Turns out I had the opportunity to perform a (terrifying) deep ProVari cleaning. Recently, a horrible fate befell my beloved ProVari. While testing a cartomizer that shall remain nameless (I’ll just leave this here), my test subject dumped its entire payload into my ProVari while it was standing upright.
At first, it was no big deal. I just swore under my breath, wiped the ProVari down and went on with my day. When I went to swap batteries, I found there was e-liquid on the battery itself.
I thought that couldn’t be good and made a mental note that the drip well isn’t totally waterproof. I cleaned everything up as best I could and things carried on as normal with a fresh battery for a while.
Then odd things started happening. The ProVari started throwing E1 and E2 errors, despite being set at a fairly low voltage. I checked the resistance (sometimes cartomizers will fluctuate wildly in resistance before finally kicking the bucket) but all was well.
I then tried again, and this time I got one of the most awful burnt tastes I’ve ever experienced. Something in my head then clicked. I set the ProVari to the lowest setting and got out the in line volt meter.
My horrible feeling was soon confirmed.
Despite being set at 3.0 volts, the ProVari was cranking out an over-eager 4.3v. Everything started to make sense, my flagship was taken out by a carto!
Not willing to give up, I submitted a support request to the good folks at ProVape. I expected another trip out to the factory (my ProVari has already been once to get its innards replaced with ProVari V2 circuitry). Instead, a few hours later I got back an e-mail with a rather unusual suggestion.
The message essentially said that it was time to give my ProVari a bath and provided a link to a support document.
The document contained tips to get things going. The first tip was to use an alcohol and a long Q-tip to clean built-up gunk on the battery connection. I thought that was sort of irrelevant.
Reading on, however, it turns out there was a section just for people who happened to manage to get e-liquid on the inside of the ProVari. Here’s the abbreviated version of their recommended procedure.
- Stop crying, it will be OK (I think I imagined that one)
- Go get some 99% rubbing alcohol. If you can’t find any, use 91% but do not use 70%
- Remove the end cap and the battery
- Take about 1oz of the alcohol and dump it into the tube (!)
- Swirl the alcohol around for several minutes and then dump out what’s left
- Leave the end cap off and let the device sit for 24 hours to make sure everything is dry
- Put it back together and try it out
I ran out and ended up with 91% alcohol. Dutifully followed the instructions and waited… less than 24 hours. I stuck the ProVari in front of a fan for about 6 hours and then gave it a try. I still had the same problem, so I repeated the procedure, running it through two wash cycles.
For a while. After the second round of bathing, everything seemed to be back to normal for a few days. Then the same thing happened again, and a quick check confirmed the over-voltage problem.
This time around, I lathered, rinsed and repeated… twice. Everything has worked well since. My guess is the delay between when the liquid seeped in and when I finally cleaned it, the e-liquid had some time to get sticky in there and was tougher to clean.
I suppose the moral of this story is that if it happens to you, cleaning sooner than later might be a good idea. That, and if you ever see me selling a used black chrome ProVari, don’t buy it :)
I should close by saying something about your results might vary, and if you break something, don’t blame me. I’m just sharing a story here.
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