What Does It Mean to Break in a Vape Coil?
One of the things that you might have noticed if you’ve been vaping for a while is that the flavour produced by a new coil is never ideal right out of the box. Usually, you need to drain your tank once or twice before it produces the best possible flavour. Those first couple of tanks are what people in the vaping community call the “break-in period” for a new coil.
So, what exactly does it mean to break in a new coil? Reading this article, you’re going to become a complete expert on those crucial first few hours of a new coil’s life. You’re going to learn how to install a new coil properly and ramp it up slowly so as to avoid the burned cotton that can ruin a coil’s flavour permanently. You’re also going to learn what’s actually happening when you break in a new coil and what you can do to avoid the break-in period entirely and enjoy perfect flavour with your coils right from the start.
How to Prime and Install a New Coil Properly
Before you can break in a new coil, you have to install it properly. Vape coils – especially the incredibly powerful ones that manufacturers are developing these days – operate at very high temperatures. That’s great for flavour and vapour production, but it can also result in the almost instant death of the coil if its wick isn’t completely saturated with e-liquid when you vape. That’s because virtually all vape coils have cotton wicks, and if you touch cotton with a red-hot heating element – you guessed it! – the cotton burns. There’s no way to fix a burned wick, and it ruins a coil’s flavour forever.
To ensure that you won’t burn the wick when using a new coil for the first time, you need to prime the coil by putting a bit of e-liquid on each of the openings where you can see the coil’s white cotton wick poking through. Send a bit of e-liquid down the coil’s top opening as well. You might need to do this more than once. When the wick is properly primed, you should no longer see any dry cotton when examining the coil. You can now install the coil and fill the tank. Let the tank stand for at least five minutes before vaping.
When you’re ready to begin using the new coil, set your mod to a lower power level than the wattage at which you’d normally vape. Take a quick puff and wait several seconds before vaping again. If the coil seems to be working properly, you can start increasing your mod’s power level gradually until you reach your usual wattage.
What Does It Mean to Break in a New Vape Coil?
Even if you prime and install a new coil properly, the flavour still won’t be perfect until you’ve drained the tank once or twice, and the new coil break-in period is the reason for that.
So, what’s actually happening when you break in a new coil? To understand the break-in process, it’s helpful to think about the conditions under which vape coils are manufactured. The manufacturers of vaping products aren’t the ones producing the organic cotton and heating wire or mesh strips; they’re taking those raw materials and making finished products from them. It’s unlikely that most manufacturers of vape coils are even producing the stainless-steel enclosures themselves; they’re getting everything from outside factories and assembling the finished goods. That’s how most manufacturing works in China.
Now, do you think that the factories making vape coils are taking the stainless enclosures, heating wire and cotton and washing all of those materials before manufacturing the coils? That’s highly unlikely. It’s far more likely that vape coils are assembled and packaged with trace lubricants and other manufacturing residue still present in the finished products.
When you break in a new coil, you’re effectively using e-liquid to wash the machine residue off of the coil. Propylene glycol in particular is an excellent solvent and cleaner, and once you’ve drained your tank a couple of times, you’ll start to get the ideal flavour from the coil.
There’s just one problem with this process. If you’re washing away manufacturing residue by vaping, that means you’re potentially inhaling that residue. Isn’t there a cleaner and safer way to break in a new coil? As a matter of fact, there is – and it requires less effort than you might think.
Clean Your New Coils to Avoid the Break-in Period
There is a very simple and straightforward way to remove the machine residue from a new coil before you use it. All that you need to do is give the coil a quick cleaning. When you clean your new coils, the one thing you’ll have to remember is that you can’t use a coil while it’s still wet because water conducts electricity and can therefore potentially cause a short circuit. After you clean your coils, you’ll need to leave them out to air dry for about 24 hours before using them. To prevent the drying process from hampering your vaping routine, you might consider cleaning and drying an entire box of coils before you actually need them. That way, when you’re ready to discard the coil you’re using, you’ll have another coil that’s ready to go.
To pre-clean a new coil and remove the manufacturing residue, simply drop the coil – or several coils – into a pan with some distilled water. Place the pan on a stovetop and turn on the heat until the water begins to simmer. There’s no need to boil the water; just hold it at a low simmer for about 15 minutes. Allow the water to cool before removing the coils and leaving them out to dry. When the coils are completely dry, they’re ready to use.
You can also use this coil cleaning process to clean gunky coils that you would otherwise throw away. The heat and gentle agitation combine to break up the e-liquid residue, revealing the clean metal of the coil underneath and restoring the coil’s original performance and flavour. You can usually clean and reuse a coil several times before the flavour quality begins to degrade permanently.