In recent years, vaping has significantly risen in popularity. One of the most common methods for vaping concentrates is with oil cartridges. This is due to their availability, affordability, and the wide variety of options.
Unfortunately, like most devices, oil vape cartridges can malfunction. When your oil cartridge quit working, the first thing you need to determine is what is wrong. To help figure out the issue, you first need to go through a few quick troubleshooting questions and tests.
OIL VAPE CARTRIDGE
DO THE VAPE AND CARTRIDGE CONNECT PROPERLY?
If your cartridge will not fully screw in, then most likely your vape and cartridge are not connected properly. Yet it is important to remember, even when it does screw in, it can still be possible for connectivity issues. For example, the vape battery contact can be too deep for the vape cartridge to reach. Whereas this is a rare occurrence, it does happen.
IS THE VAPE CARTRIDGE CLOGGED?
When it comes to vaping, at some point your device will have build-up that will clog up your device. Although it is an annoying issue, it is not a major one. In fact, oil cartridges can be clogged, especially within the first few moments of trying to take your hit. If it is a minor clog, you can often warm up the cartridge or rip the power button to open the airway. Therefore, if you see any vapor slipping out the sides when you are unable to pull anything, this is typically the issue. To help prevent clogs from occurring, you should avoid over-filling, spitting liquid, storing your device in conditions that can change the oil consistency, or having your device sit too long without usage.
IS THE VAPE BATTERY CHARGED AND ON?
If your cartridge isn’t heating up at all, double-check to ensure your vape battery is powered on. Depending upon your vape pen, some will shut off after a specific amount of inactivity. Nevertheless, if the vape is on and the cartridge still won’t heat, you should try removing the cartridge and reattach it. Also if you have an extra vape battery handy, you can switch them out to help determine if the battery is part of the problem.
DOES THE VAPE BATTERY PROVIDE ENOUGH POWER?
When you are trying to use your cartridge, but are not getting any vapor, you should try turning the temperature (or power) up a little bit. Like many devices, different types of cartridges can require more power, less power, or higher temperatures to obtain the desired amount of vapor.
HAVE YOU GIVEN THE VAPOR TIME TO FORM?
Obtaining vapor from an oil cartridge is typically fairly instant. However, other factors can alter the amount of time it takes for vapor to occur. For example, a cold environment or vaping with lower temperatures can require additional time for the cartridge to heat up and produce the desired amount of vapor.
WERE YOU EXPECTING SMOKE?
It is important to understand vapor and smoke are very different. Smoke is thick and easily seen, although vapor is light and is often barely visible at certain settings. Due to this, users (especially new users) may expect to see a more visual smoke appearance. Whereas vapers should never expect smoke clouds, you can obtain a thicker vapor if you turn up the heat of your device.
ARE YOU USING A WICK-BASED, OR CERAMIC-BASED VAPE CARTRIDGE?
Wick-based and ceramic-based vape cartridges offer their own distinct advantages. Ceramic-based cartridges are better for creating thicker vapors, while wick-based cartridges are more ideal for thinner oils. Although they each have their own benefits, they do require different amounts of power to obtain the same amount of vapor. Plus when you power a wick coil without any concentrate inside, it will affect both the flavor and any vapor used with the coil going forward.
REASONS A CARTRIDGE BURNS OUT
TOO MUCH POWER BEING SENT
One of the most common reasons for a cartridge to burnout is having too much power being sent.
POWER BUTTON HEAVY
The amount of power being sent is only one factor. Another key component that can impact how long a cartridge will work is how long the power is being sent to the coil. Unless the device requires additional power to create the vapor, it is important to give the coil time to relax by letting up on the power button.
The longer you use a cartridge the more likely it can burn out. Whether it is continuous usage, chain vaping, or using a refillable cartridge long-term. Although re-fillable cartridges can be reused, there is an expiration date. Over time, it may still work, but it will slowly become more prone to burnouts and other types of malfunctions.
Just like any product, not all cartridges are created equal. Some offer a higher quality and can last much longer, while others may cost less but are more prone to burnouts.
DETERMINING THE FATE & FIXING AN OIL CARTRIDGE
Once you have evaluated and tested your oil cartridge, you should know what the current problem is with your vaporizer or oil cartridge. If the device is not the issue, then the cartridge is the issue. Once you know it is the oil cartridge, you can fix the problem. Within the Vape Juice category and among larger cartridges, if the coil won’t fire up, you may need to replace the coil. Unfortunately, most oil cartridges cannot fix their heating element. This is because oil cartridges (even re-fillable options) have a built-in heating element rather than a replaceable one. Therefore, if an oil cartridge ultimately does not work, it is deemed dead and useless. Nonetheless, even if you’re cartridge is no longer viable, the oil concentrate inside can still be spared.
HOW TO TRANSFER OIL FROM A VAPE CARTRIDGE
Once you have determined you have a dead cartridge, it doesn’t mean the end of your oil concentrate. You can still salvage the remainder for usage. Two of the most common methods are to transfer the oil to a refillable cartridge or to use by dabbing.
TRANSFER TO A REFILLABLE CARTRIDGE
Most users prefer to use their oil concentrate as intended, and to do so, you will need an oil syringe. To transfer the oil from a broken cartridge, you start by obtaining a new cartridge. Place the opened cartridge in an easy to reach location where it will not spill. Unscrew the mouthpiece, and using an oil syringe dip the tip into a broken cartridge to withdraw the remaining oil. Place the syringe into the new refillable cartridge and push the oil inside. Continue to transfer the oil until you are satisfied.
USE THE SPARE CONCENTRATE FOR DABBING
Transferring oil for dabbing is often done with a syringe. However, the most common method is to simply let the oil drip out of the inside of your broken cartridge onto either the dab nail or a piece of parchment paper. If for some reason the concentrate is to thick to come out, you can use a lighter to loosen things up by running it back and forth on the glass. Just be sure not to heat it up too much. Otherwise, the heat can build up enough to burn or vaporize the concentrate.
WHERE TO BUY OIL CARTRIDGES
Whether you’re looking for re-fillable oil cartridges, vaporizers, or replacement parts, you can find anything you need at your local head or vape shop.