Good. You decided to use e-cigarettes to stop smoking, you ordered a starter kit and some cartomizers, and then you run into a terrifying spreadsheet called The Safe Vaping Power Chart. It strikes fear into many, if not most new vapers. Shuddering, and wondering if vaping is a dangerous territory to venture into, you stare at an intricate spreadsheet of volts and ohms and wonder what equipment that is available is actually safe to use. Because so much of the chart is in red, it would appear that vaping is somewhat more unsafe, than safe. This is just not so.
And, weren’t there two men, one in Florida, and one in Colorado who were injured when their vaping devices exploded while they were using them? Yes, and I will provide you links later. By then you will understand some of the factors that went into these accidents.
Starter kits and additional cartomizers are designed to work in the safe range when they are used together. Your start into vaping, when you use a starter kit is perfectly safe. When you decide to buy more equipment, batteries, or more importantly the vaporizing attachment, whether cartomizer, tank, atomizer or clearomizer you will need to understand, in very simple terms what the chart indicates.
The line on the top represents volts. This is the power that is discharged from the battery to heat up the the coil in your cartomizer, atomizer, clearomizer, or tank. Most standard batteries are considered 3.7 volt batteries. Many may claim 4.2 or 4.3 volts, but after being discharged a few times, they drop rapidly into the 3.7 volt range. Passthroughs, which are designed to run from a computer’s USB hub or a wall adapter may be 5 volt devices. There is no battery; the power is coming from household current. For passthroughs, where the current passes directly through the device to your atomizer the device's power will always remain at the stated voltage. It will never decrease, as a battery will through use.
A link to the chart can be found at this link: viewtopic.php?f=8&t=58&hilit=safe+vaping+power+chart. You can click on the image and expand it to see the numbers more clearly. However, don’t go there now! Just be aware from the smaller image I included what the chart contains.
The vertical line at the left side of the page represents ohms. Ohms are a measure of resistance to the voltage being supplied. The lower the ohm rating, the lower resistance something has to the power running through it, and the hotter it will become when power is running through it. A 1.7 ohm atomizer has little resistance to the power of the battery. It will allow the coil to heat up much more than will a 2.4 ohm atomizer at constant voltage. Lower ohm ratings need lower voltage running through them to prevent coil overheating and possibly melting. Higher ohm ratings are able to take higher voltages.
This spreadsheet was designed to help experienced vapers, those owning something other than the normal 3.7 volt battery, choose the right resistance cartomizer, atomizer, tank, or clearomizer for their power source. In all likelihood, as a brand new vaper, you have a 3.7 volt battery. You might have a 5 volt passthrough, too. All of the standard resistance (ohms) coils are going to work for you.
Let’s say you want to buy a new battery, though. You see batteries rated in mAh. Will they work for the cartomizers you have? There is no mAh column in the Safe Vaping Power Chart. Batteries list a milliamp-hour rating - mAh. This has nothing whatsoever to do with voltage. The mAh rating on a battery tells you how much power it can store. A 370mAh stick battery will not hold as much total power as a 900mAh battery. Milliamp-hours (mAh) tell you how long a battery will last, not their voltage. Milliamp-hours are to batteries what coffee mug sizes are to coffee. The bigger the number, the more it can hold. The battery you are looking for should have the voltage listed in the 3.7 to 5 volt range; ignore the mAh rating.
You have decided it’s the time to try out some new vaporizing devices for your battery. You have heard about low resistance, standard resistance and high resistance items. Different manufacturers may list these classifications with slightly different ohm ratings, and a good website will give you the ohm rating range of the coil in the device you are considering. As a rule of thumb, low resistance is between 1.5 and 2.2 ohms, standard resistance is between 2.3 and 2.9, and high resistance is over 3 ohms.
Many people feel that low resistance, with its hotter burn for the voltage yields better vapor production. Anybody using a battery that has just about lost power notices that vapor production drops off. This is because, in a standard resistance 2.4 ohm cartomizer, once the voltage left in the battery drops below about 3.5 volts, there is not enough heat to produce good vapor. The downside of using low resistance coil devices is twofold. The coil will likely burn out faster, because it burns hotter, and juice consumption will increase. Still, there are folks who swear by low resistance as the way to vape because of the upside – warmer vapor and more of it, perhaps 20% more vapor production than from standard resistance coils. In addition, if you look at the chart below, the lower resistance coils will usually produce vapor right up to the point where the battery dies. I scoured the internet extensively, and could not easily find any low resistance devices at less than 1.5 ohms. For high resistance coils, I noticed that there seem to be 3.5, 4 or 5 ohm ratings for them. High resistance coils will not heat up as high, until you add more voltage.
Unless you have a “mod,” you cannot add more voltage, so I simplified a very extensive chart into one that provides the ranges that a beginning vaper will use to choose the proper coil resistance. I did include up to 5 volts, for the passthroughs. Just remember that a 5 volt passthrough will not lose voltage like a standard battery. The columns for 4.25, 4.5 and 4.75 volts are irrelevant to anyone using the chart for a these devices, so I have marked them with X. This is really all you need to know about the Safe Vaping Power Chart as a novice vaper.
The range highlighted in yellow indicates a range of resistance (ohms) where the power level of the battery is insufficient to produce a strong vapor. This is the reason that just before your battery dies, at around 3.1 or 3.2 volts the vapor production drops off. The 2.4 to 2.8 ohm cartomizer you are using cannot produce vapor because it does not have enough heat. The range highlighted in green is optimal battery power and coil resistance for the best vapor and coil life. The red range is a range where the heat generated is likely to melt the coil.
I want you to think of an incandescent light bulb. The filament, the tiny wire in there is analogous to the coil in your vaporizing device. A light bulb produces light by running power through the filament heating it, which produces light. It also produces heat. A 25 watt light bulb does not produce as much light and heat as a 100 watt bulb. The wattage is really the secret to heating the coil. I am not going to do a complete course in electrical engineering here. The more watts the combination of volts and ohms produce, the hotter the coil will get. Too little wattage means poor or no vapor. Too much wattage will burn out the coil.
Here is a fun link to play with.http://www.ohmslawcalculator.com/ohms_l ... ulator.php. You can put in the voltage of your battery and the ohms of your coil and see what wattage you get. Where the full version of the Safe Vaping Power Chart becomes confusing are all the little numbers in the chart. These are the results of calculating the wattage using the voltage and resistance. These numbers are not something to fear; they are not something to memorize. For our purposes, they are something we can ignore. If you choose your cartomizers, clearomizers, tanks, and atomizers using the green area of the chart, you are going to be fine.
I dropped a term a while back, "mod," that may be a little terrifying for some, in light of the two exploding e-cigarettes that were mods. A mod usually refers to anything other than a standard e-cig battery. You can buy mods. Some people make them themselves, and may use a technique of “stacking” batteries, or using more than one in a device for more power.
And what about those two men, one in Florida http://www.cspnet.com/news/tobacco/arti ... arette-mod and the other in Colorado http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2 ... arges.html who were injured by exploding e-cigarettes? Both of these cases did not result from using commonly available e-cig batteries. Neither of these cases resulted from ignoring the guidelines in the Safe Vaping Power Chart for standard e-cig batteries. Both were due to misuse of batteries in a "mod."
If that chart, especially in light of these two accidents, has stopped you from your plan to quit smoking using e-cigarettes, or left you too terrified to start vaping the kit you bought, please worry no longer. Keep in the green range when ordering additional vaporizing devices (cartomizers, clearomizers, tanks and atomizers) and you can’t go wrong. Your two worse scenarios are getting too low a resistance and no vapor, or too high resulting in a damaged battery or a melted coil. You will be fine, just out a bit of money but wiser for the next time. When well-meaning friends and family stick the chart in front of you and tell you that vaping is not safe, you are now able to set them straight.
So, vape on!
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