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Why Some E-Liquids Crack Plastic Clearomizer Tanks

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How to Avoid Cracking or Melting your ECigarette Vaporizer Tank

Why Some E-Liquids Crack Plastic Clearomizer Tanks

Now that 50% of e-cigarette sales are for vaporizer tank system, more people are buying ecigs and more companies are producing scores of new e-liquid flavors. What vapers (and e-liquid companies) are discovering is that certain e-liquid flavors react to some polycarbonate plastic tanks causing an enzyme reaction that can crack or even melt part of the tank. But before you freak out about enzyme reactions, read on.

Should You Be Concerned About What E-Liquid You Put In Your Tank or Clearomizer?

If you’ve ever had a vaporizer tank crack, you know it can be a very messy ordeal, not to mention a costly one. But there’s no need to panic. You just need to be aware of certain flavors and how they react to some polycarbonate e-liquid tanks.

Mt. Baker Vapor logo 250Large e-liquid companies, like Mt. Baker Vapor recommend using only pyrex or glass Clearomizers and Tanks when you buy certain e-liquid’s that contain acidic enzymes.

At Mt. Baker Vapor, if you order banana, licorice, cinnamon, clove or citrus e-juices you’ll get a warning:

“This flavor has been reported to damage plastic tanks”.

I spoke with an MBV representative who reassured me that the notice is for the most part, a disclaimer.

“Everyone’s experience is going to be different. This is just a general warning of what could happen if you load any of these flavors into a plastic tank.”

In researching this subject I contacted several other popular e-liquid companies.

Virgin Vapor LogoOrganic e-liquid company Virgin Vapor’s representative, Elizabeth confirmed the situation.

“Not all plastics are the same and some interact where others do not. Generally all citrus, cinnamon, and even cola flavors are not compatible with plastic tanks…You can safely vape any flavor in a Pyrex glass tank or a metal one.”

Virgin Vapor has disclaimers on certain e-liquids including their popular Banana Coconut Colada and their Forbidden Fig e-liquid. 

They say it’s not the e-liquid, it’s the heat generated from your atomizer and/or battery that’s causing your tank to crack or melt.

It think that may be a factor, but I also think thinner plastic tanks are more vulnerable to heat and to citric acids.

FireBrandAmerica Liquitine EliquidFirebrandanother excellent e-liquid company has had only one report of a cracked tank when using their Engine9 e-juice.

Brian Gage, Firebrand’s CEO said it’s smart to use pyrex or glass tanks, certainly to avoid any cracking problems, but more importantly to get a more flavorful vape. Firebrand is constantly adding high quality tanks and ecig hardware to their site and the prices are competitive.

What Causes Some E-Liquid to Crack or Corrode a Plastic Clearomizer?

Scientific reports say it’s just natural acids reacting with the plastic polycarbonate. A tank full of fresh squeezed organic orange juice would do the same thing. The reaction has nothing to do with any of the other ingredients in e-liquids.

The acidic e-liquid flavorings bind with the polycarbonate plastic creating esters which weaken the integrity of the plastic, causing cracking or fogging.

Personally, I’ve never experienced a cracked or melted plastic tank with citrus or other suspect e-juices and I usually order 1-3 extra flavor shots when I buy e-liquid from Mt. Baker Vapor.

I will say my non pyrex/glass tanks are not the cheapest you can buy. My Halo Triton Tank has never failed me, but neither have any of my EVOD tanks and they are all polycarbonate plastic.

Perhaps those products are superior, or I’ve just not hit the breaking point or the melting point before I replaced them. Pyrex and glass tanks are made to last, whereas plastic tanks are made to be replaced more often; way before they reach cracking point.

Still Worried About That Acid?

Best New E-Liquids for Vaporizers

You may be thinking, “Wow if an e-liquid can crack a tank what’s it doing to my body?”

Fear not, our body creates far more corrosive chemicals than e-juice. Our digestive systems are made to handle acid, otherwise you’d never be able to eat anything. Your stomach couldn’t digest food without the help of acidic enzymes.

That said, I’d still be concerned about melting plastic leaching into the e-liquid. If you continue to use polycarbonate tanks, get more diligent about choosing your e-liquid flavors.

If you see any change (hazing, cracks, sudden unexpected leaking, etc) in a plastic tank you should throw it away immediately .

If you’re ready for a pyrex or glass clearomizer or tank, I highly recommend the Aspire Atlantas Tank or for a higher end Sub-ohm tank, the Aspire Cleito.

They really do give you a better vaping experience and they definitely won’t melt or crack (unless you drop them on a concrete surface). There’s also no chance of BPA in a glass/pyrex tank.

I buy Kanger and Aspire glass tanks at DirectVapor because they have great discounted prices.  

If you can shed more light on the subject of e-liquids cracking, corroding or fogging your Clearomizer, I’d love to hear about your experience so please leave a comment.

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About the author


Hillary Miles, Cloud Nine’s editor and contributing author has been an advocate of the vaping industry for over 8 years. After a long career writing and producing for national television networks, Hillary now focuses on helping smokers and former smokers better understand the many benefits of electronic cigarettes and the role they play in tobacco harm reduction, health and well being.

She is the editor for Cloud NineSavvy ExaminerBest E-Cigarette Guide and ECigarette News .

Follow Cloud Nine ECig Reviews on Twitter


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  1. Dean Voss

    I purchased Moralachmo Cherry and it melted my top that I fill it with from Vaporistic in Brick NJ What can I do now ?

    1. Hillary

      Hi Dean,

      Yes, Cherry flavors can crack tanks because of the acidity. Get yourself an Aspire Atlas from DirectVapor, or any good pyrex/glass tank that fits your battery.

  2. ken

    My almost new plastic EVOD type tank began leaking within a day or so of putting cinnamon juice in it. Didn’t know better at the time. Switched to glass version of the tank and no problems since.

    1. Chris

      Cinnamon toast Ken

  3. Matt

    I use a isub tank and today it finally cracked. I’ve had it about 2 months and have been trying various juices. But pineapple caused the cracking. So far no leaking or melting that I can see and now have ordered a isub g to stop this happening again as I like my citrus juices..

  4. Amazon

    Very informative!

  5. jj

    I put the virgin vapor fireball 100% vg 12mg/ml nic e-liquid in my halo triton tank and it started to “fog” the plastic mostly just above the liquid. I was planning on getting a good mod with a pyrex glass tank anyway because the triton just doesn’t seem to do too well with the 100% vg thickness.

    1. Hillary

      Hi jj,

      I love my Halo Triton and so far (years) I’ve never had it fog or crack. I also love Virgin Vapor’s 100% vg flavors but I’m not sure if I ever used a citrus flavor in my Halo so thanks for the heads up!

  6. vanessa

    I just ordered from a new company…mt dew flavor, what I have been ordering for 2 years. I didn’t read the disclaimer and went through 3 plastic tanks before I figured out it was the liquid that was making them EXPLODE!! The whole tops of my tanks blew off shooting liquid all over my purse and then couch! Definitely ordering a glass tank now!

    1. Hillary

      OMG Vanessa. Yes, glass/pyrex is the way to go if you want to be sure that doesn’t happen again. The flavor and ingredients of the e-liquid and the quality of plastic in you tank are both contributors. I have both glass and plastic tanks and I’ve been lucky with my (non-glass) Halo Triton Tank which seem to be very strong, but there are no guarantees. Thanks for commenting!

  7. Andrew

    Just a quick note polycarbonate is resistant to all acids.. it in not resistant to alkiline substances e.g gycerin glycol nicotine ect it melts it! breaking down the carbon stucture as it does to the body at high levels of ingestion causing ulcers and other nasty problems like infection wich leads further down the path to cancer so dont use poly carbonate unless it is used with a product that is nutral to slightly acidic…and same goes with e juice and the body especialy with nicotine in it!! The PH of e juice is around 8 wich after time will change the body to a high alkiline state causing the above mentioned problems so the e juice really needs to be PH BALANCED for everyones health (the reason we started vaping)..Thanks and please pass on my message so we can move to a safer vaping future and so we can get the manufactures and suppliers of these products to Balace the PH so it is safe fo us to use…:)

    1. Piersonrife

      Your statement contradicts the evidence. People are experiencing damaged tanks when they use acidic juices, not the other way around – as you are suggesting.

      1. M40

        This is not a function of acidity (or alkilinity). People are experiencing these problems when they use juices that have strong flavors. Strong flavor extracts typically contain triacetyl. And triacetyl eats polycarb and similar plastic compounds.

        This is actually quite well known, and several studies have shown this. A good many eliquid manufacturers are now sourcing triacetyl-free flavor extracts. This is why some ejuice manufacturers can produce citrus and other strong flavors that are absolutely fine in polycarb tanks, while others offer the same flavor… but it will damage tanks. One additive… that’s it.

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