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How to Fix the Most Common Problems With Pod Vapes

June 21, 2020 6 min read

Pod vaping systems may look very different from one another, but the problems that you might encounter with them are mostly the same. At one time or another, just about everyone experiences a problem like weak hits, no hits or a leaky pod – and the good news is that, with a bit of general advice, you can fix almost any of those problems regardless of which specific pod system you own. So, whether you have a JUUL that’s not hitting, a SMOK Nord that’s giving you weak hits or a Uwell Caliburn that’s leaking, you’re in the right place. This article will explain how to fix the most common problems with any pod vaping system.

Fix Pod Vape Problems

Fix Weak Hits With a Pod System

There are three reasons why a pod system might give you weak hits.

  • The device’s temperature protection is engaging because e-liquid isn’t reaching the atomizer coil
  • The pod isn’t making a good electrical connection with the battery
  • Insufficient air is flowing through the pod, causing the device’s automatic puff sensor to work unreliably

To fix weak hits with a pod system, start by removing and examining the pod. Do the metal contacts inside the device or on the bottom of the pod look dirty? Clean the contacts with a cotton swab. If the contacts are especially dirty, you can dampen the cotton swab with a little rubbing alcohol.

Examine the pod. Can you see air bubbles covering either of the pod’s wicks? An air bubble can prevent e-liquid from flowing through to the pod’s atomizer coil, and if that happens, the device’s automatic temperature protection will kick in to prevent the coil from overheating. With temperature protection engaged, your device will produce smaller vapor clouds – if it produces vapor at all. Tap the pod gently to break the bubbles.

Overusing your device can also cause the temperature protection to engage. Make sure that you’re waiting several seconds for the wicks to get wet again after each time you use your pod system.

Lastly, it’s an unfortunate fact that the automatic puff sensors in some pod systems may become less reliable after those devices have been in use for a long time. If your pod system is giving you weak hits because it keeps turning off and on when you puff, try covering one of the air intake vents with your finger while you inhale. That increases the pressure of the air flowing through the device, which may help the puff sensor work more reliably.

Fix a Pod System That Isn’t Hitting

There are three reasons why a pod system might stop hitting.

  • The battery is dead or has a poor electrical connection with the pod
  • The pod is faulty
  • The device is faulty

Begin by removing the pod from your device and cleaning the contacts as described above. Clean the contacts on the battery charger using the same method, and then try charging the device. Is your pod system not charging? Scroll down to troubleshoot that issue. If the device is charging, let it charge fully before you continue.

After recharging the battery, put the pod back into the device and try vaping again. If your pod system still isn’t hitting, try a different pod. If you’re unable to get the device to start hitting after a pod has leaked, scroll down to troubleshoot your leaking pod system. If you have never experienced a leak, your device may be faulty.

Fix a Pod System That Isn’t Charging

There are four reasons why a pod system might not charge.

  • The device has a poor electrical connection with the charger
  • Something is wrong with the USB port you’re using to charge the device
  • The charger is faulty
  • The device is faulty

Begin by cleaning the metal contacts on the device and charger as described above. If your pod system spends a lot of time in your pocket, dust and pocket lint can block the contacts and prevent the device from making a good electrical connection with the charger. If the charging port is badly blocked, remove the grime with a toothpick.

If your pod system still isn’t charging, try connecting it to a different USB port. Don’t attempt to charge any vaping device, however, with the wall adapter for a mobile phone or tablet. Doing so could cause the device’s battery to overheat. If you’re unable to get the device to charge with any USB port, try a different charging cable or cradle.

If you’ve tried multiple USB ports and different chargers and are still unable to get the device to charge, it’s likely that the device is faulty.

Fix a Pod System That’s Spitting or Gurgling

There is one reason why a pod system might spit or gurgle when you vape.

  • Excess e-liquid is caught inside the pod’s atomizer coil assembly or airflow chimney

Spitting and gurgling always happen because e-liquid is in a place where it doesn’t belong. Excess e-liquid enters the pod’s atomizer coil assembly, and from there, the air pressure that you create when you vape causes the vape juice to start flowing up the pod’s airflow chimney. The extra juice causes a gurgling sound when you vape. Some of the juice may even enter your mouth. Yuck!

The first thing to know about a gurgling pod system is that you can almost always fix it easily – and fixing a gurgling pod system begins with ensuring that you never overfill your pods. When you fill a vape pod, don’t try to fill it all the way to the top because there needs to be a little room for air. If there isn’t enough room, you’ll push e-liquid into the pod’s atomizer coil assembly when you replace the stopper.

If you’re new to vaping, you should know that the tendency for new vapers is almost always to use too much air pressure when puffing. A cigarette has much more restrictive airflow than most vaping devices, and a cigarette also burns hotter – thus producing more smoke – if you puff harder.

Your pod system, on the other hand, only operates at one temperature regardless of how hard you puff. If you want more vapor, you should puff more deeply – not harder. Use only as much force as is necessary to make your device turn on. If you puff too firmly, you’ll draw excess e-liquid into your device’s atomizer coil assembly, which will cause it to gurgle and spit.

If excess e-liquid is caught in your pod’s airflow chimney, you can fix that when the pod is empty and it’s time to refill it. Remove the pod from your device. While holding a paper towel over the bottom of the pod, blow firmly through the top. Blowing through the pod forces the excess e-liquid out of the pod’s air vents, restoring normal airflow.

Fix a Pod System With a Leaking Pod

If your pod has excess e-liquid inside the atomizer coil assembly, you’ll experience gurgling and spitting – but that’s not all. If the atomizer coil is completely overwhelmed with juice, some of that e-liquid will end up leaking out of the bottom of the pod. You may also experience leaks if the pod’s seal is faulty – in which case, it’s time for a new pod.

You can minimize the chance of a pod leaking by following the advice in the previous section of this article. If you have a pod that’s already started to leak, though, you need to act fast to prevent your pod system from being damaged permanently. Here’s what you need to do.

Remove the pod from the device immediately and use a cotton swab or paper towel to remove as much e-liquid from the inside of the device as you can. If your device has spring-loaded contact pins, press the pins down with a cotton swab to remove some of the e-liquid that may have gotten under the pins.

If a major leak has occurred, you may need to take some more drastic steps to remove the excess moisture from inside your pod system before it can cause permanent damage. With the pod still removed, blow hard through the bottom of your pod system while holding a paper towel against the top. Turn the device over. Can you see e-liquid inside the top of the device? Remove the e-liquid with a paper towel or cotton swab and blow through the device again until you no longer see any vape juice at the top of the device.

Has a leaking pod caused your pod system to stop working entirely? Moisture is the enemy of electronics, and it’s possible that the e-liquid inside your pod system has caused the device to fail permanently. However, it might also be possible for you to revive the device. Do you have any of those desiccant packets that are often found inside bottled vitamins and freeze-dried foods? Seal your pod system in a zip-top bag for a day or two with a couple of those packets. They’ll absorb the ambient moisture, possibly reviving your device in the process. If you have no desiccant packets, try sealing the device in a bag with dry rice instead.


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