Mech Mod Safety Guide
TL;DR - Mech Mod safety is more than a 'too long didn't read', but if you are vaping with unregulated mods, things can be a little hairy if you don't know much about electronic circuits. We are going to give you the basics so you can avoid spontaneously combusting. Read on for safer vaping.
Why is Mech Mod Safety Important?
Mech mod safety relates to the safe use of advanced vaporisers, that don't carry the same safety features as more simpler starter kits. These advanced 'mods' generally are made without automatic safety over-rides and the like, to allow for complete customization. Mechanical mods are what you may see at a cloudchasing competition, or in the hands of a hobbyist vaper.
Do all Vapes Explode?
If you've landed here because you googled the phrase "do vapes explode", then this is the bit you may want to switch on for. In general, vapes don't explode, but some vapes COULD explode if a certain type are subjected to specific factors.
Now, any piece of electronic equipment can explode - take this article from Lifewire for example on mobile phones. But in most cases with vaping, it comes from hobbyist style kits, or from mistreatment of the batteries that are used in them.
With their flexible format, understanding some principles of mech mod safety is important. In the wrong hands, the devices can draw too much power out of a vape cell (battery) and lead to dangerous incidents from 'thermal runaway' - namely 'KABOOM'.
What is thermal runaway?
Thermal runaway is when too much charge is being drawn from a battery, causing it to over heat and therefore apply more heat to the circuit, until such time as it becomes a reactive, volatile, ready to explode metal frag grenade.
Stories in the news of explosions, generally relate to mech mod safety being ignored and injuries that were caused by thermal runaway.
How do I avoid thermal runaway?
There are three general scenarios when thermal runaway occurs when it comes to the world of mech mod safety and these are:
- Loose batteries connecting with pocket clutter and creating a circuit
- Too low a resistance in a tank from a handmade vape coil leading to overheating.
- Overheating of battery due to constant fire without cut-off.
At the core of avoiding thermal runaway is understanding aspects such as ohms law an electronics principle. This can be a little too complex for some to work out on the fly, and therefore having a grasp of mech mod safety as an overview should guide you nicely.
If you want to avoid thermal runaway we have got 3 top tips to stop your vape or the battery going pop.
Tip 1 : Use a battery case when not in use
A battery case, is a little rubber sleeve or alternatively a plastic box, that shields the vape cell from damage, and your legs from skin grafts, when it's not being used. You see, vape cells, are what we call an unprotected battery. They can, if left loose in your pocket with keys and coins, form an unstable electronic circuit. This and the other more common case of keys piercing the battery walls from being crushed together are responsible for a good deal of 'vape explosion' stories.
Tip 2 : Check Your Vape Power
This one needs no fancy pictures, or terrible ones at that. Mech mod safety simplified. One of the most common reasons for pocket bombs, is the vape being powered continuously with no safety shut off.
When we hear stories like this, we know the user has been an idiot, because conventional electronic cigarettes, contain 10 second cut-offs as standard. This means, if you lean on the power button for 10 seconds, the power switches off after that. This stops the vape overheating and your leg melting. Good deal right?
When you are using a device that doesn't have this built-in, please vape responsibly, and when you're done, whether it's your pocket or the side of the car door; turn the vape off. Even if it has a fire button lock, it's usually one or two more clicks to turn it off.
Turn it off!!
Turn it off - it's your leg, not ours, but don't blame others, if you ignored that simple advice. It's these tales of stupidity that keep people smoking cigarettes still, as they think against the advice, that it's safer than vaping!
If you heard a story of a lumberjack leaving his chainsaw on, then resting it on his lap while eating a sandwich, and then got injured - you'd think they were a bit of a dope right? Mech mod safety guys - turn the kit off.
NB: Yes, I know most chainsaws have safety features - but these advanced mechs don't.
Tip 3 : Ohms Law and vape cell safety
The complicated-ish bit. Ohms Law is a physics 'law' that guides us with how an electronic circuit should operate. Every vape battery is for the most part, a lithium power cell, but with varying characteristics. Some have higher power capacity, some have a higher or lower amp rating. Just as your home electrics couldn't power a football stadium worth of demand, different vape cells are the same.
Ohm's law states that the current through a conductor between two points is directly proportional to the voltage across the two points.
In a vape tank, we use a coil, and that vape coil can come in a range of resistances. This resistance creates the friction and the heat that vaporizes the vape juice. If you have too low a resistance and the battery is seeing more drain on it than it can handle, it can over heat and lead to thermal runaway. The Ohms Law equation provides a way of people determining what a vape circuit needs in terms of resources to operate in a stable way.
Don't worry, we don't expect you to do the math yourself, but in case you wanted to see it:
How can I work out Ohm's Law for vaping?
The short answer, is you don't have to, because the work has already been done. Below is a chart to tell you what ampere and discharge rate battery you will need depending on your resistance level.
Simply identify your resistance level and then chart that alongside the voltage of your battery and you will be able to see what discharge rate you need your vape battery to be. If it's red - that's a bad sign.
That's it, that's the key things you need to know, in your mech mod safety journey. Turn your vape off, keep your batteries protected and check your coil resistance against this chart when buying a new vape cell.
Where to head now? How about some vape bargains?
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