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What to Do if Your Vape Device Gets Wet

What to Do if Your Vape Device Gets Wet

Let’s face it – accidents happen.  And that can be especially true of a vaping device, which’s something that many of us carry with us pretty much everywhere.  From dropping it onto concrete to leaving it outside on a hot day, we all make mistakes, and unfortunately, some of those mistakes we end up having to pay for later.

Now, when it comes to getting your device wet, that’s something that can require a bit more nuance should you want to get it back to operating again.  How much damage a vape can sustain after getting wet depends on how wet it got (a few drops of water vs. getting submerged), and the device itself.  Regardless, we’re going to offer as comprehensive as a guide as possible when it comes to handling a wet vaping device.

Can a Wet Vape Be Permanently Damaged?

First, let’s get one thing clear.  Electric devices rarely respond well to water, as all of those wires can end up dying.  So, there’s always a good chance that your vape is damaged beyond repair, whether it be a pod system, box mod system, or disposable.  But, again, that depends on how wet it got, and, to an extent, luck.

What many people aren’t aware of is that water can conduct electricity, and this is why wires can short circuit.  It’s not actually the water, either, but minerals in the water.  Water also causes corrosion that can take longer to materialize, as once water gets inside of your device, it can’t really get out on its own.  So, slowly, the metal components can corrode and become useless due to internal moisture.  Specifically, the circuit board inside the vape device can be damaged by water, leading to malfunction.  Corrosion can start immediately upon water contact, disrupting the electrical pathways, hence it might cause the device to stop working altogether or function erratically. 

Water can also cause a short circuit in the battery, leading to failure.  Lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used in vape devices, are particularly susceptible to damage when wet.  This can result in the battery not charging or discharging properly, or in extreme cases, causing it to swell, leak, or potentially explode.

Also, if the coil or wicking material inside the atomizer gets wet with anything other than e-liquid, it can lead to poor performance or damage.  Water in the wicking material can then be accompanied by improper vaporization of the e-juice.

What you need to essentially know then is this – just because a mod or pod system is working fine after it was wet doesn’t guarantee that it will survive for another week or so.


What To Do If Your Vape Gets Wet

What Should You Do if Your Vape Device is Wet?

Let’s say you drop your vape device in a puddle, or you forgot to take it out of the pocket of your bathing suit before going for a swim.  Naturally, the first thing to worry about is getting it out of the water as quickly as possible.  The longer it stays submerged, the more time the water has to damage the inner circuitry.

At this stage, we advise against trying to fire the device.  Again, firing the device with water inside of it is what can cause a short circuit to occur, as you’re enabling an electronic process.  Instead, remove the battery (if the battery is removable), and take apart any other components.  Assess the amount of water that’s visible – you can’t see how much water got inside, but you can get a vague idea based on how much water is on the connections of the device.  Wipe the water away as quickly as possible and allow the device’s components to air-dry for about an hour.  Keep in mind that a short circuit won’t occur with the atomizer, whether it’s a tank or pod cartridge, as these components contain no wires.  In general, make sure that the connections (to the battery and to the pod/tank) are really dry.

Next, you can try blowing into the mouthpiece.  This can force water outward, and also give you an idea, again, of how much water got into there in the first place.  Blow hard into the device to remove as much potential water as possible.  The more force you use, the more potential water can come out.  Wait about 30 minutes and try to vape.

Can You Try the Rice or Silica Gel Methods?

If you’re still worried that water is trapped in your device, you may be thinking about the rice method – something many of us have done with our phones when they’ve gotten wet, which involves submerging the device in dry rice.

Rice is a desiccant, meaning that it draws moisture away from objects, eagerly absorbing the water so that less water is retained in the device.  If you’re attempting this method, we recommend that every hour or so, you move the device around the rice to redistribute the rice, so that totally dry rice is making contact with the device again.  The drier the rice, the more effectively it can absorb water.

If you’re not a fan of the rice method, as some aren’t (we’ve heard people argue that it’s not as effective as some claim), you can try using silica gel – in other words, the little gel beads that come in packets, usually found in new shoes, coat pockets, etc.  This material can be highly effective, and if you don’t have spare silica gel packets on hand, you can find them for purchase in bulk. 

As a last resort, you can try to use cat litter, but only cat litter made from silica gel, which is more common than you may think.  Other types of cat litter, like clay-based cat litter, produce a lot of powder, which can actually get into the device and cause even more problems.  At the same time, avoid scented cat litter, as the fragrance molecules can get into the device and interfere with your e-juice flavor.

No matter which of these methods you use, we recommend letting it sit for a solid 24 hours before removing your vape and attempting to use it again.

Are There Waterproof Vaping Devices?

Another thing we want to mention is that waterproof vape devices are becoming more commonplace.  These will say “IP67”,“IP68”, or “IP69” on the description, which indicates being waterproof, scratch-proof, and dust-proof.  These ratings are part of the International Protection Marking code, often referred to as the Ingress Protection (IP) code.  The code is defined by the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC).  

Each rating provides specific information about the device's resistance to elements:

  • IP67: Devices with an IP67 rating are dust tight, scratch-proof, and protect against the effects of temporary immersion in water.  For vape devices, this means they can handle accidental drops into water or exposure to dusty environments, decreasing the chances of malfunctioning.
  • IP68: These rated devices are also dust tight, shockproof, and offer a higher level of water resistance.  IP68 vape devices are suitable for users who might expose their device to wet conditions more frequently or for extended periods.
  • IP69: This rating goes beyond IP68 by providing extra protection in the waterproof, scratch-proof, and dust-proof departments.  So, if a vape device boasts an IP69 rating, it implies it can withstand rigorous conditions at a better rate.

Note: Even though these devices have that said rating to effectively prevent water from getting inside the unit, helping you avoid disaster, we don’t recommend submerging them in water on purpose, of course.

Water Isn’t the End of the World, But the Sooner You Act, the Better!

We’re not going to judge anyone who has gotten their vape wet to the point of potential damage.  In some cases, if the device is quickly and properly dried out (for example, by disassembling it as much as possible and leaving it in a dry, warm place), it might still work.  And, even using the other techniques we touched upon, a little bit of patience and work on the device could get it back in working order.  However, there is always a risk that even minor water exposure can lead to hidden damage(s) that causes the device to fail later on.  So, if you cannot get the device to respond properly because the damage is too extensive, you can just buy a new starter kit (or just the mod/pod system) at Vapor Authority, and perhaps look for a waterproof device.  That way, the issue never happens again.


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