In the electronic cigarette world, there are many different tanks for you to choose from. There are a great many brands all producing tanks of varying design, using different coils optimised for different types of e-liquid.
Beyond tanks there is now a massive selection of pod devices available too, which function a little differently to traditional tanks. You can learn a lot more about different coils, tanks, pods and how best to pair them with your chosen e-liquid in our guide: How to Vape Properly.
One thing that unites all these different pieces of vape tech – unless they are a single-use disposable, they will all need to be refilled by you, the user. While it’s true their design can differ quite a lot between brands and models, refilling a vaping device will follow a very similar set of generic steps in order to top them up and keep your vaping journey going.
A Quick Breakdown of Your E-Cigarette
Before we explain the refill process, it’s important to ensure you are familiar with the basic components of your vaping device. While this can differ between examples, most will feature the below components in one form or another.
Almost all e-cigs are comprised of a battery, a tank and a coil. The battery powers the coil, which contains a wire wrapped around a wick that soaks up the e-liquid, all of which are housed within a tank.
Tanks are legally restricted to a 2ml capacity to comply with TPD regulations; however, some can be modified to hold more using interchangeable glass shaped like a bubble, although this is more common with advanced kits.
If you are using a pod device, the constituent parts of the device will be largely the same. The exception is that instead of a tank, there is of course a pod. Pods can be single-use, like those for our EDGE GO, or refillable which is more common in pod-mod devices. Regardless of their ability to be refilled, all pods still contain a coil which is powered by the battery to vapourise your chosen e-liquid.
General Instructions for Refilling a Tank
Follow these steps to refill an e-cigarette:
- Unless the design calls for it, you should be able to refill your tank while it is attached to the battery.
- Unscrew the top section (most commonly) of your tank. some designs may use a slide or button mechanism to reveal their opening for refilling.
- Place the nozzle of your e-liquid bottle on the inside wall or through the opening, being careful to avoid the centre tubing.
- Squeeze the e-liquid in to fill the tank, taking care not to over-fill – some tanks have max fill lines for you to use as a guide.
- Ensure the tank is properly re-sealed before use.
- Leave for a few minutes to ensure the new liquid has begun wicking into the coil, then take small puffs until confident it is saturated for normal use.
General Instructions for Refilling a Pod
If you are using a pod device, the process is largely the same with some minor differences as seen below:
- It is more common for a refillable pod to be detached from the device battery before filling, however some are top-loading. Observe your design to establish which approach is correct for you.
- Most refillable pods will feature a silicone bung or plug, which should be carefully removed/opened. They are often attached to the pod, so be careful not to tear it off entirely.
- Insert the nozzle of your refill bottle into the opening and squeeze carefully to fill. Pods often have a smaller capacity so take care not to overfill, sometimes you must tilt the pod to achieve the optimum fill level – you must use your own judgement.
- Ensure the bung has been properly replaced before reconnecting the pod to the battery.
- Allow some time for the new liquid to wick-in to the coil before use.
Instructions for Refilling with a New Coil
If it has reached the end of it’s life, has burned or simply if you want a fresh start with a new flavour, it is standard practice to change your coil. The above instructions still absolutely apply; however, the below extra precautions should be taken to ensure you have an optimum vaping experience.
- Before inserting the new coil into your tank or pod, take your chosen liquid and drip a small amount onto the exposed wicking ports of the coil. This is called priming, and it helps to ensure your coil wicks faster when you fill the device properly, as well as protecting you from dry burn, which you can learn about in detail in our
- When you fill the tank with a newly primed coil inserted, it is advised to leave it for at least ten minute to ensure it is fully saturated. If you have not primed it this should be left for longer.
Refilling Mistakes to Avoid
While not the most complex process, there are some simple things to avoid when refilling that will help to preserve your equipment and ensure you have a pleasant vaping experience:
- Do not pour e-liquid down the centre tube of the tank/pod – this will result in a gurgling noise when inhaling and can cause messy leaks. The centre tube is for airflow only and allows you to properly inhale. The coil only ever absorbs liquid from the wicking ports on its outside, not internally.
- Do not crank your power or vape immediately after changing coils or if it has been dry for a while before refilling – this will almost always cause your coil to burn as it has not had chance to become properly saturated. It will almost always need to be replaced if this occurs.
- Ensure you use the right liquid for the coil – sub ohm coils have large wicking ports designed to allow thick High-VG e-liquid to effectively absorb. 50-50 coils have smaller ports as they are intended to be used with thinner e-liquid. Thin e-liquid will often over-wick into a sub-ohm coil because of the large ports. Thick e-liquid will not properly absorb through the small ports on a 50-50 coil increasing the risk of dry burn.
- Double-check your seals! – If you have been using a tank or pod for some time, they naturally suffer wear and tear. For tanks, the silicone O-rings, and for pods the silicone bungs used throughout are perishable. Their soft material is prone to tearing and pinching. To help prevent leaking, or worse, bits of silicone breaking away into your e-liquid internally, ensure your seals are all in good condition and are located properly. Your device instructions should explain how best to do this this, and many tanks come with spare O-rings so you can maintain them properly.
Follow this advice and you should be able to effectively work out how to refill any device on your vaping journey. Always refer to your individual device instructions for extra clarity, and to ensure you are using it safely. If you are looking for a refill after reading this, then head over to our store to check out our selection of 50-50 and High-VG e-liquids to keep your devices topped up!
With over 5 years within the vaping industry, Ian has amassed a wealth of knowledge that is unparalleled throughout the industry. His knowledge extends beyond e-liquids and devices, but covers safety and compliance as well as best practice and more to name but a few.