When to Change a Vape Coil
Regardless of the type of vaping device that you use, coil replacements are a regular part of your life. Modern vape tanks make the coil replacement process as easy as possible, but that doesn’t make coil replacements fun. If you really want to do things right, then replacing your coil means disassembling and rinsing your tank, taking out the old coil, twisting in the new one and priming the new coil before putting everything back together and refilling the tank.
It’s a process that you might find yourself putting off for “some other time” on those days when you really don’t feel like doing the work – and with that, we arrive at this article’s central question. When should you change your vape coil?
The short answer is that you should change your coil when you’re no longer getting a good vaping experience out of your tank, but this is a topic with plenty of depth for those who care to explore it further.
Ready for some exploration? Let’s do it.
Further Reading: Vape Coils: Ultimate Buying Guide
When Should You Change Your Vape Coil?
Think about how much you look forward to experiencing the amazing flavour and vapour production that you can only get with a brand-new coil. Vaping never gets better than that, right? As you use the coil, though, you’ll notice that certain gradual changes will begin to take place.
- The coil will become less responsive when you press your device’s fire button. It’ll take slightly longer before the coil begins producing vapour.
- The coil will produce less vapour than it did when it was new.
- The flavour of your e-liquid will begin to change. A note of burned sugar will begin to cover the e-liquid’s more subtle notes.
If you’re trying to get the most usage out of the coil that you possibly can, you may continue using the coil even as the changes mentioned above take place. Eventually, though, you’ll reach a point at which it seems like you’re getting dry hits even though your tank isn’t empty. You may also feel irritation in the back of your throat when vaping. At that point, you can delay no further and need to change your coil as soon as possible.
If you replace your coil as soon as the flavour begins to change, you’ll have the best possible vaping experience. Whether you can do that without going through an entire box of coils in a few days, though, depends on the longevity of your coils – and coil longevity depends more on your choice of e-liquid than on the coil itself.
How Long Should a Vape Coil Last?
A vape coil should last several days before it requires replacement. It is even possible in some cases for vape coils to deliver excellent flavour and vapour production for weeks. If you aren’t getting that level of longevity from your coils, continue reading for advice about how to make your coils last longer.
Are Your Vape Coils Burning Out Fast?
If you aren’t getting the kind of coil longevity described above, it’s most likely because you’re using e-liquid sweetened with sucralose. Sucralose is a potent sweetener that can make an e-liquid taste almost like candy. Many people enjoy e-liquids with sweet flavour profiles, so sucralose is a very common ingredient in vape juice these days.
As tasty as it may be, though, sucralose can also cause your vape coils to burn out quickly. That’s because sucralose doesn’t turn to vapour when it’s heated; it caramelises and burns. The burned sucralose residue sticks to your atomizer coil, and it becomes gradually thicker as you continue vaping. The layer of sucralose residue – vapers call it coil gunk – is the reason why you start to taste burned sugar after using the same coil for a while. It’s also why you start to experience irritation in the back of your throat when your coil is at the end of its life.
Is sweetened e-liquid shortening the life of your coils? If you can taste sweetness on your lips when you vape – almost as if you’ve been eating candy – you’re almost definitely using e-liquid with sucralose.
There’s an easy way to confirm that sucralose is what’s causing your coils to have poor longevity.
- When you remove a coil from your tank, examine the metal though the holes at the top of the coil assembly. Is the heating wire black? You’ve got coil gunk.
- If the heating wire is still white, it’s possible that you killed your coil by burning the wick. You can confirm that by disassembling the coil. Pull the cap off of the bottom of the coil assembly and push the heating wire and cotton wick out through the top of the coil assembly. Unwrap the cotton from the heating wire. If the cotton has a black spot, it’s burned. Even a tiny black spot will have a negative effect on flavour when you vape.
How to Make Your Vape Coils Last Longer
Making your coils last longer is fairly simple if you know the reason why your coil life is poor. If you followed the steps above, you should have the answer to that question.
If your coils are burning out quickly because of coil gunk, you have two options. You can either put up with the poor coil life and replace your coils every day or two, or you can start using unsweetened e-liquid. Even with unsweetened e-liquid, coil longevity can vary. It’s common for people to get several days of usage out of each coil with unsweetened e-liquid. With an e-liquid that isn’t heavily flavoured – such as a plain menthol e-liquid – you may get weeks of life out of each coil.
If your coils are burning out quickly because the wicks are burned, the source of the problem isn’t your choice of e-liquid. Rather, it’s that your coil is drying out when you vape. A vape coil can become extremely hot during operation. To prevent overheating, the coil must have a constant supply of e-liquid from the wick – and if the wick is dry, it’ll burn. To prevent your coil’s wick from burning, follow these tips.
- Keep your tank topped up when vaping. Don’t try to use your tank when it is nearly empty.
- Vape within your coil’s recommended wattage range. If you tend to vape at the top end of that wattage range, keep your puff length short. If you prefer longer puffs, you may need to lower your wattage.
- Don’t use a high-VG e-liquid if your coil has small wick openings. If your e-liquid is too viscous, it won’t absorb into your coil’s wick quickly enough. (Further reading: PG/VG Ratios Explained)