How to prevent a Burnt Coil for your Subohm Tank

Is your vape coil contantly burning? Do you have any idea why? We examine the different ways that a coil will burn and ruin your vape

Coil Burning and How to Prime a Coil

Vaping sure can be fun. On the flip side, it can be a nightmare, too. In one moment you could be on Cloud 9 vaping your favorite e-juice, thinking what a welcome change it is from those godforsaken cancer sticks. Then in the next, the magic suddenly disappears!

The vape burns your throat, tickles your nose most unpleasantly, coats your tongue and leaves a horrible taste in your mouth. It’s such a terrible experience that you may even seriously think of giving up on vaping for good. Now why does that happen? It’s all because of a burnt coil. Any vaporizer requires maintenance--whether it be dry herb vaporizers, wax pens or tanks and mods--find out how to deal with coil burn out.


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Dealing with coil burn

When you get that burnt taste in your AIO's and tanks, you need to check the coil head. Chances are it’s either a burnt or old coil. The fact is even if you vape at the highest temperature, it shouldn’t burn your throat or taste poorly. Replacing the burnt coil is a simple solution here.

Learning to prime coil heads is important to vapers to prevent calamities in future. After installing the coil, put a couple of drops of the e-liquid on its wick holes. Then fill the tank and soak the coil in it for about thirty minutes. This process maximize its performance surely, so don’t rush it.

If you’re new to vaping, start with the lowest setting. Then keep increasing gradually with every puff till you identify the right temperature or the heat that suits your palate best. Eventually you’ll discover the right setting that evenly balances the flavor and heat to your maximum liking. However, it’s also vital to remember that one should never exceed the best wattage range of the coil head. Take note of the wattage ranges that are printed on your coil or mentioned in the vaping device’s user manual.

If the burnt taste continues to linger, reduce the device’s wattage. The general rule of thumb is the higher the ohm level, the lower the wattage should be and vice versa. Vaping at a wattage which is too high for your coil will end up burning it. Why not use Ohm’s Law to calculate your own watts or going by the suggested on the coil? The principal idea is to vape by sheer taste. If it tastes good, your setting is right.

Controlling the temperature is essential to avoid burnt and dry hits. When you use a temp control mod with titanium, stainless steel or nickel coils, you limit the vape’s exact temperature. Ever heard of a guilty e-liquid? These too, exist and give you that irritating burnt taste. This is because of its high VG content which your device can’t really handle. It’s moreover, thicker than PG. So, first experiment with a higher-PG, lower-VG e-liquid until the appropriate balance is identified for your vaping device. Most e-juices have their VG/PG ratio mentioned on their labels. The greater its VG content, the thicker it is. Moreover, some e-liquids are a little too sweet and the sweetener tends to destroy the vape’s wicks, resulting in burnt and dry hits. This juices are typically opaque and very dark. Avoid them just like your state should avoid high taxes or excessive regulations or you will see jobs leave your state but this is another topic.

Not every atomizer is equal. Some tend to wick faster than their counterparts. Thus if you’re still getting burnt hits, you need to give the coil some more time to wick up. For chain vapers, an atomizer with temp control or faster wicking qualities is essential.

In the case of rebuildable atomizers, the burnt taste comes from a variety of reasons: the coil’s hot spot, which makes the coil glow red partially, resulting in a terribly unpleasant vape! You get that typical metallic taste even when the wicks are fully saturated, yet you are unable to notice any burnt spots on them on account of their being fully saturated. Even if the wicks don’t show signs of burnt spots, pull them out. That absolutely unwanted horrible flavor can stick with your wicks. Throw them out. Subsequently pinch your coils with tweezers to get them to pulse evenly or gently strum them using a screwdriver to ensure that they don’t touch any parts of the atomizer’s inside. The point to note here, however, is never to strum or pinch the coils while keeping the fire button pressed, unless a non-conductive tool, such as ceramic tweezers are used.

Certain rebuildable atomizers, particularly RTAs are a trifle tricky to wick. If enough cotton isn’t used it may lead to leaks. Also, jamming too much cotton to fill the wick holes can give you that much hated burnt taste surprise. Taking counsel from those using the same atomizer as you do on which method has yielded the best results for them will help you enormously. The middle ground is just right here. Keep experimenting with more or even less cotton, till the right amount is found.

Gunky coils are also greatly responsible for throat-burning hits. So keep the coils fresh while also changing the wicks once every week. This way, you’ll avoid those terrible burnt hits. Alternately, dismantle the atomizer, rinsing the coils with an ultrasonic cleaner or warm water to get rid of all that gunk. In spite of that, if the coils look charred or have turned chocolate brown in color, replaced them.

Did you know that the weather can also play tricks on your vape? During winters, the juice tends to thicken and doesn’t wick correctly. The cold can thicken a PG juice, leading to a burnt and dry tasting hit. So make sure to protect your vape from extreme climatic conditions.

Sometimes it’s also seen that the burnt, dry taste happens because of a combination of a few reasons mentioned above. Vaping after all, is supposed to be a pleasurable experience and getting that burnt taste shows that something’s not right. As long as you take care of your vaping device in the proper manner, this won’t happen. It’s something like a connoisseur of pipe smoking would do. He would clean his pipes regularly with either brandy or rum, soaking them overnight to dissolve the gunk that accumulates in their bowls, use wicker pipe cleaners and a metal spatula to scrape out all the charred tobacco that continues to stubbornly stick to the insides of the bowl and thoroughly clean out the pipe stem with a thin wicker pipe cleaner. A tedious job no doubt but worth it when you fill it up again and light up. The same applies to vaping as well.

Many vaping beginners often don’t realize that the process should never burn their throats. This is because vaping and smoking aren’t the same and it usually takes some time to get used to inhaling the vapor. Once that is got over, a whole new world of flavors opens up for you, minus the burnt taste, of course!

Priming your coils: ways & methods

The process of priming may be defined as sufficiently wetting the appropriate wicking material or cotton inside the e-cigarette’s heating coil with the e-liquid before starting to vape. However, do bear in mind that some newer coils or atomizer heads, coil heads, burners, and wicks come with their own unique internal design and the e-liquid may take longer to be fully absorbed. Therefore, to minimize or eliminate the risk of that burnt taste resulting from a ruined coil, prime or break in the e-cigarette’s coils in the following three easy steps:

  • Install the coil and subsequently fill the tank
  • Put in a new coil in the tank base
  • and for standard e-cig coils, pour a few drops of the e-liquid through the top hole directly on the coil to saturate it completely

When using larger coils, it is even advisable to add a short measure to the cotton that’s exposed through the holes around the coil.

Fill your tank to the maximum but certain tanks also require that a tiny air pocket should be maintained. The measure is usually full but not above the central airflow tube when you're filling it bottom up. A full tank ensures the maintenance of an appropriate liquid level during priming when the e-liquid enters the wicking area of the coil where the absorbent material or cotton is placed. The resulting vacuum also plays a part in the whole process.

Put all components back together without over tightening to avoid damaging the seals. Also ensure that the seals are placed correctly in order not to damage them. Allow the filled tank to sit for a while so that the liquid gets absorbed and saturates the coil’s interior completely. Ensure that there are no dry spots on the cotton or the wicking inside the coil before pressing the firing button.

Thinner e-liquids usually take lesser time while thicker liquids with higher levels of vegetable glycerin as also larger coils take more time to prime. The process can however, be speeded up by puffing on the e-cigarette (a dry hit) without pressing the fire button. This helps draw the e-liquid onto the coils. This is also called creating suction by drawing.

Certain devices also have adjustable airflow that reduce the incoming air coming as you're priming. This can be done by putting a fingertip on the area with a finger or even a contact pin, when of course, it’s disconnected from the mod or battery. Take a couple of gentle draws but without pressing on the battery’s button. Usually, five draws do the trick. However, sucking or drawing too hard can flood your coil or push the liquid into your mouth. The basic idea is to wet the coil thoroughly.

Allowing the device to sit for at least thirty minutes is a safer option after filling before using the e-cigarette. Remember, the fundamental rule that it’s indeed easy to burn your coils to end up with that horrible taste. So patience is the key to a successful vape. If you waste a coil, you waste your money also.

Quick hits

Once the coil is primed and ready for vaping, remember not to apply too much power on it immediately after priming. Think of it as a car that has to be gently handled while its choke is still on. For variable voltage devices, keep the initial voltage low till you're up and ready to run. If the voltage can’t be altered, take quick hits by drawing on the mouthpiece in rapid succession without actually inhaling the vapor.

Organic coils

When using organic cotton coils, make sure to saturate the coil thoroughly with the e-liquid to prevent the cotton inside the coil from getting burnt. The burning cotton releases carcinogenic chemicals, which are truly detrimental to your health and smell like burnt toast. The vapor too, is particularly unpleasant and darkens the liquid. However, a cotton wick is known to enhance the flavor and aids in better liquid retention as compared to a conventional silica wick. Also, cotton also performs better with thicker e-liquids.


As a first time vape device user, it always pays to remember that the coils of your device are not only an integral part of it but control and influence the entire vaping experience. This therefore, leads to a situation where its role cannot be undermined. Cleaning and if need be, replacing the coils is a vital part of the vape device’s maintenance procedure and the appropriate measure, if taken from time to time, will only increase the device’s lifespan and utility.

It also pays to select the right coils for your device so that each takes to the other like amazing action scenes coincide with a Transformers movie. In other words, when you keep your coils satisfied, they pay you back with a most pleasurable vaping experience. No doubt about that.