My VIM's tank is leaking and/or gurgling

Created by Jade Shand, Modified on Thu, 19 Jan 2023 at 02:29 PM by Jade Shand

If you're experiencing a leak, or gurgling/spitting from your VIM tank, there may be a number of different reasons. The first step is to identify where the leak is coming from:

  • Mouth tip - Normally a sign that the coil is flooded.
  • Base - Normally a sign that the coil is flooded, the coil is loose, or the tank is losing pressure
  • Tank housing - Possibly a sign that there is a physical fault with the tank housing (i.e. a crack)

A leaking or gurgling tank is almost always a symptom of a flooded coil., however.


Flooding occurs when an excess of e-liquid is pulled into the coil and begins to leak out into the airflow or up the tank chimney and out of the mouthpiece. It's almost always accompanied by a distinct gurgling sound. 

Flooding can occur for a few different reasons:

1. Type of E-liquid

The type of e-liquid used can have an effect in rare cases. Using a thin e-liquid that's high in PG in a direct lung setup which typically will be designed to rewick more quickly can occasionally lead to flooding, though this is fairly uncommon. Many vapers can use High PG e-liquids quite happily in a direct lung tank or device without issue.

2. Usage

Far more commonly, flooding can occur due to the way the device is being used. Taking lots of long, deep draws in quick succession has the effect of pulling too much e-liquid into the atomising chamber. The coil will have difficulty vaporising it all, with the excess beginning to leak as described above.

Similarly, taking lots of shallow puffs can achieve a similar effect, as the coil doesn't always have the time to get up to operating temperature.

To really get the most from your vaping experience, you should be aiming for relaxed draws, 3-5 seconds in length. You should also try to avoid inhaling while the button isn't pushed down, as that will lead to more e-liquid being pulled into the coil while is not operating.

3. Being Left to sit

Finally, leaving a tank full of e-liquid to sit for extended periods can cause the coil to flood over time. The wicking material is pretty good at only absorbing the e-liquid it needs, and the pressure inside the tank helps hold the e-liquid in place, but given enough time it can become oversaturated. If you find yourself leaving your tank unused for long periods, it's possible that you may run into a flooded coil from time to time.

How to Fix a Flooded Coil

So, taking the advice above on board, if you do encounter a flooded coil, there are some simple steps you can take to resolve things.

The flick method is a good starting point. Holding the device in your hand, flick down sharply a few times. This will help pull the liquid up through the chimney and out the mouth tip, so you may need to dry this off with some tissue paper before using your device again.

If the flick method doesn't resolve the issue, it's possibly a sign that the coil needs to be replaced. Over time the wicking material will begin to clog, limiting its ability to absorb and hold e-liquid. Typically most coils should last for around 7-10 refills before they'll need to be replaced, so we'd recommend trying a fresh coil and following the advice laid out above.

Leaking from the Base

Leaking from the base is normally a sign that the coil is flooded (see above), or that the coil is loose/cross threaded.

If you've followed the steps above to avoid or fix a flooded coil, 

  1. check to make sure that your coil is firmly screwed into place, and hasn't been cross-threaded. 

This is a particularly easy thing to miss, but it's always worth double checking as it's a simple solution that helps to resolve things in many cases. Coils should be screwed in tight enough to catch (finger tight), but you should avoid over-tightening.

With that checked, if you're still running into leakage from the base, you 

  1. Check to make sure the mouth tip on your VIM tank is also firmly screwed into place. When removing the mouth tip to refill, it's easy to leave this a little loose, 

 This can is reduce pressure inside the tank, which can lead to flooding and leakage.

When inserting or removing the tank from the VIM battery, you should always be working clockwise. Unscrewing the tank anti-clockwise could lead to you accidentally loosening off the mouth tip, leading to the drop in pressure mentioned above.

Test the tank

Assemble the tank as you would normally, fill to above the top of the coil and then leave the tank to stand overnight (outside of the device).

  • If there is no sign of any leakage, then the issue is almost certainly related to an error being made through use (see advice on how to avoid flooding above).
  • If there are signs of leakage, it may indicate a physical fault with the tank:
    • If the level of e-liquid in the tank drops to the feed holes on the coil, the issue is most likely related to the seal on the mouth tip. 
    • If the level drops to the top of the coil, the issue is most likely to do with the seal between the top of the coil and the bottom of the chimney of the tank.
    • If the level drops to empty, or near empty, the issue is likely to do with the seal at the base of the coil.

Leaking from the Housing

If a leak is coming from the clear plastic housing itself, this is almost certainly a sign of a physical fault, such as a crack or break. A replacement tank will be required, but if your tank has been delivered in a damaged condition, please contact customer service.


Finally, it's important to know the difference between condensation and leaking. Vapour will naturally collect and form condensation, particularly if you tend to exhale onto/into the device. This will generally only ever be in small amounts, which shouldn't lead to noticeable leakage from the base of the tank, or out through the airflow channel that runs through the centre of the VIM battery. Simply drying this off periodically with a tissue should be enough to resolve the issue.

Further Advice

  • The VIM is designed to be filled using bottles with a narrow nozzle. Avoid filling via wide nozzles as this risks e-liquid entering the central chimney and leaking down and out through the base of the tank.
  • Do not overfill your VIM tank - fill only to the top of the window. Filling past this point may cause liquid to leak down into the central chimney.
  • The VIM tank is constructed using PET plastic which is non-reactive to most e-liquids. In a small number of cases, however, certain e-liquids (typically strong citrus/aniseed/cinnamon flavours) may react to the plastic. If you notice clouding or deformation of the tank, please stop using the e-liquid and contact customer service.

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