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How to Identify a Bad Coil

How To Identify A Bad Coil

by Jenny Spring

With electronic cigarettes, we’re only subjected to replace or replenish two products that will allow us to continue vaping.  As you must know, we have to continue to replenish our e-liquid, and the coils used in our clearomizers have to be replaced often as well.  The truth is, it is very seldom that a coil will stop functioning, but a coil will begin to deliver unsatisfactory results over the course of time.  When you become unsatisfied with a coil and it seems as if it isn’t performing as it did when it was first used, then the coil has went bad.  To further this information, we’re going to list a few tips on how to identify a bad coil, and hopefully you’ll learn how to prolong your coils life, as well as how to continue receiving a satisfactory vaping experience.

Length of Use

Over the time you use your clearomizer or atomizer device, it will continue to function, but will weaken due to continued use.  The coils we use have to be replaced and this is how the manufacturers continue to earn money from you.  It’s a simple trade-off; you pay up, you get an unrivaled vaping experience.  These coils are meant to be disposable, meaning that you can continue to use them for a length of time until they’ll need to be replaced to receive the same satisfactory results.

Burnt Wicking Material

The number one way to identifying a bad coil actually stems from its wicking material used.  If the wicking material goes bad or isn’t performing as should, then your coil won’t perform well, nor deliver a satisfactory vape. Each atomizer coil contains various amounts of cotton, depending on the type and size. Smaller heads, such as the Kanger Single-Coil Atomizers, house small amounts of cotton, while others, such as the massive atomizer coils that come with the SMOK TFV8 Big Baby Beast Tank, are furnished with substantially larger quantities of wicking material. When it comes to bad coils, size does often matter, as atomizers with more cotton tend to last longer than their smaller counterparts.

The most common issue is that the wicking material has been burnt, thus delivering a foul taste.  In addition, if the wicking material is burnt, it will not perform its job as normal.  If you know how a coil works, then you’ll know that when the wicking material can’t keep up with the flow of delivering e-liquid to your coil, then it will continue to burn the wicking material.  The best way to avoid burning the wicking material is by priming your replacement coils before you actually use them, being sure that the wicking material stays wet at all times and by only using a liquid viscosity that your coil can handle.

Foul Flavor

Most easily recognize a bad coil from the flavor that is received once the coil vaporizes the e-liquid.  If there is a foul flavor present, the coil could have potentially went bad.  The foul flavor can be the result of many issues, such as improper wicking from the manufacturer, a burnt wick from use, faulty airflow from the clearomizer or faulty coil wire inside of the replacement coils housing.  Very seldom can a user remove the foul flavor once it’s present, so we highly recommend that you replace the coil immediately to receive the intended vape experience.

Dead on Arrival

If your clearomizer or atomizer device isn’t performing at all once you’ve received it, then you may have encountered a coil that is dead on arrival.  Obviously, if your clearomizer isn’t working, you presume that the coil is bad, but this isn’t always the case.  Most users who replace their coil and notice that it isn’t working will toss the coil in the trash or become disgruntled for paying for something that didn’t work.  We understand your frustrations completely, which is why we want to share this bit of information with you.

It is very rare in today’s products will you encounter an actual “DOA” replacement coil.  Manufacturers are steps ahead and ensure that a product works through its quality and testing departments.  With that said, if you stumble upon a coil that isn’t working out of the box or in the midst of use, then it’s typically a connection issue.  By this, we mean that the coil isn’t properly screwed into the clearomizer or your ecig device’s pin inside the 510 connector isn’t making proper contact with the clearomizer.  

Most newer ecig devices come with a spring-loaded center pin, which will keep it at the required height, however, there are some that do not, and often get pressed down into the 510 connector too far.  To fix this issue on your device, you can use a small object (precision flat-head screwdriver etc) to pry the pin up just a bit enough to make a solid contact.

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- May 09, 2023

Thanks forthe FYI on just pulling up the center pin a bit. I just changed coils on my Tigon AIO for the first time and the 0.7 coil wouldn’t fire, but it would fire in my bigger Tigon. Took my tweezers and pulled up the center pin a bit in the AIO and it worked like a charm. Hadn’t come across this problem before, so now I know. Cheers!

Barbara A Post

- May 09, 2023

Hi I have a k1 and it is 2months old. I had a battery problem. That solved I get intermediet clouds. It is a hard pull. Is it the coil that is bad? I’ve never changed it.

Matthew Pauley

- May 09, 2023

Changed coil in x-priv baby and after 1 day the cotton has turned black. There’s not a burnt taste but the coil I had in prior the cotton didn’t start turning black for close to 3000 puffs. The new coils cotton has turned blackish after 400 puffs. I would appreciate opinions on why this is happening


- May 09, 2023

I bought the SMOK Priv V8 starter kit and the coils it came with lasted a good 4 days of moderate usage before leaving a burning feeling in the back of my throat upon vaping it, is it possible that the coils were faulty or is something wrong with my vape?


- May 09, 2023

My tfv8 baby prince is always leaking and everything is put on correctly I’m not new to vaping either and the o rings r new same with everything else it comes out of the air flow and I’m guessing it’s from bad coils what should I do

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