Troubleshooting Tips for Dry and Burnt Hits
What an unpleasant surprise it is to take a hit of your vaporizer expecting to taste your delicious e-juice, but be met with a harsh, disgusting, and unbearable burnt hit. The vast majority of vapers have endured this horrible situation at least once through their vaping journey. Some unfortunate individuals may be experiencing this more regularly, leading them to ask the question, why? What causes burnt hit? How can they be prevented? This article will answer these questions and help ensure that you never have to deal with this horrible situation again.
What is a Dry or Burnt Hit?
A dry hit is one where the wicking material within your atomizer head has little or no e-juice. When the coil is heated, this dry wick will often burn, causing an unpleasant burnt taste. Those who have experienced the horribly harsh and objectionable taste that omits from a burnt hit understand what a terrible occurrence it is.
What Causes Dry and Burnt Hits?
A dry or burnt hit can result from various sources. If the wick within an atomizer coil is not adequately saturated in e-juice, the heated coil can burn it causing a foul taste. A second reason for this could be a faulty or overly-used atomizer coil. Another factor that could contribute to a burnt hit is an excessive amount of power produced by the battery. Lastly, a burnt hit can be the result of the specific e-juice that you are using. Let’s explore each cause individually.
Cause 1: Improper Priming:
One of the primary causes of dry and burnt hits is a new atomizer coil that has either not been primed or has been improperly primed. When you dispose of an old atomizer coil and replace it with a new one, the new coil should be properly primed. Priming a coil essentially involves adequately saturating the coil’s wicking material with e-juice prior to using it. When a brand new coil is installed in a tank, the dry cotton often cannot absorb the necessary amount of liquid. With insufficient saturation, the heated coil can cause the cotton to burn, thereby releasing the displeasing taste.
Resolution: Make sure to first prime new atomizer coils by adding three to four drops of e-juice onto the wick, thereby sufficiently saturating it. To read about how to properly prime an atomizer coil, click HERE.
Cause 2: Excessive Power:
All atomizer coils have been manufactured with a certain resistance. Atomizer resistances can range from as low as 0.1 ohms to as high as 3.0 ohms. Resistance maintains an inverse relationship to wattage. That is, the higher the resistance of an atomizer coil, the lower the wattage should be, and vice versa. For example, an atomizer coil with a resistance of 1.8 ohms would accommodate a wattage setting of approximately 8W. An atomizer coil with a resistance of 0.5 ohms, on the other hand, would operate well with a wattage of around 20W. While running too low of wattage to an atomizer coil could result in poor vapor production and flooding, running too much power can result in burning out the atomizer coil. While the coil is burning out, you will experience a strong burnt taste.
Resolution: Check the resistance of your atomizer coil to make sure you are not running too much power to it. If you are, try lowering your wattage to the appropriate range based on the resistance of your atomizer coil.
Cause 3: Low E-Juice Level:
Many tanks are designed to work properly even with exceptionally low levels of e-juice within the tank. However, many tanks fail to adequately saturate the coil’s wicking material once the liquid level is below a certain point. When this occurs, the cotton is not able to make enough contact with the e-juice, and therefore cannot deliver it to the coil. As a result, once the coil is heated, the little remaining juice within the cotton quickly evaporates, leaving it prone to burning.
Resolution: Try to keep your tank at least 25% full at all times. Once you see your e-juice level below a certain point, take a moment to refill the tank. If the burnt flavor disappears, then you’ve found your problem.
Cause 4: E-Juice Composition:
In addition to flavoring and nicotine, the two primary ingredients in e-juice is Vegetable Glycerin (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG). Vegetable Glycerin is substantially more viscous than Propylene Glycol, which is much more fluid of a substance. As a result, e-liquids with higher VG consistency will tend to be noticeably thicker than those will less Vegetable Glycerin. Not all atomizer coils are equipped to accommodate high VG liquids, and will therefore clog rather quickly if they are used. The resistance of the atomizer coil as well as the size of the coil’s liquid holes both play a role in how well an atomizer head can handle high VG e-juices. If you are using a standard tank, such as the Aspire Nautilus or Kanger Protank 2, your coils aren’t capable of handling anything higher than a 50% VG consistency.
Resolution: Check your e-juices for the VG-to-PG ratio. If it contains over 50% Vegetable Glycerin, this could very well be the problem. Try an e-liquid closer to 70% PG / 30% VG and see if this helps resolve the issue for you.
What Else Can I Do?
If you have tried all of the above steps and are still not obtaining the flavorful, satisfying vape that you would like, you can also step up to a temperature control device.