How to Avoid Cracking or Melting your ECigarette Vaporizer Tank
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.
Large 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.
Organic 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.
Firebrand, another 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?
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.