Sick of replacing coils? Unfortunately, many inexperienced vapers are unaware that looking after and regularly maintaining their coils is the key to prolonging their life and improving their vaping experience. Of course, having the right coil for your device and replacing it when it becomes dirty or damaged is also important. However, there are plenty of ways you can increase e-cigarette coil life just by looking after them properly.
While there is no magic formula that determines when you need to change your coils, there are a few primary factors that affect their life. The type of e-liquid you choose can have a big impact, and the amount of time you spend vaping also has an influence on maintenance and how often replacements are required.
On average, e-cigarette coils should last anywhere from a week to a month; but with some basic care you can extend this period, perhaps even double it. This may require some extra commitment on your part, but it’s something that every vaper needs to consider since the effort is definitely worthwhile.
When To Change Your Coil
Does your e-juice taste burnt or have a strange aftertaste? This is the most obvious sign that your coil needs to be replaced! Maybe you haven’t changed your coil in a while and your e-cigarette is leaking. This could also be a sign that you need to replace the coil. If you hear a gurgling sound when you take a drag, this could suggest that the coil is struggling and nearing the end of its life.
Ways to Improve Coil Longevity
There is one sure fire way to improve the life of your e-cigarette coils – keep them clean! Clean coils are happy coils and they make vaping much more enjoyable. Besides the obvious, there are a few simple things you can do to make your coils last longer. The following tips should help you out:
1. Prime before vaping
The first (and most overlooked) tip to increase coil life is to prime your coils before vaping. This prepares the coil for operation and can prevent it from being damaged. Most e-cigarettes come with an instruction manual and step-by-step information on how to prime the coil in your particular setup. Reading this manual is always a good idea, so don’t throw it away! In time, priming your coils will become second nature, but it can take a little bit of practice.
To prime a new coil, remove the existing coil and replace it with a new one, then locate the small wicking holes and drip e-juice onto the cotton inside, one drop at a time. Keep doing this until the cotton has become completely saturated and is no longer absorbing the liquid. Next, let the device sit for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the juice to work its way completely through the wicking material.
Next, fill your tank and reassemble your e-cigarette. Take a few draws without applying power to help saturate the coil even further. Next, start off with a few small hits, then move to longer draws as the coil begins to “warm up.” Priming the coil gives it time to settle in and prepare it for regular use.
2. Avoid dry hits
Dry hits not only taste awful, like burnt toast or worse, but they’re horrible for your coils. When the coil is not suitably protected and lubricated by e-juice, it can overheat and burn the cotton wicking material. Avoiding dry hits will prevent your coils from becoming permanently damaged and keep them running strong.
The fastest way to ruin a coil is by running it dry! Once your wicking material has become singed or burnt, you might as well throw it away since the burnt taste will linger and it’s very unlikely to disappear. To avoid the potential problems associated with dry hits, always ensure that your tank if filled sufficiently and that there is no chance of running the coil dry. If you’re an avid vaper who likes to regularly chain vape, make sure that you give your coil a chance to cool down between long or powerful hits.
3. Change your e-liquid
Some e-liquids tend to block coils and can cause more problems than others. E-liquid with higher concentrations of VG (vegetable glycerin) should only be used with sub-ohm coils that are rated at less than 1.0 ohms. Because of its thicker properties, more power is required to effectively vaporize high VG e-liquid. In particular, “Max VG” e-juice (or anything with more than 50% VG) should only be used with coils rated at 1.0 ohm or less; otherwise you’re likely to damage them.
Sweeter liquids, especially those that use artificial sweetener, tend to gunk up coils faster than lighter, non-sweet flavors. This results in a shorter coil life and more frequent replacements. There are certainly some exceptions, but in general the lighter and less sweet the flavor, the less likely it is to clog up your coil.
If you enjoy sweeter flavors and love your existing e-juice, make sure that you clean your coils regularly, or they simply won’t last. If possible, try to switch out flavors from time-to-time and rotate between sweet and less sweet flavors. This way your coils will take less of a beating over time and are sure to last longer.
4. Choose coils wisely
When purchasing e-cigarette coils it’s important to shop smart. Not only do you need to select the right coil for your particular setup, but you need to choose one that will be suitable for your selection of e-juice. As mentioned above, if you prefer high or Max VG e-liquids for producing bigger, more impressive clouds of vapor, you should be choosing a sub-ohm coil rated at less than 1.0 ohms.
Also be wary of cheap, aftermarket coils that aren’t produced by a reputable company or your original tank manufacturer. Cheap coils are not necessarily good coils and they’re likely to provide you with a poor vaping experience, even if they’re completely clean. Counterfeits of popular brand name coils are common, so be sure to verify your coils are authentic and only buy from reputable suppliers.
There are plenty of places selling cheap, aftermarket coils, but chances are they’re low quality replacements, and if you use them you’re likely to end up replacing them more often, reducing any benefit of the lower price.
5. Tips to clean vape coils
As with most maintenance items, if you take care of your coils and clean them properly, they will last longer and perform better. Cleaning your coils may seem like an unwelcome chore, but it’s a necessary step if you’d like to increase the life of your coils and avoid frequent replacements.
Surprisingly, cleaning most coils is relatively simple. Everyone has their own preferred method, but the simplest approach is to dismantle your atomizer and soak the coils in hot water for 30 to 40 minutes. Some vapers will alternate between a quick clean where they simply rinse the coil and allow it to dry, and a more thorough cleaning where they soak it in grain alcohol (ie: high proof flavorless vodka, moonshine or everclear). In either case, the coil must be thoroughly dry before reusing so that the e-juice can properly saturate the wick again.
Another option that should be used with caution is “dry burning” the coil. This can only be completed with rebuildable atomizers where the cotton can be removed. This CANNOT BE DONE with a traditional e-cigarettes or any device that uses prebuilt coil heads. Doing so will burn the cotton and destroy the coil. Dry burning is the process of heating up a bare coil to burn off excess gunk and buildup. I won’t get into the specifics here, but you can find a good tutorial here.
So there you have it! Follow these tips and you your e-cigarette coils are sure to last longer before needing to be replaced. Do you have any tips to help increase the life of your e-cig coils? Please share in the comments below.