Taking a drag from your vape, only to discover that the cartridge isn’t functioning, is incredibly disappointing. If you’re unable to inhale correctly, it’s a sign that something is wrong — most likely, your vape has become clogged. The worst part? A clogged vape pen can result in a mouthful of vape juice and sticky hands instead of the smooth, flavorful hit of THC you were anticipating.
Causes of Clogging in Vape Cartridges
Clogged vape cartridges can be caused by two primary reasons: condensation and chamber flooding. But don’t fret! These issues are easily preventable and fixable with the simple solutions outlined below.
A clogged cartridge is often the result of condensation accumulation within the airway. As this condensation builds up, it can eventually block the mouthpiece, making it difficult to inhale. The result? A clogged mouthpiece and an unpleasant surprise in the form of a mouthful of bitter vape juice instead of the delicious THC you were expecting.
Condensation buildup usually gives you warning signs before it becomes a full-blown problem. If you’ve ever experienced tiny droplets of liquid on your tongue while taking a hit, it’s a sign of this buildup. Don’t wait for it to escalate into a frustrating issue – take action to clear your clogged cartridge as soon as you notice the liquid hitting your tongue during inhalation.
The second reason for a clogged cartridge is chamber flooding. This occurs when the carts have been unused for an extended period. The delta-8 THC distillate thickens when it’s stored at room temperature. Over time, this causes the distillate to sink to the bottom of the cart, saturating the wick and “drowning” the coil. When this happens, the heating element (coil) has difficulty reaching the proper temperature, making it difficult to vaporize the liquid effectively.
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Chamber flooding will become apparent when your vape isn’t producing enough vapor or hitting as expected. You might also encounter a foul, burnt taste and smell while taking a hit. If you detect a burning odor or taste, it’s best to stop vaping immediately. Continuing to heat a soaked wick can result in irreparable damage, making the cartridge and its contents unusable.
Step-By-Step Process to Fix a Clogged Vape Cart
No need to panic if you’ve clogged your vape cartridge. It’s a common issue, and with our straightforward troubleshooting guide, you’ll be back to vaping in no time. With a few quick steps, you’ll be enjoying your THC again soon.
Method #1: Solving Minor Clogging (Condensation Accumulation)
- Step 1: Pull Hard Through The Mouthpiece
The first step in clearing a cartridge clogged with excessive condensation buildup is to forcefully pull through the mouthpiece without activating the vape. This will help remove any excess liquid accumulated in the mouthpiece. While this is a quick solution, the cartridge will likely clog again unless you proceed to step two.
- Step 2: Clean Out Excess Liquid
To fully clean the cartridge, you must clean out excess liquid from the mouthpiece. You can achieve this using a slender wire, pin, or paper clip. Carefully insert the tool into the mouthpiece and scrape out the accumulated residue by moving it from side to side and up and down. Be cautious not to damage the inside of the cart. Most of the buildup can be removed this way, as delta-8 THC is thick, dense, and sticky. It’s recommended to perform this task when the cartridge is cool, as the liquid will have a higher viscosity.
- Step 3: Remove Trapped Debris
The third step to unclogging your vape cart is to apply heat to break down any trapped residues in the mouthpiece. This can be achieved by using a hairdryer on low heat or placing the cart in a sealed bag and submerging it in warm water. The heat will help to loosen the clog, causing the sticky liquid to flow back into the chamber. Allow the cart to sit upright after heating so the fluid can settle. This final step should leave your vape cart clog-free and ready to use.
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Method 2: Solving A Severe Cart Clog (Flooded Chamber)
- Step 1: Shake The Cart Gently From Side To Side.
A quick shake is your first line of defense when dealing with a major clog due to a flooded chamber. Give the cart a gentle flick back and forth to redistribute the liquid, helping to loosen and remove any buildup in the process.
- Step 2: Blow Air Into The Cart.
The next step in fixing a primary clogged cart with a flooded chamber involves clearing the excess liquid. Either blowing air can achieve this through the cart or the bottom of a disposable pen to remove the liquid from the wick and coil. If you have a refillable cart, disassemble the chamber, manually clear out the excess liquid from the wick and coil, and reassemble it. Just remember, only use blowing to clear the flood and never inhale to pull it through, as this will only worsen the problem by further saturating the wick.
- Step 3: Turn On The Vape Device.
To finally resolve a flooded chamber in your vape cart, gently press the button to heat the device for a short time. Be careful not to inhale during this process, as this will only worsen the problem. A quick, one to a two-second burst of heat should vaporize the remaining liquid and clear the chamber. If all else fails, it may be time to invest in a fresh cartridge or a new coil and wick if your tank is refillable.
If you’ve found yourself with a clogged vape cart, don’t despair. With some know-how and patience, you can get your vape up and running again.
Whether it’s minor condensation buildup or a flooded chamber, the two methods outlined above should help you clear the blockage and get back to enjoying your delta-8 THC experience.
Remember to always be careful when manipulating the cart, as overheating or inserting objects too deeply can damage it beyond repair. If all else fails, consult your local vape shop or a professional. Happy vaping!
This article originally appeared on Cannabis.net and has been reposted with permission.