How to Fix Any Vape Pen or Vaporizer Yourself
Vaporizers are intricate pieces of equipment with multiple working parts that all must be functioning well in order for it to work properly. Over time, it is very common for one or more of these bits to become damaged or dirty and potentially cause the vape to either not hit properly or completely stop functioning. There are multiple types of vaporizers on the market that include dry herb vapes to wax and oil concentrate vapes. The type of issue you may be experiencing with your vape pen may depend on the type of vaporizer you are using, as each type of pen has unique parts and mechanisms of action to vaporize the specific substance it was originally geared for. Thankfully there are some common tips that can help you feel like you are hitting your vaporizer for the first time every time.
Common Problems Found in Any Vaporizer
No matter what type of weed your vape is geared for, there are some common issues that all vape enthusiasts will run into at some point if you are not careful and methodical. There are many different types of specific issues that different types of vaporizers can present, but there are common mechanics in almost all vapes that have led to equally common troubleshooting solutions. We have numbered out some of the most common hurdles vapers run into on a regular basis.
Whether you are dealing with herb or wax compatible pens, here are some consistent issues and troubleshooting principles that all vaporizers can experience.
- Power – Most vapes have a 3 or 5 click feature to turn them on. It is important to make sure to remember to turn off the pen with the same number of clicks as well, as it is impossible to easily to tell if the pen is still on or off. Some vapes may have have a feature where they automatically shut off after a certain period of time, but in this case the battery power is still being wasted before shut off. Vape batteries can be drained quick if not taken care of properly. Also, ensure the pen is charged and has not been left off for an extended period of time between uses. Sometimes the battery connectors to the piece can become damaged or loose, so check to see that the battery is firmly tightened and aligned correctly. If you have had your battery for over a year and have begin to see problems, it may be time to replace and get a fresh, new, and longer lasting battery.
- Charge – If your vape is not charging or failing to hold a charge, make sure to firmly plug it in and ensure a good connection, similar to how we mentioned above. Also, make sure you are using the proper manufacturer-recommended power source. Using other chargers and plugs can result in damage to your battery and make it less able to hold a charge.
- 510 Threading Mismatch – The 510 threading is the most commonly used threading in the industry, made popular from the EGO style batteries, but other thread counts do occur. If a new chamber does not screw onto your battery, you likely have a mismatched thread. While this is uncommon, slight differences between manufacturer specs may cause this discrepancy. Speak to the vape store attendant or one of our specialists if you have a question about your vape and any new batteries or screw-on attachments you may want to experiment with.
Loose connections from mismatched 510 threads can result in widespread damage to your piece. The excess air that is pulled in can affect the pen’s ability to reach the temperatures you set it to, and cause the battery and coils to become overworked and break much more quickly.
Common Dry Herb Vaporizer Problems
There are many different types of dry herb vaporizers that range from at home box setups to fully mobile dry herb vape pens, so the issue you are experiencing may be relative to the product you are using. The most common issues related to dry herb vapes result from a lack of care and upkeep of the vape. Over time, resin and build up from vaporizing the dry herb can block critical air pathways and potentially damage the sensitive internal mechanics of the piece.
Additionally, concerns over battery life and function are common with dry herb pens. A common issue is over-packing the bowls, as this can cause stress to the battery and may drastically reduce the battery life if done consistently. If you notice your vape is dying more quickly than when you first bought it, it may be time to replace. Each time you get a new vape pen, it is important to not overcharge it, to never let the battery fully die, and to not overburn the coils.
Some more of the most common dry herb vape issues include:
- No Vapor Being Produced – This issue could be a matter of temperature, so you may need to raise the temperature slightly. Also, your herbs may not be broken up enough, causing the coils to be overworked and the herbs to not be fully vaporized. Using a grinder helps to pack bowls that burn easier and are not overly packed tight. In addition not giving the setup enough time to heat up can result in under-vaporized hits and wasted product. Using e liquids can potentially give much bigger clouds, while dry herb clouds are much lighter. Recently, dabbing and vaporizing at lower temperatures by “roasting” or using a carb cap to capture all of the dab has been hailed as an effective way to get potent hits and much less burn. By trapping all of the vapor and letting the wax and its terpenes to burn completely, you will get a much more potent and satisfying rip.
- Difficult to Get a Hit/Pull – If you are having difficulty pulling clean hits like when you first got your piece, it is most likely a matter of maintenance and cleaning. Your piece most likely has a screen or tunnel clogged. When this happens, simply clean your piece with common cleaning alcohol and salt, or with any commonly sold bing cleaning product.
- Smoke instead of Vapor – If the herbs you use with your vape combust and turn to ash you may have a combustion vape. Vaporizers can use low temperature combustion or convection to heat materials. Convection by definition means; "the transfer of thermal energy through a substance or solid." The lower the temperature the healthier the inhaled vapor, due to the fact that when we burn a material the resulting smoke is filled with unhealthy carcinogenic compounds. Low combustion vaporizers attempts to reduce but not eliminate these effects. These types of units use lower temperature approximately to transfer heat through direct contact with heating element of the vaporizer. Many will argue that low combustion it is not a vaporizer at all and only convection systems can truly be called vaporizers, as they simply do not reach the same temperatures or cloud-producing capabilities.
- Mouthpiece too hot – Due to the fact that your vape can reach over 400 degrees during use, it can be hard to hit it consecutively with such hot temperatures near your mouthpiece. If you are experiencing problem with your pen, you may want to consider adding a rubber mouthpiece extension to your rig.
Common Wax Vape Problems
Wax vapes come with their own unique set of basic troubleshooting principles that if followed, can prevent man common wax vape pen malfunctions. The most common vape pen problems with wax arise from leftover wax build up from a lack of cleaning and maintenance. Not paying attention to wax build ups can cause your pen to become sticky, the coils to not burn as hot, and your hits to begin to taste wrong. Below we outline the most common problems and how you can remedy them.
- Sticky and difficult to open vape parts – Build up around the pen can be a result of either over-packed bowls or a low temperature setting. If all of the wax is not burnt off at the correct temperature, there will always be a small amount of wax leftover. Since it is difficult to always burn the entirety of the wax each and every hit, it is important to clean the pen every 3-5 uses.
- Coil Won’t Heat – Always make sure the coil is attached properly. Wax vapes specifically require coil replacements from time to time due to the fact that they require such high temperatures. Coils can also be damaged from build up and over packed bowls as well. Be careful, don’t poke the coils with metal tools or over pack bowls, and if using box mod don’t use too much power or burn out the coil.
- Poor Taste – Wax concentrates are a messy product and the quality of the wax can vary widely. In time, coils get nasty and sticky with enough usage without cleaning. If the vapor taste is not at its best you should try getting a new coil for the freshest and cleanest taste.
Common Oil Vape Problems
Oil vapes most commonly are affected by the same issues that wax vapes encounter. The amount of wax is slightly more in control of by the user so oil vape pens, especially those that utilize cartridges, naturally do not produce as much build up and residue as wax vapes. Oil vape pens come in a great variety of products, so the problem you are experiencing may be a result of your specific product and its unique specs.
Common Box Mod Problems
- Atomizer won’t heat – Box mods are smart vape batteries, so it is important to not force higher temperature vaping where it is not necessary. With the right mod, you will not need to vaporize at 30 watts, but rather at a lower and more efficient 10. Also, be sure to avoid twisting the atomizer too tight. If it is not burning at all after a vape session, you may have burned it too hot and broken the coil. In this case, contact an online vape shop and have their customer service help you identify what went wrong with your box mod.
- Advanced Vape Battery – When using advanced custom mods, always be sure to understand how each piece functions and to understand the manuals associated with these products.
- Burnt Taste – Similar to wax concentrates, oil concentrates are also a messy product and the quality of the wax can vary widely. In time, coils can get nasty and sticky with enough usage without cleaning. If the vapor taste is not at its best you should try replacing the coil and/or batteries to get a fresh new heating mechanism.
Dry herb vaporizers require slightly more maintenance than other vaporizers. Since the charred herb remains in the chamber if, it is obvious that adding more herb residue on top of this will have a negative effect on the function of the piece. This is why most dry herb vaporizers come with a cleaning tool to help you get any remaining herb out of the chamber.
In addition, the more advanced dry herb vaporizers will give you access to the complete vapor path and will typically come with wire brushes that fit through the passages of your piece. Over time, buildup in the vapor path can change the flavor of your vape and cause spots on your bowl or coil that burn hotter than others. If you are lucky, you will be able to disassemble the piece itself to thoroughly inspect it for cleanliness and ensure it is spotless with each use.
Concentrate and wax vaporizers are closer to regular e-liquid vaporizers when it comes to upkeep. You will need to clean the heating chamber very well to get rid of any left over residue, and it is recommended to do this after each use with a brand new piece in order to keep it in that condition. Again, changing your coils and heating mechanisms on a regular basis is a must if you want to get a good, clean, consistently potent vaporizer. It doesn’t matter if you buy the best vape pen. Given that waxy substances tend to hang around a little bit more in the cracks and crevices, you should pay close attention while you’re cleaning with a cotton swab to make sure you don’t miss anything. Overall, simply paying closer attention to your piece and adopting regular cleaning habits is the easiest way to ensure longevity and consistently great hits.