When Should You Replace Your 18650 Battery?

Batteries are a sensitive subject. The charging and changing is simple, of course, and when taken care of properly, there should be no reason for concern whatsoever.

That said, it is important to pay attention to your vape battery considering the biggest cause of unexpected performance is human error.

Below, we discuss factors that determine whether the time is right to replace your battery.

Length of Time it takes to Charge your 18650 Battery
One of the most obvious ways to tell the health of your 18650 battery is to consider its charge time.

The time it takes you to charge the battery should be consistent. If it starts taking longer than usual, this is usually the first tell-tale sign that the health is deteriorating.

When using a separate charger, it generally takes approximately 4 hours to charge an 18650 mod battery. This drops to about 3 hours when using a micro USB charger.

However, it is important to note that the charging times could vary slightly, even in the case of new 18650s. Thing is, though, a few days of using the battery should give you a solid idea of how long the battery takes to charge.
As the cell gets older, it takes longer to charge – not to mention a diminishing ability to hold a charge.

When it gets to this point, it is recommended to replace your 18650 mod battery.

Don’t worry, batteries are designed to withstand consistent use over a prolonged period of time. But once the first sign of wear starts to show, the degrade will have started and it will exacerbate from there.

Check the Physical Condition
Your 18650 mod battery – or any other vape battery for that matter – should be free of wear, defects, and damage.

It is recommended to replace your battery when you notice any signs of physical damage.

Any deformity that causes the battery to change its shape will impair the battery’s electrical properties, and this could have undesirable consequences beyond the reduced function.

This includes dents which can occur when the battery is dropped, as well as scratches that go beyond the superficial.

Don’t Forget the Wrap
The “wrap” is the heat shrink wrap tubing that covers the battery. It can either be pre-cut or come as a large roll.

Whichever the case, it is important to replace the wrap when you begin to see signs of damage.

This is important because it has a huge bearing on the health of your 18650 battery, and in particular, the battery’s thermal regulation.

Improper Charging
Always make it a point of charging your battery with cables and chargers compatible with the battery and/or vape device.

Charging technology is wide-ranging these days and you will even come across “modded” chargers. But it’s best to steer clear of them.

Cables that seem to run hot are also best avoided.

Accidental Misuse
Accidental misuse is a broad term that covers a range of mishaps, mostly unintentional.

Accidents do happen, you see, and the battery (just like a mobile or vape device) can slip out of your hand and fall on a hard floor. Or get submerged in water. Or get grit in after an afternoon at the beach, you know…

These instances also warrant a replacement.

Poor Storage
Improper storage can damage your 18650 battery.

Improper could mean storing the battery in a location that receives too much sunlight or one that is not dry.

Storing your 18650 in places that are too hot or too cold can also breed battery problems.

Last Word
Whenever you are in doubt about the health of your 18650 battery, it is always better than not to play cautious and replace the battery. The ramifications for not doing so could be grave.

Good thing is, practising proper battery care won’t force you to make unnecessary replacements as batteries are one of the most long-lasting components of a vape device, despite being the most tasked.