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8 Reasons Your Pod Vape is Leaking and How to Fix It

It’s an inevitability; vapes will leak and this can happen even if you choose to use a more beginner-friendly pod system. Not constantly, and to varying degrees, but it’s just something you will have to get used to if you decide that vaping is a better choice than smoking. It is better too, so a little bit of ejuice leaking out is surely worth putting up with. 

However, that’s not to say that there is nothing you can do to make leaking less common. Sometimes, leaking is due to a faulty product, but most other times leaks are caused by user error. That means it is usually well within your power to prevent or fix a leaking pod vape. 

Here are some of the most common causes of a leaky pod vape, along with simple ways to fix or prevent those leaks.


Filling the Pod Incorrectly

There are several common filling mistakes that new vapers make, ranging from adding too much eliquid to adding it in the wrong place. But don’t be discouraged, as it’s easy to prevent leaks if you know the correct technique. 

How to Avoid Leaks: Although tempting to try to get as much e-liquid into your vape as possible, you should always stop filling just before the pod is full. The gap that you leave will become a bubble of air when the cap or bung is replaced. The minor vacuum effect that results from the air bubble helps prevent the ejuice from leaking out through the airflow holes. 

With that in mind, try to fill the tank quickly. Until the pod is resealed and upright, there is no vacuum effect to prevent the eliquid from draining out through the airflow channels. The longer you take to fill the pod, the more likely it is that e-liquid will drain into the airflow holes. 

Finally, try not to squirt the vape liquid directly at the wicking ports cut into the side of the coil. These small holes in the coil are what allow liquid to be drawn through to the atomizer head. If the nozzle of the vape juice bottle is pressed directly against these holes, it can force excess liquid through. This can then leak out through the top or even the bottom of the coil. 


The Coil is Poorly Installed

  • Reasons your pod vape is leaking - 5 (1)
    The flat edge of this coil not lined up correctly.

Fixed, non-removable coils are common in pod vapes, but many still use user-replaceable coils. Removable and replaceable coils give you much more room for customizing the way that you vape with a pod system but they also come with some downsides. 

Understanding how to properly replace a coil is essential if you want to reduce the chance of e-liquid leaking out through unwanted gaps. 

How to Avoid Leaks: Ensure that the replaceable coil you are using is the right one for your pod vape. Most modern pod vape coils look very similar in terms of size and shape, so buying the wrong one isn’t beyond the realms of possibility. 

Most removable coils are shaped in some way to ensure that they only fit into the pod they are supposed to be used with (although not always). When installing the coil, ensure that any shaped section is lined up with the corresponding shaped part of the hole in the pod. If you don’t, the coil and the rubber seals that prevent leaks might not be seated correctly. For example, your coil may have a flat edge that needs to line up with a flat cutout where you insert the coil. 

But this isn’t the only time your vape coil can lead to leaking liquid.


Using an Old or Burnt Coil

At a certain point, the wicking material in your vape coil stops being able to absorb the e-liquid as efficiently. That can be because the wick is old and overused, or is burnt and the material is beginning to break down. If either of these situations occurs, your vape is probably going to start leaking. 

How to Avoid Leaks: Change the coil/cartridge in your vape regularly. How often you will need to change the coil depends on the brand, how much you vape, and how well you maintain the coil (priming it, keeping it soaked, not puffing too heavily/long, etc.).

The average lifespan of a modern pre-built coil is somewhere around two weeks. Learn to notice the signs that your coil is failing, which include a burnt taste, reduction in flavor, more spit back than usual, and the draw feeling looser. 


Cracked, Damaged, or Faulty Pods

Reasons your pod vape is leaking - 6

Although pods are rarely, if ever, made from glass like traditional 510 tanks, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be damaged. Dropping a pod onto a hard surface can easily crack the plastic and even squeezing a pod too hard can cause the various components to split apart. 

You don’t have to handle your pods with kid gloves but taking a bit of extra care will ensure that they stay free from leaks.

How to Avoid Leaks: If you drop a pod, check that it is still intact and unbroken before placing it back into the vape. This means checking not only the main “tank” section for cracks, but also the base where the airflow channels, magnets, and battery contacts are found. 

Although vape pod design has improved a lot in recent years, they are still relatively cheap, mass-produced pieces of plastic. As such, you can’t rule out the possibility that your brand-new, undamaged pod is faulty right out of the box. If your pod is leaking, and you have ruled out the other possible causes in this list, it’s worth simply trying a different pod. 

The best way to avoid faulty or badly designed pods is to choose a vape from a well-known and well-respected brand such as Vaporesso, Geekvape, Voopoo, or OXVA. These aren’t the only good vape brands but are good places to start looking for the best devices. 


The Vape Device and Your Vaping Style Don’t Match

While some pod vapes can be used in a Direct-to-Lung (DL) style, most are designed for Mouth-to-Lung (MTL) or Restricted Direct-to-Lung (RDL) styles. Trying to use a MTL vape for DL vaping (and vice versa) can lead to the vape leaking. 

MTL vaping uses low-power settings, higher-resistance coils, and less airflow. If you try DL vaping on this setup, the extra airflow and (usually) longer draw time will likely flood the coil. Trying to MTL vape on a DL setup can lead to the same problem. 

If you’re new to vaping and still unsure what any of these terms mean, check out our guide to the differences between MTL, DL, and RDL vaping

How to Avoid Leaks: Match the vape device, coil resistance, and power settings to the style of vaping you prefer. Your vaping style can evolve over time, but so should the type of vape that you use. 

It’s also important to consider the airflow setting on your vape. Having the airflow too far open on a low-power pod and pen-style vape can prevent the auto-fire action from working efficiently, resulting in the same problem of flooding as described above. 

If you are someone who likes to switch between styles depending on your mood, consider buying a vape for MTL and another for DL vaping. It isn’t impossible to find pod vapes that can do both reasonably well, but it will still require constant switching between settings, coils, and vape liquids. 


Using the Wrong E-liquid

Reasons your pod vape is leaking - 2

Using the wrong e-liquid for the coil inside your vape is another common cause of small leaks. Different vape liquids have different viscosity levels, depending on the ratio of ingredients. VG is thicker than PG, so liquid with high PG content tends to flow more easily than high VG liquids. 

Higher resistance coils will usually have smaller wicking ports and this makes it harder for e-liquid to flow through the wicking holes. The opposite is true for low-resistance coils which usually have larger wicking ports to allow for more to pass ejuice through. With this in mind, a thin eliquid (high PG, low VG) combined with a low-resistance (sub-ohm) coil can result in leakage.

How to Avoid Leaks: There are a couple of ways to prevent the cause of this type of leak, both of which should be pretty obvious by now. You can either change the coil to one with a higher resistance or change the liquid to something with a higher VG content. Generally, a rule to stick by is:

  • Low-resistance coil = Use high-VG liquid
  • High-resistance coil = Use low-VG liquid

The other upside to remembering this simple rule is that using the correct liquid means coils usually last longer and will be less likely to get clogged up. 


Not Enough Power

Many modern pod vapes allow the user to alter the power level. However, in many cases this is done automatically; the chip inside the device detects the coil resistance and changes the power level accordingly. With a vape that allows the wattage level to be changed manually, the wrong power setting can result in leakage. 

This is particularly true for vapes designed to use low-resistance coils (anything less than 1 ohm resistance, known as sub-ohm, is considered a low-resistance coil). If the power is too low, the atomizer head will not be able to effectively vaporize all of the eliquid drawn through the coil, resulting in flooding. Any unvaporized e-liquid is then free to seep out through the coil housing.

How to Avoid Leaks: The most obvious solution is to increase the power level until the problem stops. However, doing this will mean that more vapor is produced with each puff, something that not everyone wants or enjoys. In that case, switching to a coil with slightly higher resistance should help. Less eliquid will be drawn into the coil, making a low-power setting less of a problem. 

But low power settings aren’t the only potential problem in a pod vape. Using a vape with a low battery can also mean that not enough power gets to the coil. Modern, good-quality pod vapes are designed to compensate for this problem, but it’s still worth keeping your battery topped up as much as possible. 


Vape Isn’t Kept Upright

Reasons your pod vape is leaking - 1

Vapes, almost without exception, will be less likely to leak if they are kept upright. If a vape is kept horizontal for any length of time, particularly if the tank is less than half full, one or more of the airflow holes may be uncovered. This leads to the vacuum effect we discussed earlier being lost and the possibility of leaks increasing. 

But even upright vapes will leak if left unused for too long. This applies to mod, pod, and pen-style vapes. 

How to Avoid Leaks: Keep your vape upright as much as possible, even between puffs. If your device needs to be laid down when charging because of the location of the charging port, consider removing the pod and keeping that part upright. 

If you keep your vape in your pants pocket, remember that even if it’s upright when you are standing, it will likely be horizontal (or upside down) when you sit. 

And if you don’t plan on using a vape for an extended period of time, empty the pod before you store it. If you can’t drain the remaining liquid, store the pod separately from the battery section on something absorbent. 


The Bottom Line

The reasons for a leaking pod vape are many and varied but are most often down to user error. This includes filling the pod incorrectly, using the wrong eliquid for your coil, or not using enough power. However, by following the advice in this guide, and with a few changes to how you use your e-cigarette, there is no reason why you can’t make leaking a non-existent, or at least very minor, problem.

Did you find these tips helpful? Leave us a comment down below!

Russ Ware Author Picture 2

Russ Ware

Russ is a UK-based Staff Writer for Versed Vaper who has been in journalism for more than two decades, having previously written for tech publications like Lifewire. He tried vaping in 2015 but the setup that he was using wasn’t quite right and so he didn’t enjoy it at first. However, after going back and forth between vaping and smoking for a couple of years, he started experimenting with different coils, power levels, and mixing his own vape juice. The rest is history and Russ has been a devoted vaper ever since. Russ is a passionate writer and he produces reviews, news, and well-researched informational articles for our site. When Russ is not testing or writing about vapes, he likes to travel, read true crime, and eat anything with lots of chilies.

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