Vaping Troubleshoot – Leaking

Leaking is inevitable when vaping. Whether you are new or experienced with vaping, many vapers have had to deal with leaking tanks, vapes, or rebuildables. With the usage of E-Juice and the physical properties of liquids, leakage is inevitable, but can be heavily reduced to make vaping a pleasant and mess-free experience. Liquids have no set shape and take the shape of their containers and are free-flowing, heading to the path of least resistance, making leaking very plausible in the many parts of a vaping system. This guide will touch on what can cause leaking and hopefully prevent much of the leaking that can occur within the products of the vaping market segment and how to remedy a potentially sticky situation.

Why do things leak?

Leaking can happen for a myriad of reasons. Environmental conditions, user error, or equipment malfunction can cause a tank, pod system, or other vaping products to leak eJuice. We will tackle some of the more common issues and hopefully solve many of the leaking problems vapers can encounter. Some potential issues will be listed below:

PG/VG Ratio – PG VG ratios determine the viscosity of eJuice. Lower VG eJuices with high PG ratios can leak due to the thinner consistency of the eJuice, allowing filled juice to escape and leak out of small wicking holes, cracks in tanks, or weakened o-ring seals. This can be remedied by switching to a better eJuice ratio with higher VG and less PG, allowing the eJuice to remain within the filled tank due to the vacuum environment within. Check out our selection of delicious e-Juice at Element Vape, featuring a myriad of PG VG ratios for all devices and tanks.


Temperature – Changes in temperature such as accidentally leaving the vape tank or pod in a hot car, will affect the viscosity and surface tension of eJuice. Hot temperatures reduce the viscosity of eJuice, allowing it to travel through the path of least resistance. This means that eJuice can find its way out through a cracked glass, improperly threaded connections, worn o-ring seals, or the wicking cotton within the coil, whereas under normal conditions there would be no leakage. Storing the vape pod or tank in a temperature controlled area can reduce the potential of temperature-related leaking with a high degree of certainty. Another reason for a leaky tank could be improper filling, as new vapers may mistake the central chimney for the fill port, allowing fresh eJuice to run down the chimney, through the coil, and out the airflow slots.

Air Pressure can cause leaks within tanks and pods, especially if filled and sealed in a lower elevation and brought to a higher elevation. This causes the trapped air within the tank to expand due to the reduced barometric pressure at higher elevations, pushing eJuice out the path of least resistance. This can be seen most commonly from an expanding bag of chips in a car as it travels up a mountain road. This pressure issue can be solved by opening the tank to equalize the two differing pressure levels before leaking can occur. In addition, storing half filled tanks upside-down can actually prevent this type of elevation leaking as the air expands and exits the coil instead of the filled eJuice. 

Flooding is another problem that can cause leaking with vapes. When a tank is  used, the eJuice is pulled into the wicking medium to replace any eJuice vaporized from using the vape. An ideal vape will work at 100% efficiency, turning all eLiquid into vapor. However, if the power output is not sufficient to vaporize the eJuice, some of it can come out as larger droplets of unvaporized eJuice, leading to spit back or a leaky device, as the accumulation of unvaporized eJuice eventually finds its way out of the tank, usually through a bottom airflow adjustment ring. This can be resolved by upping the power settings within the acceptable range of the coil to effectively vaporize eJuice. Although clearing spit back or unvaporized eJuice can be a hassle, one useful trick I learned over the years is running a cotton q-tip down the central airflow to soak up and capture any unvaporized eLiquid or residual condensation that may build up. Another cause of flooding could be your draw style. Check out our blog post on MTL vs DTL Vaping, here. As the interior of the vape is a vacuum environment, drawing too hard and fast can cause more eLiquid to enter the coil structure than can be vaporized. This unvaporized eJuice will build up and surely leak.

RDAs can suffer from leaking as well. Due to their design, RDAs can only hold as much eJuice as the cotton or wicking medium will soak. Overdripping can cause excess juice to leak out the airflow control system. Although dripping is starting to become obsolete, the influx of squonking box mods has resurrected RDA usage, enticing manufacturers to include a bottom fed squonk pin in their RDA creations to meet this growing demand. We have a selection of bottom fed squonking RDA. But even squonking can cause leaking if the user squeezes too hard and forces enough eJuice onto the overladen cotton, overflowing out of the airflow holes, albeit highly unlikely. Don’t let this deter you as we have a myriad of tried and true squonk mods at Element Vape that can remain leak-free with proper maintenance and care.

If none of the above reasons are the cause of a leaky vape device. Check for some smaller, uncommon leaking issues that can be attributed to worn O-Rings or improperly threaded coils. This can be fixed by simply changing the faulty O-Ring seal with a fresh new one that is likely provided by the manufacturer. Another common issue is improperly threaded coils, as it will not allow the o-ring seals to engage. This can be fixed by turning the coil counter clockwise, until the threads line up, and then threading it closed by turning clockwise. Hopefully with this guide, we can eliminate the leaking problems associated with utilizing eJuice. 


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