10 Electronic Cigarette Problems and How to Fix Them

7 great comments - add yours!
by: James Dunworth

how to fix 10 common electronic cigarette problems

Having problems with your ecig?

You’re not alone.

So I sat down with our customer services team and brainstormed the most common problems users have – and the best solutions for them.

Some of these are basic tips – but one is a tip I hadn’t heard of until I discussed it with our team.

By nature, this is a very general post, so you’ll find links throughout to far more in-depth posts.

Leave your own problems and solutions in the comments at the end, and you could win one of three bottles of our own HALO 30 ml UK eliquid!

1. Not getting enough of a nicotine hit

Not getting enough out of your ecig

i. Nicotine level is too low

Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine more slowly than cigarettes. The good news is that some scientists believe that because of this, ecigarettes are less addictive than tobacco cigarettes (see: Why everything they told you about nicotine addiction could be wrong) .

On the negative side, you may need a higher level of nicotine in your eliquid to get the same effect as a cigarette, so try switching to a stronger eliquid.

If you need a really strong eliquid, check out our 3.4% Gower Power.

ii. Using a weak device

The device makes a difference! In fact, one mod I used nearly blew my head off even when I was using a fairly weak eliquid.

To get the maximum effect, use a more powerful, variable voltage device with a good clearomiser such as a voltage battery with the Aspire Bottom Dual Coil Clearomiser. A variable voltage battery will allow you to control the voltage so you get the effect you need.

iii. Using the device incorrectly

If you are new to ecigarettes, you may simply not be using the device correctly. Most tobacco cigarette smokers draw short drags straight to their lungs. Vapers, however, tend to take a long drag into their mouths, and then draw it into their lungs, as shown in the video below:

Intriguingly, ecigarette researcher Murray Laugesen has found that in contrast to tobacco cigarettes, nicotine delivered by e-cigarettes is absorbed in the airway passages, not in the lungs – perhaps this is why!

iv. Weak Battery

Your battery may simply just be running out of power. Try switching to a fully charged battery and see if it makes a difference.

v. Clearomiser Issues

Your clearomiser may need a new coil, or it may be flooded. See below for the solutions!

2. Not getting enough of a throat hit

Throat hit problems with ecig

i. Using the wrong eliquid

All eliquids maintain a balance between throat hit and vapour production. Propylene glycol (PG) leads to a greater throat hit, while vegetable glycerine (VG) leads to greater vapour production.

If the throat hit is too weak, you may need an ejuice with more  propylene glycol, and if it is too strong you may need an ejuice with more vegetable glycerine.

Our own UK produced eliquids use distilled water, which also increases the throat hit of your eliquid.

ii. Using the wrong device (again!)

Again, some devices produce a stronger throat hit than others.

Tank systems (also known as second generation ecigarettes and are the ones that take e-liquid) generally produce more throat hit than cigalikes (ecigs which closely resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes).

Grab a tank system with a VV battery, ramp the voltage up and you should get more of a throat hit.

iii. Flooded atomiser/clearomiser

Alternatively, your atomiser/clearomiser may be flooded – see gurgling ecigarette below for solutions!

3. Not getting enough vapour

How to get more vape our of your ecig

i. PG/VG Ratio

Again, the PG/VG ratio may not be quite right for you! Using an eliquid with more VG may increase vapour production.

ii. Use a More Powerful Device

This is starting to sound repetitive ;) But the more powerful the battery you are using, the more vapour you are going to get from it.

4. Battery Not Working

Variable Voltage Electronic Cigarette

i. Is the battery turned on?

If you are using a manual battery, click it 6 times to make sure it is turned on. A basic tip, but one we find many new users are not aware of.

ii. Connection issues

The issue could be the connection between your battery and your clearomiser. Ensure that the battery terminal and end of your clearomiser are clean. Using a cotton bud is sufficient enough, although you will find more detailed steps in our clearomiser and battery articles.

If these steps don’t work, check out the battery troubleshooting guide on our Ultimate Guide to Ecig Batteries.

5. Leaking Clearomiser

Demonstrating how to thread an atomiser/wick head onto a clearomiser.

i. Is the clearomiser fitted correctly?

The best way to fit your clearomiser is to give it a half turn anti-clockwise till you hear a click, then screw it on clockwise till it is firmly attached. This avoids mis-threading the clearomiser.

Check out the video below for detailed steps:

ii. Using a Bad Clearomiser

If the problem is repeating itself, you may simply need to change the brand of clearomiser you are using. For more troubleshooting tips, see The Ultimate Guide to Clearomisers.

6. Getting a burnt taste

Dan's face shows the perils of using a clearomiser without letting the juice soak in first.

i. Using the clearomiser straight after filling

Have you let your eliquid soak in? Most clearomisers should be left for five minutes or so to allow the eliquid to soak into the wick and atomiser. If you haven’t done this, you will probably get a horrible burnt taste!

If you can’t wait, try dripping a small amount of eliquid directly on to the atomiser.

ii. Time to Change the Coil!

Atomisers (that’s the part that heats up the eliquid) don’t last for ever. Depending on the device you have, you may be able to replace the coil (see video below).

If not, you will need a replacement cartridge or clearomiser. The life of your coil varies depending on the ohms you are using as well as how frequently you use your e-cig, but you probably want to change the coil at least once a month.

Tip: The longer you hold down the button, the quicker the coil will burn out. Its best to give your e-cig a few seconds break between each puff.

iii. Insufficient Eliquid

If you are using an Aspre BDC or CE5 clearomiser, ensure that the eliquid does not fall below the 2 small holes in the center tube.

7. Not tasting the eliquid

Gemma shows off her vaper's tongue.

A tip which I picked up while researching this article is to gently blow back through the clearomiser (don’t blow too hard or you will get eliquid into the center tube, leading to flooding issues.) This works surprising well at releasing flavour.

Alternatively, you may have the dreaded vaper’s tongue! This can be usually solved by changing the eliquid you are using.

If this doesn’t work, check our out Vaper’s Tongue: What is it, What Causes it, and How To Cure It, which includes a description of the problem, possible causes and 9 solutions to try out.

8. Getting a dry/sore throat

Dry throat caused by ecig

The propylene glycol in eliquid can cause a dry/sore throat. 90% of people find that a drink of water is enough to cure it, but a very few amount of people may need to switch to a vegetable glycerine (VG) based eliquid.

9. Gurgling noises

Ecigarette making a gurggling noise

If you get a gurgling noise, when you are using your electronic cigarette, you probably have a flooded atomiser/clearomiser. Possible causes include:

  • cross threading the clearomiser
  • screwing the clearomiser on to the battery too loosely or too tightly
  • overfilling the clearomiser (which will flood the center tube)

The best solution is to clean the clearomiser.

Take the clearomiser apart if possible, and run it under hot but not boiling water. Leave for at least 24 hours to dry, or place in rice. (Some people go the full hog and use an ultra-sonic jewellery cleaner!)

For more clearomiser problems and solutions, see 14 Clearomiser Mistakes and How to Fix Them, or our Ultimate Guide to Clearomisers.

10. Charger Not Working

A HALO tank battery lies on a wooden surface.

i. Are you using the right charger?

We have found that many problems are caused by using the wrong charger. While our own batteries AND chargers come with overcharge protection (confirmed by both our own and independent testing) using the wrong charger from other companies could potentially be dangerous.

ii. Are the terminals clean?

As mentioned under batteries, also make sure that the charger and battery terminals are clean – if not, clean them with a cotton bud.

Also remember that electronic cigarette batteries are not designed to be used with IPAD or Iphone chargers (again, electronic cigarette batteries should only ever be charged using the charger provided).

11. Losing your ecig

Okay, we said ten common problems – consider this a bonus point!

Ecigs are easy to lose and, if you’re like me, sofas, beds and car seats pose a major challenge ;)

Simply use a lanyard and/or a suction cup holder, and you should reduce or eliminate lost ecigarettes.

Over To You!

Have you experienced/know of a problem not mentioned here?

Leave your thoughts in the comments, and you could win one of three bottles of 30ml UK Premium Halo Eliquid (you choose the flavour and strength!)

(If possible, please leave your comments in the blog comments rather than the Facebook comments – as you can anonymously leave an email address, it’s much easier to contact you!)

Leave a comment:

Like This Post?

Join 5000 other readers and get the latest tutorials, special offers videos, cartoons and blog posts from the Ashtray Blog delivered to your inbox.

You’ll also get our FREE ebook, A Guide to Refillable Electronic Cigarettes

If you find that it's not for you, it only takes seconds to unsubscribe.

 We respect your email privacy

7 Responses to “10 Electronic Cigarette Problems and How to Fix Them”

  1. Kevin Norman July 28, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    One problem I have quite often is the damn drip tip coming loose. An easy fix to this is to remove the o-ring from the drip tip and wrap a very, very thin piece of tape that fits in the groove around a few times, and then put the o-ring back on. this produces a nice tight seal with my vivi-nova!

    If I win, I’ll take some delicious Butterscotch liquid please!

  2. Ian Watson July 28, 2014 at 6:12 pm #

    From experience I would say a pack of baby wipes is the vapers friend, you can use these to keep the outsides clean, with a q tip on the inside of a wipe can clean out the battery channels and terminals quite nicely and ideal for anyone filling tanks etc to wipe away the drips and stuff.

    Try and keep clearo’s and tanks for the same flavours, strong flavours like menthol will permeate subsequent juices for a considerable time so keep a clearo for fruit flavours and a clearo or tank for menthols and mints as not all fruits appreciate well with a mint mix.

    And of course battery safety is a must, don’t leave a battery charging unattended for long periods and don’t leave ‘em in sunlight say on the dash of your car.

    The advice on strength of nic is top notch in my opinion, if you are a very heavy former smoker then you really do need to start off on a high nic content, many people fail to crossover to e-cigs on this small but important aspect because the body is used to metabolising large amounts of nicotine and is suddenly starved of that level and goes into craving mode making life unpleasant, if you are a 20+ cigarettes a day person, a 3% or higher nic will match that and you can then wind down the nicotine levels over time. I tried e-cigs on the weaker content and found they didn’t work for me then my second try on 36mg cartomisers saw me move flawlessly in one go from one to the other, not even a craving once and I never looked back :D

  3. Vikki Prichard July 28, 2014 at 6:17 pm #

    one time i had a major panic as my battery wasnt charging yet it was only a month old. after googling for ages i came across a solution. when people screw the clearo on too tightly over time it can push the connector pin down. make sure that the battery is locked then using something small and not metal (i find a biro lid is perfect) VERY gently and carefully ease the connector pad up ever so slightly. you must be careful and gentle or you risk breaking your battery so i am giving fair warning. it only needs to be lifted a mm or 2, no more. you should find the battery charges again. also make sure you then dont continue to screw the clearo on too tight :)

    • Peter July 28, 2014 at 8:25 pm #

      I have had this happen and I use a toothpick to lift up the pad.

  4. Allen H July 28, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

    I dropped my ecig onto a tiled floor,Guess what ? It broke the clearomiser CURE I bought another one

    • Peter July 28, 2014 at 8:28 pm #

      I dropped mine while riding my bike and when I found it it had been run over the clearomiser broke but the battery actually survived. I used some JB weld putty around the cracks to make sure it wouldn’t come apart and I am still using that battery.

  5. Peter July 28, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    I soak my atomizers in vinegar for the night then rinse them thoroughly then let them air dry this can be done a few times and when I notice that it’s not lasting as long as the first few times then I change to a new one.Another thing I try before the vinegar soak is I crank my voltage to the highest possible and take a few puffs off it making sure not to inhale becasue it will taste burnt then go back to my normal voltage. I do all of this to extend the life of my atty, allowing me to use one atty a month instead of one a week.I Am on a fixed income so every dollar I can save is important

Leave a Reply