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Glass care: how and when to replace your vape tank glass

Glass care: how and when to replace your vape tank glass

John Boughey |

Precision-engineered from heat-resistant shatterproof materials, vape tank glass is one of the most fragile — and important — parts of an e-cigarette. In this week’s guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about atomiser glass. We’ll explain why tank glass is made the way it is, we’ll show you how to protect it and share tips on when — and how — to replace it.  

What is tank glass made from?

Tank glass is made from a hardy tempered glass called pyrex. It’s the exact same material that most glass oven dishes are made from. Not only can pyrex handle the sudden heat spikes of a vape atomiser, but it is much tougher than other types of glass, so it can take the occasional knock. 

Glass is used in most vape atomisers so that vapers can quickly inspect their tank reservoir. With glass, you can check that there is enough vape juice in your tank, look for any signs of singe on your wick and make sure the coil is getting red-hot. 

When should you replace your vape tank glass?

Tank glass is a low-maintenance part of your atomiser. It can easily last the lifetime of your vape device. You might be used to replacing coils and wicks when they get charred or gunky; glass is different. Grotty tanks can be submerged in hot water for about 20 minutes and they can be good as new (see our illustrated guide). Ideally, you should detach your tank glass as infrequently as possible so that the seals between the atomiser deck, the glass and the mouthpiece all stay air-tight. 

The downside of glass is that when you do need to replace it, you need to do so right away. If your glass shows any sign of damage — chips or cracks, for instance — you need to stop vaping immediately. You cannot vape on it until the glass is replaced. Never vape on a tank with broken glass. There’s a risk of glass shards entering your mouth or — worse — getting down into your throat and lungs. 

What to do if your tank glass is chipped or cracked

If your vape tank has a crack in it, follow these steps immediately.

  1. Stop vaping. Your vape tank is now unsafe to use until the glass has been replaced. 
  2. Let the whole device cool down. Wait 5 minutes before you do anything so that you don’t get burned by a hot vape coil.
  3. Drain the tank and unscrew everything. Pour away any excess drops of e-liquid (don’t try to save the e-juice — it might contain microscopic glass fragments). 
  4. Bin the coil and wick, and start fresh. You don’t want to run the risk of any glass fragments remaining in your vape tank after you’ve changed the glass.
  5. Detach the damaged glass if you can. Some tanks won’t allow you to swap out the vape glass, so check the instructions and don’t force anything.
  6. Wrap the glass in a few sheets of paper towel and put the glass in the bin. 
  7. Keep all of the remaining tank parts in one place, then order some replacement glass.

How do you know which glass to buy?

You should always buy replacement glass that exactly matches your brand of atomiser. You can’t bodge it, and you can’t rely on it all just fitting together like a 510 connection. Vape glass needs to form an air-tight seal within the tank, otherwise you get vape juice leakage and inconsistent air flow. You also run the risk of your glass breaking if it’s not installed properly. 

Replacement glass is engineered to a very high standard. It needs to match the exact diameter, wall thickness and height of an atomiser deck. Sometimes it has a screw fitting milled into the top or bottom, and very occasionally it is encased in an outer shell for increased toughness (for example, Aspire PockeX replacement glass is pre-set in a metal casing).

How do I replace my vape tank glass?

First off, make sure that your glass can actually be replaced. There are some vape tanks out there that don’t break down into their component parts. If your tank has been designed in a way that prevents you from replacing the glass, then your only option is to replace the whole tank. This can be a frustrating experience (the price of replacement glass tends to be around 10% of the price of a whole new tank) but there’s usually a good reason. The best tanks have perfect air-tight seals. You want a tank where all the parts fit together so tightly that they can never leak e-juice. You also  want your airflow valve to be the only space where air can sneak into the tank. Sometimes, the cost of this precision engineering is a tank that can’t be messed around with too much. 

Next, check the instructions that came with your vape tank. Some tank glasses can be unscrewed from their base and cap fairly easily, but some use a different joining technique to keep the glass flush with the rest of the atomiser.

What if I can’t get the right glass?

When you visit our replacement glass department, you’ll notice that we don’t have a replacement glass for every single vape tank. We’re working on this, and so are our suppliers. It can be very difficult to source replacement glass for certain brands. Some vape starter kits will include a spare tank glass in the box, so we always suggest checking the product description before you buy. 

You can also protect the glass you’ve got with a vape band, which can (sometimes, not always) save your glass if you drop your vape. If you need any help, or if you’ve lost your instructions, don’t worry — drop us a line and we’ll happily talk you through what to do.

Stay safe and happy vaping!

John Boughey

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