When you’ve only just begun vaping, it can be difficult to know when and how you should refill your e-cig. If you’re vaping on a cigalike, your e-cigarette will be ready to vape out of the box, but if you purchase a vape pen starter kit, you’ll need to fill it up before you can start vaping. Once you’ve mastered this, you’re free to vape as much as you like. But it’s wise to be on the lookout for these signs that your e-cig needs refilling.
If you’ve ever had a cigalike e-cig starter kit, you’ll be familiar with cartomizers. They’re the small cylindrical tanks that screw directly onto the battery. In devices designed to look exactly like cigarettes, the cartomizer is the mouthpiece you draw on, which typically resembles a cigarette filter. Cartomizers are well suited to beginner vapers, as everything you need to vape — the e-liquid and the atomizer which heats the liquid — are all within the cartomizer, meaning you’ll avoid potentially messy refills.
When your cartomizer needs replacing, it’s a simple case of unscrewing it, discarding it, and screwing on a new one. While flavours are more limited in cartomizers, with typical offerings of tobacco and menthol, manufacturers are increasingly releasing new offerings, such as the Vype refills in cherry and vanilla.
But how can you tell when your cartomizer needs replacing? One downside to cartomizers is that they’re opaque, so you can’t see how much e-liquid you have left. The main telltale sign you should look out for is a weaker hit. If you’re not getting the throat hit you’re used to or the flavour isn’t there, this means you’ll need to replace your cartomizer. Keep vaping after this point and you risk burning the atomizer — which will result in an unpleasant taste — and who wants to vape a weak hit, anyway?
One noticeable exception is a pod mod: an e-cig designed to combine the ease of use of a cigalike with the power of pen-style models. Cartomizers — or pods — are easy to change via a magnetic slotting system and the pods themselves are see-through, so you can see when you’re out of juice.
Filling Clearomizers and Tanks
Clearomizers are slightly more advanced territory. Many vape pen e-cig starter kits and box mod kits use clearomizers or tanks, which are completely transparent. This allows you to see how much liquid you have left. If you’re vaping on an empty tank, you’ll experience a burnt smell and taste, which could ruin your atomizer (we’ll go into this later).
You may need to check the product description or instructions for your clearomizer before filling it up, as different tanks have different filling methods. Standard plastic clearomizers are normally filled by first removing the mouth piece, or unscrewing the bottom segment of the tank. Slightly tilt your device at an angle and gently squeeze the e-liquid down the sides of the tank, avoiding getting any in the central tube (this is the airflow, and you don't want to get any e-liquid in your mouth!). Most e-liquid bottles come with a fine nozzle tip, allowing you to be more precise when filling your device and avoid pouring liquid onto the atomizer or down the centre tube and out through the mouthpiece. Fill it up to your desired level — to the top, unless you want to mix your flavours — and screw the mouthpiece or bottom cap back on. It’s important to not fill your tank past the internal tube, as this can cause the e-liquid to leak or even damage the device. The majority of starter kits have their maximum capacity labelled on the clearomizer, ensuring that with a clearomizer with a 2ml tank, you don’t pour in too much.
Filling methods for glass tanks vary from tank to tank. Firstly, check the instructions included with your tank to see if your tank is a top- or bottom-filling tank. The majority of modern tanks have a top-fill system, but be sure to check! As the name suggests, top-filling tanks are refilled at the top, while bottom-filling tanks are refilled by turning the tank upside down. There will be a set method to open your tank for refilling, so make sure to check the instructions for this information too! Some tanks require their top or bottom unscrewing in order to open up the tank; other tanks, such as the SMOK TFV8 Baby Beast, just need their top cap to be twisted sideways to access filling slots and other tanks; and certain tanks, most notably the Innokin Slipstream, have a childproof cap which needs to be pressed down before it's twisted open.
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