6 Ways To Keep Your Coils From Burning

Hobbyist's Corner Lifestyle Vape 101

6 Ways To Keep Your Coils From Burning

Kain Alden

A dry or “burnt” hit on your vaporizer is the worst. The raunchy flavours of singed cotton and sugar (if you’ve been vaping a sweet ejuice) do not combine well. Add the sensation of your throat and nose being raked over by dry, smoky claws, and you’ve got a pretty grim vaping experience.

So, what causes a burnt coil? Eventually, your coil will burn out as it reaches the end of its usefulness, but some factors can severely shorten the lifespan of your coil.

A coil works by allowing the cotton portion to soak up ejuice so that when the metal heats up, the cotton can wick some of this heat away from the coil and produce a vapor from the ejuice. If the cotton is not sufficiently lubricated, has become clogged, or if the temperature of the metal is too high, the cotton becomes so hot that it smoulders, producing a distinct and unpleasant odour and taste.

The following tips will help you get the longest life out of your coils, which ultimately saves you money and spares you from the discomfort of taking a hit on a bad coil.

1. Prime the Coil Before Use

Basic vaping rules like priming your coil can sometimes be overlooked or even forgotten. Unfortunately, failing to prime can ruin a perfectly good coil from the first rip of the power button. While priming does require a few minutes of your time, it will ultimately allow you to eke out better-quality vaping and a longer lifespan from your coil.

Within the coil, there should be an opening which is saturated with juice. Such an opening usually comes in the form of wicking holes. This will allow your ejuice to comfortably touch the cotton and wick to the coil.

Slowly drip ejuice onto the cotton, waiting several seconds between drips so that the cotton can become fully saturated. Reassemble your coil and tank and fill it with ejuice, then take a light draw or two from the mouthpiece without firing the power button. This will ensure the wick is fully primed before you take your first proper hit.

2. Use a Lower Wattage Setting

Vaping with a sub-ohm tank can allow you to utilise much-higher wattage, but consistently using high wattage can shorten the life of your coil, not to mention the you have to top up your eliquid more frequently. This is especially true if you tend to “chain vape,” or take several drags right after one another with little time between.

When you vape at a high wattage, the liquid absorbed by the coil’s wick could be burning off faster than the wick material can absorb more ejuice. A similar situation occurs when you take long, frequent drags, as the metal coil doesn’t have a chance to properly cool down between hits, and thus the wick isn’t able to re-lubricate itself.

3. Keep Your Ejuice Level Topped Up

When you are wrapped up in something and not paying attention to your vape tank, you might find yourself mindlessly vaping until you get that first ghastly tasting hit. We all get distracted, but you can kill your coil by letting the ejuice level run too low. Most tanks have a minimum level indicator (either on the tank itself or within the instruction booklet), and by keeping the minimum recommended amount of ejuice in your tank you will reduce the chances of getting a dry hit.

4. Switch to Ejuice Containing Less VG

If you have been vaping ejuice with a high VG content, this could be the reason why you’re blowing through coils like crazy. “High” VG content is anything at 70% or higher. VG, or vegetable glycerine, is derived from vegetable oil and is very thick, which sometimes causes it to “gunk up” coils.

Instead, opt for juices that have a bit more PG, or propylene glycol. PG is thinner in consistency and carries flavours a little better than VG. You might find that ejuice with less VG tends to have more of a “throat hit,” but the best eliquids won’t leave you feeling uncomfortable after a drag.

5. Avoid Dark and Very Sweet EJuices

Dark ejuices are so alluring and tasty, but they can also be very taxing on your coil’s wick. While opinions on this topic can vary quite a lot, the consensus is that dark juices do seem to cause premature build-up within a coil. One theory is the colourants added to the flavour oils may hasten the process of “gunky” accumulation within the coil.

Eliquids with dark colouring also tend to have sweeteners added to them, which in turn can caramelize in the wick of your coil and produce an unpleasant taste. This is also true of very sweet light-coloured eliquids, so you may want to cut back on your use of dessert flavours if you need to stretch out the lifespan of your coil.

6. Don’t Lay Your Tank Down

It is easy to keep your tank upright when it’s attached to your mod, but if you make use of more than one tank, the way that you store your tank when it isn’t in use could be causing you to burn your coil. If you allow a tank to lie on its side, the ejuice in the tank will naturally move and could prevent the wick from thoroughly absorbing the eliquid. This is especially likely if the ejuice level in the tank is less than half-full.

If you were to pop that tank onto your mod and instantly fire it up, there is a good chance you would end up burning part of the wick in your coil (the bit that wasn’t able to absorb eliquid while in storage). Try to store your tanks in an upright position. If a tank has fallen over and been allowed to rest this way for more than a few minutes, then allow the tank to remain upright for a bit before you take a hit from it.

Final Thoughts

While atomizer coils are not an expensive component, it’s always nice to get the most value for your dosh. If you are running through coils with annoying frequency, the chances are likely you’re falling prey to one of the habits mentioned above. The chances of having a bad or poorly made coil are rare if you’ve purchased ready-to-use products from a reputable shop. Honestly, the most common causes of short-lived coils are vaping at too high a wattage and using high VG ratio eliquids.

It’s always a good idea to double check a coil’s specifications to determine the ideal range of wattage for that model. If you love vaping at high power settings, it might be worthwhile to consider a coil explicitly designed for high-wattage use.

Source: Lacey Krusmark – Vape Wild



  1. Derick r 27th July 2018

    Well said ???????? I enjoyed reading this cause I’m really carful when it comes to my coils and I never vape dark e juice or desert e juices, and if anyone wants to know a company that has the most amazing e juice in the world that I’ve been Vaping for 9 years now I’ll tell you! ???? I love fruit Vapes and I’ve tried a ton of different companies and flavors, but my number 1 company is J Vapes and the flavor I have been Vaping of there’s is called yellow submarine! And OMG! IT IS MORE THAN AMAZING! ONE TRY AND YOULL BE HOOKED LIKE ME, AND IT DOESN’T GUNK UP YOUR COILS EITHER!!! I VAPE AT 30 TO 32 WATTS AND I USE THE FIRST UWELL CROWN TSNK AND I USE THE 0.5 COILS AND I GET ALMOST 3 WEEKS OUT OF THEM! DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND AND TYPE IN J VAPES AND LOOK IN THE FRUIT SECTION ON TBRE WEBSITE AND KEEP SCROLLING THROUGH AND YOULL FIND HEAVEN! THAT IS YELLOW SUBMARINE ????

  2. Kelse 14th September 2018

    I think more problems occur in sub ohm tanks from under wattage and ejuice not getting fully vaporized and gumming up the cotton leading to wicking problems and then premature coil death. I found this to be especially true on the fireluke mesh coils. If I vape at 60 watts the coil starts to brown at the top within a 100 hits or so and was dying at 400 hits. I cranked up the wattage to 80 watts, 10 watts under the max rating, and the cotton is still looking great after 4000 hits. I watch the top of the coil and if the cotton starts to get a little brown, I vape it harder for a few hits and the cotton starts looking good again. I talked to some chain vapers that work at the local vape shop and they also confirmed that they see this. They said most of the time if a customer complains about their sub ohm coil life, they are vaping at the bottom end of the recommended wattage for that coil. Juice and certain brands of coils play a huge factor as well.

    1. Shea 2nd February 2019

      Sorry in know this is 5 months later but thank you for that tip. I always vape desserts as they’re my fav & always thought that was the only problem. But I also vape 35-45 watts, even on coils like the .15 ohm Fireluke mesh & I’m thinking too low wattage has been the biggest problem. When I had the Smok Baby Beast I did the same, Vaped at the lowest wattage possible of the recommended & never had one coil last more than 48 hrs. I just installed a new .15 in my Fireluke yesterday & been vaping it at 35-40w but I just started cranking it up by taking about 3 drags then up 5 watts at a time, rinse, repeat. I’m just at 60 but with this coil rated for 40-90w I’m gonna at least go up to 70-75w if I can handle it & stay at that wattage & see if it helps. The most I’ve gotten out of the .15 Fireluke mesh has been about a week or approx 5 days with dessert flavors (i.e. Buttermilk Pie, Mallow Man etc). Except JM which I know it doesn’t matter that juice just kill any of my tank coils in 3 days or less. Using Elysians PB Nilla & Prohibition Sin Tax now & gonna see if this higher wattage trick works. Again ty for the tip!!

  3. Kathleen 29th October 2018

    I have terrible problems with coils burning out, I seem to be able to use 80/20 liquids in 10ml bottles already mixed with 3mg nicotine. When ever I get any big bottles and mix my own nicotine it burns the coil with in half a day same with 70/30. I have a wismec gen3 and an ijoy diamond and no one seems to know what’s going on. I vape between 35-45 so if any one can help me I’d be made up. Thanks Kathleen

    1. Rebecca 19th January 2019

      Hi Kathleen! I use sub-Ohm pre-built coils AND I only vape dessert and sweet 70/30 VG/PG liquids and my coils last a week if I pay attention every time I take a puff.
      Here’s my advice: set your wattage at the lower end of the recommended temp.
      when you drag/pull on it, don’t wrap your lips tightly around the mouthpiece, suck in some air from the corners of your mouth while sucking the vape. You will also get way more flavour this way.
      Don’t suck too hard as your liquid won’t be able to travel through the cotton/ceramic fast enough if you do that (hence burnt coil).
      So all in all, keep your mouth loose around the mouthpiece, don’t suck too hard/too fast, and give your vape at least 10-15 seconds between draws to give the coil time to absorb more juice. And experiment with different ohm coils and cotton vs. ceramic, and coils with many small wicks in them (like 2-6) vs. 1 big wick.
      But I must repeat the MAIN solution. Don’t draw too hard or too fast to give your coils time to draw more liquid in even while you are drawing, and pay attention to each draw.

  4. iBreathe E-Liquids 6th November 2018

    Thanks a lot for sharing the article with us. I found a perfect article about e-coils.

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