Best Vape Tanks 2019
October 2, 2018

No More Leaking and Spitting: How to Fix Your Vape

Leaking, popping, spitting. It’s all part of vaping, right? It doesn’t have to be that way. There are plenty of things you can do to keep these issues to a minimum. Whether you’re using a regular tank or rebuildable atomizer, these tips will ensure a smooth experience — no matter which type of device you have.

There’s nothing worse than spilling your favorite e-juice all over your hands. Recently, manufacturers have been redesigning some of their more recent tanks to combat leaking and other annoying issues like hot pops and spitback. No matter what type of device you have, here’s what you can do to fix it now.

What is leaking?

Leaking tank

Leaking happens when e-juice escapes from your tank, usually through the airflow system. Depending on the reason behind it, leaking can range from a few drops of e-liquid, to having your tank emptying all of its contents all over your vape mod. It’s a common problem with even the most popular sub ohm tanks. Best sellers of previous years, like the SMOK TFV8 Baby Beast, Uwell Crown III, Sense Herakles and the Aspire Cleito, have been troubling vapers with leaking due to design oversights or common user errors.

While there are a few common culprits, the good news is that there are ways to prevent leaking from happening. First, we will start with some general tips, and then go into more depth depending on the device you’re using.

How to prevent leaking

Stop leaking, spitting, popping

Check your seal – It sounds obvious, but make sure your tank is fastened together properly. Sometimes if you’re in a hurry, you may cross-thread the top cap or forget to screw it together tight enough. This can cause juice to leak out of the openings. First make sure the threads are in sync and closed tightly, but not too tight. Find that sweet spot. If the threads are crossed, screw it back together carefully.

Remove e-juice from chimney – All tanks have a central airflow tube that runs from the body of the tank up to the drip tip, known as the chimney. Sometimes you can get e-juice inside this tube by accident, which usually leads to gurgling and leaking. If this happens to you, clean it out with a paper towel before vaping.

Keep your tank upright – Some tanks aren’t built to handle being on their side for long periods of time. E-liquid can start seeping out through the airflow holes if you leave it that way overnight. Try to keep your vape positioned vertically if you’re not using it for extended periods of time. Don’t get into the habit of laying your device down all the time, or you will have to deal with inevitable leakage.

Check for worn or damaged O-rings – A common cause of leaks. Take apart your tank, remove the O-rings and examine them closely. Look for signs of wear and tear, broken or missing O-rings. These things can compromise the air seal of the tank. Thankfully O-rings are cheap, just make sure you get the right size.

Stop leaking, spitting, popping

Put a lid on it – If you leave a tank without the top cap, it will leak out of the airflow holes. That’s due to the pressurized nature of tanks. Make sure that your tank is empty if you plan on leaving your top cap off for extended periods of time — anything longer than it takes to fill it. Closing the airflow off will work too, but it’s not as foolproof.

Check your airflow – Always make sure the airflow holes are fully closed when filling. When in use, make sure the airflow is open enough to allow you to vape without having to take strong inhales. If you inhale too forcefully, you risk bringing too much e-liquid into the coil, which may lead to leakage

Watch out when filling – Never overfill your tank. Always leave a small air pocket at the top when filling. This empty space will help prevent any liquid from leaking out.

Check for cracks – Check your tank for cracks or other damage. A thin crack in the glass or a piece of bent metal can mean the tank is no longer airtight, allowing the juice to leak out and into the air hole valve. If your glass is cracked it is usually an inexpensive and simple solution to buy a replacement.

Use the right e-juice – For coil heads that require a lot of power, anything lower than 70% VG stands a good chance of leaking due to the thin viscosity of PG. A good rule of thumb is the big cloud-chucking devices do well with 70% VG (only 30% PG) and above, and MTL devices are generally good up to 70% VG. Always look at your e-juice label to determine its PG/VG ratio.

Stop leaking, spitting, popping

Check your coil heads – As with most mass-produced products, there will always be a few duds. In some cases, the coil may have manufacturing flaws that stop it from holding the juice properly, causing the tank to leak. First, ensure your coil head is screwed in properly and if it is, simply replace the coil–preferably with one from a different batch to the one you’re currently using. If the problem remains, the complication is likely down to one of the other issues addressed here.

Wick carefully – This only applies to rebuildable atomizers that require you to wick them yourself. Wicking an RTA can be tricky: make sure to use enough cotton, or you will be at risk for leaking. The goal is to tuck the cotton in to the wick ports without stuffing them in. This could take some trial and error, depending on the atomizer you are using.

What is spitting and popping?


Spitting, or spitback, is the name for the occasional super-hot droplets of e-liquid that shoot in your mouth when you’re vaping. If you watch an RDA coil firing, you can sometimes see this happening, usually accompanied by popping sounds. The droplets spit in all directions, but if you’re unlucky, some of them can shoot up into the mouthpiece.

Spitback has a simple cause: e-liquid gets pooled up on the coil itself and gets “cooked” instead of being vaporized. It spits similar to the way boiling water does, and with you inhaling from the tip, you can easily catch a droplet or two. The problem is closely linked to flooded coils, but, in some cases, it can happen even without flooding. Here are some ways to prevent spitting and popping from occurring.

How to prevent spitting and popping


Don’t over-prime your coil – “Priming” your coil is the process of manually dripping e-juice onto the wicks before you first use it. If you put too much e-juice in the chamber, you can easily cause flooding issues and spitback. Don’t overdo it. Find your balance. It’s better to give the cotton time to saturate rather than rushing the process.

Reduce your airflow – Inhaling too forcefully when you vape encourages flooding by literally pulling more e-juice into the chamber. This is easy to solve: inhale more softly, letting the coil and wicking do the work for you. If you’re still having issues, try reducing your airflow setting. However, if you reduce the airflow, be careful not to inhale too strongly to compensate – this could just make the issue worse.

Stop leaking, spitting, popping

Use thicker e-juice – PG is thinner in consistency than VG. This means that high-PG e-juices are more likely to flood an atomizer than high-VG ones. If you’re having spitback issues, changing to a high-VG e-juice can solve the problem by slowing down your wicking.

Pulse the fire button – If you’ve primed or dripped too much – just pulse the fire button a couple of times before you start to inhale. The popping sounds should fade, leaving the ordinary, white noise-like hum of vaporization. At this point, you can puff away without fear of spitback.

Turn up the power – If your wattage is too low, you might not be vaporizing e-liquid as quickly as your wick is supplying it. Try going up by 5-10 watts if you’re using a variable wattage mod.

Try another drip tip – If you have a 510 drip tip, try an anti-spitback drip tip. Angled designs make it harder for e-juice to spit all the way up into your mouth. Longer drip tips – especially if they’re curved or have a bend in them – solve the issue in the same way. You can also try fitting a screen onto the bottom of your drip tip or finding one designed for.

Clean the chimney – Although flooding is the most common cause of spitback, the problem can also be made worse by e-juice collecting in the chimney which eventually makes its way back down to your coil. This can be fixed easily: get some rolled up tissue paper, remove your drip tip and insert it down into the chimney of your tank. This soaks up the excess e-liquid reducing the chance of spitting and popping.

Stop leaking, spitting, popping

Avoid exotic coils – This applies mainly to rebuildables. Multi-strand coils often pop and spit due to their design. Twisted coils in particular have a bad reputation for this, but Clapton coils may have the same issue. Their design makes it easier for e-liquid to pool on the coil, and so sometimes it’s hard to entirely avoid popping on these coil types. The easiest advice if you absolutely want to avoid spitback is using simple round wire instead.

Fix your wicks – If you’re using an RTA and spitback is a problem, you may need to re-wick your coils. It might take some experimenting, but the aim is to cover the channels leading from the tank to the chamber without completely blocking them with densely-packed wick. If you’re having issues with flooding and spitting, you’ll need to use more wick than you usually do, but don’t use too much.


Sometimes troubleshooting is necessary for a smooth experience. There are so many causes for leaking, spitback and hot pops – but they’re very avoidable. Start with the simple solutions first, and if they don’t work, move on to more drastic measures. If all else fails, you might need a whole new tank altogether.

It’s good to know that manufacturers are waking up to these common problems. As anti-spitback and anti-leaking measures become more widespread, we may be entering a new age of vaping. If the tech keeps progressing, problems like these might become a thing of the past someday. In the meantime, don’t let these inconveniences deter you from enjoying a much better alternative to smoking cigarettes.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Dave has always had a passion for helping people quit smoking. As a former smoker himself, he knew how hard it could be. As soon as he learned about vaping, he instantly became obsessed with it and helped many people stop smoking. Vaping360 has given Dave a platform to do this on a much larger scale, by educating the public about the wonders of vaping. When Dave is not writing he is either listening to music, performing it, or cruising around on his Penny board.

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Thank you Dave for this info. I have couple of more questions to ask.


I am using new GT2 coil (NRG Tank)and it is making popping sound and spitting. I tried to clean my tank many time done less primming everything but it doesn’t help. Popping and spitting are same as before. I lowered the wattage to 30 and increase the wattage till 55 wat. Increase and decrease airflow but still the same kindly advise.

Dave Kriegel

Hey Mohammad, sorry to hear that. Do you happen to know the VG/PG ratio of your e-juice? If it is lower than 70% VG might be too thin for the coils. Is it a very sweet juice? E-juice with a lot of sweetener can also be the problem. My suggestion is to start over with a fresh coil and a different e-juice. You can also try playing with higher wattage because it might not be enough power to vaporize all of the liquid, which could be causing the issue. Best of luck.


Thanks so much you saved me… Though I broke my new first ever pod but it was a simple fix of cleaning the air vents


I just hit my first RTA , set it up with all of my knowledge at this point but switched back to my crown 4 tank after a few hits because of hot spitback!

Thank you for the great tips on solving this issue ! I will try a few of your solutions and see what I can figure out!?

Joshua Dewayne Wishon

I have a problem. I have 3 SMOK Species V2 TFV8 tanks. A1 coils were fine. A2 and A3 coils work great. But I have 1 batch of bad V2 A1 coils. When I screw them on it says Ohms too low. I unscrew them a little it’s fine. But I have leaks. I’ve taken the original A1 connection piece and switched them and they work fine. But they leak. I don’t know how to tell where it’s coming from. Everything is tight. It just leaks. The seals are tight. I think it’s seeping through the cotton in the coil. I have some new ones ordered and on the way.


As a woman who has been vaping for years and has been through quite a few set ups of mods and tanks, I can tell you ALL Smok products suck now – ESPECIALLY their tanks. I have went through FIVE Smok tanks in less than a year – including the Baby Beast and so many others I’ve forgotten the names. They ALL have severe leaking issues, ohm issues, coils burning out in less than a week no matter what you do, not registering the correct ohms or even detecting you have a tank at all and this is on their own mod! Don’t even get me started on the mods. I’m currently waiting for my new indestructible Aegis mod in the mail. And I changed out my last Smok tank months ago for a FreeMax mesh pro-which although it doesn’t handle the wattage I like, it doesn’t leak, pop or magically become undetectable like my old Smok tanks. I’ve had it with that company! Just a pure waste of money.

Dave Kriegel

It definitely sounds like you received a bad batch of coils. I hope the new ones work. It sounds like the seal of the tank is compromised, probably due to the coils. If you still have the spare o-rings that come with your tank, you could try switching them out if the new coils don’t work. Hope that works for you, good luck and thanks for the comment!


Thank you for this article, Dave! I ran across it attempting to find an article about tanks that can handle high wattages that don’t leak since my new Aegis goes up to 200w. My Freemax mesh pro is awesome but the coils can’t handle anything above 90w and that’s just the packaging on the label because I’ve noticed they tend to burn out at anything above 60. So do you have any recommendations for me? I would like something that I could top out at about 90-100w or above. Thanks in advance for your advice!

Dave Kriegel

It sounds like you’ve upgraded to a much more dependable setup. I love the Mesh Pro too. I’m not sure what coils you’re using, but if you go with the lower ohm dual coils, you should be able to reach higher wattages, if that’s what you prefer. There is a wide range of coils available for that tank right now.

Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts, Dionne. I’m glad to hear that you’ve found a setup you’re happy with, that doesn’t leak. Good luck with the new coils!


it could also be that your new coils were made for a thicker ejuice try using an ejuice with a higher VG content.

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