We’ve all been there: you go to take a vape and instead of a satisfying cloud of vapour, you’re met with a burnt flavour and harsh sensation.
So, what gives? It’s called a dry hit, and it happens when the coil inside your vaping device is not properly saturated with e-liquid, which causes the coil to overheat and singe the wicking material. In some cases, dry hits are caused by user error, but degraded vapour output and a burnt flavour can also be signs that your coil has naturally reached the end of its life.
All coils have a limited lifespan, so you’ll need to replace them regularly to maintain an optimal vaping experience. However, there are some ways to avoid dry hits for good and make your coils last longer.
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Consider clear e-liquids with less sweetener
Many variables contribute to how long a coil lasts, but one of the most important things to consider is the e-liquid you’re vaping. Many of us prefer to vape sweet flavours and for this reason, it is common for e-liquid manufacturers to add varying levels of sweetener to their recipes.
While added sweeteners can do wonders for replicating the flavour of our favourite fruits and baked goods, they do noticeably shorten the life of your coil, especially in larger quantities. As you vape, the sweetener in the e-liquid may leave residue on the coil. Over time, this decreases wicking efficiency and causes a burnt flavour. Similarly, some flavourings that are dark in colour degrade the coil more quickly.
If you want an e-liquid that doesn’t negatively impact your coil’s lifespan, it’s optimal to choose one which contains a low amount of sweetener and clear flavourings. Many e-liquids even contain no sweetener to extend coil lifespan.
The best way to find an e-liquid with low sweetener is to ask for advice at your local vape store, or online communities of vapers, who are always happy to help beginners. You can even join our Facebook group (Find F Club), which is full of excellent discussions about vaping products.
Prime your new coils
The standard procedure for using a new coil involves installing it, filling the tank with e-liquid and then waiting for a few minutes before vaping. This method is fine but an extra step, known as “priming”, can extend coil life.
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Before you install the new coil in your tank or device, place 3-4 drops of your chosen e-liquid into the centre of the coil, directly onto the wicking material. Once you’ve done that, install the coil, fill your tank and wait for 5-10 minutes.
This direct application of e-liquid will help the coil fully saturate more quickly and ensures that the centre of the coil isn’t dry before you take your first vape. Many users find that priming the coil in this way extends coil life and increases the flavour production of a new coil.
Gradually increase power output
All Innokin coils are supplied with a recommended wattage range, which lets you know the correct power output to achieve an optimal vaping experience. Exceeding the highest level of this range will severely diminish the lifespan of your coil, or even burn it immediately, so it’s important to check this before turning the power-up.
In addition to staying within the recommended wattage range, you can increase the lifespan of your coil by gradually increasing the wattage.
For example, if you are using an Innokin Sensis, with the 0.25Ohm S-Coil, you will notice that the recommended wattage range is 25-35W. Starting at 25W and slowly increasing the wattage until you find a satisfying setting will prolong the life of the coil. Even if you end up preferring 35W, giving the coil time to reach its maximum output allows it to become saturated and heat evenly.
Keep your e-liquid level topped up
If you’re new to vaping, it can be easy to make the mistake of allowing the level of e-liquid in your tank or device to become too low.
When a tank or device has plenty of remaining e-liquid, the pressure of the e-liquid helps to keep the coil fully saturated and ensures that the wicking ports of your coil are fully submerged.
When the e-liquid level drops to a very low level, it becomes more difficult for the coil to saturate, especially if the e-liquid level has dropped below the wicking ports.
It’s best to regularly top up your tank or device with e-liquid so that the tank (or pod) section is at least ½ full and the wicking ports on your coil are fully submerged. Doing this will encourage a consistently saturated coil, extending its lifespan and preventing dry hits.
Choose e-liquids with an appropriate VG level for your coil
Two of the base components of e-liquid are Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). VG has a high viscosity, which makes it slower to saturate the coil. PG has a low viscosity, like water, so it saturates the coil quickly.
It’s important to know that e-liquids with very high VG content may not be suitable for all coils. “Max VG” blends, for example, typically contain 80% VG or more. These e-liquids will not be suitable for low wattage Innokin coils, such as the T18E 1.7Ohm. When using a low wattage coil with smaller wicking ports, try e-liquids with 60% or less VG content.
Equally, higher wattage coils with large wicking ports, such as the Innokin Ajax 0.16Ohm are suited to e-liquids with higher VG content. For coils like this, 70% VG is the best place to start. Choosing the appropriate VG/PG e-liquid for your device is key to extending coil life.
Use Innokin F0 technology to extend coil life by up to 94%
At Innokin we have always strived to improve the vaping experience with new technology. Our latest innovation, Alternating Current Mode (ACM) extends coil life and enhances flavour output. (Also known as the 4th generation of vape technology)
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Currently, ACM technology is exclusively available in the Innokin Sensis, but we are excited to be expanding the integration of this technology to other devices, including the upcoming CoolFire Z80.
ACM extends coil life by fundamentally changing how power is delivered from your vaping device to the coil. All previous vaping devices use direct current (DC), which flows in one direction across the coil. ACM sends current across the coil in both directions in curve form, which provides more consistent heat transfer and reduces residue build-up, resulting in longer-lasting coils.
The most powerful functionality of ACM technology is F0. When using F0, all power delivered to the coil will be alternating current mode in a sine wave, giving the benefits of Coil+ and Refresh during every vape. F0 mode also allows you to adjust the frequency of the current in Hz, which can enhance flavours and optimise heat transfer for different coil designs. Optimal frequency depends on the coil and eliquids you use.
Using F0 mode ensures that your coil is being heated evenly while drawing in e-liquid at the most efficient rate possible and reducing overheat and residue build-up. According to recent tests by TCT Lab, this combination of factors extends coil life by up to 94%* when compared to devices using traditional power output. For this reason, using devices with F0 mode might be the single most effective way to extend coil life.
*Tests were carried out using 0.8ohm Z-coils in the Zenith tank, with two airflow holes at 15W, with the same e-liquid in all tests.
I quit smoking in 2013 through vaping and this opened my eyes to the life changing potential of next-generation nicotine. Since 2016, I've been working in the vapour products industry as a writer and marketer, specialised in consumer culture, product development and industry news.
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