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February 11, 2021 3 min read

Lets talk about some of the lesser known areas of vape maintenance…

Some of these catch vapers (Including me) out frequently, sending us on an endless wild goose chase of blame. From juice, to cotton, to coils, to fiddling for hours with tanks and mods! O-rings, just about all tanks come with a spare bag of O-rings, but how many of us actually change these when it's the right time to?

I know it’s one of my most overlooked areas, they tend to just sit in the box unused. But keeping o-rings clean and fresh not only stops a tank from leaking, it can actually have a much more profound effect on flavour than one might think. This is because your previous tanks of juice can leave residue on, behind or under the o-ring itself, thus contaminating the next tank of juice.

Make sure when cleaning your tank to completely remove and clean the o-rings, check for any degradation in the material and change if needed. Also, look out for any residual juice under your tank and around the 510 adaptor when removing it, this could be a sign of slight leakage. Something more likely to appear on a rebuildable dripping atomiser (RDA). This leakage, while it may seem minimal, could become a problem for the electronics in a regulated mod, or even compromise battery safety on a mechanical mod. So make sure to replace an o-ring if you see this, or risk that expensive mod you love so much being turned into a glorified door-stop from moisture damage!

Cleaning Contacts - an electrical contact is any point where an electrical current is carried from one point to another.

All vape devices feature some kind of electrical contact, whether it is a 510 adaptor, a USB C or Micro USB charging port, battery terminal or even a mechanical fire button.

These can degrade over time for a number of reasons including friction, oxidisation, dirt ingress or moisture damage. It is important to keep these contacts clean to prevent arcing between contacts.

“Electrical arcing happens when an electric current flows through the air between two conductors”

Keeping contacts clean also helps the flow of electrons from one contact to another and can help with charging a battery quickly and efficiently. Another important point to keep in mind is that if you are doing a firmware update on a mod with a damaged USB contact you risk the update being interrupted and failing. Again, turning your much loved mod into a glorified and expensive door stop!

To clean contacts, you can purchase electrical contact cleaner from most electronic stores. Just ensure it is a specialist electronic variety! It can be easy to buy the wrong type, ask an expert to assist in the shop with finding the correct one and follow included instructions. Use a tin of compressed air first to clean any dust from the area, then clean the contact to remove any tarnish dirt, grease, oil or other deposits and prevent arcing between any dry contacts.

Another thing to note… While on the subject of o-rings and electrical contacts, it is worth mentioning possibly the biggest culprit of all for damage or excessive wear on both of these components…

OVERTIGHTENING!!!!

O-rings are designed to be compressed, however! Compress them too much and you risk damage and leaking! Tighten your tank so it makes a good contact with the o-ring but not so much that it feels difficult to turn. The whole point is to take stress off the harder, more brittle material used either side of the o-ring! The same applies to screwed on / spring loaded battery doors, if it makes a solid contact and does not allow movement then that is enough, too much and you can damage the spring or the screw thread itself.

- Creator - Alex Lane -


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