Use These Hacks to Open a Stuck Vape Tank
Jammed Vape Tank
Your vape tank is all jammed up and cannot be opened. What you have is a classic “stuck tank” on your hands. This issue can be caused by over tightening, a threading issue or an inability to get a good grip on the tank.
I have had plenty of jammed up tanks. Luckily, I have never had to deal with a tank impossibly stuck on a mod. This is fortunate. Once a tank is safely detached from the mod, you are free to implement any method, within reason, to open it. Granted, a hammer blow, power drilling or spiking the tank on the pavement will probably not achieve the desired result. But you only have to worry about flying shards and a broken tank, rather than a venting 18650 battery.
On the flip side of the coin, a tank attached to a mod should be approached with care and additional safety precautions should be observed. If your tank is stuck to your mod, the first step is to remove the batteries. If this is not an option, make sure that the device is powered off.
But if the issue is a tank that won’t open, you have come to the right place. I don’t have the technical chops to guide you through disassembling and soldering your mod back together. But I have picked up some effective strategies, dare I say life hacks, that can help you get your tank unstuck. And unlike some all of the life hacks I have read, you will not be branded buffoon for using these tank opening techniques.
Opening a Stuck Tank
A stronger set of arms, a vice-like grip or vape tank shaped pincer hands is often the easiest solution to this problem. The key is to apply more torque. Always keep in mind that tanks can have several moving parts. The glass may spin while the base remains anchored firmly in place. Most subohm tanks have a rotating piece on the base that covers the airflow ports. It generally can be moved at least 90 degrees, and on some designs the port cover can rotate a full 360 degrees.
Make sure you are applying pressure to the correct part of the tank. Identifying where to twist is the first step to opening a stuck tank. There are tons of different tank designs and they can open in a variety of different ways. Spinning the glass or twisting the movable airflow cover will usually fail to open a tank, or loosen it from the mod. Do not apply extreme force to the glass. It can crack.
There are several products on the market that can help you get a better grip on a vape tank and give you the leverage to pop it open. But it should be mentioned that the solution may be closer than you think. The underside of a mouse pad is a very grippy material. Use this surface to get a firm hold on a tank and twist it open. This is a life hack that works, unlike the ill-fated pizza bib. Side note, we need a pizza hack that works.
Cleaning gloves are also effective. Since I rarely use cleaning gloves and spend much of the day vaping in front of a computer, the mouse pad is the more practical solution. For more fastidious individuals, cleaning gloves might be a better bet. They allow a greater range of motion and are designed with manual dexterity in mind. Even cheap ones fit like a glove. If you want a portable option, a thick rubber band or vape band can also serve the same purpose.
Gloves, mouse pads and rubber bands all protect your hands from potential pinching and friction abrasions. Silicone and rubberized jar openers also work great, in part because they were designed to serve a nearly identical purpose but with stuck jars. Make sure you wipe any ejuice off of the tank before trying to get your tank unstuck. E-juice is slippery stuff and makes it much harder to apply the force necessary to open a stuck tank. It can also get all over the mouse pad or cleaning gloves if you are not careful.
If you cannot generate enough torque to open your tank by hand, tools can provide mechanical advantage and leverage. A rubber band can help protect the finish on your tank from scratches. A vape band is even better, and has the added benefit of protecting your tank from cracking or even shattering. As always, steer clear of the glass. Twisting it won’t help and it isn’t designed to be cranked on with tools.
Channellock pliers are the “Jaws of Life” for a stuck vape tank. They are one of the most effective tools for unsticking a screwed up, screwed on vape tank. They can apply a considerable amount of force, give you a ton of leverage, but have the potential to really ding up your tank. Purpose-built, multi-function vaping tools such as vape tweezers and tank wrenches are all available at a reasonable price. They vape tools will protect your tank a bit more than channellock pliers, but damaging the pyrex cylinder, air flow base or scratching up the tank is always a possibility when using tools. Keep this in mind.
Force is not the only method you have at your disposal. Once the stuck tank has been removed from a mod, it can be tossed in the freezer for a few hours. The parts on the tanks will contract. Conversely, steam or hot water can loosen things up.
Tank Stuck to Mod
Tanks get stuck to mods for many of the same reasons that they refuse to open, but a tank still affixed to a mod should be handled with care. Before going all out to twist off the tank, make sure you remove batteries from the mod. If the battery is built in, make sure the device is powered off.
Be careful not to damage the threading or the mod itself. Obviously, you will want to handle the mod with more care than the tank. It has electronic components and some have built in batteries that cannot be removed. Refrain from freezing the mod, immersing it in hot water, steaming it or striking it with a hammer.
If your tank spins around on the top of the mod without loosening, your mod is probably broken. This spinning usually signifies that the 510 connection or mounting plate has become disconnected from the frame. The wiring could easily be compromised. This has the potential to be a serious situation. Remove the batteries and look for a replacement ASAP.
If you possess the expertise to fix it, the safety of the device has still been compromised. If the tank is simply stuck to the mod, remove the batteries and use the methods above to get a better grip on the device and tank. Another possibility is an L shaped Allen wrench or similar small tool that fits through the air port of some tanks. This may help you get the leverage you need and can be pushed through an opening in the base of some coils. This method is only safe if you can remove the batteries.