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what causes burnt vape taste

Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt?

That burnt vape tase is an awful experience in the throat, when instead of tasting a smooth flavorful vapour after a long puff, an awful burnt taste is felt. This experience can mess with your entire day, and may cause you to stop vaping altogether.

A burning taste can either be a burnt hit or dry hit. Most vapers use both terms interchangeably but in truth, they are two separate things. Although both hits are unpleasant, the dry hit is less shocking than the burnt hit. A dry hit occurs when the wick of your coil dries up a little causing you to feel less flavour and exhale less vapour but without the nastiness and coughing that comes from a burnt hit.

Now let’s examine some causes of this burnt hit taste. 

  • Chain vaping is a major cause of burnt hits and it occurs when one vapes continuously without giving a breathing space between puffs. This act damages the coil since the wick is not given time to absorb vape juice between puffs. The result is that the dried cord burns.
  • Unprimed coils are another cause of burnt hits. Coil priming is essential and is aimed at soaking the wick with vape liquid. Skipping the process of priming the coil will result in trying to ignite a dry wick, which eventually results in a burnt and irritating taste.
  • High power vaping causes damage of coils resulting in burnt hits. Exceeding the stipulated wattage range (inscribed on the side of a coil) results in roasting or failing faster. When vaping at a higher power the e-juice vaporizes faster than the wick can absorb and puffing regardless leads to a burnt tasting vape.
  • Low vape juice in tank results from extracting the tank completely before making a refill and this act destroys the coils. Allowing the tank to go dry or almost dry before refilling will leave the wick with insufficient e-juice to absorb resulting in a burnt taste vape.
  • Another cause of vape taste burnt is your choice of e-juice (that is, the use of cheap e-juice). Some vape juices are problematic and can result in blockage of the coil. E-juice with high VG concentration and sugar content are more likely than not to cause the vape to taste burnt because they are denser and stiffer for coil wicks to absorb causing the vape pens to fail.
  • Use of old coil is the most common reason of coil burns and the resultant burnt vape taste. An average coil should last about 2-3 weeks without considering personal consumption habit, so anything longer than this might lead to a vape taste burnt.
  • Not cleaning your coil. Maintenance is an important habit especially with your vape apparatus. Cleaning the coil helps lengthen the days of use. Also, avoid taking burnt hits from your vaporiser as this will save you the cost of replacing them. You can clean your coils using cotton buds soaked in alcohol while rubbing the coil clean then washing in clear hot water to remove excess residue and alcohol.
  • Cold weather is another factor which affects the vaping experience as the viscosity of e-juice changes based on the temperature in which it’s stored. Cold weather causes the e-juice to thicken making the coil prone to clogging, while warm weather will thins them out. Also, cold weather causes PG heavy mix to act like a VG dominant combination which is also not good for the e-juice.
  • Hotspots are a regular cause of burnt hits while vaping and can result in a powerful red glow when the excess heat moves through it. Vaping on a hot-spotted coil results in an awful metallic-tasting draw which is hot and repulsive.
  • Lastly, having excess of cotton on the coil. The wick vaporises the e-liquid in the tank and is heated by the coil then inhaled using the mouthpiece. When the wick is too small, it affects vaping badly and may even cause it to leak. Using too much cotton increases the area that requires saturation to work flawlessly and causes the wick to burn out. This increase will also cause an increase in time needed between vapes to allow the e-juice to be absorbed completely on to the wick.

Ways to stop your coil from burning

Some of the key way to prevent or stop your coil from burning are-

  • Keep your tank topped up with enough e-liquid at all times. This means that you should never “dry burn” your coils, as most wicks are produced from cotton and will get ruined if they’re heated without sufficient e-juice to protect them.
  • Don’t chain vape. It’s important there’s a considerable amount of time given to the wick between hits in order for it to get re-saturated. Give your wick time between puffs so it’s fully saturated to absorb enough e-liquid before taking another puff so that you do not burn a dry wick.
  • Priming of coil is essential in preventing your coil from burning. This process involves manually soaking your wick before installing although doing this will mean you get to wait a bit longer before taking your first puff. For most persons, having the patience to wait for the surrounding e-liquid to absorb the excess heat is a problem as the urge to vape once device is ready is strong. Priming the coil helps prevent this, protecting the wick and allowing for immediate use.
  • Consider using an e-liquid with a higher level of PG. As stated earlier, high VG concentration and sugar content e-liquid can lead to burn due to the fact that they are denser and stiffer for coil wicks to soak up this is why an e-liquid with higher level of PG is advisable, since it easily gets soaked easily by the wick. The wick should always have enough e-liquid so it’s protected during vaping. Using higher level of PG e-liquids helps you to strike a superior balance between powering your device and the speed of vaporisation.
  • Lower wattage helps prevent coil burning. With the changes and evolutions taking place in technology due to an increase in vaping, consumers are provided with wide range of choices on vapes and customisable components, which have given them control over the wattage they produce. A higher wattage produces more vapour, and gives thick clouds however it affects the coil negatively and it’s not very economical. The wick will dry faster and you run the risk of burning the coil and making a dry hit. By setting the wattage lower it means the time and power required for the wick to re-absorb e-liquids reduces meaning you can vaporise more frequently without fear of a burning wick or coil.
  • Replacing your coil when it is old and damaged. Nothing in life lasts forever, not even your coil. Regular maintenance and cleaning can prolong the life span of your coil but won’t make it last forever, most especially when it is old.
  • Cleaning your coil helps prolong its life and ensures maximum amount of use from each coil and helps avoid taking burnt hits from your vaporiser, it in turn also save cost of changing often. Cleaning of coil can be done using cotton bud soaked in alcohol and gently rubbing, excess residue and alcohol are washed in hot water as most people do.
  • Consider the weather condition upon which your e-juice is stored, as a cold weather will result in issues like thickening of your e-juice while heat makes PG heavy mix act like a VG dominant, the thick liquid caused by the cold weather will cause clogging of the coil leading to a burnt coil. Generally, avoid exposing your vape to extreme temperature changes.
  • Replace any hotspot on your coil once identified, because retaining wick that has been burnt certainly means retaining its awful flavour and taste.
  • Making use of a small wick. Wicks are responsible for vaporising the e-liquid in the tank. Using too much wick increases the total area to be saturated which requires more time between vapes in order for the wick to absorb enough e-juice, so using small wick means less time required for re-saturation between vapes as the total area is small which will not give room for a burnt wick or coil.

How to know your coil is burnt

Knowing when your coil is burnt (done) is not rocket science it’s a learning process. A coil might be burnt for to a couple of reasons and burnt hits are major culprits in throat burn. When you experience any throat burn it is a sign that your coil is burnt and needs to be replaced. 

However, a better way of discovering that your coil is burnt is through the flavour, a burnt coil often loses its original flavour. The taste of a burnt coil is often unpleasant in the throat and after a couple of puffs the taste of burnt coil affects the original flavour that should be experienced during the hit. Another sign of a coil that is burnt is a drop in vapour production i.e. the amount of vapour produced during vaping is drastically lowered.

Does your new coil taste burnt

A vast number of coils are made every day and they are not all equal in make. When your new coil gives a burnt taste, even if primed properly know you got a dud and you have to replace it. Some coils are bad out of the box and this might be due to some production flaw or loose connection Also, faulty coils sometimes come in batches which implies that the rest of the coils in the box might be faulty. This won’t happen often, but it is good to be prepared, so it’s better you purchase more than one box of coil every time.

Finally, as discussed earlier, vape tasting burnt can be caused by many reasons so it’s important you learn how you can stop your coil from burning, and getting other information that can help your vaping experience. It’s expected that as the industry grows, so will awareness, information and education on vaping. It is essential to stay updated on the latest technological advancements.
If you still experience dry, harsh and burnt tasting, a blend of several of the stated reason could be the cause, so start with the most common reason and move from there. If you still have problems feel free to reach out to the vaping community online for help.