Troubleshooting Tips for Avoiding Spitback
As the popularity within the electronic cigarette and vaping industry continues to flourish, every day brings a new tank, MOD, kit, and e-juice to the market. With an array of sizes, shapes, and functions to select between, the variety and diversity within the space has never been greater. However, inasmuch as the innovation has given rise to unsurpassed technological advancement, many of the same complications and nuisances that have existed since the birth of the vaping revolution persists today.
One of the most common difficulties, and indeed annoyances, that vapers frequently encounter is the dreaded spitback. Spitback is when a trace amount of e-juice is drawn into the mouth when taking a hit. Irrespective of how tasty and delicious the flavor may be, spitback can dramatically tarnish an otherwise enjoyable vaping experience. Fortunately, the vast majority of spitback-related problems can be easily overcome and resolved following a set of troubleshooting tips. In this article, we will identify each of them, and elaborate as to how you can implement these steps to avoid further spitback while vaping.
Step 1: Make Sure you are Properly Priming Your Coil:
One of the most essential practices for an enjoyable vaping experience is properly priming a new atomizer coil. Failure to do so will result in dry and burnt hit, while drastically reducing the coil’s lifespan. Priming your atomizer coil essentially means saturating the cotton within a coil prior to using it for the first time. When an atomizer coil is brand new, the cotton intertwined within the it is bone dry. Lack of an adequate amount of e-juice absorbed within the cotton will cause it to char and burn, resulting in a terrible taste and a ruined atomizer.
To avoid this, the cotton should be saturated with e-liquid. However, as is often the case, too much of a good thing can also be problematic. That is, oversaturating the cotton will cause a host of complications, all of which are unpleasant to say the least. Over-primed atomizer coils will trigger flooding, gurgling, decreased vapor production, and, of course, spitback.
To eradicate over-priming as a potential cause of the spitback, make sure that you are not adding too much e-juice to a new coil while priming it. Depending on the particular atomizer you are using, just a few drops of liquid should be enough to sufficiently prime it. You will know that the cotton is damp enough when it stops rapidly absorbing the liquid you drip onto it. At that time, you should not add any more e-juice, as this will result in over-priming/over-saturation.
An over-primed atomizer coil is one that has been drenched with more e-juice than the cotton can hold. The excess e-juice will then be drawn into your mouth when taking a hit, thereby causing spitback. Simply reducing the amount of liquid that you add to a new coil can effortlessly halt the spitback issue for you.
Step 2: Check the Power of Your MOD:
Believe it or not, simply adjusting the wattage output of your MOD can resolve the spitback problem. The resistance (ohms) of your atomizer coil enjoys an inverse relationship to the output power of your battery. That is, the lower the resistance, the higher the power, and vice versa. Falling off the power range consistent with your atomizer coil resistance can result in various issues, one of which is spitback.
If your MOD’s wattage is set below the minimum threshold for the resistance of your atomizer coil, then an inadequate amount of power is being delivered to it. As a result, the coil will not heat to the necessary temperature, which will prevent the e-juice from properly vaporizing. In turn, while you are drawing on your mouthpiece to inhale vapor, the liquid will be siphoned up through the coil, into the chimney, and ultimately into your mouth.
To solve this and eliminate it as one of the potential causes of the spitback, check the resistance of your atomizer coil, and evaluate whether or not your wattage setting falls within the recommended wattage for that specific coil. The vast majority of atomizers will print either the maximum and minimum wattage range, the recommended wattage range, or both. If these figures are not stated directly on the coil itself, Vapor Authority has this information available in the “Specifications” section of each product page.
This simple procedure may not only help eliminate the spitback you are experiencing, but can also provide for a much more satisfying vaping experience overall. The proper wattage setting will result in greater vapor production, increased flavor intensity, and prolonged atomizer life. It is important to note, however, that inasmuch as it is critical that the power setting is not too low, increasing it too much presents a set of problems as well. Surpassing the maximum wattage for the coil you are using will result in burnt hits and diminished coil life.
Step 3: Note the Type of Hit you are Taking:
When it comes to vaping, there are two primary hit types: mouth-to-lung (MTL) and direct-to-lung (DTL). Although seemingly a minor difference, the distinction between these two styles provides for a markedly different vaping experience. In short, MTL vaping is quite similar to that of smoking an analog cigarette. That is, the vapor is first drawn in and gathered within the mouth before being inhaled into the lungs. For this reason, MTL is the preferred vaping style for smokers seeking an alternative to combustible cigarettes.
Direct-to-Lung vaping, on the other hand, is more analogous to taking in a deep breath of air. Rather than collecting the vapor into your mouth before inhaling, the vapor is drawn directly into the lungs, bypassing the mouth altogether. This is often the chosen vaping style for those who seek greater vapor production and flavor intensity.
There are different tanks and coils that have been specifically engineered and designed to accommodate one hit style or the other. Some tanks, of course, can be used for both methods, but require a different airflow setting and atomizer coil to achieve. These tanks are commonly referred to as “hybrids.”
Engaging in the wrong hit type for the particular tank/coil you are using may result in various problems and frustrations, one of which is spitback. If you have a system that is designed for DTL hits, but are employing a MTL style, then there is an insufficient draw to properly syphon the produced vapor. This often results in both flooding and gurgling, as well as spitback. On the other hand, if you are using a tank and coil that has been created specifically for MTL vaping, but you are taking DTL hits, then you are drawing to hard on the mouthpiece, thus sucking in an excess amount of liquid into your mouth.
To avoid this as a potential source of the spitback you are experience, make sure that you are engaging in the proper hit type for the tank and coil system you are using. If you are unsure as to what type you have, here is a general rule of thumb: standard-resistance atomizer coils (those with a resistance of 1.0 ohms or higher) will accommodate a MTL hit, while those with sub-ohm resistances (0.9 ohms or lower) will generally be for a DTL tank. Of course, this is not always the case, as there are sub-ohm atomizer coils that have been designed for MTL vaping. You can always contact one of the members of Vapor Authority’s award-winning customer service department, or visit the product page on the Vapor Authority website. The type of hit is stated in the “Specifications” section for each tank and coil.
Step 4: Clean your Tank:
One of the wonderful characteristics of vaping is the elimination of burnt matter being inhaled into your lungs. Rather, electronic cigarettes involve the vaporization of e-juice, which creates a mist of flavored vapor that can be ingested. However, similar to the evaporation of any liquid, vaporizing e-juice will generate levels of condensation. Over time, this condensation will build up within the inner walls of the tank’s chimney as well as the drip tip. This, in turn, may result in excess fluid being drawn into your mouth during use—spitback.
Abolishing this as a possible cause of the spitback you are experiencing is exceptionally effortless. Simply separate all of the components of your tank, and thoroughly rinse then under warm water. Then, rigorously shake off each part, and dry them with a paper towel. Make sure to twist a piece of the paper towel and run it back and forth through the inside of the chimney and drip tip to ensure that it has been suitably cleaned.
If you are using a tank that cannot be disassembled, worry not, as you can still follow this step. Simply run the entire tank through a proper rinse, dry, and clean it as detailed above. You may need a larger piece of twisted paper towel to reach through the entirety of the chimney, but you can easily complete this procedure as well.
It is very important to note that regardless of the type of tank you are using, make sure that you do not rinse the atomizer coil under water. This will destroy the coil, and force you to discard it. If you are using a disposable tank that cannot be refilled and/or does not allow you to remove the atomizer coil, do not follow this particular step, as it will damage the coil altogether.
Step 5: Change Your Atomizer Coil Type:
In line with every aspect of the vaping industry, atomizer coil technology has progressed dramatically over the years. The community has enjoyed an increased variety of atomizer coil types, resistance, and materials, each of which has been carefully constructed to deliver a more pleasant vaping experience for every preference and partiality. One of the many innovations has been the introduction of more complex coil builds. Whereas atomizer coils used to all be made with Kanthal resistance wire and twisted into a simple coil formation, today there is a plethora of wire materials and coil builds to choose among.
One of the more common of the modern coil configurations is Clapton coils. The formation of Clapton coils is very similar to that of guitar strings. That is, a to create this type of atomizer coil, a smaller gauge wire is wrapped around a larger gauge one. This results in a larger surface area as well as small pockets of space to trap the e-juice. In turn, users of Clapton coils will enjoy increased vapor production, as well as substantially more robust flavor.
However, the downside to Clapton coils is that the excess e-juice encompassing the coils will often be syphoned into the mouth while taking it hit, as it cannot be vaporized in swiftly enough. Unfortunately, short of avoiding the use of these types of coils altogether, there is no remedy to this. This is simply the nature of these types of coils, so you must make a personal determination as to whether the pros of using Clapton coils outweigh the cons.
This does not only apply to Clapton coils, but to many of the more intricate varieties available today. Others include twisted coils, tiger coils, NotchCoils, and hive coils. All of these designs increase surface area and trap e-juice in the same fashion as Clapton coils, which offer some key benefits while also producing some annoying disadvantages as well.
Step 6: The E-Juice you are Using Matters:
E-Juice or E-Liquid is the fluid that is filled into your tank and vaporized. The ingredients that makeup e-juice is rather basic. It includes Vegetable Glycerin (VG), Propylene Glycol (PG), flavorings, and nicotine (unless you are using a 0mg nicotine e-liquid). VG is markedly thicker than PG, and is often used to increase vapor production. Higher VG e-juices are generally used with sub-ohm atomizer coils, and help manufacture much larger clouds than their PG-dominant counterparts. Propylene Glycol, on the other hand, helps deliver a more pronounced throat-hit, as well as amplified flavor intensity. PG-dominant e-liquids are thinner in consistency and generally used in conjunction with higher resistance atomizer coils, which tends to be preferred among mouth-to-lung vapers.
Due to the fact that propylene glycol is thinner and more fluid than VG, which is much more viscous, it tends to find its way through the coil, into the chimney, and ultimately into the mouth. To help eliminate this as a cause of spitback, try using e-juices with higher VG concentration. Of course, it is critical to note that depending on the specific atomizer coil you are using, an e-liquid with too much vegetable glycerin will result in dry or burnt hits, while decreasing the lifespan of the coil. As a broad rule of thumb, atomizer coils with a resistance of 1.0 ohms or greater cannot be used with e-juice containing higher than 50% VG. Conversely, if the e-liquid you are using contains 70% or more PG, this may very well be the source of the spitback issue you are experiencing.
Step 7: Replace the Atomizer Coil
Although many of the higher-quality atomizer coils today can continue to vaporize e-juice for weeks or even months at a time, this does not mean that the coil has not surpassed its lifespan and needs to be replaced. Depending on your vaping habits, frequency of use, and the type of e-juice being consumed, atomizer coils should generally be replaced every 7 to 10 days. There are numerous reasons why this is the case. First, and perhaps most importantly, the constant heating and cooling of the coil will eventually char the cotton intertwined within it. This will result in the production of carcinogens, and can be very unhealthy to ingest.
Moreover, when the atomizer’s cotton begins to singe, it will be unable to appropriately absorb the e-juice. This, in turn, results in the fluid within the tank to be sucked into your mouth, causing spitback. To avoid this, and perhaps to eradicate the spitback you are enduring altogether, make sure to replace the atomizer coil every week or so. Doing this will not only help eliminate the spitback, but will also provide for a much more satisfying vaping experience and reduce the chance of inhaling unwanted carcinogens as well.
Step 8: When All Else Fails, Change the Mouthpiece:
The drip tip acts as the mouthpiece for a vape tank. There are a host of available styles, colors, sizes, and materials to choose from, making it an affordable way to customize the look and feel of your setup. However, drip tips can also be used to help reduce or even abolish the potential of spitback. Some mouthpieces are made to include mesh-type component on the inside of the bore. The mesh helps trap excess e-juice, thereby diminishing the frequency of spitback.
Other forms of mouthpieces, such as rotatable drip tips, enable you to swivel it in a 360-degree revolution. To allow for this feature, the mouthpiece must contain a ball-joint on which the drip tip can rotate. Although not specifically designed for this purpose, the inclusion of the joint acts as a buffer between the e-liquid and your mouth, thus effectively obstructing the juice from getting into your mouth.
The Silver Lining:
Although spitback is an incredibly frustrating exasperating common occurrence, resolving it can be rather easy. Making minor adjustments, fine-tuning settings, and modifying certain behaviors can ensure that you will no longer experience this problem. If you have followed all of the troubleshooting steps enlisted in this article, and are still enduring spitback, give the folks at Vapor Authority a call so that they can assist you further.