At some point in your vape sessions, you may get a dry hit or a burnt taste in your mouth due to a coil gone bad. Most vapers have experienced this and will unanimously agree that it’s one of the worst things to ever taste. However, vapers are thrifty folk and will try to get as much use out of a coil as possible, even if it means suffering through a coil until you know it’s time to change it. But is it dangerous to continue using a coil that’s gone bad? We actually found a post on Reddit that answered this question, along with several others in regards to using a coil past its prime. Let’s start out with why your coil may have gone bad.
WHY DID MY COIL GO BAD?
Unfortunately, a coil can go bad for any number of reasons. While you can prevent some of them, there are some instances where a bad coil is just something you learn to deal with.
- The first reason your coil can go bad is due to faulty manufacturing. Since coils are usually hand-made, the possibility for human error will always be there. Even machines mess up every once in a while. If you find that your coil has come defective, you should reach out to the shop or website you bought it from. They can either swap out the defective product or refund you your money. Either way, they’ll probably want the defective coil back with the entire pack, so you’ll have to keep the pack of coils (defective and functioning ones) to send back.
- Certain e-liquids like dessert flavors and other sweet flavors have a thick consistency that can clog the coils and make it impossible for e-juice to pass through. The clogged coils will build up gunk that eventually burns the coil and renders it useless.
- The same is true for e-juice that is too thin and watery. For fruit and other sweet e-liquids, if the consistency is too liquidy, the cotton can’t soak up the e-juice fast enough. The coil ends up getting burnt because it’s dry and now you can’t take a single hit without tasting that terrible burnt flavor, or worse, getting a dry hit that sends you into a coughing fit.
- It’s at the end of its useful life. Coils don’t come with a set expiration date, meaning it’s up to the user to figure out how long the coil will last. The frequency of your vape sessions, the type of juice you use, the number of e-juices you used on a single coil, and the wattage your vape fires at are all factors that affect your coil. I’ve had some coils (like the one I’m using) last me for over four weeks while going through a plethora of different e-juice flavors. However, I’ve had coils that I loaded, primed, and used that didn’t even fire (the message on my screen said “atomizer short”), meaning that the coil was DOA.
You can see from this list that many of these reasons are preventable, while some are simply luck of the draw. As time progresses, you’ll get more of a feel as to which reasons apply to you and which ones to keep an eye out for.
WHAT CAN I DO TO KEEP MY COIL FROM GOING BAD?
There are a few things you can do to keep your coil from going bad. Some of them require very little effort, while others require you to keep track and even purchase cleaners to keep your coil working for as long as possible. Vaping has a lot of learning curves, and coil maintenance is one learning curve that not many vapers are willing to go through.
- Rinse out your tank when you change flavors. If you know a particular e-liquid is thick or overly sweet, rinsing out your tank can eliminate the old e-juice from contaiminating the new e-juice. Granted, there’s going to be leftover e-juice in the coil, which brings us to our next prevention method.
- Clean your coil sporadically, using vodka, water, or jewelry cleaners. We’ve mentioned in a previous article how to clean your vape coil to extend its useful life. Some users swear by these methods, whereas others claim they don’t work at all. Keep in mind that the longer you use a coil without cleaning it, the less effective this method will be.
- Invest in a coil cleaning machine. I recently discovered a company called ROBO2020 that actually created a machine to clean your coils. The device is supposedly designed to clean new coils (right out of the pack) as well as for cleaning the coils after each e-liquid change. I’m in the process of reviewing this product, so check back in a few days once I’ve completed my initial reviewing process.
- Keep track of when you first started using the coil. This might seem a bit tedious, but keeping a record of when you first started using the coil, which juices you used over what time frame, and when you noticed the coil starting to go bad can greatly help you pinpoint what might be killing your coil. This method isn’t for everyone, but it can provide insight on when to expect your coil to go bad and why.
IS IT BAD TO KEEP USING A BURNT COIL?
I did some research on this, and surprisingly, there’s not a lot of information about this! It’s a question that I’ve been wondering about for a while. When coils get burnt, there’s a lot of black gunk and crud on the coil that looks absolutely nasty. Is that particularly bad for you to keep inhaling? The obvious answer would be “Duh!!!” But I wanted to get some hardcore proof that would answer what and why.
I came across a post on Reddit, with a user claiming to be an analytical chemist for a vape company. This answer stated that the regulatory work done in filing products for the FDA found that dry hits are dangerous. These dry hits contain “large amounts of metal” (although exactly which metals weren’t stated), as well as known carcinogens. These carcinogens come from the coil’s burnt wicking material, which, as you probably guessed, is cotton. These statements are not yet data-backed, as the FDA will have to publicly publish a formal statement, but it does give some insight as to why you shouldn’t be using a burnt coil in your vape session.
That being said, there are some circumstances where you may need to keep using your burnt coil for just a while longer. If you’re waiting for your new pack of coils to come in, if you’re traveling and don’t have a clean fresh coil on hand, or if you’re not near a vape shop, then sure, it’s understandable why you can’t change coils immediately. But if you’re just hanging onto a dead burnt coil to save money, you really should change that coil immediately. Most coil packs range from $10-$20 and come with at least 3 or 5 coils per pack.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that vaping with a burnt coil is disgusting and unpleasant. However, now we have some information on why we shouldn’t be trying to squeeze out the life of a single coil. Just like with e-liquid flavors being subjective to the user, coil usage and longevity are the sole responsibility of the vaper. Things like e-liquid type, flavor, company, as well as coil quality, frequency of use, and maintenance all affect how long your coil will last. Once the FDA releases an official statement, we’ll have more concrete evidence and hopefully a similar answer to what we’ve written about now. Until then, make sure to practice safe and courteous vaping habits.
Do you have any vape coil stories that you’d like to share? What’s the longest (or shortest) time frame you’ve used a coil for? Post your stories in the comments below! We always love hearing our readers and enjoy connecting with vapers across the country! If you have any questions on the coils that we carry or which e-juices we recommend for you, feel free to reach out to us via email, social media, or a simple phone call. We pride ourselves on having one of the best customer service teams for any vape site and can’t wait to hear from you. Check back with us tomorrow where we post up a DIY e-liquid article for some of the best Halloween themed e-liquids on the DIY market! Until then, may your coil be clean, fresh, and ready to tackle any e-liquid you throw at it!