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Understanding Dry Hits in Vaping - TABlites

Understanding Dry Hits in Vaping

Understanding Dry Hits in Vaping: Causes, Symptoms, and Solutions for a Better Vaping Experience

Vaping enthusiasts and beginners alike often encounter the unpleasant taste of burnt cotton and the absence of vapour when taking a hit on their vape, signalling a dry hit. In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the reasons behind dry hits, how to identify them, and most importantly, how to avoid these unwelcome experiences. From monitoring your e-liquid levels to wattage settings, discover the essential tips to ensure a smooth and enjoyable vaping journey.

If you’ve been asking yourself ‘Why do I keep getting dry hits on my vape?’ ‘What are dry hits vape?’ or ‘How do you fix dry hit vaping?’ you have come to the right place. Join us as we delve in and answer all your questions.

What is a dry hit when vaping?

A dry hit in vaping describes the unpleasant encounter of inhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or vape device. This experience is characterised by a displeasing taste, often resembling a burnt flavour, and, in some instances, a dry and irritating sensation in the throat when drawing from the vapes mouthpiece.

Dry hits not only taste bad but you will often experience a vapourless hit. But, don’t worry dry hits are something that can easily be avoided.

What does a dry vape hit taste like?

When you take a dry hit on a refillable vape or dry hit disposable vape you will know about it. Rather than the inhale tasting like the flavour of your e-liquid, it will leave a bad taste in your mouth and taste like burnt cotton from your coil. The vapour hit can taste warm and provide a scratchy sensation in the mouth and throat.

How do you know if you have a dry hit?

When you have a dry hit, you'll encounter a foul and unpleasant taste that dominates the flavour of your e-liquid in your mouth, and there is little to no vapour produced. This happens when there isn't sufficient e-liquid present in your tank or pod to properly saturate the wicking material in the atomiser coil.

Why does my vape taste burnt?

Dry hits or experiencing a burnt taste when vaping usually indicate that there’s not enough e-liquid in the tank or pod to wet the coil. When taking a draw on a vape when the liquid levels are too low will burn the cotton in the coil and can ruin the coil and the remaining e-liquid.

The coil is a crucial component of a vape device responsible for heating the e-liquid, and the wicking material plays a vital role in delivering the liquid to the coil. When there isn’t enough e-liquid to maintain proper saturation of the coil, it leads to overheating and burning of the coil. This results in a warm, burnt taste during inhalation, creating an unpleasant experience for the vaper, particularly for those new to vaping.

Is it bad to hit a burnt vape?

When you experience a dry hit vaping burnt taste and an overly harsh hit, this is an indication that something isn’t quite right and you should stop vaping immediately and start to investigate what could be causing the issue. If you ignore the warning signs and continue to vape you could be exposing yourself to harmful chemicals and toxins.

In the event of an occasional dry hit from your vape, the unpleasant taste is unlikely to cause significant harm or long-term health issues. Limited occurrences of dry hits generally have negligible harmful effects.

Powering the atomiser when there is no or too little liquid saturating the wick, the coil overheats, resulting in a burnt taste rather than the expected flavourful vapour. Continuing to vape with this burnt taste can damage your coil, degrade the taste of your e-liquid, and, most importantly, lead to the production of harmful chemicals that may adversely affect your health. It is strongly advised to avoid vaping when encountering a burnt taste as long-term exposure may lead to more serious health issues.

What is the difference between dry hit and throat hit?

·        A dry hit is an undesired result of the coil heating up with no e-liquid, so effectively you are inhaling the fumes from the burnt cotton.

·        A weak throat hit refers to a pleasant draw from the mouthpiece of a vape that tastes like the flavour of e-liquid you have chosen. The nicotine along with the PG (propylene glycol) in the e-liquid will provide a satisfying feeling on the back of the throat when you inhale on an e-cigarette that mimics the inhale from a cigarette. If you prefer smoother and less harsh sensations on the back of your throat when vaping try using e-liquids with lower nicotine strengths with equal ratios of PG and VG, including nicotine salt vape juice that provides a super smooth vape hit sensation.

·        A strong throat hit refers to a slightly overpowering feeling on the back of your throat as you inhale. A strong throat hit feels like cigarette smoking with a slightly unpleasant and sometimes irritating feeling on the back of the throat when taking a hit from a vape. If not used to taking a strong vape hit it may cause you to cough. If you prefer a harsher and more intense sensation at the back of your throat when vaping try using e-liquids with higher nicotine strengths and juices with higher ratios of PG to VG (vegetable glycerin).

Why am I getting a dry hit on my vape?

The reason you are experiencing a dry hit on your vape is generally that there isn’t enough e-liquid in the pod cartridge or tank, the juice you are using is too thick to saturate the coil, the coil is damaged and needs replacing, the power output is set too high, or you need to leave time for the juice to soak into the coil before vaping.

What causes dry hits when vaping?

Encountering dry hits with your vape can be attributed to several factors, and fortunately, there are a range of methods to help address these issues:

Not enough e-liquid: Dry hits occur when there is insufficient e-liquid in your tank, pod, or disposable vape to fully saturate the wicking material in the heating atomiser coil. This results in the heating of the dry wick, leading to the unpleasant burnt flavour when you take a hit on your vape.

To prevent dry hits and improve the overall vaping experience, it's essential to regularly top up your e-liquid levels and ensure the wick is adequately saturated. By maintaining proper e-liquid levels, using the clear viewing window you can avoid the discomfort of dry hits and enjoy a smoother vaping experience by regularly topping up your vape juice levels.

The small holes on the side of an atomiser head should always be submerged in e-liquid. If the coil isn’t being fed enough liquid, the coil will still heat up to the temperature you set your device to, if there is no juice present, it will burn the wicking material.

Most pods and tanks in the UK are limited to 2ml e-liquid capacity, make sure your tanks and pods are topped up to the fill levels with sufficient e-juice. When a vape coil is fired without enough e-juice to vaporise, it will lead to the cotton inside your coil getting burnt out prematurely and result in you having to replace the entire coil. Correct care and maintenance will prolong the lifespan of your coils and save you money.

If your juice levels are running low, but you want to get the most out of your remaining liquid, try tilting your device so that the little amount of e-liquid is directly tilted towards the wicking material. Whilst this isn’t recommended, we have all been there, whether we are running low on juice supplies or we just can’t be bothered refilling the device right away.

Not priming your vape coil: When using a new vape coil it is very important to ensure that the coil is fully submerged in vape juice for a few minutes before taking a hit on your vape. Taking a draw on your vape without priming your coil could result in experiencing a dry hit.

You can speed up this process by dripping a few drops of vape juice on the exposed cotton of the coil. Another way to speed up the priming process is to fill your pod or tank with e-liquid, with the power switched off, and inhale on the mouthpiece, this will draw e-liquid to the coil and fully saturate the wicking material. You can then turn the power on, press the fire button and enjoy vaping.

Good things come to those who wait, give plenty of time for your vape juice to completely wet the cotton within your coil before taking a vape hit for the most satisfying puff.

The wrong type of e-liquid used: Using the incorrect type of e-liquid in your vape can lead to dry and burnt hits when inhaling from your mouthpiece. E-liquids come in various styles, such as high VG, 50/50, and high PG. Each style has different viscosities and thicknesses, with liquids high in VG being thicker and those high in PG being thinner.

For example, coils intended for sub-ohm or direct-to-lung (DTL) vaping are designed to work especially well with high VG e-liquids, therefore the wicking material is altered to work better and the e-liquid inlet holes will be wider to effectively wick thicker e-liquids.

In comparison, coils intended for MTL (mouth to lung) vaping are designed to perform better with high PG or 5050 e-liquids. The wicking ports are narrower and the wicking material is designed to effectively wick thinner vape liquids.

A basic rule of thumb is that the size of the wicking ports on the side of the coil or atomiser head will determine whether to use thicker liquids that are blended with a higher ratio of VG (thicker juice), or thinner consistency liquids featuring a higher or equal ratio of PG (thinner juice).

Using the correct e-liquids for your coils is essential to ensure they are well-suited for the thickness of the juice. This practice helps prevent issues such as dry and burnt hits, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable vaping experience.

Avoid chain vaping: If you are vaping frequently, ensure you are leaving enough time between puffs for the coil to soak up the e-liquid in your vape pod or tank between inhales. Take longer and slower puffs and give your vape a rest between vape sessions. Taking draws on your vape in too quick succession could result in dry hits even though there’s a sufficient amount of e-liquid in your tank or pod.

Chain vaping may also apply too much heat to your e-liquid and causing it to go thinner as a result of overheating. When you vape the consistency and viscosity of your juice may be too thin to properly saturate the wick in your coil before you take the next draw.

To solve this issue, space out your draws to let your device settle and resoak the coil with vape juice before taking your next inhale.

Wattage level set too high: If the wattage of your e-cigarette is set too high for the resistance of the coil and/or the type of e-liquid you choose this will cause an unpleasant dry hit. To prevent this, it's advisable to turn off the power when storing your vape kit in your pocket or bag. This precaution not only prevents accidental activation of your vape but also ensures that the power output remains at appropriate levels, avoiding the discomfort associated with excessively high wattage levels.

Setting your wattage above the recommended range for the coil installed may cause dry hits. Take a look at the coil, it will usually state etched into the side of the coil the optimum wattage rage for best performance. If you start to venture out of the recommended power output rage you may experience wicking problems as the coil can’t receive enough liquid as the juice is vaporising at a faster rate.

If issues persist when vaping within the set parameters by the manufacturer, try lowering the wattage and/or try switching the type of vape juice you are using.

Try using meshed coils: Mesh coils are pre-built coils that feature a meshed heating element. One piece of metal with holes punched through to resemble a piece of mesh.

The design of a meshed coil delivers a quick ramp up time, heating up faster to arrive at the optimal temperature quicker. The heat is channelled around the entire surface area of the coil so there are no hot spots resulting in a consistent vaping experience. The even spread of heat across the meshed coil puts the coil under less strain resulting in mesh coil typically lasting longer than regular coils.

Mesh coils have a larger surface area of the coil that comes into contact with the wick, when combined with even heat distribution reduces the chances of dry hits. Mesh coils are the hottest (pun intended) atomisers currently available, they provide more vapour and improved flavour than regular atomiser heads.

Try using a bottom coil atomiser: A bottom vertical coil (BVC) sits at the base of the tank or clearomiser. As the coil is screwed into the base of the tank and e-liquid sits above it, gravity is constantly pulling e-liquid into the wicking channels of the atomiser and effectively feeding the coil with juice. If you are regularly experiencing dry hits and burnt tastes from your vape, bottom coils could be the answer to help you resolve the issue.

The coil needs replacing: Over time, as you use your vape coil, you may observe changes in the e-liquid within your tank or pod. The liquid may darken in colour, become thicker in consistency, and the flavour of your e-liquid could diminish. Additionally, the vapour production might decrease, resulting in a less satisfying experience.

The reason you may be getting a dry hit on vape is due to the sweeteners in your juice causing debris to build up on your coil reducing the effectiveness of the wick delivering liquid to the coil interfering with absorption.

By paying attention to the indicators and routinely replacing your vape coils, you can maintain a more enjoyable vaping journey and avoid the unpleasant burnt flavours that can occur when using worn-out coils.

Clean your vape: When replacing your vape coil make it part of your routine to fully clean your tank or pod running it through warm water. Cotton wool buds or a toothbrush are useful tools to get into the hard to reach areas. Regular maintenance of your vape parts not only prolongs the life of your coils but also helps provide the best vape possible.

Avoid very sweet flavours: If you’re a fan of sweet e-liquids, when heated may thicken up and start to clog up your atomiser coils. The sweeteners in your vape liquid may start to caramelise and start to prevent the wicking material within your coils from properly channelling juice to your coil.

If you start to experience regular dry burnt tasting hits, try changing the flavour and/or brand of e-liquid to see if this helps to solve the issue of unexpected dry hits.

Purchase a new disposable vape: If you are experiencing a burnt-tasting puff from a disposable vape, this is an indication that your puff bar has run out of e-liquid and is ready to be recycled. Most disposable vapes in the UK will provide up to 600 puffs, with no viewing window to see how much e-liquid is left in the device dry and burnt tasting hits can occur quite regularly.

We always recommend our customers make the transition from single-use disposables to refillable and rechargeable vapes for the best possible vaping experience.

Does a dry hit ruin a coil?

Yes, a dry hit can potentially ruin a coil. When a coil is heated with insufficient e-liquid, it can overheat, leading to the burning of the wicking material in the atomiser coil. This results in a burnt taste and may cause irreparable damage to the coil. Continued dry hits can shorten the lifespan of the coil and affect its performance. It's essential to ensure proper e-liquid saturation to avoid dry hits and maintain the longevity of the coil.

Navigating the world of vaping doesn't have to be daunting, especially when armed with right knowledge. For an uninterrupted and enjoyable vaping experience, stay informed on how to avoid dry hits, troubleshoot common issues, and make the most of your vape devices.

At the forefront of the latest vaping insights, our blog serves as your go-to resource for all things vaping in the UK. For more tips, news, and expert advice, explore our blog section and elevate your vaping journey. Remember, a well-informed vaper is a happy vaper!

If you have any questions, need advice, or seek information about e-liquids, vape kits, disposable vapes, pods, tanks, or coils, don't hesitate to contact us. Team Tablites are dedicated to providing the assistance you need.

Contact Us:

Tel: 0161 723 0064


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