Squonking in the UK: Buyer’s Advice On Bottom-Fed RDAs

Last fact-checked 11 December 2020 | Report a factual error on this article

If you like dripping then you’ll love squonking! In this guide to squonking, we’ll explain how bottom-fed RDA box mods (squonk mods) work, and why they’re such a popular choice with experienced UK vapers. 

What is squonking?

Squonking is very similar to RDA vaping, or ‘dripping’, except instead of a vaper having to manually drip e-liquid down onto their coils through the mouthpiece of their RDA (a sometimes messy and distracting process), vape juice is squeezed upwards from a reservoir beneath the atomiser.  

Squonking is also known as ‘bottom-fed dripping’, because the e-liquid comes up from the bottom of the atomiser through a special hole in the 510 connection. Squonking is less messy than traditional dripping — the chances of your atomiser leaking are greatly reduced when you squonk. You have just one piece of equipment to carry (squonk mods already have a built-in juice bottle), and you don’t have to worry about spillages, shaky hands, disappearing bottle lids or any of the other small irritating problems that can crop up when you’re using an RDA.

How does squonking work?

How Squonking Works

While a traditional box mod contains nothing but batteries and a safety chip, a squonk box has a built-in bottle of e-liquid that sits alongside the battery. This bottle is made of soft, squeezy material and there’s usually a window in the casing of the box mod so that you can push down on this squeezy bottle with your thumb. 

When you squeeze the squonk bottle, e-liquid gets forced up to the atomiser deck, saturating the wicking material and heating coils. When you take your thumb off the squeezy bottle, a small vaccuum is created inside the bottle, and this sucks away any excess e-liquid that might be pooling at the base of your atomiser deck. This means that you end up with just the right amount of juice on your coils, and you’re less likely to experience leakage. 

If you need to learn more about RDAs, then our helpful beginner’s guide to dripping will tell you everything you need to know!

What kit do you need to squonk?

The first thing you will need is a squonk box with a built-in bottle. You’ll also need a squonk-ready RDA with a special 510 connector. If you look at the 510 connection on a squonk box, you’ll notice that the central pin is hollowed out. This hole allows e-liquid to flow up through the connection to your RDA. Your RDA also needs to have the same hole in its 510 connection, otherwise your e-liquid won’t be able to move from the squonk bottle to your coil deck.

We sell a range of squonk-ready atomiser heads, although squonk boxes are harder to come by in the UK (we’ll explain why in a moment!).

You do have to buy specialist equipment to squonk, but once you’ve got yourself set up it’s much more convenient than dripping. You don’t need to carry a separate e-juice bottle with you, like you would if you were using an RDA. There’s also less chance of leakage when you squonk, because the excess e-liquid gets drawn straight back down into the reservoir. 

Are squonk mods dangerous?

In the early days of squonking, consumers were forced to use mechanical (unregulated) box mods, because manufacturers didn’t make squonk boxes with safety chips (the circuit inside a box mod that stops the battery from overheating). Space inside a squonk mod is at a premium (the box needs to house both an e-cigarette battery and a juice bottle), so manufacturers often just skipped the safety chip completely and sold the squonk box as an unregulated device. 

As the market for squonking has grown, manufacturers have improved their designs, and there’s now no reason why anyone should have to settle for a squonk mod without a safety chip. We recommend that you only ever use regulated vape devices. 

Is squonking legal in the UK?

It’s legal to vape on a squonk device in the UK, however most squonk mods can’t be sold here because of their tank capacity. Vaping laws in the UK and EU state that the reservoir of any e-cigarette device can hold no more than 2 millilitres of e-liquid. The vast majority of regulated squonk mod devices are designed to hold at least 5 millilitres. 

The 2ml limit is the main reason why squonking isn’t as popular in Britain. We’re hoping the UK government will review the 2ml limit after the Brexit transition date has passed (the Department of Health have said that they will “...look to  identify where we can sensibly deregulate [tobacco regulations after brexit]” footnote 1, but they haven’t explicitly mentioned squonking. It could be a few years before squonking laws evolve and this fantastic alternative to dripping can go mainstream. If you’d like to learn more, take a look at our article on TPD and TRPR regulations.

That’s it for this week! Hopefully this guide gives you a good overview of what squonking is and whether it could work for you. Squonking isn’t really for beginners; we recommend squonking for experienced vapers who have already got a good grasp of RDA use. You need to have enough dripping experience to ‘feel’ when your coils are starting to dry out, and it helps to have a good grasp of Ohm’s Law

If you need any advice, please feel free to contact us — we’re always happy to share our expertise with our fantastic customers! 

Stay safe and happy vaping!

- John Boughey

Links & Citations

Footnote 1:
“We will look to identify where we can sensibly deregulate without harming public health or where EU regulations limit our ability to deal with tobacco.” - Brexit quote taken from the Department of Health’s report titled “Towards a Smokefree Generation - A Tobacco Control Plan for England”, published July 2017 - see page 27 of the report at the link below: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/630217/Towards_a_Smoke_free_Generation_-_A_Tobacco_Control_Plan_for_England_2017-2022__2_.pdf


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