A frequent call we receive here at VaporWarehouse is from customers that cannot screw a new heater onto their battery base and that the old heater no longer works. Or that there is a wire (usually red or yellow) coming out of the top of their vape pen battery base or the skillet heater. I then have to give them the bad news that either the skillet or the battery base or both are damaged and will need to be replaced.
This damage is not considered a manufacturer defect (warranty coverage will not apply) but the result of not properly cleaning and maintaining the vape pen.
The most crucial part of a vape pen maintenance is keeping the contacts clean and free of residue. Nothing will damage your vape pen faster than dirty contacts. In this blog we will instruct you on how to clean the battery base and skillet contacts.
There is a contact on the top side the battery base and one on the underside of the skillet heater. From the users viewpoint these contacts look like a flat silver metal circle. These contacts are used to supply energy from the battery base to heat the coil in the skillet.
Underneath the coil in the center of the skillet heater there is a small pin hole that provides airflow. Over time time you may notice a build up of melted wax leaking through the center air hole. There is a greater chance of the skillet leaking if your material is very runny or you overload the skillet. Because of this it is extremely important that you frequently clean and maintain these contacts.
If the dirty contacts are left neglected, the end result is the two contacts fusing together. When the contacts are stuck together you will have a difficult time trying to remove the heater from the battery base. Once the skillet has been removed generally one of the contacts gets ripped out from either the battery or the skillet. If the contact has been ripped out, it’s game over for the piece the contact belonged to.
So let’s examine the simple steps on how to clean your vapor pen contacts.
Materials required to clean the vaporizer pen contacts:
- 91% or higher Isopropyl Alcohol (ISO)
- Cotton Swabs (aka by the brand name Q-tip)
- Small Dish or container (optional)
- Pour some ISO into a small dish or container to prevent contaminating the bottle of alcohol (optional).
- Remove the skillet heater from the battery base.
- Dip one end of the cotton swab into the ISO.
- Hold the battery base so the contact end is pointing down, this will help prevent any ISO from leaking into the base that may cause damage to the internal electronics.
- Using a circular motion, clean the inside thread base and battery contact.
- If the cotton swab come changes color, repeat the above step using clean swabs until the cotton no longer discolors. This make take several repeated cleanings to achieve.
- Swab around the outside threads to keep them free from residue.
- Clean the skillet heater the same way as the battery base holding the skillet with the contact facing down and swab inside with ISO.
- Let the ISO dry completely on both parts before using the pen.
If the skillet contact rips out and gets stuck to the battery contact, there is a chance you can save the battery. If this happens you will see a small pin in the center of the top part of the battery base where the contact can normally be seen. You must remove the skillet contact from the battery contact or else you cannot screw another heater onto the base.
Follow the same steps to clean the contact on the battery base. The ISO should break down the residue that caused the contacts to stick together. After several swabs around the contacts, use the swab to try to gently push the pin of the skillet contact to see if it’s loosened from the battery contact. Once the skillet contact has loosened up it should come off of the battery contact. Use care while attempting this because if the skillet contact is still stuck to the battery contact it may rip that contact out.
Once the skillet contact has been completely removed from the battery contact, clean the battery contacts again to make sure there is no remaining residue.
If you’ve made it this far you now know the importance of maintaining your vape pen. So take a little time out of your day on at least a weekly basis to follow these simple steps to keeping your contacts free and clear of residue.