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Problems with electronic cigarette batteries

Battery is dead and doesn’t light up

Most standard electronic cigarette batteries are turned on and off with a 5 click function (5 clicks within 2 seconds). That means the clicks are quite fast and have to be very deliberate and this is part of their design to stop them being turned on without you realising.

The easiest way to do this is to count one, two, three etc and ensure you click 5 separate times otherwise the battery may not realise you have clicked 5 times.

The battery will let you know it's recognised that you've turned it on by flashing 3 times (the amount of flashes may vary depending on the battery).

The average electronic cigarette battery has a typical lifetime of 300 charges and this lifespan is significantly reduced if batteries are frequently recharged and in constant use.

These lithium ion e-cig batteries are also very sensitive to environmental conditions due to the micro technology inside them. Possible causes of a dead battery include contact problems, faulty battery, overuse, misuse, damage, environmental conditions and lifespan exceeded.

If you're still stuck, the following options may help, however, depending on the issue you have, it's often better just to get a new battery to be on the safe side.

  1. Place the battery in a room at a constant temperature for 24 hours (do not freeze or overheat).
  2. Try to charge the battery (ensure your charger works on other compatible batteries otherwise your charger could be the problem).
  3. If the battery charges, try attaching a different clearomizer/tank. If you still have the same problem, it's likely that the battery is the cause of your trouble but you won't know exactly what the problem with the battery is at this stage.
  4. When a battery is nearing the end of its life, you will still be able to charge it but it won't necessarily be able to heat anything sufficiently.
  5. If the battery is faulty, has been overused, misused, damaged or its lifetime exceed it should not be used again, however, if you have no reason to suspect any of these issues the problem could be a poor connection between the battery contact and the clearomizer/tank contact points, as products can vary slightly and also sometimes the points can get pushed in too far when screwing things together.
  6. Take something like a wooden cocktail stick or piece of credit card (don't use anything metal on the battery) and gently pry the centre contact up on both the atomizer/clearomizer and the battery as best you can. This is a fiddly job so take care not to force anything out of place. For 510 style atomizers/clearomizers with a protruding screw, unscrew it a little.

e-Liquid in the battery

If you get liquid in the battery it can become stuck in the on or off position rendering it unusable. The LED button often still pushes but liquid can still put it out of working order. You may find though that it starts to work again days later when it's been allowed to dry out. Try tapping the battery gently onto a paper towel if you have excess liquid around the button. Don't directly tap the button and especially not on a hard surface or you may damage it.

Good clean contact between your e-cig battery and clearomizer/tank is essential for the best heat, vapour and flavour, so regular cleaning is essential (every couple of weeks or so for example). Rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit on a Q tip/cotton bud is ideal.

Clean the outside of the connection/contact area and the inside too ensuring that you hold the battery upside down so gravity can take away any excess fluid. Paper towel can be used to dry the area if necessary.

For stubborn grime a cocktail stick is ideal for the threaded grooves, taking care not to break it off inside the battery, but don’t use anything metal.

Battery stays on (the LED is constantly glowing)

There are several possible causes including a damaged battery and battery pressure switches sticking which can cause the microchip to jam on. If you can't get it un-stuck, you will need a new battery.

  1. Tap the LED end of the battery on a solid, flat surface a few times (not too hard, just hard enough to give it a jolt) and see if the LED has turned off. If unsuccessful go to 2.
  2. Remove the clearomizer/tank from the battery. Blow directly into and inhale from the battery but breath this air out; don’t swallow this air. Repeat this at 3-4 times or more. If unsuccessful, go to 3.
  3. Blow and inhale on the LED glowing tip. Repeat this at least 3-4 times if necessary. If unsuccessful, go to 4.
  4. This is the last resort. Allow the battery to completely drain of all its charge which may take several hours. When the LED has stopped glowing recharge it as normal. The loss of power may prompt the battery to un-jam itself. This step is the last resort as lithium-ion batteries should not be allowed to fully discharge. If this final step is also unsuccessful, you probably need a new battery.
  5. Note: Avoid leaving batteries on charge overnight. Remove the battery from the charger when fully charged and switch off the power supply to the charger.
  6. Also make sure you are not storing your batteries in pockets or other places with a lot of dust. The type of dust usually found in pockets will get inside the battery and can cause the switch to malfunction.

Battery won’t hold charge

Batteries have a limited life so they won’t last forever. Their lifetimes vary, on average about 300 charge/discharge cycles. However, if the battery is relatively new and it won’t hold its charge it is likely to be faulty or damaged.

Battery charges ok and the LED does glow when pressed but no vapour

Most likely to be related to the contact points between the battery and the atomizer or it could be the atomizer head/coil head. See our page about lack or loss of vapour troubleshooting (click here).

Battery LED lights up but flashes when drawing

The cut-off point of an e-cig battery can be anything from 5 to 10 seconds depending on the item. This is a standard safety feature in that batteries are designed to cut out in order to prevent overheating.

Battery LED flashes 3 times

Certain batteries will flash 3 times to indicate a short circuit. Most standard e-cig batteries will have what's called short circuit protection, so when there is a short and you press the fire button it will just blink 3 times and then won't do anything.

Does it still blink 3 times with no tank? (remove the tank, ensure the battery is turned on and press the fire button to check).

If the LED still flashes 3 times without the clearomizer you know it's something to do with the battery, if it only flashes when it's connected to the clearomizer it could be the that there isn’t a good connection, or it could be the coil head.

If the clearomizer is screwed down too hard it can push the centre pin on the battery down just a tad and the connection is lost. Just check the battery isn’t screwed on too tight. Try backing it off a bit and see what happens.

Also try another coil in case that’s the problem, depending on what you’ve already discovered above.

Battery flashes rapidly but no vapour

The battery is low and needs to be recharged. Most standard e-cig batteries flash, generally rapidly, in an effort to let you know they're running out of power.

Battery is activating on its own

This is common with automatic batteries. One solution is to take the ash end and literally give it a good hard couple of taps on a hard surface.

This can help force the switch mechanism back into its proper position but doesn't always work.

Don't put paperclips or other items inside the battery and don’t use compressed air. This can permanently damage the switch. Also make sure you are not storing your batteries in pockets or other places with a lot of dust.

The type of dust in pockets will get inside the battery and can cause the switch to malfunction. The battery can also occasionally get a small amount of liquid inside it which causes it to malfunction.

Batteries often work fine if you give them time to dry out so put the battery somewhere safe and just allow it to sit for a day or two.

Battery gets extremely hot when using or charging

This is a sign the battery has a serious problem. DON'T THROW IT IN THE BIN! Put the battery somewhere to cool down where it doesn't pose a fire risk (a granite work top for example) and do not attempt to use this battery again.

Battery has green light when charging

Green is for charged so you don’t need to charge it any more. All batteries come part charged and you should be able to use them straight away without the need for immediate charging.

Battery LED light is flashing green and red

The battery is near fully charged. It’s just letting you know it’s nearly charged.

Charger - USB charger LED light is flashing blue and red

The battery is near fully charged. It’s just letting you know it’s nearly charged (the LED on some USB chargers turns blue when charging is complete).

Need a new battery? Click here (internal link on our website).

Important notes about charging batteries

  • Always use the correct charger for the battery you are charging.
  • Never leave batteries unattended while charging, unplug before you go to bed or go out.
  • Don't charge batteries on combustible surfaces such as carpets or surfaces that could be damaged by heat.
  • When the battery is fully charged unplug it.
  • Ideally let the battery rest for a few hours after charging.
  • Don't let the battery drain of power completely, it's recommended to recharge the battery when it is low on power, not totally empty.
  • Don't leave the battery without any power at all when it's not in use - this can result in a less usable battery.
  • Don't heat or incinerate batteries.
  • Don't charge damaged batteries.
  • If a battery becomes hot when you're charging it, stop charging immediately and let it cool down before you handle it further.

How to store and look after your batteries

  • Storing batteries properly extends the life of the battery and keeps them from becoming a safety hazard.
  • Store batteries away from metal objects including items such as keys and coins (so avoid leaving them in your pocket).
  • Store batteries in a dry, cool place which is not subjected to extremes of temperature or humidity.
  • If you live in a hot location batteries can be stored in a refrigerator (but don’t freeze them).
  • If you do this, you must seal them in an airtight plastic bag to maintain the right moisture level.
  • When storing lithium batteries for a period of time, ideally leave them about 40% charged - this minimises degradation and allows the battery to slowly discharge itself, which is crucial for its operational health.
  • Always store batteries with the positive and negative terminals away from each other so they can’t begin conducting electricity idly.
  • Avoid storing new and old batteries together because there is a risk that the newer ones will conduct electricity into the older ones.
  • Dispose of batteries safely and in accordance with regulations (some local shops have recycling facilities now).