3 Problems With Your Mechanical Mod That Will Cause Voltage Drop

Posted on: 10 March 2015

After several grueling weeks of using a standard pen-style e-cigarette, you chose to dive head first into the world of mechanical mods. You ordered your first mod, found a battery that allowed you to build sub-ohm coils, and spent several hours researching safety precautions. However, after firing your mod a few times, it just didn't seem to vaporize as much e-liquid as you expected. Instead of sending your mod back to its seller or buying new batteries, make sure your mod isn't suffering from unnecessary voltage drop.

What is Voltage Drop?

Your mechanical mod is essentially a metal tube that works on the same principals as a flashlight—which is what early vaping pioneers modified to create their primitive e-cigarettes (hence the term mod). Once you press the switch on the bottom of your mod, a small metal piece rises out of your switch and completes the circuit between your battery and your atomizer.

In a perfect world, the entirety of the voltage produced by your battery would travel through your mod and into your atomizer—and allow you to finally inhale enough nicotine to satisfy your craving. However, in the real world, the voltage from your battery diminishes as it passes through various sections and components of your mod. Additionally, once the voltage reaches your atomizer, it's further reduced by the resistance of your coils.

Voltage drop is unavoidable. However, these four factors will amplify the amount of voltage lost between your battery and coils.

Collapsed Spring

Several mechanical mods use springs to bridge the connection to their battery. Most mods without a recessed firing button rely on a spring to keep the mod from firing at all times. Additionally, some mods use a spring to transfer current from their pin to their atomizer.

Springs are the most common source of voltage loss since they essentially function as a coil through which your battery's current travels to arrive at your atomizer coils. Although you can't place a wick through your mod's springs and use it to vaporize e-liquid, it still has its own ohm rating.

Springs become problematic when they aren't made of a thick enough gauge to transfer current without becoming hot. Once a spring becomes hot, it will collapse and become oxidized—which will cause it to break the circuit between your battery and atomizer and increase the spring's ohm rating, respectively.

If you disassemble your mod and find a collapsed or oxidized spring, then you can fix your voltage drop by installing a spring with a thicker gauge. Depending on the size of the spring and your mod's switch or pin, you may be able to use the spring inside your favorite retractable pen as an on-the-go replacement.

Additionally, most popular mods have magnet kits that can replace their springs and decrease their innate voltage drop.

Dirty Threads

The various threads on your mod can easily become lined with lint, dirt, grease, and other sorts of debris. Since the debris that collects on your threads isn't conductive, it increases the resistance between the two threaded pieces of your mod and typically creates a hot spot.

You can remove debris caught in your mod's threads with a cotton swab soaked in isopropyl alcohol or vodka. To prevent your threads from causing voltage drop in the future, disassemble every threaded component of your mod and clean it once a week using this method.

Loose Atomizer Screws

When metal heats and cools, it expands and contracts. Every time you fire your mod, your atomizer becomes hot enough to turn your e-liquid into vapor. This heat is enough to cause the screws in your atomizer to expand and slightly twist out of their posts. Once the screw cools, it typically won't turn back into its secured position.

To fix this problem, periodically tighten your atomizer screws to make sure they're always seated firmly inside their posts. After tightening your screws, test your atomizer's resistance with your ohm reader to make sure the resistance of your coils remains within your battery's limitations.

If you still experience inadequate voltage after checking these components of your mechanical mod, then take your device to your local electronic cigarette store and have one of their employees inspect your setup. They may find that your mod or your battery is truly defective and requires replacement.