In recent years, vapes have become incredibly popular, but with the number of vapes, both refillable and disposable, that are now in circulation, one thing’s for sure – and that’s that a certain number of them will inevitably end up being accidentally dropped in water.
But when this happens, does it mean the end of your vape? Or is there anything you can do to save it? To give you all the info you need, in this post, we answer the question, what happens if you drop a vape in water?
How does a vape work?
Before we start to think about what happens if you drop a vape in water and what you might try to do to save it, first, let’s talk about how vapes work to help us understand how they might go wrong.
Nowadays, there is a huge range of vaping devices available on the market, and they can include many innovative features – but essentially, when you break things down, they all work in broadly the same way.
At the most basic level, all vapes consist of three main parts, the battery, the atomizer and the cartridge containing the e-liquid or vape juice.
The battery provides the power for the atomizer, which, in turn, vaporizes the vape juice from the cartridge for you to breathe into your mouth.
With refillable vapes, many of the internal parts are accessible, and you can strip a vape down to dry it if it gets wet – but with disposable vapes, everything may be sealed inside, making it harder to gain access if you have an accident.
What Happens if You Drop a Vape in Water?
Like any electrical device, getting a vape wet is a bad idea – you wouldn’t want to get your smartphone wet (although more and more of them are waterproof nowadays – as are some vapes).
This is because electricity and water don’t mix, and if you do get your vape wet, it can lead to many problems, which may include some or all of the following:
A short circuit is when an electrical current takes an unintended path with little or no electrical impedance, causing too much current to flow through the circuit, something that can be caused by water entering the device.
When this happens, it can cause the battery to discharge, or the vape may just cease to function.
Water can also damage the battery itself. When this happens, the battery becomes a fire risk and so should no longer be used.
In a vape, the coil is the part of the atomizer that heats up to vaporize the vape juice. If it gets wet, it may burn out, which may cause it to smoke, or the vapor may taste burnt. It may also just stop working altogether.
If the tank is compromised by the water or damage resulting from the water, the tank’s seal may fail and the vape juice may leak out.
In addition to these problems, if your vape comes into contact with salt water, it can also cause the internal components to corrode, which may also cause it to stop functioning correctly.
What to do if your vape falls into water?
If your vape falls into water, the first thing you should do is remove it from the water, switch it off and disassemble the parts.
Remove the battery and take out the cartridge, and then try to remove as much of the excess water as you can with a paper towel or a piece of cloth.
Following this, you should then leave the whole thing open and place it somewhere to dry. Ideally, this should be somewhere with no chance of your vape getting wet again but with good ventilation or even with a slight breeze.
After 24 hours, you can reassemble the vape and carefully turn it back on.
Keep an eye on what is happening, and if it starts smoking or if you notice any strange smells, it’s best to switch it back off and take it to a professional vaping shop to get someone to have a look at it for you.
However, if you’re lucky, the vape may have dried out completely with no lasting damage done, in which case you can just continue using it as normal.
What to do if your disposable vape falls into water?
Disposable vapes are extremely convenient devices that you can buy for much less than a refillable version, and they’re often on sale in places like bars, making them easy to find if you suddenly feel like vaping while you’re on a night out.
However, one of the disadvantages of a disposable vape is that everything is contained inside, so if it gets wet, it’s much harder to take apart to dry.
This means if your disposable vape gets wet, all you can do is disassemble as much of it as you can – if this is even possible – and then leave it somewhere to dry as explained above.
After 24 hours, you can carefully test it again – if it works, so much the better, but if not, you should just dispose of it as you would with any other disposable vape and buy a new one.
Are there any ways to save a soggy vape?
If you drop your vape in water, there are a couple of methods you can try to increase its chances of survival – and here they are:
The rice method
A tried and tested method for saving all kinds of electrical devices is the rice method, and if your vape gets wet, it’s something that’s definitely worth a go.
All you need to do is place your vape and all its components in a bag of dry rice and leave it for 24 hours.
Rice absorbs water and moisture, so the idea is that it will suck any remaining moisture out of the different parts of your vape.
After 24 hours, you can then try the vape to see if the rice trick did the job.
This is a particularly useful method with disposable vapes since you can’t take them apart to dry the parts separately.
Note that if you use this technique, you shouldn’t eat the rice after because it may also have absorbed traces of toxic chemicals from within your vape.
The hairdryer method
If you don’t have a bag of rice to hand, you can also try the hairdryer method.
If anything, this is even simpler and consists of simply using a hairdryer on its lowest heat setting to try to blow the vape dry inside.
If you try this, just make sure you don’t use a higher heat setting since you may end up damaging the vape further, and you might even burn your hand.
Can you still use a vape that’s been dropped in water?
If you drop a vape in water, it doesn’t 100% mean that it’s dead – but due to the internal electrical components, there’s a good chance it will be.
All you can do is try to dry your vape out as we’ve explained above and then cross your fingers – and if you’re lucky, your vape might switch back on as normal after the drying is complete.
However, even if it does appear to be in working order, you should still keep an eye on it while using it for the next few days or so because sometimes the damage may take some time to manifest itself.
Do all vapes die when they get wet?
No, not all vapes die when they get wet – although many will.
It all depends on how much water you get on your vape. For example, if you drop it in a bath, fully submerging it, your vape is probably doomed.
Similarly, vapes that are dropped in saltwater or a cup of coffee, for example, probably have less chance of surviving than a vape that gets dropped in a glass of water.
However, if your vape just receives a slight splash, then your chances are much higher of you your vape continuing to work.
On the other hand, more and more vapes are now appearing that are designed to be used in more rigorous conditions, and these vapes may be water resistant or even fully waterproof, in which case, there won’t be a problem.
How likely is it that a vape will stop working if it gets wet?
As mentioned above, this depends on how much water you’re talking about, but if we’re talking about a vape that’s been fully submerged, you’ll have to accept the fact that the chances of your vape surviving the experience aren’t good.
Act quickly to save your vape
So as we’ve seen, if you drop your vape in water, if you act quickly, you might be able to save it – but depending on the circumstances and the model of vape you have, the odds might not be in your favor.
However, the best advice if you want to avoid this happening…is not to drop your vape in water in the first place!