CPSC Battery Warning Especially Relevant to Vapers

Vapers with a penchant for purchasing mod parts and devices are being warned by the Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) to avoid buying loose 18650 lithium-ion batteries from online retailers. The warning actually applies to everyone, but it is especially relevant to the vaping community. Vapers who insist on using the batteries are endangering themselves and others.

According to the CPSC, these particular batteries can be dangerous if they are not manufactured with built-in circuitry designed to protect against thermal runaway. In the absence of such technology, the devices these batteries power have the necessary circuitry built-in to them. The batteries are intended to be used in packs specially designed for such devices.

Unfortunately, installing a loose lithium-ion battery in a vaping device could prove tragic. The same goes for charging such a battery or leaving it in an environment in which it could overheat or be exposed to short-circuiting.

  • Vaping and the Modding Culture

Vaping first came to the West when electronic cigarettes made it to market more than a decade ago. It wasn’t long before converted vapers decided that off-the-shelf e-cigarette devices were inadequate. The most enterprising among them began building modified versions known as ‘mods’. This led to an entire modding culture that dominates the vaping scene today.

Modders are not afraid to buy loose parts and mix-and-match them as they see fit. This is not necessarily a good idea, especially if one has no experience with, or knowledge of, electrical systems. Thus, the danger of purchasing loose 18650 batteries.

Vaping device manufacturers understand the dangers of improper battery usage. They constantly warn their customers to use only approved batteries with built-in safety circuitry. They also warn against using unapproved chargers and batteries with multiple voltage settings.

  • Thermal Runaway Is Dangerous

All of the warnings against improper battery use are based on a chemical process known as thermal runaway. It is a process that can easily cause lithium-ion batteries to overheat, catch fire, and explode. Needless to say that an exploding battery can cause quite a bit of harm.

How does the process occur? It starts when a battery begins overheating. This can be caused by short-circuiting, a bad charger, or even exposure to high temperatures and ambient air. You could initiate thermal runaway just by leaving a lithium-ion battery in a hot car.

As the battery’s internal temperature increases, a chemical reaction within the battery accelerates the buildup of heat. This results in the release of more energy that only increases heat output. The hotter the battery gets, the faster its temperature rises. Combustion and explosion are often the result.

  • Protection Against Thermal Runaway

Pale Blue Earth, a Salt Lake City retailer of state-of-the-art rechargeable batteries, says that manufacturers protect against thermal runaway with circuitry designed to prevent short circuits and overcharging. The circuitry interrupts the electrical connection inside its battery.

Batteries without the circuitry must be handled carefully so as to avoid short-circuiting. They also have to be matched correctly with the devices they power to ensure that the voltage of both is correct. Otherwise, a fire could result.

  • Vaping Fires Don’t Have To Occur

The CPSC’s warning to vapers could potentially save lives. The truth is that vaping fires do not have to occur. Batteries are not predestined to combust or explode. They only do so because they are handled and used improperly.

If you are a vaper with a penchant for mod parts, heed the government’s warning and avoid loose lithium-ion batteries. Stick with packaged batteries from reputable manufacturers, batteries with the built-in circuitry that protects you and your devices.