Why Does My Vape Crackle and Pop?

An unpleasant noise coming from your vaping device is one of those things that can really detract from your vaping experience. You’re holding a vape mod with a powerful lithium-ion battery, and you expect it to work properly when you press the button. If you hear an unusual noise, it’s naturally going to make you wonder if your equipment isn’t working as it should or if there might even be something going on that isn’t completely safe. If your vape is cracking, popping or spitting, we’re here to help.

The first thing you need to know is that, if your vape is popping or cracking, the noise is most likely coming from the atomizer coil in your tank rather than from the vaping device itself – and in that case, there’s no need to worry about safety because a bit of popping is completely normal with certain types of atomizer coils. If the noise is detracting from your vaping experience, though, we have some information that can help. Here’s why your vape crackles, pops or spits.

What Does It Mean When a Vape Crackles, Pops or Spits?
First, let’s explain what we’re actually talking about when we discuss a vaping device that’s crackling, popping or spitting. What we’re specifically discussing here is a noise that comes from the atomizer coil in your vape tank. Generally, you’ll hear the noise when you first press the button on your vaping device. The noise will usually subside as you continue vaping, and it’ll generally get louder if you haven’t used your device in a while. In some cases, the initial pop that you hear when you first press your device’s fire button might be loud enough to startle people near you.

The popping sound may also be accompanied by a squirt of hot e-liquid into your mouth. That’s what we mean when we talk about a vape that’s spitting. Although crackling and popping are merely annoyances, a vape that spits can be a major detraction to your vaping experience because the hot e-liquid can actually hurt when it reaches your tongue.

Why Your Vape Crackles, Pops or Spits

If your vape crackles, pops or spits during operation, you are most likely using a vaping device with a fairly powerful atomizer coil. It’s also most likely that the heating surface in your coil is made from resistance wire wound into a spiral shape. Until recently, that’s how almost all vape coils were made. The problem with the traditional design of a vape coil, though, is that the way to design a coil that produces bigger vapour clouds is by increasing the coil’s surface area. With resistance wire, the way to increase the surface area of the coil is by using a wire with a higher gauge. In other words, a thicker wire has a greater surface area.

Now, imagine what a vape coil with a thick wire gauge looks like from the inside. The coil is oriented vertically, and a strip of cotton is wrapped around it. Because the wire is so thick, the cotton doesn’t rest perfectly against the wire. The cotton only touches the wire’s high points. When you wind a thick wire into a spiral shape, the side of the spiral effectively has several “hills” and “valleys.” Since the cotton doesn’t touch the coil’s valleys, the side of the coil has open spaces. E-liquid will tend to pool in those open spaces, and that’s why your vape crackles, pops and spits.

Imagine a pool of e-liquid with a heating wire at the bottom. When you use your vape mod, the pool heats from the bottom. The e-liquid that touches the coil begins to boil while the e-liquid at the top of the pool is still liquid. The vapor that forms at the bottom of the pool bursts through the liquid at the top, and that’s what creates the popping noise.

In summary, the reason why your vape crackles is because tiny pools of e-liquid have formed on the heating surface of your atomizer coil. With a high-end coil made from traditional resistance wire, that’s a shortcoming of the coil’s design. That’s why mesh coils are so popular today. We’ll discuss mesh coils in greater detail shortly. First, though, let’s talk about how to reduce crackling, popping and spitting with the tank you’re currently using.

How to Stop Your Vape from Cracking, Popping or Spitting
As we’ve explained above, there’s no way to completely prevent an atomizer from crackling or popping if it’s a problem inherent to the design of the atomizer coil. The more you optimise a traditional wire-based coil for vapour production, the more the coil will crackle because of the hills and valleys created by the thick wire. However, there are three things that you can potentially do to make the cracking less annoying.

First, try closing your tank’s airflow vent slightly. By reducing the tank’s airflow, you’ll need to puff more firmly to achieve the same vapour production. You’ll increase the tank’s internal air pressure, and that’ll force the vapour out of the tank more quickly.

The next thing that you can do is increase the wattage of your vaping device. Increasing the wattage allows the atomizer coil in your tank to reach its maximum operational temperature more quickly, increasing the speed at which the pools of e-liquid vaporize.

If adjusting your vaping device and tank doesn’t reduce the popping or make it less evident, the final thing that you can do is run a twisted paper towel down your tank’s mouthpiece before you begin a vaping session. The paper towel will absorb much of the excess e-liquid, making the tank less noisy.

Mesh Coils Eliminate the Noise Problems with Traditional Vape Coils
If you’re tired of using a vape that crackles, pops or spits, the way to eliminate the problem for good is by buying a new vape tank with a mesh coil. A mesh coil uses a strip of mesh rather than a length of wire as its heating surface. Since the mesh has a much flatter profile than a spiral of wire, it doesn’t have the same hills and valleys that cause the e-liquid to gather and form pools. As a result, mesh coils operate in near silence. They also offer superior vapour production at lower wattages compared to traditional vape coils, so there’s really no reason why almost every vaper in the world shouldn’t be using a vape tank with a mesh coil right now.