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Flooding Explained

By: VaVaVape Staff  |  Revised: 2014

Flooding is a common occurrence in e-cigarettes. The definition of flooding is getting juice into the air passage of the tank. This can include any point between the mouth piece and the very bottom part that connects to the battery. Each tank has holes in that air passage, where the wicks passthrough. This is required for the device to work properly. Unfortunately, this opens up the possibility for flooding. The trick with flooding, is knowing how to avoid it. I’ll explain a little more, but a few common causes for flooding a tank include: improper filling, over filling, pulling too hard when hitting the device, and the temperature can even play a role and/or damage.

Before I get into the explanation, let me explain how an e-cig works a little more in depth. Nearly every tank has a wick that is used to absorb the juice in the tank. This wick cuts through the air passage. Typically, the wicks look like strings hanging in the tank, but some have smaller wicks located at the bottom of the tank and the ‘strings’ are not visible unless the tank is disassembled. Each wick has a piece of wire that wraps around it in a coil. When you activate the button on the battery, you send electricity through the wire. As the wire heats up, it vaporizes the juice that is in the wick.

Improper Filling: When filling your tank, you have to be careful not to get juice into the center tube of the tank. This center tube is the air passage. When you take a draw, air comes from the bottom of the tank, through the air passage and into your mouth. If you get juice into this passage way, your tank is flooded.

Over Filling: If you over fill a tank (specifically a top coil like the ones that come with the starter kits and gift boxes), the wicks can become over saturated and just like a rain cloud, they will leak into the air passage. Once this happens, you have a flooded tank.

Pulling Too Hard: As I mentioned the wicks absorb the juice in the tank. As you pull on the device, you cause a vacuum effect that pulls juice into the wicks. If you pull too hard, you can pull in more juice then the coil can vaporize. If this happens, the juice leaks into the air passage and you have a flooded tank.

Temperature: E-Juice is a viscous liquid. Which means that as it warms up, it will thin out. And in the opposite form, it will thicken when it gets cold. When it thins, it is more difficult for the wicks to hold back the thin juice. This usually causes the wicks to over saturate and, you guessed it, it will leak into the air passage and you have a flooded tank.

Damage: There are o-rings and gaskets used that can wear out with usage. If certain ones fail or get lost, leaking will occur, in turn flooding the air passage and causing you to have a flooded tank. Other than accidentally losing something, damage can occur when its carried in a purse or a pocket or by over tightening the tank to the battery. Over tightening is a very common cause of leaking due to the damage it creates.

How to fix a flooded tank

Now that I have explained some of the more common ways that tanks will flood, here is how to clear it when it happens. Take your tank off of your battery. Put a piece of paper towel over the mouth piece and blow from the bottom of the tank (the battery connection end). You should be able to hear it when you blow through it. Eventually, you will be able to hear when it is cleared. Most likely, the juice will accumulate inside the mouth piece. If this happens, just twist a small piece of paper towel up and dab it in there to soak up the juice. If you were able to clear the juice, you should be able to reconnect your tank to the battery and vape on. If it does it again, don’t give up. Try to clear it again, it is a common occurrence. If it continues after a few attempts (with very few puffs before reflooding), my guess would be it is damaged. In which case it would need to be replaced.


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