E-cig charger set on fire!

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by AlexS, Nov 26, 2011.

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  1. AlexS

    AlexS New Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Bristol
    Hi,

    I usually use the Totally Wicked Tornado batterys. Charging them in the normal way with the charger that came with the starter kit. A couple of weeks ago I ended up buying a mini e-cig by vapourlites from a local shop because all my batteries had died. I intended to use it until a new battery I had ordered from Totally Wicked had arrived. The vapourlites cig came with a USB charger, and has the same connection as my totally wicked tornado. Seeing as my girlfriend was using the totally wicked charger. I spotted the USB charger from the vlites cig, plugged it into my MacBook, and screwed on the tornado battery. I know totally wicked sell a USB charger so I know it can be charged that way. The battery flashed up as charging in the normal way and I went to bed.

    At about 6.30am I woke up to the fire alarm going off in the flat. I ran into the living room to find the USB charger on fire. As soon as I walked in the USB charger melted and dropped off the MacBook onto the rug and carpet below and the flames quickly began to spread. I got some water and poured it over and managed to put the fire out before it got out of control.

    Now there is a massive hole in the carpet, the whole carpet will have to be replaced, its burnt right down to the floor boards. My rug has a huge hole in it, and most annoyingly the side of my laptop is all melted. Luckily with alot of fiddling and cleaning this morning I seem to have got it working. Although now it dosnt seem to charge properly. Only charges intermittently, could be the hardware damaged, which means I probably cant use this £700 laptop for music performances. So all in all potentially thousends of pounds damage. More importantly it's lucky my fire alarm works and I was in, and also that I ran to the source of the fire so quickly because the whole house could have burnt down or we could have potentially died!

    I am aware that perhaps I was not right to plug the totally wicked tornado battery onto the vlites charger. But they have the SAME CONNECTION. In electrics something that has the potential to catch fire has a fuse or a thermal trip on it to prevent this kind of thing from happening, or it will not have the same connection. I'm hoping this is a freak accident and not a lack of built in protection!

    I will be phoning vapourlites and totally wicked to find out their take on this. This is a serious issue! Be carefull and only use the charger that came with the e cig!
     
  2. Off Topic

    Off Topic Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    More to love about my ego 650s. I can't use the wrong charger, the charger is built into the base.
     
  3. Tersur

    Tersur Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bfe Kentucky
    Many diffrent battery models have the same connections but reverse polarity. You should never never never use a diffrent charger that is not designed for a specific battery.
     
  4. Beans

    Beans Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 25, 2011
    Missoula Montana
    Thank GOD you were ok and the house didn't burn down. I'm so sorry that happened to you. before you charge anything else make a charging station in your kitchen. A large metal baking pan with high sides, put your chargers in there while charging. It's just a little bit of fire protection. Also make sure you only use chargers that were made specifically for your battery type. Again I'm sorry but thank you for posting your story. We all need these safety reminders. Good luck.
     
  5. brokepainter

    brokepainter Super Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 26, 2011
    Bristol, Tn USA
    Thankfully you had a smoke alarm to wake you,that could went very bad very quickly.To bad you have to replace your stuff but at least everyone is ok.
     
  6. r77r7r

    r77r7r Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    Pa,LandOfTaxes
  7. Olef

    Olef Super Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 22, 2011
    UK
    I'm really glad you escaped without injury and sorry you had to experience this. Too late for you I know, but in case anyone else reads this that it may help, never ever ever use a charger that is not designed for a specific battery and never ever ever leave lithium batteries charging unattended or over night. Lithium cells give us a lot of power but because of that power they hold the potential for serious results (i.e. fire) if they go wrong. Lastly, never charge lithium batteries from a computer usb port, always use a mains usb adapter. Quick way to ruin your computer.

    Sorry to say I don't think you will get far with the vendors. In the gentlest way I can put it, you got it wrong and you are lucky to escape without more serious damage or injury (and I am glad you did so too).
     
  8. AlexS

    AlexS New Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Bristol
    Granted. I accept I was probably wrong to use the wrong charger. But in that case they shouldn't use the same connection. Atleast a warning sign! With every other appliance I know of you can use a different charger, or power adaptor to charge the same product. Think phones, hifis, laptops etc.

    The important fact is that not everyone knows that the same doesn't apply to e-cigs, just like I didn't. So this could quite easily happen to someone else. Most e-cigs have the same connections, more and more people are buying them, if it's the case that if you use the wrong charger then your house is gonna burn down then that is a BIG problem!
     
  9. hairball

    hairball ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 17, 2010
    Other Places
    Goes to show that leaving a battery plugged in unattended is a big no no. I had it happen with a charger for my mods. Only difference, I was sitting right here when it happened. If not, it would have burned my house down. I don't leave anything plugged in anymore...even if I'm in the house. I only use the chargers when I can fully watch them.
     
  10. Tersur

    Tersur Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2011
    Bfe Kentucky
    A tip i found helpful. Anytime im charging now i use an old Empty PC case. I run the cord in the back and close the case up while chargeing. If there is a battery melt down or explosion the case will catch the shrapnel and heat.
     
  11. AlexS

    AlexS New Member

    Nov 26, 2011
    Bristol
    Well I will definately be doing that from now on.
     
  12. dormouse

    dormouse ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Oct 31, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    There are models with 510 threading that are reverse electrical polarity and will fry a normal 510 or Ego

    FS510
    Blu
    Anything called Trio (also L88b like Blu)
    And apparently Vapourlite, and possibly the Volcano model "Volcano"
    And there is some reverse polarity Ego (Ego-J or something and I don't trust FS Ego because of their 510)

    And the Automatic 510-T charger can also melt normal 510's and Egos

    In addition, the fat battery chargers (like Ego) put out over 400mA of power which will damage slim batteries

    So same threading definitely does NOT mean it's safe to use something else's charger
     
  13. losttoy

    losttoy Full Member

    Apr 19, 2010
    Here we go...

    Many electrical items have the same jack but completely different voltages

    Laptops for example can range from 12v to 24v and have numerous cross fitting jacks. Reverse polarity too.

    I can remember the first walkman that I owned in the 80's. I tried to run it with the psu for my acorn electron causing the thing to run at about 4 times the speed and magic blue smoke to be released.
     
  14. AlexS
    This message by AlexS has been removed from public view. Deleted by a moderator, Nov 26, 2011, Reason: seriously.....
    Nov 26, 2011
  15. healthybody
    This message by healthybody has been removed from public view. Deleted by a moderator, Nov 27, 2011, Reason: Un Registered Supplier.
    Nov 27, 2011
  16. nosmokie

    nosmokie Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 19, 2011
    Texas
    I feel your pain on this one. I sent a rechargeable screwdriver to the Great Beyond once when I made the same mistake.

    The scary truth is that ANY rechargeable battery for any device can go horribly wrong. Major PC makers like Apple, Dell, HP and countless others have had battery recalls due to "fire hazard." I work in technical support at a college and see 3-5 laptop batteries a year that either expanded or exploded. Often causing scares like you had.

    You don't have to become an expert in electrical engineering, just follow the sage advice others have already given: Only use manufactures recharging equipment and never let something charge unattended.

    And most of all, let's give three cheers to the smoke detector that did it's job when it absolutely had to!
     
  17. swedishfish

    swedishfish Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 28, 2010
    NJ
    Good advice but it's not always practical when you have multiple chargers going. I sent for the bags that 7r7r (sorry I know that's wrong!) posted the link for.
     
  18. Batsu

    Batsu Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 18, 2010
    oregon
    wow, things like this make me kinda paranoid, i always try to remember not to leave my batts on the chargers for extended times.
     
  19. bnrkwest

    bnrkwest Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 6, 2011
    Somewhere out there
    Wow so glad you caught it in time!!!!!!!!! I am very leary about chargers and batteries. Good advise is only use battery for the recommended charger. I think we all have to be aware of this, that just because it looks like it might work, it just may not. I think chargers need a warning about that! bnrk
     
  20. bnrkwest

    bnrkwest Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 6, 2011
    Somewhere out there
    Oh something I do because I have several chargers, is mark the charger for what unit battery it charges. Either put the logo or name on the charger so you don't forget. They all seem to look alike! bnrk
     
  21. dormouse

    dormouse ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Oct 31, 2010
    Pennsylvania
    I label certain charger cables right on the flat part where the battery screws in, on both sides. I also would not let any of those reverse polarity (or auto 510-T) cables in my house, even if they were giving them away for free. All I have to worry about is not putting my 510 batteries in my Ego-class charging cables (400mA+) so I label those. My KR808D-1 cables look totally different and are not even the same gender so those are no problem. And everything I own is the same polarity.

    I also never charge on a PC - one person killed their ecig equipment by getting a static shock on their PC keyboard. I use 4 port 2 amp USB to AC adapters (can charge any 4 slim or Ego-type batteries).

    What are these bags? Are there bags you can put over charging batteries? I do charge only slim ecigs overnight in their correct chargers. Anything thicker than a pencil like Riva/Ego batteries and mod batteries I charge in the day and take off when done.
     
  22. El-ahrairah

    El-ahrairah Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 14, 2010
    Chesterfield, MI
    They are bags that you put batteries in while they are charging. They are designed to help contain the effects of a battery failure during charging. They'll vent the gasses, but hold the explosion and/or fire. It's not a bad idea to have one.

    I don't charge during times when I can't react to a catastrophic failure. I don't charge when I'm out of the house and I don't charge when I'm asleep. I don't even like to charge my phone overnight. I charge it during the day and put that bad boy into Airplane Mode overnight to save battery power.
     
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