Mech Mods 101: 11 Mech Mod Safety Tips To Help You Keep Vape Safe
Mechanical mods and rebuildable atomizers are a logical step to take in your vaping game if you are looking for thicker vapor production or stronger flavor. If you have done your research and have a great understanding of Ohm’s Law and how it relates to your batteries and coil builds, unregulated vaping definitely makes sense for you.
No matter how much research you do, it is always a good idea to keep these following tips in mind so that when you are vaping with an unregulated device you are well aware of how to stay on the safer side.
1. Buy A Mechanical Mod With Vent / Air Holes
When you are at the store or looking over a mech mod at your local b&m do a thorough check to see if it has any built in air holes. These are usually placed near the bottom of the body or on the bottom of the mod.
These vents are extremely important in allowing gases to escape if your battery were ever to fail while inside your mod. If a mod that you are looking at has no visible air holes, it is best that you consider a different mechanical mod for your vaping needs.
2. Regularly check your atomizer’s resistance & to make sure it hasn’t short-circuted
Unlike your LAVATUBE, which has built in protective measures, a mechanical mod will still fire even when it has shorted. If you have just re-built your coils, definitely check its resistance to make sure it is compatible with what your battery can handle—do this BEFORE you place it on your mod. When you add the wick, it doesn’t hurt to check it one more time before use.
3. Consider purchasing a multimeter so that you can check your mech mod for shorts too, not just your coil build.
A short can also occur in your device, not just your atomizer. By using a multimeter, without a battery inside of it, take one probe and touch the positive pin of your mech mod, then place the other probe on the body. If the meter reads any resistance, it indicates that the current is flowing and you may have a short in your mod.
Keep in mind though that some multimeters has its own resistance or “lead resistance”. To check if your model has one, touch both probes together and it should display the multimeter’s lead resistance. This number should be subtracted from what is displayed on the meter when you are testing your atomizer for you to get your atomizer’s true resistance.
Example: While testing say that your multimeter has a lead resistance of 0.5ohms. You check your atomizer build and it reads 2.0ohms. Your atomizer may just be 1.5 since you had to subtract the lead resistance of 0.5ohms that your multimeter begins with.
4. NEVER, ever stack batteries.
When you stack batteries, it means you place one on top of the other in a series so that together they produce a higher voltage. Doing so also adds a lot more stress on each battery, greatly increasing its chances of failing.
Not all batteries are made to handle this type of use and most aren’t capable of being used in this way. Another problem that stacking produces is over-discharge, one battery may be fully charged with the other only be half-full. With the two being used together, one will eventually over-discharge and will place more stress on the battery.
5. Prevent your mech mod from accidentally firing when not in use by taking out your battery.
The easiest way to prevent this is to take your battery out of your device when storing it in your pocket or bag. When your battery is not in a device, store it in a battery holder (you never ever want a battery kept freely in a pocket full of metallic items like keys or coins).
Some mechanical mods like the PELE has a built in locking mechanism. If your mod has this feature, always remember to place it in the “lock” position when not in use. But most mods do not have this feature so it is always just best to take your battery out if you aren’t going to use it straight away.
6. Do not over-charge your battery.
If you are able to, purchase a battery charger that has a screen, which displays the current charge rate of your battery. If you don’t own a multi-meter you can always pop your battery on the charger and easily read its current charge rate.
Your battery should not go beyond 4.2 volts, although some brands (as indicated) have a +/- 0.05v in their specs that let them go up to 4.25 volts. If the battery ever goes above what the manufacturer has indicated, it would be best to not use that battery anymore or check to see if your charger is causing your batteries to be overcharged. In that case you need a new charger straightaway.
7. Whenever you are placing your battery into your mech mod, make sure you never put it in inverted.
Accidentally placing an inverted battery into your mod and having the wrong ends touch can lead to immediate shorts. This can fry your entire system and cause your battery to fail. Whenever you are setting up your mod, always double check that you are placing your battery in correctly.
8. Avoid using batteries that have a low charge or aren’t fully charged.
Another way to cause your battery to fail prematurely is by using it when it is already past its discharge threshold. In other words, using it when it is way below empty.
Li-Mn batteries typically hold a capacity of 4.2 volts when it is fully charged. As it is used this voltage will drop. Depending on its quality and manufacturer, batteries can be safely used until the voltage has dropped to 3.6 or 3.3 volts.
It is recommended that when your battery has dropped to 3.6 volts, you should consider it as “empty”—the drop in flavor and vapor production should be a good indicator for that as well. When it reaches this mark (by checking with your multimeter), it is time to switch to a fresh battery and pop that one on a charger.
9. Only use safe chemistry or protected battery types.
There are many types of batteries out on the market that are advertised as safe to use with mechanical mods. The most common types used nowadays are IMR and ICR. If you opt to use an ICR battery, ALWAYS make sure that it is a protected ICR as it has a layer of protection that will prevent the battery from shorting out or having discharge issues.
It is recommended though that you use Li-Mn IMR batteries as these types of batteries have a more stable chemistry than ICR batteries. IMR batteries are less likely than ICR batteries to fail in a high-drain setting. This is due to their more stable chemical composition, that even though they do not have built-in protection they are still safer than ICR’s with a protection unit.
10. Maintain your mechanical mod & RBA’s weekly.
Taking your mech mod and RBA apart on a weekly to bi-weekly basis and giving them a good wide down is always a good idea. Taking them apart and cleaning the 510-connections / pins & the threading will always insure that your mod / RBA always has a clean connection.
Weekly maintenance will also give you a chance to learn all of the ins & outs of your device that way if something is ever off with its appearance or performance, you will know right away.
11. NEVER EVER Throw loose batteries in your pocket or bag.
Placing loose batteries in a pocket or bag is one thing you should NEVER do as it puts your batteries at risk of touching other mettalic items like loose change or your keys. Any metallic item that can touch your battery's negative or positive contacts to causing it to discharge and make them vent immediately--this could happen in a matter of seconds.
Avoid this noob mistake by keeping your batteries safely stored in a hard case or silicone wrap (available here), both of these types of cases will prevent your batteries from getting into contact with metallic items and will also guard them from accidental drops.
Rebuildable atomizers and mechanical mods are best suited for advanced vapers only. These devices should not be used by a person who does not have the understanding of how to build in a safe manner. All rebuildable atomizers and mech mods should always be tested with a multimeter / ohmmeter before use. Please rebuild safely and use at your own risk.