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Troubleshooting Tips for Flooding and Gurgling Atomizer Coils

Troubleshooting Tips for Flooding and Gurgling Atomizer Coils

One of the most common and frustrating occurrences with respect to vape tanks is flooding and gurgling. This arises when the atomizer coil is oversaturated with e-juice, resulting in an overabundance of liquid within the coil. In such a situation, the amount of e-juice is overwhelming to the atomizer coil, and the heat is incapable of vaporizing all of the liquid that is present at that time. This flooding, then, results in a gurgling sound that is often accompanied by leaks and spitback. Here are some general steps that you can take to help reduce and eliminate flooding and gurgling of your atomizer coils and tanks.


Step 1: Faulty Atomizer Coil:

One of the most common causes of flooding and gurgling is a bad atomizer coil. Luckily, this is also the easiest problem to resolve, as simply switching out your coil could do the trick. If an atomizer coil is old and has been used for a period of time, it can lead to flooding, gurgling, and spitback if it is not replaced. Likewise, sometimes a brand new atomizer coil can be a dud that lasts a fraction of the time you expect it to, or can be faulty right from the start. Try replacing the atomizer coil to see if it helps eliminate the problem. If your coil has already been flooded, blowing air through it and drying off the excess liquid with a paper towel will help soak up the excess e-juice.


Step 2: Wattage Setting:

Another widespread cause of flooding and gurgling is the output wattage your device has been set to. The resistance of your atomizer coil and the output wattage/voltage have an inverse relationship. That is, the lower the resistance, the higher the wattage should be, and vice versa. Each resistance atomizer will have a range that is considered the “sweet spot.” If your power output is set too low to properly heat the atomizer coil, it will result in flooding and gurgling. Try increasing your wattage/voltage to a level that is within the recommended range—this may resolve the flooding and gurgling you are experiencing.


Step 3: Check E-Juice Level:

Each tank has a maximum e-liquid capacity. Some tanks are larger and can therefore hold a greater volume of juice, while others are smaller and can hold less. Regardless of the tank size, overfilling it can result in flooding, gurgling, and spitback. As a general rule of thumb, you want to fill your tank to a level slightly below the air hole or chimney. The chimney is the portion of the tank that leads to the drip tip. You should never allow e-juice to get inside the hole, and should add enough liquid so that the level is below the chimney.


Step 4: Forceful Hits:

Some vapers, particularly beginners who have recently quit cigarettes, often tend to take extremely long and forceful hits. This is commonly due to the way in which the individual used to take drags from a cigarette, which tends to be rather vigorous. It can also be the result of the airflow control valve being set too tightly, which causes the user to take more powerful draws. Try taking softer hits with a slightly loosened air intake. This can greatly help reduce or eliminate flooding and gurgling.

In the event that your airflow valve is adequately loose and you still find yourself taking too forceful of drags, then your tank’s air holes may be clogged due to residue or some sort of build-up that is restricting proper airflow. In this case, disassemble the entire tank so that all of the various components are detached from one another. Then, use a small object, such as a toothpick, to clean out the various air holes, nooks, and crannies. Then, run all of the parts under water, shake vigorously, and dry with a paper towel. Ensuring unrestricted airflow within your tank can substantially help with flooding.


Step 5: Excess E-Juice During Priming:

Priming a new atomizer coil is an essential step to take for your overall vaping enjoyment. A properly primed atomizer coil will result in much richer and tastier flavor, thicker vapor clouds, and a longer lasting head. Taking the necessary steps to prime a new coil will also help you avoid dry or burnt hits. However, if too much e-juice is added to a new coil, this can result in flooding and gurgling.The amount of e-juice necessary to properly prime a new atomizer coil greatly depends on the specific coil being used. A small atomizer head, such as the Kanger Evod Coils, will require substantially less liquid than a much larger one, such as those used with the SMOK TFV8 Big Baby Tank.

In the event that you accidentally added too much e-juice during priming, simply remove the atomizer coil and shake it to help dispose of some of the excess liquid. Then, wrap a paper towel around the coil tightly to help absorb more of the superfluous juice. This should be sufficient; however, if the coil is still flooded, you may need to blow air powerfully through it to expel any overabundance of e-juice. If you are unsure as to the proper way to prime your atomizer coil, click HERE for a simple instruction guide.


Step 6: Tank Assembly:

All tanks, irrespective of the make or model, function using vacuum pressure. In order for the vacuum effect to function appropriately, the tank needs to be well-sealed and air-tight. Check the assembly of the tank’s various components to ensure that everything is connected properly and securely. In addition, inspect the various parts for cracks or gaps that could potentially allow excess air to enter the tank. This can also contribute to flooding and gurgling.


If you have attempted all of the above steps and are still experiencing flooding and gurgling, then your device may be a manufacturer defect. Try contacting the retailer from whom you purchased to see if they can be of any further assistance to you.

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- May 09, 2023

I have a kangertech topbox and vape on the wattage setting using the Clapton coil (the round coil with the black rubber band at the tip) I prime my coils, and start at the lowest wattage setting of 7.0 and build my way higher in Watts…but I’ve noticed that sometimes the coil will still taste burnt a week later and I make sure it’s primed w juice, I’ve cleaned the entire mod (taken it apart and cleaned with boiled bottled water to avoid rust etc) does anyone have the same issue? Or is there a certain amount of time you have to vape at a certain wattage before you can turn it up to your normal vaping wattage? My usual wattage once primed is anywhere between 27-30 watts


- May 09, 2023

Thank you so much Raymond for this comment. I have thrown away endless bottom coils in my clearomiser as the gurgling has started after a few days of use. I just did what u suggested and done!! Gurgling stopped immediately.. thank you !!

Raymond Ogden

- November 30, 2017

I was having a problem with atomizer flooding on my Eleaf GS tank. I kept replacing the drop-in coils but they would always immediately start gurgling. After much searching, I found the answer. When you screw the base onto the mod, the contact can sometimes push the pin up too far and compromise the seal. Just back the base off anywhere from half to a full turn and the gurgling stops.

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