Cartridge Pen Not Working? = Here’s Why!

Justin Campagnone Avatar
fake vape cartridges

The cartridge pen is one of the fastest growing vape pens in the world. After a drastically long week of 9-5, its finally here; Friday and the rest of the weekend. You leave work, stop by your buddies house on the way home and slam down 40 cold-hard USD’s for a full 1mL cartridge of vape oil. You get in your car, put on your seatbelt and drive home excited to try what is in store for the rest of the weekend.

Flash forward:

You’re out and about with a few friends, perhaps on the beach, perhaps hiking, perhaps you’re having intellectual conversations about nature and the true meaning of life. Either way, you bust out your new cartridge, screw it on your vape pen, and …uhhh, your pen is blinking.Blinking means there is a problem. But a blinking pen doesn’t tell you what the exact problem is. That’s why we’re here. We created a list of 3 most common pen problems and the best solutions to get the most out of your summer fun.

1.The Heating Element is Blocked.

Vaporizers do indeed vaporize, and most airflow vents are located on the bottom of the cartridge. It makes sense to do it that way. In order for the pen to “draw” there needs to be airflow. Now that doesn’t mean there isn’t a flaw in the plan, and that typically means some of your oil condensates and sticks to the bottom where the heating element is.

The solution:

Simply take a cotton swab and rubbing alcohol and clean the inside of the device where you screw your cartridge into. This will break apart whatever is getting in the way and help the heating element recognize the atomizer located in your cartridge.

2. Over Charging can Short the Cartridge Pen Battery.

Car chargers suck. Unless you have a converter (which most people don’t) there isn’t much getting in the way of your car pushing out way more volts than your battery can handle.

Let me tell you a story:

I bought a pen that, through research and reviews, had me convinced was the “most reliable battery” on the market. I took it home, used it until the battery died and then decided to charge it in my car on a way to a friends house. As I got to my destination, I unplugged my pen from the charger, screwed my pen on, and it blinked. I tried multiple cartridges and received the same blinking light staring me in the face. The device was clear of any residue so there was no connection issue. I immediately brought it back and exchanged it for the same one thinking that I must have bought the one-in-a-million defunct pen.

What Was Wrong With My Cartridge Pen?

The second pen was in my possession for two days after the initial incident. I had used it until it died, then charged it in my car and at this point you can see where things are heading. I had it charging for all of 5 minutes before I made it to the grocery store, I unplugged it and, once again, I was met with a blinking light that was not just staring at me, but now laughing.

At this point I figured I was screwing it up and through process of deduction, decided to ask my downstairs neighbor to borrow his… car-volt-reader-thing. When my car was idle, my cigarette lighter was showing 2 volts, which is fine, but when I accelerated, it was producing 12 volts. 12 volts is more than double what the battery can handle for a charge and everytime I would stop and then go, my battery was taking a nice big punch to the face.

This is across the board for almost all pens. It sucks and it happens.

Another instance is charging overnight. Most pens don’t automatically shut off once they’re done charging thus overpowering will short the battery.

Always be cautious when charging your battery.

Solution: Use these in order to maintain a long battery life

  • 5 volt or lower charging block.
  • Laptop / video game system usb port.
  • Any low voltage portable charger.

3.The Cartridge Pen is Dead.

This is typically the last thing to check for. Sometimes it happens. Your buddy or the dispensary you bought your cartridge from is faulty. Most times, your pen will blink to show that there is no connection and if you did everything in the first step and it still does not work, well I’m sorry to say, that whoever you got your cartridge from owes you a refund.

There IS a way around this problem…at least for the Mcguyvers out there:

Stop into your local vape shop and pick up an empty cartridge. Take both mouthpieces off and tape each open end together. The faulty cartridge should drain into the new cartridge. To speed things up you can use a blow-dryer or a lighter to heat up the oil and loosen it up.

Blog at

%d bloggers like this: