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How to Fix a Disposable Vape: Ultimate Guide

June 28, 2020 6 min read

Do you have a disposable vape that isn’t hitting or is giving you weak hits? Is the light blinking – or not coming on at all – even though your puff bar is brand new? Whether your disposable vape isn’t hitting, is giving you a burned taste or is exhibiting some other problem, you’ve just discovered the page that you need. This article is our ultimate guide to fixing disposable vape pens. No matter what type of problem you might have encountered with your disposable vape bar, we’ll have some suggestions that can help you get back to vaping.

Fix Disposable Vape Guide

Disposable Vape Not Hitting

The most common problem that you’ll have with a disposable vape is that it isn’t hitting. Maybe the light blinks when you inhale, but no vapor comes out. Maybe nothing happens at all when you inhale. There are several reasons why your vape pen might be hitting, and we’ll begin with the most likely one.

Out of E-Liquid

The most common reason why a disposable vape stops hitting is because it’s simply out of e-juice. The average disposable vape contains enough e-liquid for up to 200 puffs, but the operative phrase there is “up to.” You’re not likely to get that many puffs if you inhale extremely deeply or vape so often that the device’s coil remains in an overheated state.

Some disposable vapes have windows that allow you to see how much e-liquid is left. If you can’t see vape juice through the window, your device is done.

Battery is Dead

If your disposable vape has an indicator light, it can tell you the status of the battery. Is the light blinking or lighting up in a different color – usually red – when you inhale? Is the device not doing anything at all? The battery is done. In some cases, you can get an extra puff or two out of a dead disposable vape if you leave the device alone for several hours.

A disposable e-cigarette is usually calibrated so that the battery lasts a bit longer than the e-liquid supply. If your device’s battery is dead, the pod is almost definitely empty as well.

Airflow Sensor Isn’t Sensitive

A disposable vape uses an airflow sensor to detect when you puff. Sometimes, a disposable vape that doesn’t hit isn’t working because the airflow sensor isn’t sensitive enough or because the sensor is blocked by condensation inside the device. If you cover one of the device’s intake vents with your finger while puffing, you’ll increase the pressure of the air flowing through the disposable vape. That may get the puff sensor working again.

Disposable Vape Has Never Worked

If you have a disposable vape that has never worked, it could be a case of improper assembly at the factory. Fortunately, it’s possible to fix that problem with a little ingenuity – and a pair of tweezers.

This solution may not work with all disposable vapes, but it will work with many vape pens using the rectangular “puff bar” design that has become so common recently.

Using a pair of tweezers, pry the mouthpiece off of your disposable vape. Under the mouthpiece, you’ll most likely see a cotton pad with a hole in the middle. The pad is there to catch condensation and prevent the device from gurgling and spitting. Is the pad bunched up? Remove it and reposition it so that the hole in the cotton pad lines up with the hole in the rubber stopper below.

Disposable Vape Not Hitting
Top to bottom: Black mouthpiece, cotton pad, rubber stopper

If the cotton isn’t bunched up, remove it and set it aside. Examine the rubber stopper. Can you clearly see a hole leading into the interior of the device, or does the hole seem to be blocked? If the hole is blocked, you can either remove and reposition the stopper, or you can attempt to open the hole with a wooden toothpick. Once you’ve done that, the device should work correctly. Reassemble it and get back to vaping.

Disposable Vape Weak Hits

If your disposable vape is giving you weak hits, one potential reason is that the nicotine strength simply isn’t right for you. Consider buying a device with a higher-strength e-liquid next time. If the device worked in the past and has suddenly become less satisfying, though – or you simply want to get a more intense hit from the disposable vape that you have – these tips may help.

Block the Airflow Vent

A moment ago, we suggested partially blocking your device’s intake vent to increase the air pressure. Covering the vent with your finger also has another effect: It reduces the cooling effect of the incoming air, thus making the vapor warmer and more intense. Give it a try if your device isn’t giving you those big, satisfying rips that you like.

Break Air Bubbles

If you have a pod-based disposable vape, you might get weak hits if air bubbles form around the pod’s wicks. Tap the device gently on a table to break the air bubbles. After giving the wicks a few seconds to get wet, you should get some nice hits again.

Give Your Vape a Moment to Rest

Many disposable vapes store their e-liquid in a fabric-based filler material. As you vape, absorption causes the e-liquid on the outside of the fabric to move in toward the coil. If you’re chain vaping, though, you’re not giving the e-liquid a chance to absorb. Try a slower vaping pace. The cotton near the atomizer coil needs to be wet for your device to produce a satisfying hit.

Disposable Vape Burned Flavor

Is your disposable vape giving you a burned flavor? That’s a sure sign that you need to slow down. Most disposable e-cigarettes lack any kind of temperature control functionality. If you maintain such a fast vaping pace that you’re continually vaping before the wick has a chance to absorb more e-liquid, you may burn the wick. Slow down. You can also help to prevent overheating by ensuring that you never leave your device in direct sunlight or in your car.

If you’re already maintaining a slow vaping pace, your device might simply be producing a burned flavor because it’s out of e-liquid. Set the device down for several minutes to allow the wick to absorb more juice; you might get a few more puffs out of it. Otherwise, it’s time for a new vape.

Disposable Vape Gurgling or Leaking

Is your disposable vape gurgling or leaking? The most likely cause is that you’re using too much air pressure when you puff. You’re sucking excess e-liquid into the device’s chimney or atomizer coil. From there, the e-liquid will end up in one of two places: in your mouth or dripping out of the device’s air intake vent. Both scenarios are equally unpleasant, so puff with gentle air pressure to keep the e-liquid where it belongs.

If you have a pod-based device, try to avoid squeezing the sides of the pod. If the pod flexes, that may force excess e-liquid into the device’s atomizer coil assembly.

Can You Recharge a Disposable Vape?

The thing that makes disposable vapes what they are – and the thing that makes them so cheap – is the fact that they’re designed for short-term use. If you’re looking for a vaping device that you can use more than once, we suggest taking a look at our wide selection of pod vaping systems.

On YouTube, you’ll find videos of people recharging their disposable vapes. That says nothing, however, about the safety of doing so. Did you know that it’s also possible to recharge some alkaline batteries? It's also possible that an alkaline battery will expand, leak or burst during recharging. The fact that it's possible doesn't mean the chemistry of the cell is intended for recharging.

It is inherently unsafe to recharge a battery that's only designed for a single use. Don't even try it.

Can You Refill a Disposable Vape?

It is technically possible to refill a disposable vape. This is a case, though, where performing the act is such a massive amount of trouble that there’s no sense in even bothering. Convenience is one of the biggest benefits of disposable vapes. If you want to refill your vaping device, you should buy a device designed for that.

Before you try refilling a disposable vape, you should also know that, when the device is out of vape juice, the battery is also nearly dead – so you’ll probably end up wasting e-liquid.

If you still want to try refilling your disposable vape, you’ll need to disassemble it using the directions provided at the top of this article. If the vape uses a pod-based enclosure for e-liquid, the pod will have a rubber stopper that you can remove. Add some e-liquid to the pod and reassemble the device.

If your disposable vape has a fiber-based filler material inside, you’ll need to remove the filler material from the device and re-saturate it with e-liquid. When the filler is wet again, you can reassemble the device and resume vaping.

You’ll be much happier, though, if you simply buy a device with a tank or pod that you can pop open and refill whenever you like.

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