All vaporizers no matter the quality can start to have problems after extended use. When something does go wrong, it can be difficult to diagnose the problem and find a solution. There are a wide variety of vaporizers and each type comes with its unique issues. I will start out by looking at solutions to common problems across all vaporizers, and then I will provide solutions to individual problems with each type of vaporizer.
Common Problems Found in Any Vaporizer
It doesn’t matter if your vaporizer is made for dry herb, wax, oils or liquid, there are some common issues that can happen with all vapes. Here are some solutions to the most common problems experienced by vape users:
Problem: My vaporizer will not turn on
Solution #1: Most vapes have a 5 click feature so make sure to press the on button five times quickly. If it doesn’t turn on right away, don’t try to press it a sixth time. Instead, wait a few seconds and try again.
Solution #2: Make sure your vaporizer is fully charged. Just because you had it plugged in doesn’t mean it charged. Check the threading on your charger to make sure you have a good connection and the charge light switches on (usually red) when you plug it in. It should turn green or turn off when fully charged. If it is plugged in, you have a good connection and it still won’t charge, you probably need to replace the charger. Also, make sure you are using the proper power source.
Problem: The chamber won’t screw onto my battery
Solution: 510 threading is the most common threading, made popular from the pen EGO style batteries. However, other thread counts are available so if a new chamber does not screw onto your battery, you likely have a mismatched threading situation. In this case, you should check the threading on both the battery and the chamber. If you bought your atomizer online, this information is usually listed on the product detail page.
Common Dry Herb Vaporizer Problems
Dry herb vaporizers come with their own set of problems. While some issues may be specific to your vape, let’s take a look at the most common issues our customers have come across with their dry herb vaporizers.
Problem: There is no vapor or it is really thin
Solution #1: If you’re not getting enough vapor, often you aren’t reaching a high enough temperature. Dry herb vapes should all have temperature control. Turn it up until you start getting thicker vapor.
Solution #2: If you didn’t grind up your herbs well enough, you might not be getting proper air flow and the hot air won’t touch enough surface area as it passes through the chamber. This results in weak or no vapor. Make sure you use a quality herb grinder and grind your herbs finely before packing.
Solution #3: Similar to the last solution, even if you ground your herbs well, they may be under-packed. If there’s not enough herb in the chamber, it will also result in thin vapor. Pack your herbs so that they’re slightly compact but don’t overdo it. If you pack them too tight, it will become difficult to take a pull.
Solution #4: If you have tried the three solutions above, but you are still having trouble getting vapor, there is most likely a problem with the heating element or convection oven. If your vape is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer to get a replacement. If you are out of warranty, there are plenty of online vape shops where you can find replacement parts for a reasonable price.
Problem: It’s difficult to get a hit or pull
Solution #1: Your screen may be clogged with resin. In this case, clean the screen by dropping it into some isopropyl alcohol, carefully rubbing the resins off, and finally rinsing with warm water. Make sure to dry your screen before putting it back into the vape.
Solution #2: Don’t over-pack your chamber. Using your packing tool (or dab tool), you should lightly press down finely ground herbs to pack the chamber. If your screen is clean and it is too difficult to get a pull, the chamber is probably over packed.
Problem: I’m getting smoke instead of vapor
Solution #1: Your dry herb vape is probably too hot. Turn it down until you get a nice, smooth vapor.
Solution #2: If your herbs combust and turn to ash, you may have a combustion vape. While most dry herb vaporizers use convection, there are dry herb combustion vape pens out there. Instead of a ‘true vaporizer’, combustion vapes burn your herbs at a higher temperature, similar to smoking them. If you have an AGO G5 combustion vape, you can use glass screens to lower the temperature and get more vapor. Otherwise, you may want to look into buying a convection dry herb vaporizer.
Problem: The mouthpiece is too hot
Solution: It requires a high temperature to vaporize dry herbs, so after a bit of use, that heat is going to transfer down the line to your mouthpiece. The best solution is buying a rubber extension for your mouthpiece.
Common Wax Vape Problems
Just like dry herb vapes, wax pens come with their own set of problems. However, no need to worry, I have listed the solutions to the most common issues.
Problem: My pen is a sticky mess and I can’t open it
Solution: This is usually caused by over-packing the chamber and/or setting a wax pen on its side. Never over-pack the chamber – wax lasts a while so a small dab on the coils usually does the trick. Then there won’t be excess wax sitting in your chamber ready to clog up threads or other parts. There are wax vape pens that come with a magnetic connection instead of 510 threading, which eliminates the problem of wax getting stuck in the threading. In addition, always keep your pen upright to avoid wax leaking out of the chamber.
Problem: Coil Won’t Heat
Solution #1: Often the coil isn’t attached properly so make sure the chamber has a good connection to the battery.
Solution #2: Replace the vape coils. If you don’t feel any heat coming from your chamber, the coils are probably burned out. Coils aren’t meant to last forever so if you use your vape pen often, you’ll have to replace them from time to time.
Problem: Poor Taste
Solution: Replace the coils. Wax concentrates get messy and there’s always going to be a bit of residue left over. Quality of wax can vary quite a bit and eventually this mix of residue will affect the flavor of your new wax. If you notice your vapor is tasting a bit off, it’s best to replace the coils.
Common Oil Vape Problems
Here are some solutions to the most common problems our customers have experienced with their oil vaporizers. However, there are always other problems specific to each vape. If you can’t find a solution here, contact the manufacturer or the shop where you purchased your vaporizer.
Problem: I’m hitting my pen but not getting any vapor
Solution #1: Most likely, the coil or atomizer does not work – make sure the coil or atomizer is properly attached and has a good connection.
Solution #2: The other cause could be a dead battery. Make sure your battery is fully charged. If it still is not working, your battery could be dead. Try using another battery.
Solution #3: Replace the atomizer. Just like wax vapes, oil vape coils and atomizers burn out and need to be replaced occasionally.
Problem: My vape is a sticky mess – While this is more common in wax vape pens, it still happens with cheap oil cartridges and cheap e liquid atomizers.
Solution: Replace your atomizer, preferably with a quality one. There are plenty of options available in any vape store or dispensary.
Problem: Bad or burnt taste – If you fire up an e liquid atomizer without any e liquid inside, you will likely burn the cotton wick.
Solution: Once the cotton wick is burned, all your hits will taste bad. To remedy this, change out the atomizer or coil.
Common Box Mod Problems
Problem: Atomizer won’t work
Solution #1: Check to make sure the watt output on your box mod and the required wattage on your atomizer match. Box mods usually have smart vape batteries – when you try to push 30 watts into a dry herb atomizer that only requires 10, the mod will protect your atomizer by not firing.
Solution #2: Don’t overtighten the atomizer as this can damage it. It should be tightened just enough that it is secure, but still relatively easy to unscrew.
Solution #3: Replace the atomizer. If you blasted too much power through your atomizer by mistake, it could burn out the battery. These also wear out over time so you’ll need to eventually replace them.
Tip: Make sure you always check the manual to make sure you understand the variable watt control before burning out an atomizer.
Problem: Burnt Taste
Solution: Replace the atomizer. If you fired up your e liquid atomizer when it’s empty, it will burn the wick, resulting in poor taste. If you are using concentrates, build-up of residue from old wax can also give an off-taste to whatever you load it with. Start with a fresh atomizer to get nice tasting hits again.
I hope this article solved all your vape issues, but if you’re still having problems, I suggest reaching out to the manufacturer as they will have solutions to problems unique to their portable vaporizer.
Author bio:Nathaniel Chavin is a New York City-based journalist focused on covering both the vaporizer and cannabis industry. He's also been an editor forNY Vape Shopsince 2013.