FAQ: My e-Cigarette is LEAKING all over the place–HELP?

by Christina Jones on January 11, 2013

or: Leaking:  The Word of the Week

So while burnt out atomizers were the words of the last couple weeks, LEAKING is the word of this week. Often accompanied by: "I’m going to throw this *^*%^&%& thing out the window in 1 minute if this doesn’t stop!!!"

First off all, take a deep breath. And one leaky hit of that e-cig if you need to. Get your kleenex to mop up the mess – we will wait.
Ok, leaking occurs fairly commonly in several devices. Im going to address the easy one first:

The T2/eGoCC cartomizer

This little, inexpensive jobby does have a dastardly tendency to leak. This can possibly be caused by getting liquid down the center tube, but if you are positive you haven’t done that, try giving the little screw-y looking thing (pictured) on the bottom side of the cartomizer a half turn with your fingernail, a knife or a screwdriver (or any thin flat thing you can get in there). Just a half turn. Put it back on your battery and try it again. If it is still leaking, try the half turn thing a couple more times. After that, it is time to give up. Thats right – toss it. Its an inexpensive little cartomizer, if you have gotten 2-3 weeks life out of it, its probably good. More than that and its gravy. Do note that its siblings, the T3 and T4, have not had the leaking problems that the finicky T2 has had. Some folks really try to suck every bit of life out of these cartomizers that they can give – and that is fine – but know that you can just toss it. Its inexpensive and we have more.

The other leaking problems I have been seeing lately are with the


Those devices utilizing a tank system and more specifically, the eGo-C tank system can get pretty darned leaky.

Let me start by saying that the liquid feeds into the atomizer a little differently in these devices. Prior devices used good old gravity along with wicking to get the job done. This one uses a little wicking (did you know there was a tiny little wick in that atomizer – look down the spike), and a lot of surface tension and vacuum. So, picture the Oreck bowling ball advertisement, where they are holding the bowling ball up with their super vacuum suction. What would happen if I pulled the other end of that vacuum hose out of the vacuum cleaner? Right – it would drop that ball right on your toe, along with anything else that hose might have been holding. The same is true if you break the vacuum in your tank e-cigarette.

I tell you to fill up your cartridge leaving a mm or two of headspace – that gets us going in the right direction with the vacuum/surface tension thing. Once you take a few draws off of that fully filled and recently put together e-cigarette, you have created a little vacuum in that cartridge (picked up the bowling ball). All is well. You vape along for a bit. Then something happens to break the tension. You pull the cartridge out to look at it or show to someone. Maybe you twist it around looking for something to do with your fingers. Maybe you slam it down on the table (ouch). Whatever it is, you have broken that suction (pulled the hose out of the vacuum cleaner), and like the bowling ball, its going to drop its load on your toe. Or your table. Or your shirt. The halfway point, when half your liquid in your cartridge is gone, is a real danger zone. Break the tension there, and Ill guarantee you the other half of your liquid is coming out, like a flood.

So – what to do? First off – fully load your tank cartridge with e-liquid, put it into the e-cig, and either vape it, or leave it alone (I recommend VAPE IT!). If you find yourself playing with it, or if you have to take the cartridge out for some reason, refill it before you put it back into the e-cig. Then take a few hits to get the suction going again. Not too hard, eh?

Other Tank Related Leaking Issues

There are some other issues that can cause your problem – this one is related to lack of power. If your atomizer is bad, or your battery dead-ish, you are not vaporizing the liquid, and all the messing around/sucking/shaking/cussing you are doing is going to eventually break any tension in there. Use your extra battery/atomizer to test and see which part is bad/going bad and get it replaced.

You can also have a problem with leaking when your tank cartridges get old and need to be replaced.  The act of taking it out, refilling and putting it back into your e-cigarette will eventually cause that little hole in the cap to enlarge.  After a week or two, if you experience leaking, it is probably time to change cartridges.  We do have silicone caps available that can extend the life of your cartridge – put one on when your cartridge gets leaky and that will get you through another week or two.  We have those caps for the eGo-C Type A and B as well as caps for the eCab.

Just today I had a customer who was at her wits end with her new eCab – it was leaking like crazy and just not performing like it should – like it did 2 days before when she bought it. She came over this evening, somewhat desparately, and we went through the testing procedures. I really thought it was her atomizer that was dying/half dead from dry vaping (visions of the last two weeks), but it wasn’t. Her atomizer worked perfectly in my eCab. Then I decided it must be the battery housing – then the end cap – nope and nope. Neither battery was working properly in her e-cig and I finally determined that her charger must have a dysfunction and it had damaged both of her batteries. I sent her on her way with a new charger and two new batteries, and I really think thats going to solve her problem.

The bottom line is this. Yes, this is a new habit, and its a wee bit more complicated than the old one. I PROMISE you that when you get through the learning curve, you are really going to be happy you had the patience to stick to it. This is one good reason I recommend you NOT cut down on your nicotine at first – not until you learn that e-Cigarette backwards and forewards. I promise you that had the lady this evening not chosen to go with the high strength nicotine liquid I recommended, she would have thrown her eCab out the window and written e-Cigs off as a failure. But as it was, she was able to squeak out enough nicotine to keep her sane while she figured out this problem, and I am sure she is going to become a devotee. :)