Why Do E-Cigarettes Explode? (Information and Safety Tips)

The big question on everyones mind is why do e-cigarettes explode and are they safe to use? To answer that question I will start by saying that for the record, standard e-cigarettes do not explode. “So what about the Lethbridge incident?” everyone asks, well I will get to that.

To start with there are three basic types of e-cigarettes in vape shops. The first one being a beginner vape pen, usually sold to someone who wants to quit smoking with a unit that will give them the closest vaping experience to a real cigarette. For example, the Kangertech Evod standard vape pens tends to run at 1 ohm or higher. This means the coil has more resistance (smaller wire more wraps) and is totally safe. “Can you put a sub ohm tank on standard battery?”  no you can not. This is because they have a circuit protection that will not fire anything under 1 ohm. Standard vape pens tend to run on thinner e-juice with more PG (propylene glycol), this provides more throat hit and tighter air flow familiar to the mouth and lung like a drag from a cigarette. Standard vape pens are usually used with higher nicotine and provide less of a cloud.

The second type of e-cigarette widely used is a regulated Box Mod. These Box Mods are usually a variable wattage voltage unit. They are designed to be used with standard 1 ohm or higher tanks as well as sub ohm tanks (less then 1 ohm) and RDAs (rebuildable drip atomizers). RDAs are for those who want to build their own coils from scratch to maximize performance. All Box Mods with variable wattage and voltage have a safety and or circuit protection ranging from .3 ohm to .1 ohm. What this means is that if you were to put an unsafe subtank or RDA on a regulated Box Mod, it will be firing at less than .1 ohm. The screen on the unit will then say short and will not fire the tanks or RDA for any reason.

Sub ohm vaping is relatively new. What sub ohm means is less resistance (thicker wire less wraps). More heat= more cloud in less time, also usually thicker e-juices are used like MAX VG (vegetable glycerin). MAX VG e-juice provides less of a throat hit and more cloud with much more air flow providing the vaper to take direct inhales that produce a huge cloud on the exhale. Large clouds produced with sub ohm vaping results in less nicotine in the e-juice. Sub ohm vaping is a bit more dangerous because you are dealing with more heat and larger, hotter coils. I would say sub ohm vaping with regulated Box Mods is safe because of the low ohm circuit protection that they have. The short circuit protector in Box Mods will prevent the batteries from arcing out and exploding. Be aware of some Box Mods that have a fantom sticky button (button stays pushed in) because subtanks and RDAs can really heat up. Make sure your top cap is on your RDA before you go to take a hit or you may wind up with a nasty blister on your lip, which has happened to me in the dark.

The last type of e-cigarettes that are sold are unregulated Mechanical Mods, other wise known as Mec Mods. Mec Mods are nothing more than a live switch with a button. These mods are unregulated (no safety) made with a copper or metal sleeve with positive and negative connecting an 18650 battery. When you throw the switch a Mec Mod fires no question. This is where a person needs to know ohms law and be 100% aware of what they are doing. It really comes down to the 18650 batteries you use and what ohms you are running on your coils. The lower the ohms on the coils (.1-.6) the amp draw on your batteries becomes higher. Most vape shops sell 30-40 amp batteries and that should cover you all the way to lets say .3 ohms to be safe, or even .2 ohms with a 40 amp high drain battery.

There are two ways to blow up a battery. One way is using too low of an ohm coil that will draw more amps from the battery. Using a 15 amp battery with a  .2 ohm coil is a pretty risky move, most of users using 38-40 amp batteries don’t have any trouble even below .2 ohm. But on a Mec Mod I really don’t recommend going much lower than  .2 ohm coil builds. The other way batteries blow up is because of hard short .01 or .02 ohm coil builds. This is because there is not enough resistance to stop the battery from acting out and boom (youtube video).

My recommendation for Mec Mods is this; know what you are doing. There is no safety so you are responsible for the amp draw of your battery, 30/40 amp is safe.

  • Get the ohm’s law app for your phone it’s free.
  • Test your coils on an ohm reader. All new regulated Box Mods have them built in or you can just buy a basic ohm reader.
  • I do not recommend using subtanks on Mec Mods, as they are not designed to put out the watts needed to run most subtanks. I really only recommend using them on RDAs.  Still your best bet for RDAs and subtanks is to use them on regulated Box Mods.

Mec Mods are becoming old school due to things like temperature control and the variable power that regulated Box Mods have. Box Mods are so much more user friendly and are a much safer choice. DC electricity can also be dangerous but no one goes out buys a car battery, fries themselves by hooking it up wrong and blames Canadian Tire. If you’re using a Mec Mod and the battery starts getting too hot to touch, you have a problem. It’s common sense to stop using it right away, take out the battery and once it cools off throw it away because it has started to short circuit and is forever compromised. No Mec Mod ever blows up before getting too hot half a dozen times first. So if your Mec Mod battery heats up start over once you establish what caused the short. As a vape shop owner I only sell Mec Mods to people that know what they are doing and really as a last resort. Because regulated Box Mods have those safety features and will do everything and more than a Mec Mod.