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Awareness of Ohm's Law is arguably the most important part of safely using a mechanical mod. Ohm’s Law looks at the relationship between power, voltage, current, and resistance. It's based around the amp of the battery - this amp rating is the current of the battery, in other words the ability of the battery to release the energy stored within it. If the battery is pushed beyond its limit, the battery can vent, which means dangerous chemicals leak from the battery, with a risk of it exploding.
Firstly, check the resistance of your coil and work out the amps the coil will pull from the battery. You can do this by using this equation: Amps = Voltage / Resistance. Don't be put off, it's quite simple. Use a multimeter to find out the voltage of your battery, and the resistance of your coil (be sure to work within a ±0.2 ohm range). You can use an online tool such as steam engine to help with this. The result should never exceed the amp rating of your battery. If it does, you'll have to use a coil with a higher resistance.
Failing to follow this advice and using a mechanical mod at a level that exceeds the battery's upper amp limit is known as short circuiting the battery. It has the potential to burn out your battery, damage the mod and even explode. If you accidentally do this your batteries are dangerous and must disposed of safely. Sub ohm vaping on a mechanical mod takes your device close to short circuiting, but keeps the resistance of the coil is just under the upper amp limit. Consequently, you should take extra care if sub ohm vaping on a mechanical mod.
Mechanical mods are used by more experienced vapers. They have no circuits so wattage/voltage cannot be chosen. All the power from the battery is sent to the coil and as the battery diminishes, so does the voltage received by the coil. The only way to affect wattage is to use coils with varying resistances. Many of the tips above apply, but there are other important things to be aware of. The most important of these is Ohm's Law, but first here are some basic safety tips:
- Make sure the air holes work. These holes allow gases to escape the mod if the battery if compromised. You can check they are working by removing the batteries and blowing into the mod from the connection end. It is vital that they are working in case anything goes wrong.
- Check the charge of your batteries. If you run the batteries too low for too long, the lifespan will reduce and eventually fail. Be sure to check the voltage often, and recharge any batteries with a resting voltage of below 3.7v.
- Use caution when building coils. Always check the resistance of the coil on an ohm meter before using them on your mechanical mod. If the build is shorting out, your battery is at serious risk of damage or catching fire. The resistance of the coil can vary, so use the figure given plus or minus 0.2 ohms. (More about this in the section about Ohm’s Law below).
- Make sure the firing button can be locked. If you fire your mod for too long, it can overheat and potentially burst. The last thing you need is your mod firing in your pocket. All good mechanical mods have this external safety feature, use it.
- Never exceed the amps of your battery. This is a fundamental rule of battery safety. Take the discharge rate (the amps) of your battery, then divide your voltage level by coil resistance (ohms) and make sure you never exceed your battery’s amp rating. We go into this in more detail in the section about Ohm’s Law below as this is a vital step in vaping safely with non-internal batteries.
- Check how your mod charges. Some box mods offer pass through charging, where you can use your device while simultaneously charging via USB. However, some mods use the mini USB port solely for hardware updates meaning the batteries must be removed and recharged using an external charger. Make sure you know how your mod works, or you could be in for a very long wait.
- Use the correct batteries. It’s crucial to do some research and find out what are the recommended batteries for your specific mod. There are many types of battery, including ICR, IMR and LiPo (Lithium Polymer), and we will be looking at this in more detail in a future article. Whatever you decide upon, you should never combine different types of battery in the same device.
- Use a battery holder. Never carry these batteries loose in your pocket. If they touch each other, or metallic items such as keys or coins, they can fail. In worst-case scenarios they can leak or even explode.
- Charge your batteries safely. Always charge them on the lowest setting to put the least stress on your batteries, and never leave them unattended. As soon as they are at full power remove them from the charger, otherwise you risk battery failure.
- Buy quality products. Again, don’t scrimp when it comes to something as serious as batteries. Be especially careful when it comes Ebay as many fake batteries are sold on there. Only purchase from an authorised dealer and stick to trusted brand names. When it comes to quality, Samsung batteries and Nitecore chargers come highly recommended.
- Lithium-ion batteries are volatile. They may burn or explode with improper use. Do not use or charge with non-approved devices.
- Do not leave charging devices plugged into computers, laptops or wall units when not in use.
- Overuse of vaping devices may cause overheating, malfunction, and/or burns or injury.
- Do not unit unattended while charging anytime or overnight, and do not charge it in your vehicle.
- Keep away from high heat, direct sunlight, cold temperatures, humidity and water. Injury or death can occur.
- Do not replace batteries with non-approved units.
- Do not mix new and used batteries or different brands.
- When charging keep away from flammable areas such as but not limited to wood floors and carpets. Always use a fire resistant container or bag.
- Always have a fire extinguisher in an event of a fire.
- Do not use battery or devices that appear damaged.
- Do not expose battery to direct sunlight.
- In the event battery begins to balloon, swell, smoke, or become very hot, immediately disconnect the power to home or office from the circuit breaker. If a circuit breaker is unavailable, disconnect from outlet. Do not approach the battery for at least 2 hours and ensure the room is ventilated.
- Do not drop, damage, or tamper with batteries.
- Always use a surge protector.
- Do not throw batteries into fire.
- Do not connect improperly.
- Do not charge batteries unless are specifically labeled as “rechargeable”.
- Do not carry or store batteries together with a metallic necklace, in your pockets, purse, or anywhere they may be exposed to metals.
- Keep away from children and pets. Should a child/pet swallow or chew on a battery, immediately consult a physician and or call your local Poison Control Center.
- Always turn off vaping devices with on/off switches when not in use.
- Unplug charging units when not in use.
- Failure to follow warnings may result in electric shock, fire, property damage, bodily injury, or death.