If you’re a regular vaper then there’s a good chance that you’ve been unfortunate enough to experience the awful taste of a burnt-out coil or wick in your electronic cigarette at some point.
Unfortunately, you can’t simply predict when your coil is going to burn out. Some will burn out sooner than others, and there are a number of factors that cause coil to eventually come to an end.
If you’d like to reduce the likelihood of becoming a victim of this burnt taste it can help to equip yourself with some knowledge and insights on how to keep your atomizer from burning out.
This guide highlights some of the common causes of burnt-out coils and will provide some tips to help you prevent your coils from burning.
HOW LONG DO COILS LAST?
Coils do not last forever.
Usually they’ll last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months.
The lifespan of your coils will depend on a number of factors, including the type of coil you’re using as well as how and how regularly you vape.
By maintaining your coils with a few good pracitices you should see an improvement in how long your coils last.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF A BURNT OUT COIL
A coil, otherwise referred to as a burner or atomizer, is the smaller and replaceable piece that screws into your tank usually at the base—and which heats up the liquid and converts it into vapor.
Coils come in various sizes, types (single, dual, vertical, etc.) and resistance/ohms. Depending on some factors (highlighted below), you should average three weeks out of a burner.
Here is how you can tell that your coil has indeed burnt out or is on its way out:
- The feeling of a charred or burnt taste
- On inspection, the coil appears visibly burnt
Besides the unpleasant taste, a burnt atomizer can actually trigger the release of harmful chemicals. When your coils burn out, you should avoid further use and replace it as soon as possible.
THE DOS AND DON’TS FOR ENHANCING THE USEFUL LIFE OF YOUR COIL
ALWAYS PRIME UP YOUR COIL BEFORE VAPING
This step is pretty simple, but it is surprising by how numerous users don’t get it right. Simply put, priming an atomizer is all about allowing the newly fitted coil to absorb enough e-juice to make sure that it is thoroughly ‘primed up’ before using.
Otherwise, you may end up popping the vape on the first hit, a mistake that may cause the coil to burn and be branded as a DOA product.
To prime your coil properly, ensure to soak the wicks manually before installing. This often implies opening up the top of the burner head and allowing a few drops to drip down directly onto the wick.
In addition, you need to allow the wick to sit in the e-liquid between 5-10 minutes before vaping. This is important in ensuring that adequate e-liquid soaks up into the wicking material in the atomizer body.
AVOID CHAIN VAPING
Chain vaping is, perhaps, the most common cause of burnt out coils. This is when a vaper draws multiple puffs within a small range of time. Taking many draws over a short period of time dries up the wick at a faster rate than it can soak. This causes your coils to overheat, burning your wick and the coil itself.
You can prevent this situation by taking some break in between your vaping spree. Also, take some few seconds before taking another hit from your vaping equipment.
Atomizers are meant to be heated rapidly to a certain extent to vapourize the oil flowing through the wick and cool down rapidly when the battery is switched off. Therefore, keeping the heat raised and the battery switched on burns out the coil faster than expected.
RE-FILL YOUR JUICE
If the juice in your tank runs low, it may not soak efficiently into the wick as well. In fact, on numerous burner heads, the juice must be at a certain level so as to reach the wicking ports.
A tank that has less juice in contact with the wick does not soak up the wick quickly. Low levels of your juice can easily pose problems. The most simple and amicable solution to this situation is to maintain your tank topped up.
You can probably tell when the juice is getting low (i.e., the performance diminishes, including the flavor). This provides the opportune time to give up on the oil in the tank and refill.
TAKE CONTROL OFF OF YOUR DEVICE
Temperature is one aspect that should always be on the check with e-cigarettes and vape pens. Controlling it can be helpful in preventing the coil and wick from getting dry and burning out.
Use temperature control modes provided by nickel and stainless steel coils to limit your vape temperature. Some devices allow you to set an optimum coil temperature and when your burner attains this temperature, the e-cig stops powering to prevent further heating.
OPT FOR THE RIGHT E-LIQUID BASE
The kind of base that forms your e-liquid may also contribute to the early and repeated burnouts in your wicks and coils. E-juices having a vegetable glycerin base are known to make coils burn easily.
The reason behind this is that this material is thick and, therefore, does not saturate the wick efficiently. Besides, vegetable glycerin tends to be sugary, a property that can result in caramelization of the wicks when subjected to heat.
Thus, when buying the equipment, make sure to opt for propylene glycol-based device or those having a higher PG ratio.
Vaping on high wattages can cause your atomizer to burn. The high wattage will first burn the wick within your coil, making the e-liquid to be poorly saturated in the coils.
Consequently, there will be high build-up of heat inside your coil, high enough to cause it to burn, including popping up. The best solution for this practice is simply to go low on your vaping voltage.
Begin with the lowest possible voltage as you advance upwards by the hour.
Usually, the device will have an indication of the wattage range within which you should operate. Be sure to adhere to this instruction so as to reduce the risk of having your wick and coil burning out.
SELECT THE BEST E-LIQUID
E-liquids differ in their VG/PG ratio and sugar content. (VG=vegetable glycerin and PG=propylene glycol) E-liquids with a high sugar content can be a menace during long sessions of vaping. This is because sugar tends to caramelize the very moment it is exposed to the high heat of the coil. When this happens, some of the sugar also caramelizes on your wick, producing the same unpleasant flavor that a burning wick emits.
Though this may not burn your coil at that instant, it does shorten its life significantly.
Also, high levels of VG content in the oil can cause the same effect, since vegetable glycerin is much more viscous compared to propylene glycol. PG is thinner than VG, meaning that it soaks more easily into wicks.
The ratio between PG and VG is critical because it dictates the balance you need to strike between the wicking speed and vapourization speed.
If your juice does not soak into the wick quickly, you are more likely to have dry puffs and probably burn your wicks. The build-up of VG on the wick is what increases its risk of burning out faster than anticipated.
As a rule of thumb, ensure to select juices with low sugar content and considerably lower VG/PG ratios. Most of our juicy e-juice and flavor crafters are 70% PG and 30% VG mix.
KEEP THE COILS SEXY AND MAINTAIN YOUR DEVICE
Once you install your coil, it does not mean that you ignore it forever.
Depending upon your frequency of vaping, your coil will collect gunk after a few days. Constant uses of the device without cleaning this junk out will negatively affect the flavor and taste.
Atomizers that are neglected are prone to burnouts. Keep your atomizer fresh and ensure to change your wicks on a weekly basis to prevent those nasty burnt hits.
You can clean your coil easily by following the steps below:
- Blow out the excess juice stuck in the vape coil
- Rinse the coil underneath a running tap (hot water if possible) to clean out any debris further
- Shake out any surplus water and let the coil air-dry
- Attach the coil back to the battery and switch on the power button until heated thoroughly
- Release and let the coil to cool. Repeat this step 5 times
- Reassemble and start enjoying a long-lasting fresh taste
Also, you can dismantle your atomizer and rinse the coils with an ultrasonic cleaner or warm water to get rid of the entire gunk. After cleaning, if you find that your coils are still charred, then you need to replace them.
A quality vape is essentially a delicate balance of a variety of technological parts. Besides the coil, be sure to undertake general maintenance of the configured parts. This will include:
- Using the battery regularly
- Being careful about where you store your battery
- Changing your battery even before it is drained
- Not storing a battery with less than 50% charge
- Disconnecting the atomizer when it is not in use
- Unscrewing the battery when fully charged
- Keeping contacts and threads on the battery and atomizer clean
MAINTAIN YOUR MOUTHPIECE CLEAR
Dust and fluff can quickly gather in your mouth piece and block your flow of vapor. To get rid of this build-up, just detach the mouthpiece and blow through the part to remove. Besides, you can apply a twist of tissue paper to drive away any condensed e-juice and rinse it in warm water.
AVOID VAPING IN EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
The condition of the weather can truly affect your vape. During cold weather, the juice in the coil can thicken and reduce its potential to wick. In fact, a cold moment can make a dominant PG e-liquid thick, just like a high VG e-liquid. The thickening can amount to dry and nasty taste. The solution is to keep your vape from such extreme weather conditions to avoid burnt tasting hits.
Most assembled atomizers can be quite tricky and challenging to wick. For instance, if you do not use adequate cotton or whichever wicking material you are applying, it can leak.
Nevertheless, if you compress excess material into the holes, you will be surprised by the burnt tasting hit.
In order to wick the right way, seek guidance from other users of the same atomizer concerning the best method that has worked for them. Though it is important to have a general knowledge on how to wick and use an atomizer, each atomizer will have its distinct needs.
If you are a novice user, experiment with varying sizes of cotton until you achieve equilibrium for your set-up.
CHECK OUT FOR LEAKAGES
Attachment or O-ring issues often cause leaky coils. Examine your coil O-ring and make sure that the atomizer is connected finger tight. Additionally, check out to ensure that this is not occurring on just one particular device or battery.
This is critical because inconsistencies in attachments can sometimes push the coil up and cause the O-ring seals to break, resulting in a leak. Also, try to loosen your tank a bit and see if the leakage continues.
The leaking can also result from removing some wicks from your coil or using thin liquids. Removing any segment can cause leakages and poor functioning of your coil.
But how do you troubleshoot leakages? Well, the best solution and preventive strategy for this problem is to make sure that your coil is finger-tight before topping up the juice.
Avoid dismantling your atomizer as well. Here are some helpful tips if you find that your atomizer is not functioning well:
- First of all, ensure that all attachments are not cross-threaded and are tight enough. Most leaking problems emanate from a poor seal.
- Also, check the silicone gasket fit on the heating assembly among other parts. This is important because these tiny white rubber parts tend to shift in position with time and can lead to leakage or performance issues.
- In case your atomizer fails to activate completely, ensure that its head is screwed securely into its base. Occasionally, the head can slowly come loose and detach with use. It is a part that many individuals do not think about and can pose a huge challenge to figure out.
STORE YOUR DEVICE CORRECTLY
Your clearomiser’s air holes are there to offer you an adequate flow of air over the coil, so as to maintain the vape at an equilibrium temperature. The holes are also vital in making sure that your wick remains saturated with e-liquid.
However, if you leave your device upside down or on its side, the e-juice can re-direct towards these holes and eventually leak. Also, keep your e-cig away from exposure to direct sunlight and high temperatures.
SAVE YOUR MONEY AND ENJOY YOUR SPREE
It is evident that how you vape and treat your device can significantly impact the lifespan of your wicks and coils.
To enjoy a tasty and quality vape and still protect your coils from burning, the aspects mentioned above should form your realm of interest and knowledge.
The tips highlighted apply to veteran and novice vapors alike. In most cases, a burnt wick will pretty much leave your coil in ruins. Thus, you will not only have to contend with a nasty-tasting vape but also incur the expense of replacing the entire coil ahead of schedule.
Whatever your vaping needs, keep these tips into consideration so as to leverage in your device. In addition to the above factors, make an effort to buy a high-quality coil that will not fall short of its performance.