How to Know When It’s Time for a New Vape Coil

If you’ve been a vaper for more than a week or two, you know very well how to identify when it’s time for a new coil. As you vape, the flavor produced by your atomizer coil changes over time. When you’re using a new coil, you taste nothing but the pure flavor of your favorite Vape Juice – life is great. After a while, though, the flavor begins to change. It becomes difficult to taste the subtle notes in your e-liquid because the flavor profile starts to become covered by a sort of exaggerated sweetness. If you continue too far past that point, you’ll start to experience a burning and scratching sensation in your throat when you vape. At that point, there’s no choice but to replace the coil.

You already know all of that – you learn everything you need to know about replacing your coil very quickly after you start vaping. Have you ever stopped, though, to think about what’s actually going on behind the scenes – about why it’s necessary to replace your coil and whether you can do anything to make your coils last longer?

To put it differently, it is entirely possible to make a vape coil last for weeks with virtually no perceptible change in flavor. There’s a good chance, however, that your coils don’t last anywhere near that long. In fact, it’s likely that you install a new coil every day or two. Why is that?

In this article, we’re going to look a bit more closely at what happens to your atomizer coil when you vape. You’re going to learn the two reasons why an atomizer coil burns out, and you’re going to find out what you can do to improve coil life.

Coil Gunk Kills a Vape Coil Over Time

As you already know, the reason why you replace a vape coil is because it produces an unpleasant burned flavor when you try to vape. There are two reasons why you might experience a burned flavor when vaping. The first reason is coil gunk, a residue that collects on a vape coil and saps the coil of its performance. The second reason is a burned wick. Before you can understand the problem, you need to know which problem you have.

To determine whether you’re getting a burned flavor because of coil gunk or a burned wick, remove the coil from your tank and shine a flashlight on it. The heating surface inside the coil assembly should be white. If the coil is covered with a dark, sticky-looking substance, you’ve got coil gunk. If the heating surface is still white, you’ve got a burned wick.

What Are the Symptoms of Coil Gunk?

Coil gunk is the most common reason why vapers need to replace their atomizer coils, and we actually described the symptoms of it at the top of this article. Coil gunk manifests itself as a sort of exaggerated sweetness at first. Over time, the sweetness gives way to a “burned sugar” or “caramel” flavor. Eventually, the sweetness fades into the background, and every puff begins to taste burned or charred. As you’ve just learned, coil gunk is a sort of dark, sticky residue that builds up on an atomizer coil. The residue becomes thicker over time, and as it thickens, the burned flavor becomes worse. The speed at which coil gunk accumulates depends on how much e-liquid you use. If you vape regularly and use a tank that generates huge clouds, a coil that you install at the beginning of the day may start to taste burned by the end of that same day.

How to Prevent Coil Gunk When Vaping

Coil gunk is primarily caused by sucralose, a sugar substitute that’s used to make e-liquid taste good. Sucralose is very tasty, but it doesn’t vaporize when it’s heated. Instead, it collects on your atomizer coil and forms coil gunk. Prolonging the life of your coil and preventing coil gunk from developing, then, is a matter of using as little sucralose as possible. If you switch to an e-liquid that’s only lightly sweetened, your coils will last longer. They’ll last longer still if you use an unsweetened e-liquid.

A Burned Wick Can Kill a Vape Coil Instantly

Coil gunk can kill a vape coil very quickly, but at least you can still use the coil for a while before the layer of residue becomes so thick that vaping is no longer pleasant. A burned wick, on the other hand, can kill a coil instantly. Almost all vape coils have cotton wicks. While cotton works very well as a wicking material, it does have one major shortcoming in that it can burn when it’s dry. Once something is burned, it’s changed forever. A coil with a burned wick will never produce the correct flavor again.

What Are the Symptoms of a Burned Wick?

Like coil gunk, a burned wick causes a vape coil to produce a burned flavor. It’s different, though, because you don’t taste an exaggerated sweetness before the burned flavor begins to creep in – the transformation is instant. In addition, the “character” of the flavor is somewhat different. Some people say that a coil with a burned wick produces a flavor that’s like “vaping a burned t-shirt,” which is pretty much as disgusting as it sounds.

You can confirm that a coil has a burned wick by disassembling the coil. After pulling the metal plug out of the bottom of the coil, you can usually push the coil’s wick and heating wires out through the top of the coil assembly. If you unwrap the cotton from around the heating wires, you’ll see a burned spot. Even a tiny dark spot will cause the coil to produce a burned flavor.

How to Prevent a Burned Wick When Vaping

The key to preventing a burned wick when vaping is ensuring that the wick never has a chance to become completely dry. When you install a new coil, always let the coil stand for several minutes after you fill the tank. Letting the coil stand gives the wick an opportunity to become completely saturated with e-liquid. When you vape, keep your mod’s wattage at a reasonable level. If you vape at too high a wattage, you’ll exhaust the supply of e-liquid in the wick before the wick has an opportunity to draw fresh e-liquid in from the tank.

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