Topping off Cartomizers: Advanced Techniques

Topping off Cartomizers: Advanced Techniques


Fill a Cartomizer the Easy Way

A lot of people love the CE2 tank-and-wick cartomizers like Volcano’s new Magma Clearomizer. They hold plenty of liquid and produce a significant amount of vapor, even with small cigarette-shaped batteries. One thing that keeps me from using these cartomizers more often, though, is the fact that I hate filling them. Volcano’s cartomizer refill kit is a plastic syringe with a removable tip made from some kind of wax-coated paper. The tip bends when it gets wet, and in general, I find the act of filling this type of cartomizer too messy to bother with most of the time. Volcano’s new needle tip bottle cap is an accessory that promises to make this process much simpler.

Fill a cartomizer the easy way. The needle tip bottle cap replaces the nozzle tip on Volcano’s e-liquid bottles or any other plastic e-liquid bottle that uses similar threading. Using it is quite simple; pull the original nozzle off of the e-liquid bottle and push the needle tip’s silicone ring down over the opening. Screw the needle tip in place and cover it with the silicone top.

Remove the silicone top when you are ready to fill your cartomizer. Pull the cover off of the cartomizer, push the needle tip through the filling hole and squeeze gently until the cartomizer is full.

Since the needle tip removes the need to constantly change out the flimsy tip in Volcano’s original cartomizer refill kit, I find it a much simpler and less messy way to fill cartomizers. If you prefer to fill your own cartomizers rather than drip with an e-cigarette, I think you’ll find the needle tip a welcome addition to your

Advanced Techniques

We’re going to get into some advanced techniques that will help you top off your cartomizer with just the right amount of vape juice without wasting your liquid by overfilling.  This week we’ll discuss what clues you can find in the shading of your cartomizer’s filler.

First, an important warning:

Do not top off your cartomizer while it is attached to your e-cig battery. Because of the way batteries are manufactured to allow air flow – specifically in automatic batteries where the battery needs to be exposed to the air to sense inhaling – any leaking from your cartomizer into your battery could be disastrous. It isn’t dangerous, but it could very easily cause your battery to stop functioning.

While leaks on manual batteries aren’t quite as dire, they can get messy. It’s usually easier to just avoid the potential hassle and remove the cartomizer from the battery before topping off.

Look at the Fiber Inside Your Cartomizer

The presence of liquid makes the cloth fiber inside your cartomizer darken, so looking at the fibers under a strong light can often tell you if topping off would be worthwhile.

You may look inside your cartomizer and find the filler stark white and completely dry. If so, you are safe to add at least 5-6 drops of liquid. As you add your liquid, slowly turn your cartomizer to ensure that the entire visible portion of the filler becomes saturated and darkens.
If your cartomizer filler looks patchy or is darker on the inside than at the edges (or vice versa), then you can probably stand to add about 3-4 drops of liquid. Again, turn the cartomizer slowly to keep absorption even.

If you can still see that your filler is saturated – you will either recognize the darker appearance or be able to see light glinting off the liquid as you spin the cartomizer – then your best bet is to wait to top off.

More Tips

Sometimes your e-cigarette cartomizer may have room for more than just a few drops of liquid, and there are methods for recognizing that, as well. This lesson is all about knowing when to stop so you can avoid overfilling. The more precise you can be with refilling and topping off your cartomizers, the less time you spend tending to them and – more importantly – the less you waste your e-liquid.

Of course, it would take a ridiculous amount of e-liquid waste to make electronic cigarettes cost anywhere near what you used to spend on analogs, but it’s the principle. So many people start vaping specifically for the financial savings that there’s just no reason to be wasteful afterward.

At any rate, there are two methods you can use as a new vaper to help you know when your cartomizer is full, at least until you develop your own intuition.

Is Your Cartomizer Noticeably Heavier?

This one sounds a bit difficult to pin down because, of course, cartomizers are very small and lightweight. Still, though, you can tell when one is heavier than another.

Since cartomizers come in packs, you should have an empty one to compare to, which is all you will really need at the beginning. Cartomizers don’t hold a weighty amount of liquid either, meaning that if there is enough e-liquid in the cartomizer to create a noticeable difference in weight, there is enough for a good amount of vaping time.

How Slowly is the E-liquid Being Absorbed?

This method is a bit more tangible than the weight method, but it does require some practice.  It all goes back to remembering that the filler inside your e-cig cartomizer is essentially a sponge.

Think about how sponges behave when used for other things. An empty sponge will drink up liquid rapidly, but as the sponge becomes saturated, the rate of absorption slows. The filler inside your electronic cigarette cartomizer behaves in the exact same manner.

As you top of your cartomizer, watch the liquid. If you are adding e-liquid because the top of the filler appears dry, then as you add those first drops you’ll see the filler drink up the liquid nicotine very quickly.

However, as you continue to add drops and saturate, you will eventually add a drop that doesn’t disappear into the filler immediately the way the others did, but instead sits up around the edge absorbing very, very slowly. This is your last drop.

You can help this last drop absorb by twirling the e-cig cartomizer between your fingers slowly until all of the liquid has disappeared. If there is any problem in atomizer, you can rebuild the atomizer. When you are new to this method, make sure to perform steps nine and ten detailed here after you top off to keep from leaking onto your battery. As you become more comfortable, you will eventually be able to skip this step, and your best vape juice will never be a waste.

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