Pod Vaping System Gurgling or Leaking: How to Fix It

Pod vaping systems are certainly the hottest thing in vaping these days. More people than ever are choosing a pod system as their 1st or 2nd vaping devices. Open Systems, meaning the pods are empty when you buy them, are the most popular.
The federal government’s ban on most pre-filled flavored pods has only helped the situation, driving more people than ever to refillable devices now that they can only get pre-filled pods in two different flavors.
Compared to pre-filled vaping devices, though, refillable pod systems do have a bit of a learning curve – and if you do a few things improperly, you’re likely to end up with a pod system that gurgles, spits or leaks Vape Juice. Thankfully, those problems are easy to avoid if you know what you’re doing.
Before we begin with the troubleshooting tips, though, let’s examine the core issue that’s happening here. Why is your pod system gurgling?

Why a Pod Vaping System Gurgles, Leaks or Spits

To understand why a pod system gurgles or leaks, you need to think about the anatomy of a pod vaping system. A pod has a reservoir for e-liquid and a tube in the center. The atomizer coil is at the bottom of the tube. Wicks – usually made from cotton or silica – draw vape juice from the reservoir to the coil via absorption. When you vape, the portion of the wick that touches the coil becomes dry. The dry portion of the wick then absorbs more e-liquid. The air pressure that you create when vaping also helps to draw e-liquid in from the reservoir.
A pod vaping device, or pod begins gurgling because excess e-liquid is caught inside the pod’s atomizer coil assembly. There’s more e-liquid than the wick can hold, so you begin to hear a bubbling or gurgling sound when you inhale. Once that happens, e-liquid either begins to creep up the pod’s center air tube – where it eventually spits into your mouth – or it leaks out of the pod’s air intake vents.
So, stopping your pod system from gurgling is as simple as controlling the flow of e-liquid from the reservoir to the atomizer coil. There’s too much e-liquid in the coil assembly, and we need to dry things out just a little.

Make Sure the Stopper Is Sealed
A refillable pod vaping system typically closes with a rubber or silicone stopper. The first step in preventing a pod system from leaking or gurgling, then, is simply to ensure that the stopper is tightly sealed. Make sure that the stopper is closed fully and that it isn’t bent or warped. If the stopper is warped and no longer seals completely, it’s time to replace the pod.

Use the Correct E-Liquid                                                                                         The next thing to check when troubleshooting a leaking or gurgling pod system is the type of e-liquid you’re using. All refillable pod systems are calibrated to use nicotine salt e-liquid, which usually has a medium viscosity – a 50/50 blend of vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol. That said, ANY 50/50 or 60/40 e-liquid works just as well, especially with the newer, higher wattage pod systems.   

Stand E-Juice or Nic-Salts
If you use a high-VG e-liquid, your vape juice might be too thick. That’ll cause you to use too much air pressure when inhaling, which is a problem we’ll discuss in greater detail momentarily. Personally, I prefer the rich, non-chemical taste of e-juice from sources like The Plume Room. Nic-Salts have way more nicotine than I need, though people just switching from cigarettes to the safer vapes, it may be the way to go.
If your e-liquid is too thin, on the other hand, it’ll tend to flow too quickly through the pod’s wicking system. The only thing you can do to fix that is switch to a thicker e-liquid. As a general rule, you’re always fine if you use nicotine salt e-liquid with a pod vaping system.

Reduce Your Air Pressure When Pod Vaping
The most common reason why excess e-liquid enters a pod’s atomizer coil is because you’re using too much air pressure when you inhale. Entering the world of vaping after being a smoker, you’re used to inhaling firmly. Especially when you want to get an extra burst of nicotine. Cigarettes burn down faster when you use more air pressure. That isn’t the case, however, with vaping devices.
The vapor production of your pod vaping system is determined by the device’s wattage, and the efficiency of the coil.  Vapor production and flavor is not determined by the force  you use when inhaling. If you puff too hard, in other words, you won’t get more vapor. You will however, overwhelm the pod’s airflow capacity and suck extra e-liquid into the atomizer coil.
Inhale gently and deeply to get the biggest possible vapor clouds. If you’re still not having a satisfying vaping experience, you should consider increasing the nicotine strength of your e-liquid or upgrading to a more powerful vaping device.

Don’t Overfill Your Pod Vaping System
Part of what keeps e-liquid from leaking from the pod is the fact that, when you inhale, a vacuum forms. This vacuum forms inside the pod’s reservoir. That helps to keep the vape juice in its place. But, that vacuum can’t form if you leave no room for air when refilling your pod. In addition, the stopper used to close the pod pushes into the pod slightly when you replace it. If the pod has no room for air, the stopper will push e-liquid into the pod’s atomizer coil. Always leave a little room for air at the top of the pod. If your pod was gurgling before you refilled, hold a paper towel over the bottom while blowing through the top. This will expel the excess juice.

Don’t Squeeze Your Pod
One of the most important things to remember about pod systesm is that the plastic sides can flex easily. If that happens, the sides of the pod will push e-liquid into the pod’s atomizer coil assembly. Try to avoid holding your mod or squeezing the sides of the pod.