The best way to educate yourself on changing your vape coils is to use the various YouTube tutorials on the topic, because they offer a visual guide too.
When to change a vape coil
Depending on the heat levels and the frequency of use, your coils won’t last forever. The PG/VG of your e-liquid can burn it out faster, as can the wattage and voltage that you use. If you’re a very frequent vaper, and you’re putting your equipment through the ringer, you’re obviously going to need to change the coil more often. High wattage, sweet flavours and a high VG e-juice (usually factors in cloud chasing) will burn through coils and wicking material faster.
How long does a coil last?
Heavy vapers: A very heavy vaper should change their coils every week. This might sound like a lot, but it’s worth it. The flavour of your e-liquid, cloud production and functionality of your vape will suffer if you neglect it. This rule is especially relevant for Sub Ohm vapers as they typically use higher VG liquids which are thicker and gum up coils more quickly.
Moderate vapers: Vapers who vape consistently throughout the day but only take a couple of drags at a time can get more use out of a coil as it isn’t getting as hot as frequently. Again, the type of juice you use and the power of your device will be a factor in this but the general rule here is about once a fortnight.
Light vapers: Infrequent use, or a few hits here and there, suggests that your coils will only need to be changed every 3-4 weeks. If you’re using mouth to lung devices with the higher PG value this also helps extend the lifespan of your coil.
How do you know when to change a coil?
One of the first indications is going to be a burnt or diminished taste in your vapour. The reason for this is that the tank is running too hot for the coil to manage it. Sometimes chain vaping can also affect the lifespan of your coil as it can get too hot and start to burn the coil. If you inspect your coil and wicking material more closely, you’ll see that the cotton is often discoloured and burnt.
A leaking device is also worth taking note of. There are many reasons for this and they all need to be paid attention to. If it’s the result of a damaged coil you will find that the ramp up on them isn’t working properly and there may be a gurgling sound when you inhale. It also happens when the cotton can’t absorb e-liquid efficiently anymore so when you fire the device or leave it sitting around it can leak.
Burnt wicking material won’t absorb the e-liquid properly and will negatively affect the quality of flavour and amount of vapour production. Another culprit of this is your e-liquid. Even if you aren’t chain vaping, high VG liquids are thick and naturally quite sweet and they sort of ‘caramelise’ on the wicking material. This stops them working effectively and means you’ll need a change.
If you ignore the signs or aren’t aware of them you might find that your mod or kit stops producing vapour entirely. You might even get some e-liquid spit-back in your mouth while you inhale, which doesn’t taste anywhere near as nice as the flavoured vapour does. As soon as you notice the signs of an old coil, check it out and replace it.