Troubleshooting Problems with Your Vape Cartridge

~A Guide to help identify why your vape cartridge isn’t working properly along with easy fixes to get it working again.~

Vape cartridges make consuming cannabis super discreet and efficient. But as with any hardware, cartridges can have minor issues that lead to big frustrations! There’s nothing worse than going to hit your vape cartridge and not getting any vapor out of it.
Luckily, most of the time your cartridge isn’t broken. More often than not, there’s a quick fix to get your vape cartridge vaping! Here is a step by step guide to help you identify why your vape cartridge isn’t working properly along with easy fixes to get it working again!

Diagnosis 1: Dead battery

Make sure that your battery is charged. Most batteries have some sort of indication light to let you know that your battery is charged.
Pull-to-draw batteries remain “on” and typically light up at the end when you hit the cartridge.
Push-button activation batteries are typically turned on by clicking the button 5 times quickly and then you hold down the button when you hit the cartridge. These batteries usually change color or flash quicker when they’re charged.

Prescription: If your battery is not lighting up, it’s time to recharge it using its USB port.

Diagnosis 2: Poor connection between battery & cartridge

There’s a little heating element at the bottom of the cartridge, called an atomizer. If there isn’t good contact between the atomizer and the battery, the distillate in your battery won’t heat up and you won’t get any vapor.
To check for a connection issue, disconnect the cartridge from the battery and inspect the contact points for residue. It’s possible that some of the distillate from inside of the cartridge leaked out onto the contact points and is clogging the connection.

Prescription: If there’s excess residue on the bottom of the cartridge or top of the battery, clean it with rubbing alcohol. Let the alcohol dry before reconnecting the cartridge and the battery. Screw the cartridge back onto the battery snugly, but not too tight.

Diagnosis 3: Distillate inside cartridge is not flowing

If you determine that your battery is working properly and making a connection with the cartridge, but your cartridge still isn’t producing any vapor when you pull it, nine times out of ten your problem is that the distillate inside the cartridge is stiff and not flowing.

The distillate inside the cartridge has a thick, semi-fluid consistency similar to honey. As the distillate cools, it thickens and in freezing temperatures it turns rock solid. In order for the distillate inside of the cartridge to flow, it needs to come into contact with the heating element, called the atomizer, at the bottom of the cartridge.

There’s a lot of reasons that the distillate may not be in contact with the atomizer. Oftentimes, if the vape cartridge hasn’t been stored in an upright position, the distillate can settle to one side. Other times, a change in temperature can cause an air bubble to form at the bottom of the cartridge and create a barrier between the distillate and the atomizer.

Prescription: Manually heat up the cartridge to get the distillate flowing down toward the atomizer. Some batteries have a preheat feature. If you don’t have a preheat setting on your battery or the distillate is rock solid, you’ll need to call in the big guns, aka a hair dryer!

Unscrew the cartridge from the battery and hold it upright. Hold a hair dryer about 6 inches from the cartridge and apply low heat for about 15-30 seconds. Screw the cartridge back onto the battery and give it a pull.

If you don’t have a hair dryer, there’s other creative methods to manually heat up the distillate. One option is to hold the cartridge over a pot of steaming water for 15-30 seconds. Another pro option is to use the air vent in your car. Turn up the car’s heat and open the vent. Lodge the cartridge into the air vent and allow the heat to blow onto the cartridge for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Voila!

Diagnosis 4: Distillate clogging the mouthpiece

Sometimes the distillate can leak into the mouthpiece and cause it to clog. This happens if too much distillate first floods into the vaporization chamber and then the excess distillate gets pushed into the mouthpiece when you pull.
There’s a couple common culprits for flooding the vaporization chamber. Temperature is often to blame.

Just as distillate thickens as it cools, it thins and becomes more fluid as it’s heated up. Storing your vape cartridge sideways, especially in warmer temperatures, can cause too much distillate to flow into and flood the vaporization chamber.

Prescription: If there’s distillate clogging the mouthpiece, try poking the mouthpiece with a sterile needle. If it’s too sticky, use a hair dryer to thin out the distillate and then try poking again with a sterile needle.

Second, if you like to blow massive clouds, you may be pulling so hard that you’re flooding the chamber. We call your kind, “Cartridge Killers”.

Prescription: If you’re a proud Cartridge Killer, use a battery with a high voltage and high temp setting. This will allow the heating element, the atomizer, to vaporize more distillate at once and prevent the chamber from flooding.

Vape Cartridge Best Practices

For the skimmers, here’s a list of vape cart best practices.

  • Store your cartridge in an upright position and at room temperature.
  • Keep your battery charged.
  • Use rubbing alcohol to clean residue off of contact points on the cartridge and battery.
  • Make sure to screw the cartridge and battery together snugly.
  • When the distillate isn’t flowing, try applying heat with a hair dryer.
  • Use a sterile needle to clean residue out of the mouthpiece.
  • Resist the urge to take massive rips; inhale long and slow.

Still having trouble?

If you try all of these things and your cartridge still isn’t producing vapor, you may have gotten a lemon. Please reach out to us and we’ll replace your cartridge right away.

Text our customer service number at: (615) 348-7238‬

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