Experienced vapers are likely to be familiar with this already, but if you're new to vaping, you may not know how important it is to prime your coils before you use them. This is one of the intricacies of owning a vape device and ensures that you use it properly, preventing damage. Just like correctly adding in e-liquid and not overheating your device are important for safe use, priming your coils is important to ensure you don't burn it out before you've properly used it.
Once you've changed your coil and inserted a new one, it will be dry, which is why it's so susceptible to burning. Applying heat directly to this dry part of the coil, soon after inserting it into your device, is a sure-fire way to cause it to burn. It's important that you take the necessary steps and have the patience to prevent this from happening when you change your coil.
How Do Coils Work?
You may be wondering how it is possible to burn out your coil before you've even used it, but once you understand how coils work, it all makes sense. The vape coil consists of a wire and wicking material, each as important as the other for turning your e-liquid into vapour. The coil wraps around the wicking material, which soaks up the e-liquid, and once you activate the power on your device, it heats up. The hotter the coil gets, the more it heats up the wicking material, and the more vapour is produced.
Without the wicking material, there would be no way for the e-liquid to get from the tank to the atomiser head and without the coil, there would be no way to heat the liquid to turn it into vapour. Each part is equally important which is why it's crucial to look after them and ensure they remain in good condition so your vaping experience isn't affected. If the coil becomes burnt this can affect the flavour of your vape juice, or the vape coil will be directly burning the wick material, resulting in you inhaling burnt cotton.
There are different coils available that produce different results and work in different ways. Both high resistance coils and low resistance coils have become synonymous with various styles of vaping. For example, a low resistance coil is typically associated with Sub-Ohm vaping and requires more power. High resistance coils, on the other hand, can be used at lower wattage but will produce smaller clouds of vapour. Often, vapers will begin with a device that contains a high resistance coil and as they become more experienced, they will progress to a Sub-Ohm vape mod with a low resistance coil that can produce more vapour.
Due to their delicate nature, coils will need to be changed regularly to prevent them from becoming burnt out. If you're a heavy vaper you will need to change your coil every week, whereas those who don't vape as regularly will likely be able to last a month without needing to change it. However, if you suspect your coil has become burnt, you should change it immediately. You’ll know when a change is needed because you’ll be able to taste it - burnt coils produce an unpleasant, burnt flavour. Then, once you’ve changed your coil, you will need to prime it...
How to Prime Your Coil
Now you know a little more about how coils actually work within a vape device, you'll understand why it's important to prime the coil. Inserting a dry coil and applying heat directly to the wick material will cause it to burn. However, by priming your coil, you can combat this - it's not difficult either!
To prime your coil you simply need to ensure that it's had enough time to absorb the e-liquid before you attempt to use it. Applying a few drops of vape liquid to the wick before inserting it into the device will ensure that you're not attempting to use it dry. Alternatively, you could fill up your vape tank and wait a short while after inserting the coil. This should give the wick material enough time to absorb a healthy amount of e-liquid to ensure it's able to create vapour and doesn't become burnt. Sometimes users who opt for this method take a couple of puffs without activating the power, to help coat the wick material with vape juice.
Other Methods of Coil Preservation
Priming your coil isn't the only way to prevent it from becoming burnt out too quickly - there may be other habits you have that are decreasing the lifespan of your coils. One of those habits could be chain vaping, which is the continuous use of your vape device without giving it time to cool down. By doing this, you're making the coil extremely hot and can burn it out extremely quickly. This is because your wick will get dried out by the heat and without taking a break, it will be unable to soak up more e-liquid. The best way to stop this from damaging your coil is to simply take longer breaks between puffs.
Changing your wattage range is another good way to preserve your coil, as using a high wattage can vaporise e-liquid at a faster rate. This means that your wick has less time to soak up more liquid, putting a strain on your coil. This can be a common issue with Sub-Ohm vapers who are looking for huge clouds of vapour. If you're using a high resistance coil that requires less power, you'll likely be able to avoid this issue.
Experimenting with liquids that have a higher PG to VG ratio is also a good idea. PG can be soaked up by the wick far easier due to the fact that it is much thinner than VG, meaning your coil is much less likely to get burnt out when using liquids with lower VG. High VG juice can also cause issues with sticking due to its thicker consistency - something to be mindful of when choosing your liquids.
If you're having issues with coils getting gunked up, it could be time to experiment with different flavours, as vape juices with high sweetener content can be a big cause of this. E-liquids that have a rich flavour, such as coffee or other dessert tastes, can be the worst for this. That's not to say you shouldn't enjoy these flavours, but it is important to know the issues that can arise when using these types of flavours. The gunk in the liquids can make it more difficult for your coil to soak up more juice and may eventually destroy your coil.
Make sure your tank is sufficiently full to ensure that there is enough e-liquid for the wick to absorb. If you're vaping your entire tank and filling it up once it's empty, this could potentially lead to your wick being unable to soak up any liquid near the end of your tank. Once you notice your tank is getting a little low, filling it up again will ensure that the wick always has plenty of vape juice to absorb and you won't be at risk of burning your coil.
Using a device with a temperature control feature is another great way to prevent coil burning as it addresses the problem directly. The feature is able to detect any changes in resistance as the coil is heated up, and when the coil gets too hot, the temperature control cuts the power, sparing your coil. This is done by setting a max temperature for your coil and once that temperature is met, the coil can't get any hotter. This is a great feature to look for in a device as there is no other way of telling how hot your coil is getting without it, leading to easy burnout. By managing the temperature of your coil you can reduce the number of times you'll have to replace it with a new one, making it easier on your wallet.