Vaporizers are on the rise as the most popular way to consume dry herbs, waxes and oils. They come in many varieties, each with different features and capabilities. The market currently offers devices that are specifically for one type of substance, like herbs or concentrates, and others that can do both. Portable vape pens can vary in price range depending on the style, function and features. Vaporizers are discrete, convenient to use and extremely portable compared to other methods of consumption. As wonderful as these devices are, they sometimes have issues or break, especially more sophisticated models, usually in a fashion that is easily fixable.
There are several common errors that vape users experience, outlined below. Most of the troubles you might experience depend of the style and type of vape you are using. Some problems are even brand or model specific.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
Whether your vaporizer is for herbs or concentrates, there are several issues that you can run into. We’ve laid out the three most common below:
- Vaporizer Won’t Turn On – This is a very common issue amongst vapers, especially beginners! Most vapes are turned on by clicking the power button 5 times in a row. These clicks should be in rapid succession, so do it quickly. Don’t worry about clicking it too many times. Also, be sure the vape has been fully charged before trying to turn it on if you are experiencing this issue.
- Vaporizer Won’t Charge – Troubleshooting this issue is easy enough. First, make sure that the device is entirely and firmly connected to the charger. Next, check that you are using the proper power device. The charger, adaptor or outlet you are using may not be powerful enough to handle the energy required for charging. You’ll also want to make sure there are no frayed wires or loose connections. Finally, try a different charger all together, just make sure that it’s suitable for the vape pen you have.
- 510 Threading Mismatch – There are pre-filled cartridges and matching pens for vaping available. This style of vape usually has a 510 thread connection. These threads are very small, and easy to get misaligned. If you’re having issues screwing together your 510 battery or cartridge, make sure that the threads are lined up correctly. If you are still having issues, you may be facing another common problem. There are other thread counts out there. Make sure that you aren’t trying to screw together two different gages of thread.
These are just the most common issues amongst portable vape pens, with more specific issues to follow. However, it is important to note that vaporizers do eventually completely fail. If you have tried everything, the potential solution just might be to replace the old device.
Common Dry Herb Vaporizer Issues
There’s hundreds of dry herb specific vaporizers on the market. These devices are great, but they don’t always work like they should. Here are some common issues you might face.
- No Vapor Production – If your vape is not producing clouds of vapor, there are several things to check. First, make sure the temperature is high enough. The optimal range for dry herb vaping is between 350-420°F. Make sure the herb is ground finely enough; big chunks of material will not vaporize. Also, be sure you are giving the vape enough time to heat. It could take up to 90 seconds before the device is ready. Note that herb vape clouds are lighter and less dense than those of e-liquids, even at the highest temperatures.
- Difficult to Draw – Herbs are sticky and leave behind resin after being vaporized. Over time, this resin builds up, collecting from screen to mouthpiece. If your device has been difficult to pull from, your screen is probably clogged. It’s just a matter of taking the device apart and cleaning or changing out the screen. Refer to the device’s manual for the best way to care for your vape. Regular maintenance and upkeep of your device will keep this issue from happening.
- Smoke Not Vapor – At too high of temperatures, herbs combust and turn to ash, causing it smoke. There is a chance you might have a combustion vape. These work by heating the product around 450°F. Using a glass screen in these devices will help. You can also look into convection vapes. These devices use hot air instead of direct contact to vaporize material. This is much healthier than combusting herbs as the device does not produce smoke.
- Mouthpiece Too Hot – Many vaporizers can get to temperatures up to 500°F; that’s hot! Unfortunately this heat can transfer to the mouthpiece, making it nearly impossible to enjoy vaping. When this happens, you have a couple of choices. The first is to stop and wait for the device to cool before using. The other option is to check out mouthpiece extensions. They are usually made out of rubber or silicon and help keep the mouthpiece cool during use.
Common Wax Vaporizer Issues
Wax specific vape pens are gaining popularity each day. Like dry herb vapes, there are several issues that may occur when using, some brand specific others common. Here is a quick look at some common problems.
- Sticky Mess – Wax is sticky. When it gets hot, it turns into a gooey liquid that travels with air flow and gravity. Over time, the wax can build up inside, making it difficult to open. When this happens, it’s time to clean the vape. To avoid this issue in the future, don’t overpack the device. Also, keep the pen upright, especially right after use while the wax is still hot.
- Coil Won’t Heat – First, make sure the inner coil is attached properly. Wax vapes will require coil replacements from time to time as they burn out or get overused. To prevent this, don’t poke the coils or overpack them. Too much power will burn out the coil. If you are using box mod, use caution.
- Poor Taste – The quality of concentrates can vary greatly. Poor quality waxes are not as tasty as higher quality ones. Coils will eventually get covered in spent concentrate. If you are using high quality waxes and still have flavor trouble, try replacing the coils to improve the taste of your experience.
Common Oil Vaporizer Issues
Like other vapes, oil only styles come with common issues (as well as brand specific), here are a few and ways to troubleshoot.
- Coil or Atomizer Not Functioning – There are several reasons for this issue. Check that the part is connected completely. Next, check that the part is not burnt out and in need of replacement. Small cartridges, like those for 510 threads, don’t need as much power. Oil vapes can output quite a bit of power. If you run it too high, the coil will burn out. Finally, check the battery is fully charged and working properly.
- Sticky Mess – Like wax vapes, oils can leave behind a sticky goo. This is especially true for cheap models and cartridges, which have been known to leak more with each use. Keep the vape in an upright position and regularly maintenanced to keep down messes.
- Burnt Taste – If you use an oil vape before adding any oil, it will likely burn the cotton wick. If this happens, going forward everything will be tainted in flavor. The only solution is to change your atomizer or coil.
Common Box Mod Issues
Here are some common troubles you may run into while using a box mod.
- Atomizer Not Functioning – First, check that all components are connected properly. They should fit snugly, but don’t screw the parts together too tightly. Box mods are smart vape batteries that are more powerful that normal pens. They take less time to heat. If the material is not vaping like you’d like, check the power output and try turning up or down. A box mod that’s been run too high can burn out and may be completely dead.
- Advanced Vape Battery – While this is not exactly an issue, many vape batteries have various functions, including variable watt control. This can be confusing! Make sure to check the manual and other sources for how to best operate and utilize your device.
- Burnt Taste – Like with oil vapes, if you heat the device dry, you might burn out the wick, causing a burnt flavor going forward. If this happens, just change to coil or atomizer.
Above are just the most common issues vape users experience. However, there are plenty of brand and model specific problems you might run into, so be sure to do plenty of research. If you have done everything you can to troubleshoot the problems with your device to no avail, there is the chance that your vape is completely dead and in need of replacement. This happens to all devices eventually. There are always newer and better vapes coming out everyday when it comes time to replace your old model.