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10 Potential Reasons Why a Disposable Vape Lights Up but No Smoke

John Doe

Written by: John Doe

Updated on May 2, 2024

10 Potential Reasons Why a Disposable Vape Lights Up but No Smoke

The beauty of disposable vapes is that they are a cinch to use. They come ready to puff right out of the box, without the hassle of cleaning, maintaining, or refilling it. Once the e-liquid runs out, you just reach for another pen.

But there’s nothing more frustrating than when your brand new disposable vapes up but fails to produce any satisfying vapor hits. You were so eager to enjoy that fresh vape juice flavor, but now you’re left puffing away with empty vapor produced little to no smoke. What gives?

The good news is that it’s usually an easy fix once you identify the underlying cause. In this guide, we’ll explore the 10 most common reasons why your disposable vape might light up but not hit properly, plus how to get it working again quickly.

Disposable Vape Lighting Up But Not Hitting: Troubleshooting Steps for the Components

Disposable vapes have a pretty simple design with just a few core parts that need to be working in sync. That’s the vape juice cartridge, battery, heating coil, and mouthpiece.

When you take a puff bar, the adjustable airflow activates the sensor which signals the battery to heat up the coil and vaporize the e-liquid. A problem with any of these components can prevent air bubbles production.

When following the troubleshooting steps for a disposable vape that is not hitting, it pays to inspect each part. Watch out for any visible issues, such physical damage, the color of the blinking light, or gunk.

Step 1 – Check the Vape Battery

At its core, the battery is the power house of your vape device. So if it’s dead, faulty, or has a loose connection, nothing else will function.

Check that the battery indicator light is on and glowing the right color. This explainer video can help you get off on the right foot if your vape pen doesn’t hit or charge.

Step 2 – Inspect the Vape Cartridge

Most disposables have a viewing window that allows you to see the e-juice level. It helps you check if the cartridge is gunked up, empty, or even frozen.

The cat usually has an LED indicator that lights up. A blue light blinking is the most common red flag (punt intended). It could indicate that the e-liquid is frozen inside the cartridge. Sometimes, it could be a sign of bad connection, faulty vape, or dead rechargeable battery.

The first point of call is to check if the cartridge has run out of e-liquid. It is empty, you won’t be able to refill a disposable vape bar or pen. Instead, look for a replacement vape, be it another disposable or switch to a rechargeable vape battery mod.

Step 3 – Move onto the Heating Coil

The coil is the critical heating element. It sits in the vape tank or cartridge with e-juice around it. Wicking is found inside vaporizer or atomizer coils. It serves as an absorbent that wicks the from the e-liquid tank to the nichrome.

When you switch thee power unit on, the coils kick into action, with the heating element becoming hot. This way, the e-juice turns into the lovely smoke puffs that you enjoy. They then push their way through the exit into the mouthpiece.

There are several issues that could arise and cause your vape not to hit. First, if the coils are burnt out, flooded, or not receiving enough power from the power unit, they may not properly vaporize the e-liquid. The tank design can make or break the overall robustness of the coil.

Step 4 – Inspect the Mouthpiece

The mouthpiece is where the magic finally happens. It is where the vapor exits the devices and tickles taste buds in your mouth. Don’t be fooled by the name; this isn’t an outlet that sits pretty.

The mouthpiece serves as the turn-on, especially in disposable vapes with a draw-to-switch design. It helps fire up your device. So if it is not hitting, the mouthpiece could be to blame.

No matter the design, the vape mouthpiece needs to be clear to allow unobstructed airflow and vapor passage. Check for blockages or clogs that could be restricting air intake. If there’s too much gunk, residue, or blockage, you want to watch this video on how to clean the mouthpiece.

Why is My Disposable Vape Not Hitting? 10 Common Causes and Easy Fixes

Once you’ve checked the core components, it’s time to identify the specific reason why your disposable vape isn’t vaporizing properly. First things first, ensure your device is switched on. The solution could be as simple as turning it on.

How does your disposable vape work? While most use an inhale-to-activate design, some still feature a button to turn it on. If that’s the case, just press, tap, or flick the switch.

Woman and man are vaping disposable vape

Otherwise, here are 10 of the most common issues behind disposable vapes not hitting:

#1 Vape Juice Has Been Depleted

This is the most likely issue. You’ve simply vaped through all of the e-liquid in the cartridge. Even the best disposable vape pen offers around 300-600 puffs from a full tank.

If your last few puffs had a burned, harsh, or bitter flavor, you may have run out of liquor. Too bad, it is difficult to check the e-liquid level if your vape doesn’t have a window. Either way, if the cartridge is empty or bare, it’s time for a replacement.

#2 Dead Battery

Disposable vape batteries only last so long before deteriorating. If the indicator light is off or glowing a different color, the battery has no charge left.

Disposable e-cigarette batteries cannot be recharged. If the array LED indicator is off or blinking an irregular color, it is likely dead and the whole disposable needs to be replaced. Replacing the whole disposable device is the only fix for a dead battery.

#3 Flooded Vape Coil

If too much e juice floods or condenses on the coils, it can’t effectively vaporize the e-liquid. It is likely that you have let your device sit around for weeks or months without puffing. The bottom of the cat is possibly flooded, oversaturating the wick and drowning the heating coil.

This is especially true if your puffs are less dense yet leaves a burnt aftertaste on the roof of your mouth. A flooded coil area can damage and render your disposable vaporizer unusable.

Remove the disposable’s mouthpiece if possible. Use a paper towel or cotton bud to wick away any excess e-liquid that has flooded onto the coil. Allow it to fully dry out for 5-10 minutes before attempting to vape again.

#4 Burnt Vape Coil (Wicking is Too Dry)

On the flip side, burnt coils that got too dry won’t be able to heat up the e-juice properly either. Dried out wicking prevents the vape oil from getting to the mesh coil.

It is likely that you have been puffing your disposable vape pen a little too hard and often. A weak vape is usually the telltale sign of an overworked device.

A burnt coil from lack of e-liquid will produce a harsh, burnt taste and inability to vaporize properly. There is no way to repair a burnt coil. You’ll need to replace the entire disposable vape pen.

#5 Clogged Airflow Intake

The air intake holes are crucial for the working of any disposable vape. They let the air flow through the device so that you can get good, flavorful puffs.

However, much like holes on the mouthpiece, they can easily get blocked or clogged over time by vape juice, dirt, and even lint from your pocket.

Use a paperclip, toothpick or thin tool to carefully pick out any debris, lint or condensed e juice clogging the air intake vents/holes. Blow through the intakes as well to help dislodge blockages.

#6 Clogged Mouthpiece

Similarly, the mouthpiece itself could have blockages like recondensed vape juice obstructing proper air intake and vapor flow.

To fix a disposable vape with this issue, detach the mouthpiece first. Use a cloth, cotton swab or light brushing to clean out any obstructed juice or gunk buildup. If severely clogged, you may need to replace just the mouthpiece.

#7 Loose Battery Connection

If the battery has a loose connection to the heating components, it won’t consistently activate the atomizer to vaporize e-liquid. Carefully try separating the components to inspect the battery connection point and ensure it is making a secure fit. Reseat the battery to improve the connection if needed.

#8 Faulty Disposable Unit

No amount of troubleshooting will revive a disposable vape that is defective out of the box. Contact the seller or manufacturer for a refund or replacement unit.

#9 Chain Vaping Overload

Most disposables have puff limits or automatic cut-off protection to prevent overheating from successive, prolonged puffs. If chain vaping, the device may temporarily shut down requiring a rest period before hitting again.

#10 vape juice Leakage

E-liquid could potentially leak out from the cartridge over time, leaving an insufficient e liquid level. Inspect for any cracks or splits that e-liquid may be escaping from. This step-by-step video might come in handy when fixing most disposable vape pens.

Mistakes to Avoid When Your Disposable Vape Isn’t Hitting

While troubleshooting disposable vape issues, there are a few things you’ll want to avoid doing that could potentially damage the device further:

#1 Don’t Try Recharging the Battery

Disposable vapes use non-rechargeable batteries. Any attempts to recharge could result in battery failure, leakage, or even fire/explosion hazards. Replace the full unit when the battery dies.

#2 Don’t Try Disassembling the Vape

These are designed as compact, sealed systems not meant for being taken apart. Forcing components open could permanently break the disposable.

#3 Don’t Keep Using a Faulty Disposable

If the device is clearly defective with no amount of troubleshooting fixing the issue, continuing using could damage the vape device further and waste any remaining vape juice.

#4 Don’t Clean With Anything Too Abrasive

When clearing out suspected clogs or gunk buildup, stick to using just cotton swabs and paper towels with gentle brushing. Anything too abrasive could scratch and damage the components.

Frequent Ask Questions

John Doe
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