One of the beautiful things about upgrading from a vaping device with pre-filled pods to a device you can refill is that you potentially stand to save an enormous amount of money. Using an e-cigarette with pre-filled pods is incredibly expensive. At a typical cost of $4.00 per pod each day, that’s a yearly cost of nearly $1,500! When you use a refillable vaping device from a company like E-Cigarette Empire, on the other hand, you can refill your device many times before you’ll need to replace the pod or atomizer coil. Aside from the cost of replacement parts, the only recurring expense is vape juice – and that expense is negligible, given how affordable e-liquid is these days.
Under certain circumstances, though, you may find that you’re not actually saving money at all by using a refillable vaping device. Do you find that the flavor of your e-liquid begins to change after you’ve refilled your device just a few times? After a few more refills, do you find the burned sugar flavor so strong that you can barely taste anything else?
Do you find that you end up replacing your pods or atomizers every day or two, basically negating the savings of owning a refillable device? Is that really the way things are supposed to be? How long does an atomizer last, anyway?
The answer might surprise you.
How Long Does a Vape Coil Last? Several Weeks!
Are you shaking your head in disbelief right now? Are you having trouble believing that a vape atomizer could possibly last several weeks, when you have difficulty using your coils for more than a day or two before the flavor quality starts to go south? Well, believe it. Under ideal conditions, it’s common for a vape atomizer to last up to about three weeks before the flavor quality begins to noticeably decrease. Some people use their atomizers even longer than that.
The fact that vape atomizers can last multiple weeks, though, doesn’t necessarily mean that they usually do. In fact, several aspects of the modern vaping experience combine to make the life of your coils worse than it could be.
So, why don’t your atomizers last as long as they could? We’ll discuss the three most common factors that shorten coil life next.
Sweetened E-Liquid Decreases Coil Life
The biggest factor by far that contributes to decreased atomizer life is the use of sucralose as a sweetener in e-liquid. The name “sucralose” might not mean much to you, but you’ll definitely recognize the name of the most popular sucralose-based sweetener: Splenda.
Without a doubt, sucralose is a very tasty alternative sweetener. You’ll find it in e-liquids intended to taste like fruits, candies and desserts, and most of today’s vape juices have flavor profiles that fall into at least one of those categories. Sucralose really makes sweet flavor profiles pop, and sucralose has helped to make some of the world’s most popular e-liquid brands what they are today.
So, everyone loves sweetened e-liquids. What’s the problem with sucralose, then? The problem is that it doesn’t vaporize. When you apply high heat to sucralose, it melts, caramelizes and burns. The sucralose in your e-liquid sticks to your atomizer and forms a layer that becomes thicker and darker as you continue to vape. Do you taste burned sugar after you’ve used an atomizer for a while? When you remove an atomizer from your tank, is it covered with black gunk? Sucralose is what’s causing your poor coil life.
High-VG E-Liquid Decreases Coil Life
Have you ever looked at a bottle of e-liquid to see its VG/PG ratio? Vegetable glycerin and propylene glycol are the two base liquids used for most vape juice. Between the two, VG is thicker and produces much larger vapor clouds. People love big vapor clouds, so VG/PG ratios in e-liquid have skewed heavier and heavier in favor of VG over the years. Today, it’s not uncommon for e-liquid to contain as much as 70-80 percent VG to please the cloud chasers. When you buy e-liquid in a big, colorful bottle, you’re probably getting a high-VG blend.
Vegetable glycerin might contribute to big, luxurious clouds, but an e-liquid high in VG can also contribute to poor coil longevity because, like sucralose, it also leaves residue on your coil. If you use an e-liquid with a 50/50 VG/PG ratio, the formation of residue will be so slow that you won’t really notice decreased coil life. With a higher percentage of VG, though, you’ll definitely notice the difference.
The ideal e-liquid is one that contains no sucralose, no more than about 50 percent VG and light flavor. That’s how make your coils last for weeks at a time.
Overheating Decreases Coil Life
The first two factors discussed in this article – sweetener and high-VG e-liquids – shorten the life of an atomizer by leaving residue on the heating wire itself. The final factor, however, affects a coil in a different way because it shortens the life of the wick.
That factor is heat.
A vape coil uses a wick – usually made of cotton – to control the flow of e-liquid from the tank’s reservoir to the heating wire. Cotton is a great material to use for the wick in an atomizer because it works well with a wide variety of e-liquids and delivers a pleasant, pure flavor. That’s true, anyway, unless the cotton burns – and cotton burns extremely easily.
If you vape at a high wattage setting, vape with very long, deep puffs or chain vape without allowing your coil’s wick to get wet again between puffs, there is a very high risk of burning your wick. To keep that from happening, keep the heat level down. Lower your device’s wattage and wait several seconds for the wick to get wet after each puff.
How to Tell Why Your Coils Are Burning Out
In this article, we’ve explained how long a vape atomizer lasts and pointed out the three factors that cause your atomizers to burn out. We’ll conclude by explaining how you can tell what you need to do to make your atomizers last longer. If you’re using sweetened e-liquid, you already know what the e-liquid is doing to your coils because you can taste the burned sugar. If another factor is contributing to reduced atomizer life, though, the results may not be so obvious.
You can tell why an atomizer burned out by examining it when you remove it from your vaping device.
- If the atomizer’s metal heating wire is covered with dark residue, the e-liquid that you’re using is causing poor coil life. The problem is some combination of sweetener, heavy flavoring and a high percentage of vegetable glycerin.
- If the atomizer’s metal heating wire is still white, you’ve most likely burned your wick. You can confirm that by disassembling the atomizer. When you unravel the cotton wick from around the heating wire, you’ll most likely find a dark spot where the cotton is burned. Even a small dark spot will alter the flavor the atomizer produces.