures include things like vent holes, which allow for the safe release of gas, and regulated mods, which contain circuit boards to prevent your vape from firing in unsafe conditions.

I Dropped My Vape in Water, Will it Explode?

No, it's unlikely that your vape will explode if it fell in water, but it's not impossible. Vape devices contain batteries and electronic circuits that can short-circuit or overheat when exposed to water. In rare cases, these malfunctions can cause a vape explosion. The risk of explosion is lower if your vape's available charge is not at its maximum. Most modern vape devices have safety measures in place to prevent such incidents.

If your vape has been submerged in water and is now hot or acting unusually, it's best to stop using it immediately, as these issues could be a sign of an electrical malfunction due to water damage.

Can I Put My Vape in Water to Kill It?

No, submerging your vape in water is not a suitable disposal method. While water exposure can cause significant damage to your vape, effectively 'killing' the vape, using water submersion as a method for permanent deactivation comes with many risks. These risks include electrical short-circuits, coil damage, e-liquid dilution, and an increased risk of vape battery explosion or vape fire.

Improper disposal of vape devices through water submersion can have negative environmental impacts. Vapes contain electronic components and potentially hazardous materials that should be disposed of responsibly. Instead of trying to 'kill' your vape by submerging it in water, consider recycling it at an electronics recycling facility or returning it to the manufacturer if they offer a take-back program.

How Should I Dispose of My Water-Damaged Vape?

To dispose of your water-damaged vape, you should take it to an electronics recycling facility or return it to the manufacturer if they offer a take-back program. A water-damaged vape device contains electronic components such as lithium-ion batteries and a small circuit board. These components should not be discarded in regular household waste due to their potential environmental impact and the risk of fire or explosion.

An electronics recycling facility is equipped to handle the components of a water-damaged vape. They can safely dismantle the device, neutralise any hazards, and recycle reusable components, reducing electronic waste.

Some vape manufacturers offer take-back programs. These programs allow you to return your damaged device to the manufacturer for safe disposal and recycling. This ensures your device's safe disposal and contributes to a more sustainable vaping industry.

My Vape Won't Work After Being Dropped in Water

If your vape device has stopped working after being dropped in water, it's likely due to water damage affecting its electronic components. Water can cause electrical short-circuits, damage the coil and tank, and dilute the e-liquid, all of which can prevent your vape from functioning properly.

The rice method is one of the best ways to recover a water-damaged vape, especially when it comes to disposable vapes like Elf Bars, Lost Mary vapes and Crystal Bars. To use the rice method, simply put the entire vape device into a bag of dry rice for 24 hours. The rice acts as a desiccant, absorbing moisture from the vape device. This can help to dry out your vape and may restore its functionality.

How to Fix a Water-Damaged Vape

If your vape has been exposed to water, there are a few steps you can take to try and repair it. Follow the 5 steps below to fix a water-damaged vape.

Step 1: Dry Your Vape Immediately

As soon as you realise your vape device has come into contact with water, power it off if possible and dry it thoroughly with a towel or cloth. This will give you the best chance of recovering your water-damaged vape.

Step 2: Disassemble Your Vape

Take apart your vape as much as you can. This might include separating the tank from the battery and removing the coil. This allows each vape component to be dried more effectively.

Step 3: Place the Vape in a Bag of Rice

Place your disassembled vape in a bag of dry rice for 24 hours. Rice is known for its ability to absorb moisture, and this method can help to draw out any remaining water from your vape.

If your disposable vape has been water-damaged, place the entire device into a bag of dry rice for 24 hours without disassembling it. Disassembling a water-damaged disposable vape can be dangerous as it involves handling the battery and other electronic components, all of which could be hazardous if they are water-compromised. The rice will help absorb moisture from the exterior and any that may have penetrated the casing.

Step 4: Use a Blow Dryer

Use a blow dryer on its lowest heat setting to further aid the drying process of each vape component. Be careful not to get the hairdryer too close to your vape to avoid causing heat damage.

Step 5: Check and Test

After you've allowed time for your device to dry, check it for any signs of water damage. If it looks good, you can try to power it on. If it doesn't work or shows signs of malfunction, it's best to consult a professional for repair or consider replacing the device.

Remember, these steps can help to mitigate the damage, but they don't guarantee that your vape will be fully functional after water damage. It's always best to avoid getting your vape device wet in the first place.

How to Prevent Water Damage to Your Vape

Preventing water damage to your vape is important for maintaining its performance and longevity. This is especially true for disposable vapes, as disassembling disposable devices like Elf Bars, Lost Mary vapes and Crystal Bars to dry them after water damage is not a safe or recommended option. Here are the top five tips to help you avoid water damage:

  1. Keep Your Vape Away from Water: This might seem obvious, but it's an easy step to overlook. Avoid using your vape near bodies of water, and be careful not to leave it in areas where it might get wet, like on a bathroom counter.
  2. Avoid Vaping in Wet Conditions: Try to avoid using your vape in wet or humid conditions. The moisture in the air could potentially get into your device and cause damage.
  3. Use a Waterproof Vape Case: A waterproof case can protect your vape from accidental spills or sudden rain showers. They're a worthwhile investment, especially if you often carry your vape in a bag or pocket where it could come into contact with drinks or other liquids.
  4. Be Careful When Refilling E-Liquid: Spilling e-liquid can cause damage to your vape's battery and circuitry. Always refill your vape on a flat surface and clean up any spills immediately.
  5. Store Your Vape Properly When Not in Use: When you're not using your vape, store it in a dry place away from any potential sources of water. Avoid leaving it in humid areas or places where it could be knocked over into water.

By following these tips, you can significantly reduce the risk of water damage to your vape. Remember, prevention is always better than cure, so it's worth taking the time to protect your vape from potential water damage.

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