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The Average Lifespan of Vape Coils – How long should they last?

Diving into detail on vape coils – here are the dos and don’ts!

One of the most important components to any vaping device, and arguably that which start up vapers know the least about. It’s kind of shocking yet understandable if you think about it!

Coils are what produces your vapour by heating your wicking material (usually cotton) – so it’s essential to understand what will make them last longer and what will shorten their lifespan.

Using the tips and tricks provided in this article will ensure that your next vaping experience will perform at 100% capacity in terms of flavour delivery, coil lifespan and even ramp up consistency. 

On the other hand, not following the tips below can lead to a really nasty vaping experience; burnt flavour tastes, short coil lifespan and inconsistency when vaping. 

So of course, to avoid that – let’s get started on the most important thing:

What causes vape coils to get burnt?

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Right off the bat, you should be aware of these 4 things that undoubtedly causes burnt vape coils in short amounts of time:

  • Not priming a new coil
  • Dry-burning (heating coil without e-liquid to be vaporised)
  • Accidental coil ramp-up without inhalation
  • Using sweeter e-juice will shorten coil lifespan

It is significant to note that all coils will need to be replaced eventually, but avoiding the mistakes listed above will significantly increase your vape coil’s lifespan. 

Not priming a new coil

Did you know? When installing a brand-new coil, it’s imperative that you protect your coil by leaving it submerged in the e-liquid inside the tank for at least 5-10 minutes before vaping. Not  priming a new coil is one of the quickest ways to prematurely burnt vape coils.

The reason for this is simple; new coil = new cotton. Dry cotton will burn out substantially faster than wicking material (cotton) that has been soaked in e-liquid. Installing a coil and leaving it submerged for just a few seconds also won’t do the job. 

I personally leave mine to soak for at least 10 minutes, then start with a few small puffs and eventually ramp up the intensity as needed. 

Simply put, starting to vape with a properly primed coil will simply deliver superb flavour on the very first hit, adds weeks to your vape coil’s lifespan and is a great way to protect your coils. 

Excessive (& accidental) coil ramp-up without inhalation

This isn’t really an issue with modern devices, as they’re pretty much all equipped with a smart chipset that has an 8-10 second (or shorter) time out.

This means that if your coil is activated by pressing a button mistakenly, say for instance because it’s in your pocket – the coil will stop heating if no inhalation occurs after 8 seconds. And of course, simply burning up a coil without the necessary airflow provided by actually vaping the device – the coil will also quickly burn out.

Using sweet e-juice will shorten a coil’s lifespan

Unfortunate for many – the sweeter your e-juice generally tastes, and the more different flavours are involved, the shorter your vape coil’s lifespan will generally be. 

A rule of thumb is that coils last anywhere from 1-4 weeks depending on frequency and intensity of use, however using very sweet nicotine solutions can cut your coil’s lifespan down to just a few days.

VG (vegetable glycerine) based vape juices are both thicker and sweeter than PG (propylene glycol) based e-juices, and as such are more common with DTL vaping and box mods for its superior cloud density.

Vape juices usually have a 50/50 or 60/40 PG/VG ratio, but can differ largely. In many cases, you can mix your e-liquid in-store to get to any desired PG/VG ratio – you can even vape on either PG or VG on its own.  

How do I know when my coil is burnt?

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In case you’ve got a suspicion that your coil is burnt and want confirmation on that, identifying any of these 4 things can mean your coil is on the way out:

  • Lack of flavour when vaping
  • Burnt taste when vaping
  • Less vapour when exhaling
  • Harsh throat hits 

Now, it is worth noting that sometimes these effects can occur very subtly at first, and some people notice it faster than others. In simple terms, whenever your vaping experience becomes less enjoyable – it’s probably time to replace your coil. 

How long should vape coils last?

As with everything, there are a few things that can affect this outcome. In general, coils last anywhere between 1-4 weeks depending on which device (and coil) you’re using, the flavour you’re vaping and the frequency & intensity at which you’re vaping. 

Let’s break it down

Pod mods

Pod mods are actually the vapes that can potentially provide the longest coil lifespan. 

This is because nicotine salts are available in as high as 35mg – 50mg nicotine and thus requires you to vape less frequently, ultimately meaning less usage of the coil.

Pod mods are also MTL based (some can be adjusted to vape semi DTL) and as such each time the coil is heated, it stays heated for a shorter time interval as when vaping DTL. 

If you’re a regular vaper, you can count on about 1-2 weeks before your coil will need replacement. A less ‘intense’ vaper can get away with a single coil lasting up to 4 weeks. 

It is recommended to replace your coil at least once a month. 

Box mods

The powerhouses of the vaping world – box mods. Depending on your wattage and coil’s resistance, you can work around 1-2 weeks before your coil(s) will need replacement. In certain cases, people have claimed these coils can last up to 3 weeks. 

At the end of the day, whether you vape for flavour or for clouds – you’ll notice the difference pretty easily. 

Vaping with a higher wattage will generate more heat in your coil, meaning vaping at high wattage as a standard can decrease your coil’s lifespan. Along with that, the lower the resistance in your coil, the thicker your clouds will be, but also the quicker your coils will burn out. 

How to improve a coils’ lifespan

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So what do I do if I want to get the most out of my coils in terms of lifespan? Sometimes at the cost of vapour density or intense flavour delivery, but nonetheless still a peasant vaping experience. 

You can:

  • Always prime your coil for at least 5-10 minutes. (Some people prime their coils upwards of 30 minutes!) 
  • Use less sweet e-juices and mixed flavours
  • Use only high-quality e-juices
  • Try to use PG-dominant e-juices
  • Vape at a lower wattage
  • Avoid ramping up your coil when not inhaling
  • Keep your tank filled – your coil should be submerged or properly dripped before using

Though not all the pointers above are possible at all times, find what works for you and see how it feels. Even if it’s time to replace your coil, and you cannot immediately do so, applying these tips will stretch your last bit of vaping out until you can replace your coil. 

Is it possible to fix a burnt coil?

Although not a permanent fix or one that can be repeated many times, yes it’s possible! 

It’s worth noting that this tip has a much greater possibility of working with coils which the element can be removed. With pod system vapes, this remedy might not work as well.  

In a nutshell, you can place your coil (or just the element) in a small bowl of hot water, this will loosen up any e-liquid that’s gotten stuck to it. Afterwards, place your element in some cold water. Any encrusted bits of vape juice should fall off, and your element should be clean. 

Leave the coil (or element) to air dry completely and commence to prime your coil once again. 

If you’re still not happy, you can give your coil head and tank a deep clean. Add some lemon juice or vinegar to hot water (and remember to keep track of any o-rings or seals you remove in the process) and let it soak for a few minutes. This should get rid of any excess, built up gunk. 

Upon priming your coil, you might find your coil had come back to life! A little time and effort spent to clean and uphold your vape will save you loads of time and money in the long run, and even more – uninterrupted vaping enjoyment. 

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