Why Cartomizers Leak: Refilling & Usage Tips

I’ve been a fan ever since I stopped using atomizers and switched over to cartomizers. They’re just so much better in terms of ease of use, and also flavor. Atomizers in my opinion are just way too troublesome, and dripping e-liquid into the atty with every couple of draws just becomes tedious, and after all, vaping is supposed to be fun!

There are 2 main brands of cartomizers that are extremely popular on the market right now for 510 compatible e-cigs: Boge and Smoketech cartomizers.

There are others available out there but they are no where close in terms of performance. And from a popularity standpoint, these two are the best due to higher manufacturing standards.

Survey: Which Cartomizers Leak the Most?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Leaking Issues

The main problem with using cartomizers I’ve found, is that they leak, and when they do, they become a real pain in the ass. I’ve personally purchased, and have gone through about 80 cartomizers over the last 4 months, and from what I’ve seen, some units leak and some don’t. Some carto’s that I’ve used never leaked, and some of them only start leaking after a few days of use. I’ve never been able to figure out why this happens on such an inconsistent basis until this week.

And here’s the culprit…

The Possible Cause of Leaky Cartomizers

Ever since I purchased my Provari e-cig mod, I’ve been on it 24/7 (almost). I’ve used both Smoketech’s and Boge cartomizers on it and every time there is a leak issue, the e-juice flows down and fills the connector catchment of the device. When this happens, I get “gurgling” sounds and a massive drop in vapor production.

The cause is due to the liquid flowing through a fissure to the center column of the cartomizer and dripping down to the connector point of the electronic cigarette.

The atomizer coils have probably overheated and burnt a hole somewhere along the length of the center column.

Look at the photo I took below of my Provari’s connector. As you can see it’s filled with e-juice and when this happens, the cartomizer is not going to vape well.

prevent leaky cartos

Keeping the Cartomizers Happy

I have begun to realize that cartomizers burn way too easily. I wasn’t vaping till the carto’s were bone dry, but it was enough to damage the column and cause leaks to happen.

So the trick is to keep the cartomizer wet, always. Keep refilling and adding a couple of drops of e-juice for every 15-20 drags you take. Again, this number will vary depending on the size of your cartomizer, as well as whether or not you’re using LR (low resistance) coils or even high voltage e cigarettes.┬áSince I’ve started refilling more often, I’ve found that the cartomizers can last me over a week without a single leak.

When you crack open a fresh cartomizer, start off at a lower voltage, say around 3.7 volts. Give the polyfiller to really soak in the liquid. After an hour of vaping or so, you can kick the voltage up to whatever you want (I normally go between 4.5 V – 5 V depending on the liquid I’m using).

Another thing you can do is get yourself a Map Tank or a Liquinator. These tanks are designed to always keep the polyfill (the sponge-like material within the cartomizer) wet.

Have you had any leaky issues? Share some of your experiences below in the comments section.

9 Responses to “Why Cartomizers Leak: Refilling & Usage Tips”

Read below or add a comment...

  1. Daniel says:

    I live in Frisco Texas, next to vaporescence the makers of the liquinator. I love my 3 ml tank and 6 volt mod, I run a single coil 510 carto which ever maker vaporescence uses. I have had the same problem of leaking carto’s which has and continues to be an absolute nightmare for me.

    When replacing my carto’s, I drip into it making sure its wet before use, blow out any excess, keep my tank just about full, but not totally full, and no matter what I do, blowing tank upside down, smoking upside down, lifting tank to carto cut slots to try and keep fluid from dripping into slots as easy, just about every idea I could come up with.

    Unfortunately it has been such a nightmare for me, I have gone through probably 25 to 30 carto’s and more than 3 different 30 ml bottles of e-liquid. I have no idea why it continues to happen, and cant seem to figure out the cause.

    Some cartos work for a good amount of time (which has been few), others last a week, some just start leaking right away, and if it isnt leaking it starts burning, and there is nothing worse than the taste of a dried out carto burning! Hell I have even bought carto’s from vaporescence that dont even work? And if this is happening after having bought just 25 – 30 carto’s how frequently will this continue to keep happening. Its been the biggest flaw to the tank idea (that is unless I am doing something super wrong here).

    I could really use some advice on this issue. I was wondering and have yet to hear someone mention the possiblity of this! Could it be that its not so much the carto as it is the ratio of VG/PG vs. Nicotine. If there is less VG the fluid seems to be far more runny (less viscosity), would that not cause the fluid to leak through the carto slots far more easy than it would if it was thickened by VG? I would figure that the thickening caused by a higher VG ratio would make it harder for the actual e-liquid to seap out the bottom holes of the carto?

    I also wonder if there is less VG dosent your bottles of e-liquid burn quicker, and thus a person go through more e-liquid having to buy more bottles more frequently? But this is just a guess at this point. I have heard slotting a carto on just one side, heard of punching holes vs. going with dremel slots, and even what size slots to personally cut into a carto? No clue at this point, but its the one thing that has driven me to almost quitting my vaping overall, just because its becoming such an issue! Could really use your or others take!


  2. mech says:

    Hi Daniel,

    Thanks for the comment. I know how you feel, this is why I opened up the survey for this post, because a lot of people are experiencing this. I know for a fact that Smoketech cartomizers do have a tendency to leak, but it’s not a consistent issue – the luck of the draw really.

    I don’t think it’s got much to do with viscosity either, so using too much or too little VG has little to do with the leaks.

    It’s definitely due to breaching the center column. Just try using my tips from the post. Keep the poly fill wet at all times. Perhaps, even let your fresh/new cartomizers sit for half an hour after a fill, to really soak in the e-liquid.

    Vape with short draws at the beginning, to avoid hitting any dry spots. I do believe most of the damage is done to the center column at the beginning. Once you screw up a carto, it’s a goner.

    I more or less vape the same liquid, day in and day out. And once I figured out this little trick, my cartos don’t leak anymore. But I was close to giving up on them at one point. It is indeed, super-frustrating.


  3. Charlie says:

    I have yet to try any smoke tech cartos, but have been using boge HR, LR, and dual coil. I have used all of these on a 650 mAh eGo, 510 bat, and even a small auto bat from blu cigs.

    The way I stopped leaking was to fill it up until it pools a bit, then set it on a napkin at lett the excess drip out. After that blow a few times from the top and get a little more out. To double check let it sit right side up on a napkin again for a few seconds and you should be good to go.

  4. Laura says:

    I do what Charlie does and usually it eliminates the leaking issue. When filling an empty carto I put about 7 drops in and then blow. Repeat blow until i’m done. Also, I always add a few drops during the day to make sure they are good and moist..And blow then too. lol. I also use rubber caps that i’ve cut in half in width under the top cap. I have been cleaning my carto’s for months. But nothing is better than a clean new carto and a fresh battery!! Hmmmm…

  5. Robert Love says:

    I use to have these problems. With a Tank its a real mess! I started leaving in the end caps just pushem down with the drip tip. A fast no mess way to fill your cart is when you position your tank, leave just a 1/16″ out on the bottom. Juice is in tank Cart is dry put a cart condom on threaded side. With your drip tip in place lightly suck. (It’s hard to write this with out imagining the comments :))

    This will draw the juice in the cart from the punched hole. Now put your plug in smoosh down your drip tip and your ready to go. That’s how I do it on my M1A1 tank.

    I just got a Arrys Act3 tank from stormy vapors and it uses a adapter. I’ve not had a leakage problem yet. This might be the answer!

  6. Pwade says:

    I’ve had the same problem over the past year. It was so bad at one point that it even ruined one of my Firefly batteries, which if any knows about these batteries they are not cheap. What I’ve noticed is that I do not have the leaking issue with rebuildable Cart tanks and that I when I used the non-rebuildable kind I had a leak problem just about every time with several different brands. The rebuildable tanks cost more in the short term as I had to get at least two to start (so you can clean one and change the atomizer while using the other) but once I was up and running my leaking issues have seemed to have gone away. I hope it stays that way, We’ll see.

  7. DC says:

    I have been having major issues with cartomizers too. I have been using boge lr with a tank for over a year, been doing what Laura and Charlie did more or less, and some worked great, others had leaking, gurgling, flooding, sometimes burnt, ect. I can usually figure things out, and tried to perfect it on my own, wasted many cartos and got so frusterated I almost gave up on them. I tried every fill method I could find, watched many youtube vids and read many posts. What I was doing wrong was not allowing proper time for it to soak in, and not starting with small puffs on a low voltage setting. Yeah, it does not sound like it would make a big difference, and this info is really not discussed many places, most of the fill methods seem to imply that its ready to go immediately after fill, giving it proper time to fully saturate the fill material is essential, if you don’t, it can actually burn a hole in the material that makes up the airflow, this will cause liquid to leak and flood. Hard to see this without taking the carto apart! I found this info from someone who had taken cartos apart after filling them and letting them soak for various amounts of time, firing them before they had time to fully soak, ect.
    Now I prime them first, using the condom method from the top, go real slow, let it sit for 20-30 mins, make sure the center airflow is clear with a gentle blow if needed. Then start on about 3.5V with light puffs, move to higher volts after 10-20 puffs.
    This has greatly improved my luck with them, I hope this helps someone looking for answers to the same issue.

    • mech says:

      Hey man. Even after 2 years my carto problems are still there. They are inconsistent. Some of them vape well. Some not. And I always do the same primer procedures, pretty much like what you do. :)

      It’s just the luck of the draw.

  8. Michael Wood says:

    I am new to all this so please excuse me if my terminology is incorrect. what I have done after three coils in a row only lasted about 4 days before they start to leak. I have taken a small piece of wick from an old coil and added it on top of the one that recently started to leak and it created a tighter seal and reduced leakage. so far so good.