Just about every vaper has been there: you fire up your favorite vape device, fill it with your vape juice of choice, and eagerly anticipate the first deliciously fluffy cloud of flavored vapor.
Except when that first puff hits your taste buds, instead of the tasty flavor you’ve been looking forward to, it comes with an overwhelmingly repulsive burnt taste. Between the terrible flavor and it’s unpleasant – and often painful – journey down your throat and into your lungs, there’s nothing quite as awful as when your vape tastes burnt.
More than likely, this has happened to you at some point in your vaping journey. Although it’s more commonly an issue encountered by newer vapers, it’s also not unheard of for seasoned vape lovers to run into it as well. Luckily, fixing the problem is generally pretty simple, so you can get back to enjoying your vape sessions sooner rather than later.
What are the common causes of a burnt vape?
Some vapers mistakenly assume that if their vape has a burnt flavor, it must mean something has gone seriously wrong with their device.
One expensive vape shopping trip later, they fire up a brand-new mod only to realize that they’re facing the exact same predicament. It can be a frustrating challenge to face if you don’t understand what’s causing the burnt vape flavor, but breaking down a few basics can help you make sure it doesn’t happen again.
If you’re experiencing a burned flavor when vaping, the issues lie with the wick inside the atomizer coil. Inside your vaporizer, the wick is responsible for soaking up the e-juice supplied by your tank. Then, the heating element (your coil) transforms the liquid on the wick into vapor, producing the flavored clouds you know and love.
However, if the wick isn’t completely saturated with vape juice before you take a hit, the heat can burn the wick material. As it chars, it creates vapor with a powerful burnt flavor that can ruin your entire vape session, otherwise known as a “dry hit.”
At that point, the wick inside the coil is essentially done for, and it’s time to replace it with a new coil. Even though regularly replacing coils is an expected part of the vaping experience, understand what’s causing your vape to taste burnt can help you extend your coils’ lifespan and make the most of your vape budget.
How to Fix a Burnt Vape
We’ve covered that the burnt taste is caused by a charred wick inside your atomizer coil, but why exactly does that happen? There are different factors that could be contributing to the issue, many of which you can easily take steps to avoid.
There’s no way to make a coil last forever, and you should definitely expect to be replacing coils on a regular basis. On average, high-quality vaporizer coils last between two and three weeks. But depending on your specific vape style and device, you may find yourself switching out coils more or less often than your fellow vapers.
For example, a heavy vaper might need to swap coils every week or so, while less-frequent vapers may be able to stretch their coils for up to a month at a time. So, a burnt-tasting vape might not necessarily be the sign of a problem, so much as an indication that your time is up with that specific coil.
That being said, there are definitely steps you can take to get as much use as possible out of your coils. Many vapers burn through coils far more quickly than they should, simply because of a few simple errors along the way.
The most common causes of premature coil burnout are:
- Chain vaping
- Failing to prime your coils properly
If your new coil tastes burnt, the odds are that you’ve fallen victim to one of these notorious coil killers. Thankfully, making a few simple changes to your vape routine can make all the difference.
Chain vaping is one of the most common mistakes that new vapers make, especially when they’re making the switch from old-school smoking. If you’ve ever installed a brand-new coil only to have it emit burnt-tasting vapor, you might need to break a chain vaping habit.
When you take several puffs in quick succession, with hardly any break between, you’re chain vaping. The majority of vapers, new and experienced alike, have found themselves a bit overeager with the fire button at one point or another. And while you might just be excited to get a mouthful of delicious vapor,
chain vaping is actually one of the fastest ways to damage your coils. Taking puff after puff doesn’t allow the wick enough time to absorb e-juice, at which point it quickly dries out and burns.
If you’re stuck chain vaping, try to practice giving yourself 15-20 seconds between each puff. This will give your coil ample time to saturate between puffs. If you find that you aren’t getting a satisfactory hit with this approach, it might be time to try a higher nicotine strength or an e-liquid with higher-PG content.
Former smokers, in particular, may find that swapping out their vape juice makes it easier to slow down their puff rate because they can enjoy the throat hit and nicotine level they’re accustomed to.
Another option is to stick with chain vaping, but change your vape set-up. Rebuildable dripping atomizers (RDAs) offer a completely different approach to vaping and can make it possible to continue chain vaping.
Every few puffs, you’ll need to saturate the wick manually, but the e-liquid soaks in fairly quickly. RDAs are typically ideal for the advanced vaper, so beginners may want to hold off until they’ve built a solid foundation of vape experience.
Prime Your Coil
Here at VaporFi, one of the most common customer questions we hear is, “Why does my vape taste burnt with a new coil?” In very rare cases, it could be a defective coil – but that almost never happens.
Instead, what occurs with far more frequency is that a vaper fails to prime new vape coils.
Priming your coil is the process of prepping a new coil, ensuring that the wick is completely saturated with e-liquid before firing it up. Missing this important step can burn your wick right away, ruining your coils before you have a chance to enjoy it.
Not sure how to prime vape coils? It’s actually a quick and easy process that just about anyone can do without the hassle:
- Before installing your coil, carefully drip a few drops of vape juice into each of the coil’s input holes.
- Look through the holes to see the wick, slowly adding a drop at a time until you see the liquid beginning to pool near the top.
- After you’ve soaked the wicks, give them at least a few minutes to absorb the liquid. Some vapers prefer to let the coil rest for a few hours or even overnight because they believe that’s key to optimal flavor.
- Install the coil, then take a quick sharp breath through the mouthpiece without hitting the firing button. Repeat 3-4 times, and then you’re ready to start vaping!
Other Reasons Your Vape Tastes Burnt
If you aren’t chain vaping, and you know you’ve properly primed your coils, but your vape still has that unpleasant burnt flavor – what’s the deal?
There are a few other reasons that may cause early coil burnout, and coils can always burn out due to a combination of one or more factors.
Every vape has a recommended power limit (labeled in Watts), and exceeding that can be a one-way ticket to burnt coils. Vaping at too high a temperature can also be an issue, as well as vaping with a variable wattage/voltage device at levels that are just too demanding.
If your current vape set-up doesn’t measure up to your expectations, it might be time to upgrade to a sub-ohm mod or even a rebuildable atomizer.
E-Liquid Levels are Too Low
If you’re pushing your vape juice levels to the limit, you run the risk of drying out your coils. Even though it’s tempting to squeeze as much vape time as possible from your tank top-off, it’s just not worth it when you think about the cost of replacing coils.
Instead, keep your e-liquid at a reasonable level, ensuring that it’s always covering the input holes located on the side of each coil.
Your E-Juice is the Problem
Certain vape juices, particularly those with a high-VG content or lots of sugar, can gunk up your coils and cause burnt flavor. Because high-VG juice typically has a thicker consistency, your coil wick has a harder time absorbing it. Try using a lower-VG juice, such as those with a VG below 70 percent, or switch to a tank with a better wick.
Similarly, sugary vape juices can be a challenge for your coil wicks. The sugar in the e-liquid can caramelize as a result of being exposed to high heat, build-up on the coils, and making it nearly impossible to soak up more juice properly.
Stock Up on All the Best Vape Coils from VaporFi
Now that you’re well-informed about how to prevent the dreaded burnt vape taste, you might just need to restock your coil collection. Whether you’re a new vaper learning the ropes or a seasoned vet who’s clocked plenty of vape time, you’ll need to keep a steady supply of coils on hand – and when you’re shopping for coils, quality matters.
VaporFi carries an extensive selection of vape replacement coils, including top-rated options from the best vape brands in the industry. Whether your favorite device is a SMOK, Kanger, Innokin, or any of the many other top brands out there, you can bet that we have the coils you need.
Plus, we offer auto-delivery (and a pretty sweet auto-delivery discount as well), so you can enjoy the convenience of never running out of coils again. Or, if you decide you want to venture into the world of building your own coils, we also have the premium coil tool kits and materials you’ll need for that.
If you’re still struggling with burnt coils, or just want some help choosing your next replacement coils, the VaporFi support team is always at the ready. Otherwise, check out our impressive inventory of vape coils to find your next set today.
Audrey Durand is the Senior Brand Manager for VaporFi Online Division for the US and Australian Markets. She is an early adopter of e-cigarettes and vaporizers and uses her market expertise to continue developing the marketing programs of the brand, Audrey looks forward to the dynamic operations and growth opportunity with VaporFi. She is also the founder of BlogIntoLife, a platform that helps beginner bloggers start a professional blog and grow their business in the CBD market and in other verticals.