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Dealing With Burnt Flavor


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I see lots of new electronic cigarette users asking why they’re getting a burnt flavor from their device.  There are a few reasons this can happen, but the most common is lack of e-liquid getting to the coil.

The coil is the wire element that actually heats up the juice and makes the vapor.  It is wrapped around a wick that must remain wet in order for the vapor to be produced.  The wicks vary in design depending on the type of atomizer, cartomizer, clearomizer or tank you use, and some are more efficient than others at getting enough juice to the coil.  Here are some things to try with each of them…

Cartomizer – Keep it wet!  The filler in a topped-off cartomizer should look like a soaked sponge and you should stop filling just before the liquid begins to pool on the top.  Letting them sit for 10 minutes or more before using to make sure the filler is evenly saturated is also a good idea.  Shaking and rolling them can speed up this process.  As the e-liquid gets used, it’s a good idea to keep topping it off to avoid running it dry.  Vaping with it dry can result in a burnt taste that won’t go away and a wick that won’t perform as it should.

Cartomizer Tank – the liquid in a tank should keep a cartomizer wet during use, but it will not soak the filler well enough at first.  It is very important to completely saturate the cartomizer before using.  I actually fill mine just like a regular cartomizer, let them sit for a little and then test vape them before even inserting them in the tank.  Tanks should also not be filled completely full.  Allowing about a 1/4 tank worth of air space really helps to create the pressure needed to force the liquid into the cartomizer.

Bottom Coil Clearomizer (BCC) – these are often the least susceptible to dry hits because the coil and wick are submersed in the e-liquid.  Again, keeping the wick wet is the most important thing.  If hits are dry, try blowing into the mouthpiece once or twice.  You may be able to see a few bubbles appear.  Pushing a little air into the tank causes e-liquid to be forced into the wick.  If this helps, then removing a little of the top wick or flavor wick will probably help.  There are typically two small pieces of wick laying on top of the coil that can impeded juice flow.  Be careful not to pull wick out of the coil itself, as you will probably not be able to get it back in.

Top Coil Clearomizers – Tilt and whirl!  These clearos are designed to wick e-liquid up out of the tank, but it rarely works that well.  Tilting them on the side and whirling them around a few times will submerse the wicks.  This is usually all that is needed to keep them wet.

With any of these styles, voltage can also be a factor.  Too much voltage and too low of resistance can cause a wick to burn no matter how wet it is.  Lower the voltage or power output to be on the safe side, it is unlikely that this is the root of the problem.  Most commonly available batteries (e.g. eGos and even Provaris) do not produce enough total wattage to burn a wet atomizer and will actually shut down if the resistance is too low.

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