Why Some E-Liquids Crack Plastic Clearomizer Tanks

Last updated on June 10th, 2023


Why Some E-Liquids Crack Plastic Clearomizer Tanks

Are you wondering if your e-liquid will crack the tank of your vape pen or vape Mod? Read on to see which e-liquids are more likely to crack plastic tanks.

Now that over 50% of e-cigarette sales are for vaporizer tank systems, more people are buying ecigs, and more companies are producing new e-liquid flavors.

What vapers (and e-liquid companies) are discovering is that certain e-liquid flavors react to some polycarbonate plastic tanks. This causes an enzyme reaction that can crack or even melt part of the tank. But before you freak out about enzyme reactions, read on.

How to Avoid Cracking or Melting Your ECigarette Vaporizer Tank

If your vape mod's tank has ever cracked, you know it can be a very messy ordeal, not to mention a costly one. But there’s no need to panic. You just need to be aware of certain flavors and how they react to some polycarbonate e-liquid tanks. You may; however, choose to buy a glass (pyrex)tank.

Large e-liquid companies, like Vaporfi recommend using only pyrex or glass Clearomizers and Tanks when you buy e-liquid’s that contain acidic enzymes.

What Causes Some E-Liquid to Crack or Corrode a Plastic Tank or Clearomizer?

Scientific reports say it’s just natural acids reacting with the plastic polycarbonate. A tank full of fresh squeezed organic orange juice would do the same thing. The reaction has nothing to do with any of the other ingredients in e-liquids.

The acidic e-liquid flavorings bind with the polycarbonate plastic creating esters which weaken the integrity of the plastic, causing cracking or fogging.

Personally, I’ve never experienced a cracked or melted plastic tank with citrus or other suspect e-juices

Perhaps the products I use are superior, or I’ve just not hit the breaking point or the melting point before I replaced them. Pyrex and glass tanks are made to last, whereas plastic tanks are made to be replaced more often; way before they reach cracking point.

Worried About E-Liquid Acid?

Best New E-Liquids for Vaporizers

You may be thinking, “Wow, if an e-liquid can crack a tank what’s it doing to my body?”

Fear not, our body creates far more corrosive chemicals than e-juice. Our digestive systems are made to handle acid, otherwise you’d never be able to eat anything. Your stomach couldn’t digest food without the help of acidic enzymes.

That said, I’d still be concerned about melting plastic leaching into the e-liquid. If you continue to use polycarbonate tanks, get more diligent about choosing your e-liquid flavors.

If you see any change (hazing, cracks, sudden unexpected leaking, etc.) in a plastic tank, you should throw it away immediately .

If you’re ready for a pyrex or glass clearomizer or tank, I highly recommend the Aspire Atlantas Tank or for a higher end Sub-ohm tank, the Aspire Cleito.

They really do give you a better vaping experience, and they definitely won’t melt or crack (unless you drop them on a concrete surface). There’s also no chance of BPA in a glass/pyrex tank.

I buy Kanger and Aspire glass tanks at DirectVapor because they have great discounted prices.  

If you can shed more light on the subject of e-liquids cracking, corroding or fogging your Clearomizer, I’d love to hear about your experience so please leave a comment.


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    • Paul on May 21, 2018 at 2:41 PM
    • Reply

    My experience of cheap CE4s with non-fruity/acidic juices is that cracks happen when you drop the thing. A 12-inch drop onto carpet can be enough. Standing the vape pen on end on a table and knocking it over will almost always do it. The cracks always start where the plastic is surrounded by the large metal ring. Likelihood of cracking isn’t dependent on how long juice has been in it (I’ve had it happen in a day) or what juice has been put in it, but whether or not you drop it.

    I once tried opening a cracked CE4 with a hammer. It was as resistant to attack as I expected polycarbonate to be. I couldn’t propagate the crack no matter how hard I hit it. At one point the hammer bounced out of my hand but no new cracks or extension of the existing crack. I eventually did crack it enough to take it apart (I wanted to see what was inside) but that polycarbonate definitely wasn’t weak.

    I’ve also patched cracks with superglue/bicarbonate of soda. Works, as long as the crack is not deep enough that liquid is slowly seeping. Smear the crack with superglue, dust with bicarb to make the glue set. Build up layers. It’s ugly but tough. If the crack hadn’t started seeping it can last months. If it had started seeping, even if you can’t see any liquid but can feel a hint of moisture when you run your finger over the crack, the superglue/bicarb mix won’t form a good seal. A CE4 patched that way can last weeks. Until you drop it again, then another crack appears at junction with the base ring.

    My conclusion is that with CE4 the outer base ring and corresponding inner metalwork are jammed onto the plastic in such a way that it creates a lot of stress in the plastic in that area. They have to be very tight fits otherwise the thing would come apart, or the bottom O-ring wouldn’t form a good seal. The stress of dropping it, combined with the stresses already there from the way it’s assembled, cause the crack.

    Whether or not this is true of other tanks is another matter. I suspect designs with removable coils where the assembly screws together onto an O-ring are going to be a lot more robust.

    • John on March 10, 2018 at 8:48 AM
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    Never ever happens to me done in my life but never staterd out with plastic. guy offers me one said no and now I build much better

    • william mccallum on September 10, 2017 at 9:50 AM
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    i use numerous flavours in my attos all plastic kayfun,all are great with no leaks until i put in pear drop flavour and then they just melt.

    1. Thanks for commenting William.Yes, Pear flavors can crack plastic tanks because it is an acidic fruit flavor. Time for a new pyrex tank maybe?

    • Denver Electronic Cigarettes on August 14, 2017 at 2:40 AM
    • Reply

    I found it after a great research… Nice Article

    • Dean Voss on February 19, 2016 at 7:28 PM
    • Reply

    I purchased Moralachmo Cherry and it melted my top that I fill it with from Vaporistic in Brick NJ What can I do now ?

    1. Hi Dean,

      Yes, Cherry flavors can crack tanks because of the acidity. Get yourself an Aspire Atlas from DirectVapor, or any good pyrex/glass tank that fits your battery.

    • ken on February 15, 2016 at 3:13 PM
    • Reply

    My almost new plastic EVOD type tank began leaking within a day or so of putting cinnamon juice in it. Didn’t know better at the time. Switched to glass version of the tank and no problems since.

      • Chris on August 13, 2016 at 7:26 PM
      • Reply

      Cinnamon toast Ken

    • Matt on January 13, 2016 at 10:58 AM
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    I use a isub tank and today it finally cracked. I’ve had it about 2 months and have been trying various juices. But pineapple caused the cracking. So far no leaking or melting that I can see and now have ordered a isub g to stop this happening again as I like my citrus juices..

    • Amazon on December 19, 2015 at 3:58 PM
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    Very informative!

    • jj on September 1, 2015 at 8:41 AM
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    I put the virgin vapor fireball 100% vg 12mg/ml nic e-liquid in my halo triton tank and it started to “fog” the plastic mostly just above the liquid. I was planning on getting a good mod with a pyrex glass tank anyway because the triton just doesn’t seem to do too well with the 100% vg thickness.

    1. Hi jj,

      I love my Halo Triton and so far (years) I’ve never had it fog or crack. I also love Virgin Vapor’s 100% vg flavors but I’m not sure if I ever used a citrus flavor in my Halo so thanks for the heads up!

    • vanessa on August 21, 2015 at 11:16 PM
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    I just ordered from a new company…mt dew flavor, what I have been ordering for 2 years. I didn’t read the disclaimer and went through 3 plastic tanks before I figured out it was the liquid that was making them EXPLODE!! The whole tops of my tanks blew off shooting liquid all over my purse and then couch! Definitely ordering a glass tank now!

    1. OMG Vanessa. Yes, glass/pyrex is the way to go if you want to be sure that doesn’t happen again. The flavor and ingredients of the e-liquid and the quality of plastic in you tank are both contributors. I have both glass and plastic tanks and I’ve been lucky with my (non-glass) Halo Triton Tank which seem to be very strong, but there are no guarantees. Thanks for commenting!

    • Andrew on July 6, 2015 at 4:12 AM
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    Just a quick note polycarbonate is resistant to all acids.. it in not resistant to alkiline substances e.g gycerin glycol nicotine ect it melts it! breaking down the carbon stucture as it does to the body at high levels of ingestion causing ulcers and other nasty problems like infection wich leads further down the path to cancer so dont use poly carbonate unless it is used with a product that is nutral to slightly acidic…and same goes with e juice and the body especialy with nicotine in it!! The PH of e juice is around 8 wich after time will change the body to a high alkiline state causing the above mentioned problems so the e juice really needs to be PH BALANCED for everyones health (the reason we started vaping)..Thanks and please pass on my message so we can move to a safer vaping future and so we can get the manufactures and suppliers of these products to Balace the PH so it is safe fo us to use…:)

      • Piersonrife on January 23, 2016 at 12:56 PM
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      Your statement contradicts the evidence. People are experiencing damaged tanks when they use acidic juices, not the other way around – as you are suggesting.

        • M40 on March 30, 2016 at 12:42 PM
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        This is not a function of acidity (or alkilinity). People are experiencing these problems when they use juices that have strong flavors. Strong flavor extracts typically contain triacetyl. And triacetyl eats polycarb and similar plastic compounds.

        This is actually quite well known, and several studies have shown this. A good many eliquid manufacturers are now sourcing triacetyl-free flavor extracts. This is why some ejuice manufacturers can produce citrus and other strong flavors that are absolutely fine in polycarb tanks, while others offer the same flavor… but it will damage tanks. One additive… that’s it.

  1. […] and apple are two of those e-liquid flavors that can crack your plastic tank so if you’re thinking of getting one of MBV’s new flavors, or if you’re vaping any flavors […]

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