Let’s face it; there’re two main things that you must regularly purchase to get the perfect vaping experience: atomizer coil and e-liquid. However, there’s a lot of confusion regarding how often vape coils should be replaced. This is because there’re several factors at play that might determine how long you should use your atomizer coil.
What Is a Vape Coil?
A vape coil, also known as atomizer coil or mod coil is the component of an e-cig responsible for heating the vape juice, turning it into vapor. That said, atomizer coils consist of three primary components: the wire (coil), the wicking material, and the casing.
The wire is usually wrapped around the wick with its two ends being connected to the part of the housing that’s connected to the battery. After introducing e-liquid into the tank, the wick will absorb the juice and become saturated. Finally, you can activate the battery, which heats up the vape coil, causing the vape juice absorbed in the wick to be vaporized.
How Long Should Your Mod Coil Last?
Typically, vape coils should be replaced as soon as the wire coil is dilapidated or the wick is burnt out. The best thing to do is to change your vaporizer coil after using it for a duration of about 1 to 4 weeks. The general estimate is two weeks, but the taste of your vapor should tell you when your coil needs replacing.
You should also consider how often you vape rather than just looking at the number of days or weeks. If you puff all day long or every day, your vape coil might need replacing even every week. Other factors that might affect your coil’s lifespan include using a variable voltage mod with increased power and using 100% VG (Vegetable Glycerin) e-liquid.
When Your Vape Coil Needs Replacing
Below are some of the signs that should tell you when to replace your vape coil
Gurgling Sounds During Vaping
If you notice gurgling sounds during vaping, there are high chances that your vape coil isn’t functioning correctly. That said, you should start with replacing the vape coil, and if the problem persists, then this might be a sign of a more severe problem.
Noticing a burnt taste while vaping is arguably the earliest and most reliable indicator that your vape coil needs replacing. No matter the type of e-juice you’ve been using, you’ll notice a burnt sensation if the coil is worn out.
To protect your e-cig from any further damages, you should immediately replace the coil. Alternatively, try cleaning the coil at first, but if the taste persists, then you have no other option than to replace it altogether.
Different Vape Juice Taste
Another indicator that the coil needs replacing is when you notice the vape juice doesn’t taste the way it should. For instance, if you’ve been vaping using the same juice for a while, you should be in a position to immediately notice any taste changes. In most cases, the vape juice taste should return to normal after replacing the vape coil.
A leaking e-cig can be as a result of several reasons such as overflow of the tank, aged rings, and of course, a lousy vape coil. Therefore, you can start by checking if the vape coil has been damaged before proceeding to other possible issues causing the leakage.
Obviously, your vape coil will need replacing depending on the duration you’ve used it. With that in mind, regular vapers should always replace their coils after about one week, whereas casual vapers can do so even after a month. All in all, it all boils down to how often you use your e-cigarette.
7 Tips to Prevent Your Coil from Burning
1) Prime Your Coil
It’s always a wise idea for vapers to “prime” their coils before vaping. This means that the wick material has to be manually soaked into an e-liquid before being inserted into the tank. To effectively prime the coil, add at least 3-5 drops of e-liquid in the coil’s opening at the top and soak the wick which is visible at the ports. This process might be time-consuming as you’ll have to wait for 5-10 minutes after filling e-juice in your vape tank. But of course, it’s better to spend your time priming instead of risking a dry burn that can ruin your coil completely.
An alternative priming method used by some vapers is to take a few puffs without pressing the “fire button”. This method forcefully sucks the vape juice into the wick. However, be careful not to overdo it to avoid flooding your coil.
2) Stop Chain Vaping
“Chain vaping” is when you want to vape continuously until you can’t even see your e-cigarette, thanks to the thick clouds around it. In as much as you might enjoy doing this, the wick can get burnt in the process. And as we had earlier mentioned, you have to ensure that the wick can re-saturate with e-juice before hitting the fire button.
To be on the safe side, you should always watch out for diminishing flavor as a sign that you need to stop vaping. Diminishing flavor signals minimal vape juice in the coil. Immediately get the wick soaked once more (re-priming), and since you’ll be having a hot coil, wait for about 5-10 minutes before you begin vaping again.
3) Adjust the Power Setting
Vaping at higher wattage will definitely bring you those big, thick clouds. On the flipside, this will not only negatively impact your coils but also vaporize more juice. And since you’ll be vaping the e-liquid at a much faster rate, the wick might struggle to soak up enough liquid quickly to keep up with the process.
The best thing to do is to reduce the power setting, and if you notice the diminishing flavor sign, then you should know that it’s time to soak up the wick again. You’ll most certainly need to take a break, but with minimal wattage, this scenario is less likely to happen.
Another thing, most vape coils indicate the amount of wattage you should be using, so it’s advisable to stick to the recommended range. We suggest that you start with low wattages before working your way up. Therefore, if you notice a loss of flavor as a sign of burning coil in the current setting, decrease the power.
4) Frequently Top up Your Tank
If you have a minimal amount of juice inside the tank, then your wick might not be able to soak appropriately. In fact, you’ll find that most coil heads require that the juice be filled to a specific level to get to the wicking ports effectively. So, if you have less juice, the wick won’t soak up quickly and appropriately.
To get the best vaping experience, you have to keep the tank topped up all the time. And if you notice reduced e-cig performance or diminishing flavor, then it’s probably time to do away with the e-juice and refill the tank. You can start by emptying the tank if you don’t want to mix flavors or rotate the tank so that the juice can soak the wick. However, rotating the tank can be very unreliable, especially if your juice level is low, so refilling is probably the preferred approach.
5) Use E-Liquid with More PG
PG (Propylene Glycol) is lighter than the sweeter and thicker VG (Vegetable Glycerin). What this means is that PG soaks up much faster, ensuring that you’re less likely to encounter dry puffs or even burnt wicks.
With that in mind, e-juice with VG content of up to 70% or more can cause wicking problems and eventually ruin your vape coils. So to avoid those annoying dry puffs as well as the burnt coils, always check your e-liquid content. It’s advisable to use one with 50/50 mix or go for a PG. However, sub ohm tanks, for example, are designed to vaporize higher-VG juices.
6) Use E-Juice with Less Sweetener
E-juice that has lots of sweeteners can eventually gunk up your coils. The added sugars in the juice can caramelize, and finally destroy your precious coils. Additionally, the gunk-filled wick can’t effectively soak up the new liquid, leading to dry puffs and burnt coils.
That being said, many types of e-liquids can gunk up coils with the main culprits being darker colored juices such as coffee e-liquids. But don’t fret just yet because cleaning up the wicks using either water or strong grain alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) can solve the problem. The problem is that you’ll have to wait for at least 24 hours or longer for the coil to completely dry out.
In as much as there are different coil cleaning methods to choose from, it’s worth noting that most of them won’t still be able to get it back performing to its best ability. So, you won’t have a choice but to dispose of the gunk-filled coil and use a new coil with a different juice with fewer sweeteners.
7) Take Advantage of Temperature Control
Temperature Control (TC) vaping is one of the surest ways of solving the burning wicks problem. This is achieved by tracking the resistible changes that arise when specific coil materials heat up. For example, TC-enabled devices like the Innokin Cool Fire IV enable users to set the maximum temperature for the coil. When the set temperature is reached, the e-cig stops supplying power, allowing it to cool down.
In short, it’s always advisable to go for a TC-compatible e-cig since this technique won’t allow you to vape without enough juice in the wick. The only problem apart from compatibility is that you’ll need a tank that supports stainless steel coils, nickel, or titanium.
Cleaning Your Vape Coil
Cleaning your vape coil is another tricky process, but this can ensure the best vaping experience. Moving forward, replaceable vape coils are of two types, namely: coil heads for tanks and coils for rebuildables. Coil heads for tanks are encased inside a small metal chamber containing an absorbent wick. On the other hand, coils for rebuildable require you to install and wick. Here is how you should clean the two types of coils:
Cleaning Replaceable Coils
Technically, it’s possible to clean replaceable vape coils which are mostly found in clearomizers and sub-ohm tanks. However, this won’t entirely revive them as you’ll only get an extra couple of days with your worn-out coil head. The main reason is that soaking the wicks can remove some dirt residue, but not all. To make it even worse, you’ll need to wait for the cleaning liquid to dry out completely before using it.
But if you insist on cleaning your replaceable coil head, here is the step-by-step method:
• Soak your coil in either vinegar, ethanol, or cheap vodka and let it sit for a few hours
• Rinse it under the tap
• Using distilled water, rinse it once more
• Blow air via the coil’s open side to force water out through the wicking holes
• Let it dry until all the liquid has evaporated
NOTE: You can use the sun or a heater to speed up the drying process, although it will still take some time. After this, you’ll notice a cleaner wick, but again, you’ll still need to replace the coil head despite its new looks.
Cleaning Rebuildable Coils
For those using rebuildable atomizers, it’s vital that you clean your coils from time to time. Why do we say this? Well, gunked up coils can immensely reduce both flavor and vapor production. Here is what you should do to avoid this dreaded scenario:
You can start by removing the wick from the coil since you don’t want to get it burnt. If you notice that your coil isn’t that bad, then a light, dry-burning it can come in handy. Repeatedly press the fire button until its clear of any liquid. Finally, let it cool down and re-wick.
However, the above process might not bear the desired results if you’ve already done it several times before. In that case, here is what to do for deeper cleaning:
• Start by removing the wick from the coil
• Lightly dry-burn your coil without letting it glow too much
• Remove the atomizer from your mod
• Place it under clean, running water
• Using a toothbrush, gently brush the atomizer
• Rinse it
• Dry-burn to remove any droplets of water
NOTE: You can use liquid dishwashing soap when brushing your coil, but make sure that you rinse it thoroughly afterwards using hot water.
If you still notice a gunked up coil or reduced flavor production, then this is enough sign that the atomizer needs replacing. Even though proper cleaning can extend your coin’s lifespan, you’ll still need to replace it after extensive use.