The quality of your vape batteries matters, and it affects your vaping experience, so taking good care of your batteries is important. Want to learn all the ins and out of battery transportation? Need to know how your batteries should be stored safely in order to prolong their lives? Maybe you just need to know how to charge them properly. We’ve got you covered.
General Battery Safety
Always read the user manual for your device or charger before you first use (or charge) a new mod or charger. Most user manuals will include specific charging or battery installation instructions that you should always follow.
Always use an appropriate charger, whether that is a dedicated Li-ion battery charger for your high-amp Li-ion batteries or the correct USB cable and wall adapter for charging devices with a built-in (non-removable) battery. You should never charge your device or batteries using a vehicle charger, a power bank, or any other portable charger. Always use a wall adapter with the appropriate rating for your device (as found in your user manual) for USB charging.
Only use batteries recommended for your device; not all Li-ion batteries are created equal. You should only purchase high amperage Li-ion batteries that are advertised or sold for vaping products.
Don’t mix different brands or types of batteries, use batteries with different charge levels, or use old and new batteries together – we’ll talk more about that later in the battery pairing section.
Do not remove or disable any safety features on your device or chargers. This may include fire lock buttons, vent holes, or other features in the design that prevent issues with your battery. If you notice that your device is damaged or not functioning properly, or you suspect that there is an issue with your device or batteries, discontinue use of the item or items immediately.
Always lock or turn off your device when not in use. To avoid misfiring and overheating your device, always lock or turn off your vape mod when not in use, especially when carrying your mod in a pocket or bag. You can even take the batteries out of your device and store them in a secure battery case (link to battery cases) if you’re traveling or not going to be using your vape mod for a while.
How to Properly Store & Transport Batteries
One of the most important parts of keeping your 18650 batteries in good working order is storing and transporting them correctly. While many of these tips may seem simple, they are essential not only to maintain your batteries but also to keep you safe. Improperly stored batteries won’t last as long as ones that have been kept secure, which is a waste of your hard-earned money in the best-case scenario. Using batteries that have been stored improperly can also be dangerous in some cases.
Be aware of the environment surrounding your batteries at all times. Storage temperature, exposure to sunlight, and the objects in and around your batteries or devices are all things that can and will damage your batteries.
Storage temperature: heat and cold are bad for batteries. You should always keep your batteries at room temperature, about 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
NEVER leave batteries in your car, or store them outdoors – high or low temperatures and drastic temperature changes aren’t good for batteries.
Never keep your batteries somewhere that is exposed to direct sunlight, even if it’s only for a short period of time. Even though it might not feel like it’s hot outside to you, sunlight can heat your batteries to unsafe temperatures.
Metal objects coming into contact with your batteries can cause catastrophic battery failure. Do not carry, store or keep your batteries in an area where you also keep or carry keys, loose change, or any other metal objects. Your batteries should never come in contact with any metal, except when they are properly installed in your 18650 battery charger or vape mod. Always keep batteries that are not in use in an approved, non-conductive battery case.
Always use a plastic or rubber case to keep your batteries secure. This prevents damage to your batteries and keeps them safe from coming into contact with metal objects. Battery cases should always be plastic or rubber (not metal or any conductive material) and should latch securely. If the latch on your battery case is broken or damaged, get a new battery case.
Choose between our Giant Vapes hard plastic or silicone 18650 battery cases here:
How long can I store vape batteries when not in use? If a battery has never been used and is new-in-box, you can store it for quite a while; it depends heavily on the specific battery, though. Some manufacturers say batteries can be stored for up to ten years before they’ve been used for the first time – but that includes storage time before you purchase them as well as the time you’re storing a battery. Just remember that once a battery has been used – even just once – the clock has started. Batteries should only be used for about 12 months or for 200-300 charge cycles.
Travel & Air Travel With Batteries: If you’re traveling with batteries, remember to use a battery case, turn off your devices when not in use, and don’t charge your batteries or devices using your vehicle’s charger or a portable power bank.
When traveling by air always remember to bring all your batteries, loose or devices that have batteries installed, onto the plane with you. Your spare batteries or vape mods with batteries in them should NEVER be checked in your luggage – always carry them with you in your carry-on bag, purse, or pocket.
How to Charge Vape Batteries
Always fully charge your device or new batteries before first use. High amperage Li-ion batteries used in vape devices, whether built into your mod or sold separately, are usually stored for sale at about 40% charge for optimal battery life. When you initially charge your batteries to full, then use your device (making sure to discharge fully to 3.2V or until your device indicates you need to charge again) you are helping to ‘set’ the battery for its proper lifecycle.
Failing to fully charge your battery before use, or partially charging and discharging your battery both when you first use your batteries or as a habit, will substantially decrease the performance and lifespan of your batteries.
Remove your batteries or device from the charger promptly when they have reached full charge.
Batteries should never be used if they are below a 3.2V charge level. Most batteries have a low limit of 3.2V and should be charged at or before they reach that point. Today most devices and mods will display your current battery voltage. If you see your device displaying a voltage discharge rate of below 3.2V, it is time for you to discard those batteries properly and safely, and then replace them with new ones.
Charge on a flat, non-flammable surface. Do not charge your batteries or devices on fabric surfaces, pillows, couches, or any flammable materials. Be sure that you’re charging in a location that isn’t going to contribute to your battery overheating or being turned on accidentally during the charging process.
Always ensure your batteries, charging port and charger are clean and dry when charging. When charging your batteries it is important to watch for moisture from eliquid anywhere on your device, battery or charger. If any part of your device or charger is damp or shows any sign of eliquid on it, it should not be plugged in or charged. You should also remove the tank, pod, or other piece that holds e-liquid, if possible, before charging your device via USB.
Check your charge rate. Every device or charger will have specific settings that are appropriate for charging. Always stay within those limits. You’ll see that most devices can be charged at 0.5A, 1A, or 2A, and you’ll find that wall adapters and chargers have these same designations – try to match them whenever possible. You should never use a 2A charger to charge a device that is designed to be charged at a lower amperage. However, you can use a 0.5A charger to charge a device that is rated for higher amperage (though it will charge more slowly). Using a slower charge setting or slower charger, depending on your setup can extend the life of your battery, so if you have the option (by using a dedicated Li-ion battery charger with the appropriate features) using a 1A charge rate instead of a 2A rate can optimize the lifespan of your battery.
Wait, what is amperage? In relation to charging rates, those common amperages for charging – 0.5A, 1A, or 2A – are just the rate at which power flows from your wall outlet into your battery. 0.5A is a slower charge rate than 2A, so a 0.5A charger will charge slower than a 2A charger. Again, though, you should never try to charge your batteries with a higher-amperage adapter and cable than your device is designed for; doing so can cause your device or battery to catch fire. You’ll see the term “High Amp” battery used here as well – in that case, amperage is referring to the output – batteries purchased for a vape mod should generally be rated for 20A-30A output.
Never charge batteries unattended. This means you should not charge your batteries overnight or while sleeping. When charging a device or any LiPo/Li-ion batteries you should always remain in constant observation to monitor the charging process and react to potential problems that may occur. If at any time you witness a battery starting to balloon, swell up, smoke or get hot, discontinue the charging process immediately.
DO NOT touch a battery that is showing signs of overheating or other charging problems. Unplug your charger from the power source and place the battery and charging device directly into a non-flammable material such as sand or kitty litter as soon as possible. While you should already be charging your batteries or device on a non-combustible surface, should you see any of the signs above occurring, if possible you should move the unplugged charger or device outside.
Visit Battery University for more information on how to properly handle batteries and chargers in the event of overheating or fire.
Information about the dangers of improper disposal of lithium-ion batteries, and to find places where you can drop off your batteries for recycling, can be found at call2recycle.org.
Charging High Amp Li-Ion Batteries
Some vape mods are designed to accept external high-amperage Li-Ion batteries. You’ll buy these batteries separately from your device, and you should charge them in an appropriate Lithium Polymer/Li-ion charger. The nice thing about getting a separate device, batteries, and charger is that after 12 months (or 200-300 charge cycles) you can just replace your batteries, and keep your device and charger.
Your Lithium Polymer/Li-ion charger should come with a user manual with instructions for you to follow, and you should read this manual before first using your charger.
Always check the positive (plus) and negative (minus) indicators on your charger before putting batteries in the charger. Installing batteries backward can depending on your charger, cause damage to your charger or batteries. With some high amp Li-ion batteries it is hard to tell which side is positive and which is negative: there will always be a “flat” end and an end with a button or raised circle. The flat/featureless end is the negative end. The end with the raised circle or button is the positive end.
Check out a few of the 18650 battery chargers we carry at Giant Vapes here:
What is Battery Pairing?
Many vaping devices where batteries are sold separately require 2 or more batteries to power the device. It is best to ‘pair’ or ‘marry’ your batteries to ensure that the proper amount of power is being drawn from them equally. By pairing multiple batteries together your vape mod will control the flow of power to your coil more evenly.
When you pair your batteries, they can still be used in multiple devices; the rule is simply that they are used and recharged together. Much like we recommend dating your batteries, we also suggest that you may want to mark the batteries in some way to designate them as a pair. It is recommended that paired batteries be the same brand and mAh. Mixing and matching batteries, especially older used cells, should be avoided.
Charging Your Vape via USB
Check your user manual to make sure that your device is appropriate for USB charging. As a general rule, if you’re able to remove the batteries from your device and charge them separately, that is how you should charge your batteries. The benefit of having removable batteries is that you can use your device for years as long as you keep it in good condition, replacing the batteries as needed. When you charge these types of devices via USB instead of removing the batteries, you risk damaging the device or chip in a wide variety of ways.
However, if your device has a built-in battery and is intended to be charged via USB (MicroUSB or USB-C ports can be found on many devices) you should always use the USB cable that came with your kit. Just because a different cable might fit, doesn’t mean it should be used to charge your vape mod.
Never use high-speed phone chargers or other non-approved chargers for recharging your device, and you should never charge your device from a laptop computer, car charger, portable power bank, or other battery-operated devices. An A/C Wall Adapter of the appropriate voltage and amperage (check your user manual for your device’s charge rate) is best for USB to vape mod charging.
Always ensure your device, charging port and charger are clean and dry when charging. When charging a device via USB, the tank should be removed from the mod in order to avoid accidental damage.
How to Install Vape Batteries
If your device is one that has replaceable batteries sold separately from the mod, you’ll want to purchase appropriate high-amperage Li-ion batteries and a quality charger and charge your batteries before you first install them using the tips we’ve shared here.
Install your batteries in your mod correctly every time. Your device will display a plus sign and a minus sign showing where the positive and negative ends of your batteries go. Installing your batteries incorrectly can damage both your batteries and your mod, so check to be sure you’re putting them in the right way each and every time. The flat/featureless end of your battery is the negative end (-). The end that has a raised circle or button, depending on the battery brand, is the positive end (+).
If your device came with a built-in battery, you’re all set – you do not need to install a battery.
You should never attempt to remove or replace a battery in a device that comes with a battery already installed and sealed inside the device.
When is it Time to Replace a Vape Battery?
At some point, you’ll need to replace and recycle your batteries. Batteries with a torn wrap, no wrap, missing or damaged insulator, or batteries that have dents, need to be replaced immediately. Damaged batteries can be very dangerous and should never be used.
Batteries will begin to lose their integrity after a certain number of charge cycles, and we recommend replacing your batteries after they’ve been recharged about 200-300 times. This can vary by battery and brand. Rechargeable batteries should also be replaced after one year of use, no matter the number of times they have been recharged.
We recommend writing the purchase date on your batteries so that you can recycle them once they’ve been in use for a year. We also suggest keeping track, generally, of how many times per week you recharge your batteries and replacing your batteries more frequently if you know you typically recharge your batteries more than 200-300 times per year. This ensures you’re getting the best performance from your batteries, as they do degrade in performance with both time and frequent recharging.
If your batteries are no longer charging or discharging fully, or if you see any indication of damage to your battery (including damage to the plastic wrapper around your battery, dents, discoloration, or if your batteries have gotten wet), it’s time to replace them – even if they’ve only been in use for a little while.
How to Dispose of Vape Batteries
You should always properly dispose of batteries that are over 12 months old, and especially damaged batteries. Never throw your batteries away in the trash. There are many places that will dispose of batteries properly for you. If you take a look at the website call2recycle.org, they state that they have a public drop-off location within 10 miles of more than 87% of people living in the U.S.