If you’ve dropped your Elf Bar or any disposable vape in water, it’s likely time to toss it. Luckily, it’s meant to be disposed of. That said, there are times that your disposable vape can still work if it’s just gotten wet, or the drop in water was shallow and brief. Let’s take a look at what happens when your vape gets dropped in water, what you can do to fix it, and when.
Although disposable vapes’ internals are sealed from view, there are several parts inside of the device that are at odds with water. This is true whether you have an Elf Bar, a Puff Bar, Drag Bar, or any other disposable.
Wet battery: the batteries inside vapes are lithium-ion. The recommendations for handling rechargeable lithium-ion batteries differ from those for an alkaline battery. Lithium-ion batteries may still work if only dropped in water briefly and dried thoroughly and quickly. But if they were submerged deeply or for long enough, water may cause corrosion and impede their performance. Plus, you can’t remove a battery from a disposable vape, so there would be no way to dry it.
Wet chipset: another electronic component in the vape is a chipset. These little chips regulate the output of the device, from the automatic draw, to the glowing LED, to the overall vape experience. Similar to the battery, a chipset getting wet isn’t as much of a problem as it is getting wet and not drying. Like batteries, you can’t remove this from a disposable to dry.
Water mixing in e-liquid: This may be the most important thing to consider if your disposable vape gets wet. The ingredients in e-liquid (or vape juice) are propylene glycol, glycerin, flavorings, and (optional) nicotine.
Inside the device, there is an absorbent filler material (similar to cotton,) that’s saturated in e-liquid. If your vape gets submerged in water, water could penetrate the internals and mix with and dilute the e-liquid.
Although e-liquid is miscible in water, its usefulness as a vape liquid will be ruined. Even if you don’t mind the e-liquid being diluted, water is vaporized at lower temperatures than the rest of the ingredients of e-liquid. You’ll be practically boiling water inside the disposable, which may cause pops and even mouth burns.
As mentioned, a chipset and battery can still work if they’ve gotten wet, so it’s reasonable that your vape could still work if dropped in water only briefly. There aren’t a lot of ways for water to penetrate the device quickly, so it stands to reason that the best thing you can do if you drop your vape in water is to get it out of the water as quickly as possible. Of course, this is assuming you dropped it in some shallow and clean water.
Here are a few things you can do to save it.
As stated, the above steps are for drops in CLEAN water that did not fully submerge the device—if it was fully submerged, it’s probably going to short circuit and start autofiring (as did the Dragbar I tested for this article). Also, if the drop was in ocean water, a puddle, or heaven forbid, the toilet, do yourself a favor and dispose of it.
If you’ve gone through those steps above and avoided trying to vape or charge the disposable while it was wet, you stand a good chance of it still working. Let us know in the comments how your disposable got dropped in water. There’s sure to be some funny stories. It’s happened to lots of us.