Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt?

As you enjoy your journey through The Vape Life, you’re likely to encounter a few issues and annoyances that require a bit of troubleshooting on your part – and one of the most common of those problems is a burnt flavor when vaping. That’s a serious annoyance because, for just about everyone, flavor is the primary reason why you derive pleasure from vaping – and if you aren’t getting pleasure out of the experience, you might feel tempted to go back to smoking. No one wants that to happen, so let’s make sure that it doesn’t.

So, why does your vape taste burnt? Ultimately, a burnt flavor when vaping always comes down to one of three factors.

  • The atomizer coil in your tank is dry.
  • The atomizer coil’s wick is damaged.
  • The atomizer coil’s heating surface is covered with residue.

With those three things in mind, fixing a vape that tastes burnt isn’t a difficult thing at all; it’s simply a matter of identifying which of those problems applies to your situation and correcting it. Let’s begin!

Failure to Prime New Coils Correctly

The first thing that you need to know about how to get the best flavor when vaping is that you must prime new coils correctly before installing them in your tank. One of the most common reasons why you might get a burnt flavor when vaping is because the coil’s cotton wick is damaged. That’ll happen if the wick isn’t completely wet, and that’s extremely likely to be the case if you install a new coil incorrectly. You start using the new coil before the wick is completely wet, and the cotton burns. There’s no fix for that; a coil with a burnt wick will give you a burnt flavor forever. Priming the coil helps to prevent that from happening.

To prime a new coil, simply put a little e-liquid on each of the openings on the side and top of the coil. You can see the coil’s wick through these openings. Give the e-liquid a moment to soak in and check the wick again. If it looks dry, add a little more vape juice. The coil is ready to install when the wick looks thoroughly wet. After you’ve reassembled and filled the tank, wait a few minutes before vaping. The new coil should give you a perfect flavor from the very first puff.

Vaping Too Aggressively

Have you ever taken a moment to examine the numbers on the side of a vape coil? If you have, then you’ve noticed that every vape coil has a suggested wattage range etched into its casing. The manufacturer of the coil has determined that, with an average puff duration of about two seconds, the coil should operate reliably anywhere within that range. If you ignore a coil’s suggested wattage range, you could end up experiencing problems. That’s because vaping at an overly high wattage – or “chain vaping” without ever pausing to give the wick a moment to absorb more e-liquid – can singe the wick. Just like what can happen if you install a new coil without priming it, vaping too aggressively can cause a coil to produce a burnt taste that never goes away. Here’s how to avoid that problem.

  • Set your device’s wattage somewhere within your coil’s suggested power range. If you experience a burnt taste at the end of a puff, lower the wattage because the burnt taste means that the wick is drying out.
  • Set your device’s wattage to the low end of your coil’s suggested power range if you tend to vape with long, deep puffs. Remember that the manufacturer chooses the suggested range with the assumption that you’ll vape for about two seconds per puff. If your puffs are longer than that, you’ll need to compensate by vaping at a lower power level.

Forgetting to Keep Your Tank Full

Have you ever experienced a dry hit when vaping? If you have, you know that the flavor of a dry hit is absolutely horrible. It happens when you try to vape with a completely empty tank or pod. Since the wick is totally dry and can’t cool the coil, the coil begins to glow red and emit awful fumes. The only way to prevent dry hits is by keeping your tank or pod full. If you neglect to refill your tank and get a dry hit, you can always refill the tank and continue vaping. If the coil’s wick is burned, though, you’ll need to replace the coil.

Using Sweetened E-Liquid

In the situations that we’ve described so far in this article, you’ll experience a burnt taste suddenly and without warning. When a vape coil isn’t wet, it overheats and burns the wick. There’s really no way to prepare for that except by preventing the problem from happening in the first place.

There is another situation, however, in which you can experience a burnt flavor that comes on slowly and becomes worse with continued vaping. This is actually the most common reason why vape coils burn out, and it happens because of the e-liquid that you use.

If you enjoy sweet e-liquid flavors, you’re not alone. Just about everyone enjoys sweet things – that’s why desserts exist. Although many people start out with tobacco or menthol e-liquids when they begin vaping, many of those people eventually switch to sweet e-liquid flavors when they realize that vaping can still be completely satisfying and enjoyable even when the experience is nothing like smoking a cigarette. For that reason, sweet e-liquids are probably the most common ones on the market today.

Although they are definitely very tasty, sweet e-liquids do have a problem. Sucralose – the sugar-free sweetener that gives sweet vape juice its magic – doesn’t vaporize completely when it’s heated. When you use an e-liquid that contains sucralose, a significant portion of the sucralose will stick to the heating surface of your coil and leave a deposit that eventually thickens and burns. That’s what causes an “off” flavor when vaping that starts out tasting like caramelized sugar and ends up tasting badly burnt. The thicker the layer of residue becomes, the more severe the burnt flavor will be. You can avoid this situation by switching to an unsweetened e-liquid or by replacing your coil more often.

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Martin B.

Ex-smoker, passionate vaper who loves to tell the world about the life-changing potential of vaping. Co-creator of Ecigclopedia with a background in Business & Finance. Prefers a dessert flavored vape and loves to innovate.

Martin B.

Ex-smoker, passionate vaper who loves to tell the world about the life-changing potential of vaping. Co-creator of Ecigclopedia with a background in Business & Finance. Prefers a dessert flavored vape and loves to innovate.

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