May 15, 2018

How to Fix a Vaporizer

May 15, 2018
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Can I Fix My Weed Vaporizer Myself?

When buying myself a new vaporizer, I will spend hours clicking through reviews and demo videos of vaporizers to narrow down my pick, but I always end up going with the one with the most intuitive, user-friendly design. For me, the fewer the pieces to keep track of and run maintenance on, the better.

Even so, the best, most well-reviewed vapes will run into wear-and-tear during your use of them. It can be a dreadful moment when you take a pull that refuses to complete or when your vape overheats or makes spitting sounds. Don’t be discouraged. See if there’s a simple solution that will allow you to return to regular toking:

Model-Specific Fixes

Image of 4 Pax 3 marijuana dry herb vaporizers in gold, rose gold, silver, and black

The first thing you should do is check to see if the original manual happens to be laying around somewhere. If you didn’t save it, you should check on the manufacturer’s website. Sometimes in the FAQ section, you’ll see other users experiencing the same issue with that same device and receiving a thoroughly outlined solution directly from the manufacturer.

Similarly, you could search for video instructions on YouTube for your specific model, because there’s a good chance a helpful spirit has run into the same problem and has a solution conveniently available.

Oftentimes vaporizers experience many of the same issues, regardless of what model they are. Here are some commonly noted issues found with both dry and wax vaporizers and how to achieve a solution.

Brand Specified FAQ’s (Linked Here)

Find Links to the FAQs Posted By Some of Our Favorite Vaporizer Manufacturers

  • If you have a Firefly vaporizer, find their FAQ section linked here
  • If you use a Pax or Era vaporizer, check out their linked FAQ’s here

Vape Cartridge Not Working?: How to Fix a Vape Pen Cartridge

If your vape pen ever just stops working, don’t automatically throw out the cart thinking you just got a reject. One of the most common problems people run into with vape pens is that the connector and/or battery can become recessed to a point that it no longer has a vaporizing effect on your cartridge. You can check this by unscrewing the mouthpiece from that battery and taking an unwound paper clip to the edge of the mouthpiece connector (will look like a small metal peg on the inside of the screwy part). Using the paper clip as a fulcrum, you should nudge the connector ever so slightly upwards to elevate it out of the divet. Subsequently, you should take the same measure with the battery end and wheedle it until there appears to be even space for the connection to be made.

For more on this method, see this video

Approaching Battery Issues

Some of the more reputable vaporizers are celebrated because they come with more powerful batteries, able to support longer smoke sessions on a single charge and keep up high performance for extended periods. But, the reality is that batteries eventually need to be replaced.

Vape accompanying apps grant you the ability to easily monitor your battery performance, but, even if you don’t have an app reporting the data visually, you can keep your eye open for a couple of indicators. It’s common for vaporizers to blink rapidly when the battery is nearing total depletion or is empty. If you notice that the time between full charge and dead battery is getting annoyingly close together, it might be time to recycle the old one and spring for a replacement battery.

Many manufacturers include information in the instructional manual or in the FAQ portion of their website detailing how many charge cycles you should expect your vape to run through before reaching critical performance levels. You can use this as a metric to judge whether your battery issues are expected wear-and-tear or may justify contacting the manufacturer directly for an exchange.

Loud or Unusual Noises

It is common for most vaporizers to emit some form of sound when they are powered on and you’re taking a pull. If you’ve used your vape more than a few times, you’ll become familiar with the sounds indicating normal functioning. Just as you know your car is making a sound it shouldn’t be making, you kind of just know.

To further clarify what a distressing sound from your vape might be like: from time to time, both dry herb or wax vape users may hear a signal for necessary vape maintenance in the form of a gurgling or hissing sound happening each time they try to take a hit from the mouthpiece.

Some users have remarked on unusual whistling noises sometimes emitting from their vaporizers, and this is often a result of overly-enthusiastic pulls.  Your draws should be gentle and sip-like to reduce this whistling noise and the chances of creating clogs. You can expect to find the slightest restriction in drawing with slower pulls, and this is a normal experience as it aids in creating a consistent vapor flow.

Vaporizer to Phone Connectivity Solutions

It is common for vaporizers to come paired with an app you download on your phone and connect via bluetooth to increase the functionality and data visualization capabilities of the device. Some of them even include maintenance notifications and firmware updates to give you a closer relationship with your vape’s functionality. If you haven’t already, download the corresponding app to your phone and check for a firmware update or other maintenance notes.

Popular brands like Pax, STORZ & BICKEL, and Firefly all make such apps available, but since Apple removed all vaping related apps from the App store last fall, only iPhone users with the previously downloaded apps will be able to make use of them. This ban does not apply to the Google Play Store. 

Tips for Making a Dry Herb Vaporizer Work Best

While a concentrate vaporizer will produce billows of swirling vapor, a dry herb vaporizer will produce smoke. Don’t be surprised that you only get a small puff of smoke either—this is totally normal. But, if your vape is producing hardly any or no smoke, this could be a sign something is amiss.

Proper packing – Those who prefer to grind bud by hand may run into the issue of uneven pulls form their vape. It’s important to use a proper grinder to crush your cannabis flower and make for an easier pack down.

Evening Out Airflow – It’s easy to overpack a dry herb vape bowl or to pack it too tightly. This will result in pulls that simply do not produce as much vapor as other times. One approach is to take a toothpick or some other skinny poker to jab a circle of small perforations in the bowl to allow for a more even airflow.

Image of someone holding an ooze weed vaporizer pen battery in their palm

Concentrate vaporizer should fill your lungs with enough thick plumes of vapor that you could easily blow 10 rings in on breath. If your vape pen is not producing vapor or is not hitting the same, you may need to take some of the following steps. 

Priming

Upon first loading your fresh concentrate vape with wax or shatter, you would do well to take a longer-than-normal pull from your first draw; this will ensure you fully melt the concentrate into the pad. 

Stuck Mouthpiece

Many of us have had the hectic experience of trying to wrench off a mouthpiece that has become glued to the battery by means of an overpacked or messy bowl. Don’t fret just yet! Sometimes, by plugging in your vape for a half hour or blasting it with a hairdryer it will produce enough heat to soften the wax lock and allow you to detach your mouthpiece. You should immediately clean the compromised pieces with a combination of 91% isopropyl alcohol, Q-tips, and pipe cleaners. It is common for vaporizers to come with unique brushes and tools or even lubricant to help you out with this aspect of maintenance and cleanup. Use these whenever available.

Still Caught Up Troubleshooting Your Vaporizer?

If you’re continuing to experience the same issue, leave a comment below, and we’ll see if we or our readers are able to offer more detailed instructions on how to approach your particular issue. Although long hold times are daunting, you do have the option of calling up the manufacturer helpline directly. In some cases, it might be worth the wait. 

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