Battery Safety, Storage & Handling… The important stuff
One of the most crucial elements in vaping responsibly, is knowing how to look after batteries and how to ensure that they are working safely and correctly.
The most widely used battery in the vaping world is probably the 18650, batteries of different sizes follow a general rule, demonstrated in its name. An 18650 has a diameter of 18mm, and a length of 65mm. The 0 indicates that the battery is cylindrical.
There are many different sized batteries in the vaping world, all of which need to be treated carefully, as accidents do happen.
You should always buy batteries from a reputable source, and make sure that they are purposely designed for use in vaping devices. Far too many people purchase 18650s designed for flash lights and other types of electrical items. You really shouldn't use them as they can easily malfunction and be dangerous.
There are many different aspects of battery safety, some of which I will explain now.
Firstly, it is highly recommended to use an external, purpose-built battery charger, as it has more safety features than charging your batteries inside your mod. You must always ensure that the external charger you are using is suitable for the batteries you are planning to charge.
It is important to never leave any batteries that are charging unattended, especially not overnight. They have the potential to overcharge and could cause damage.
When not in use it is absolutely vital that you keep batteries in a specially designed, nonconductive case. Make sure you never store batteries with metal objects such as keys or coins, as this will cause the batteries to short out and start venting, this can cause serious injury. It's always safest to keep cells inside a case and not loose in a pocket/handbag etc.
In terms of physical appearance, any battery with nicks, tears, discolouration, dents, or anything out of the ordinary (such as insulators not being intact) is a major warning sign. It is extremely dangerous to use these batteries in such a state, as they can short out, vent, catch fire or even cause serious harm. When batteries are like this, you should ideally replace them so you can be certain about their safety.
Excessively hot or cold environments, or sudden fluctuations in temperature can also affect batteries in a very negative way. Try and keep them in a cool (but not cold!) dry place. Dampness, humidity and any water will also cause severe damage.
It is important to stay informed of different aspects of battery safety as there is that constant potential of serious damage, to your batteries, and even yourself. Being mindful of battery safety will reduce the risk of things going wrong.
So, to recap, here are the important things to remember about battery safety:
- Store batteries suitably when not in use, i.e. in a battery box or silicone sleeve
- Don’t carry loose batteries around in a pocket or a bag
- Make sure the outer wrapping is intact and not damaged
- Don’t continue to use a damaged battery; Dispose of it responsibly in accordance with local regulation when it has reached the end of its life.
- Don’t leave any charging batteries overnight or unattended
- Always use the correct charger that is compatible with your battery
- Don’t expose your batteries to extreme changes in temperature
- Do not let your batteries come into contact with water
- Always buy your batteries from a trusted and reputable source
- Never force a battery into a device – if the fit is too tight, the battery isn’t suitable
- Don’t completely discharge batteries. The cut off for most cells is 2.8v or 2.5v
- Make sure you use the correct battery for your device. If you’re not sure, please ask.