e-Cigarette Charging Problems
11 January 2016
Here’s what should normally happen when charging your e-cig battery
The light on the charger should be red while charging a battery that’s depleted of power and go green when the battery has been fully charged.
What to do if your battery isn’t being charged
Check if the charger charges up another battery that needs charging. If you’re sure you have two good batteries and they won’t charge, but they are depleted enough to take more charge, the charger must be the problem or other equipment connected to the charger, ie the mains wall plug or an adapter.
If you only have one battery you won’t be able to make the above check, so then try cleaning the connections/threads on the charger and the battery. Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol is ideal on something like a Q tip – ENSURE YOU UNPLUG THE BATTERY FIRST. Even though it make not look dirty you’re trying to eliminate anything that could reduce its connectivity.
Try also disconnecting the charger from the USB, the USB mains adapter from the wall, and a 3 pin/2 pin adapter depending on where you are in the world, and put it all back together (like you would with your PC to reset it) including connecting the battery to the charger again with the battery turned on.
Batteries do not have to be on or off to charge but there are some variations as to what a battery does while it’s charging. Some turn off while others stay on.
Most problems associated with charging e-cig batteries come from poor quality chargers and batteries. Poor quality products may have inferior materials that can’t conduct well, in addition to other quality and safety issues that may not be immediately obvious.
Generally you get what you pay for. You will see other chargers that look the same as ours and they will have the same input/output specification, however, please proceed with caution and choose a trusted vendor. It’s best to avoid cheap imitations even though they won’t all be bad.
Important - inferior charging products and USBs with viruses
Improper charging and inferior e-cig charging products are a serious safety hazard (the same applies to mobile phones) – they can cause your kit to be ruined, much worse still they can explode and cause fire!
In November 2014 it was been reported in the media that there are USB chargers for e-cigs in circulation containing a computer virus. Someone in the USA bought one of these and it infected his computer when he tried to charge his e-cigarette. Please be careful!
e-Cig batteries do need careful cleaning every so often
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.
Important notes about charging lithium-ion batteries
- Ensure you have a good quality charger.
- 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.
If you're using a mod with removable batteries, the manufacturer often recommends that it is advisable to remove the batteries and to charge them separately, ie don't charge them in situ via the USB.
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 (this is likely to be a specific lithium-ion facility at a recycling centre). Do not put them in the rubbish bin.