There isn’t really much that can go wrong when you smoke a cigarette. As long as you light the right end on fire and inhale from the filter, the process is really hard to mess up. But for vapers, the situation is very different. Vaping devices are way more complicated than cigarettes, so there’s a lot more that can go wrong. From leaking and gurgling through to getting a burnt taste and having you device not work at all, there are a lot of different e-cigarette problems you might run into. Here are 10 of the most common, and how to fix them.
1 – My E-Cigarette is Leaking
Leaking is potentially the most common vaping problem, but in most cases it can be fixed or at least minimized. Here are a few suggestions to solve the issue:
- Learn to fill your tank properly. Make sure you don’t get any e-juice down the central tube when you fill up – if you do it can lead to leaking.
- Tighten your connections down. All the connections in your tank should be tightened down, but not too tightly, because you could damage the O-rings that prevent e-liquid from leaking through the connection points. Tighten it firmly but not as tight as you can, and check your O-rings for signs of damage. You can replace the O-rings if you need to, because most tanks come with spares.
- Solve flooding problems. Flooding can lead to leaking, and is addressed specifically later on in the post. However, increasing the power on your e-cig or switching to a higher-VG e-liquid may solve the issue.
2 – The Vapor Tastes Burnt / I’m Getting Dry Hits
A burnt taste is a sure sign of a “dry hit.” This is when you try to vape, but there isn’t enough liquid in the wick. This means the liquid that is there gets overheated, and the cotton wick could even get singed, and this leads to a burnt taste.
- Refill your tank. Not enough e-liquid in your tank is the simplest reason you might be getting a burnt taste. Refill your tank and give the new e-liquid plenty of time to soak into the wicks before you try to vape again.
- Replace your coil. Unfortunately, if you’ve damaged the wick or you’re using an old (and possibly gunky) coil, you might have to change to a new coil to rectify the problem. Just remember to let e-juice soak into the wick before you try to vape again.
- Reduce your power setting. If your power setting is too high, the e-liquid in your wick might be vaporized quicker than it can be replenished, which leads to dry hits.
- Try TC vaping. TC (temperature control) vaping limits the temperature of your coil and completely removes issues with dry hits. If you’re having this problem regularly, it might be worth upgrading to a TC device.
We have a full post on this issue here.
3 – I’m Not Getting Enough Vapor
Not getting enough vapor when you vape is annoying, but generally easy to solve. There are a few easy ways to solve this problem:
- Increase your airflow. Most of the time, more airflow means more vapor, so if your device has an airflow control ring, open it up more.
- Increase your power setting. This is simple: more power means more vaporization happening, and that makes more vapor. Try turning your mod up a bit.
- Switch e-liquids. Higher-VG e-liquid tends to produce more vapor than lower-VG e-liquid. Changing your juice could make a big difference.
- Inhale more. If your airflow is open, you should get the most out of it. Inhaling more quickly than usual should help you get more vapor, or you can just take longer draws.
- Change your device. Unfortunately, some devices just can’t put out as much vapor as a mod. If you have a simple vape pen and this is your issue, upgrading might be the best idea.
4 – I’m Not Getting Enough Flavor
If you’re not getting a strong enough flavor when you vape, there could be many potential causes, but all of them can be rectified quite easily.
- Make sure you aren’t getting dry hits. Follow the steps in point 2 to address this possibility. The main points are to make sure your tank is full and that you haven’t burned your wick.
- Adjust your setting. Most flavors have a “sweet spot,” where the different components come through more clearly. Change your wattage or temperature and see if the flavors come through a little more.
- Turn down your airflow. Too much airflow reduces your flavor, so closing off just a little bit can increase your flavor a little.
- Use a better atomizer. Some simple clearomizers aren’t great for flavor, no matter what you do. Switching to a sub ohm tank, rebuildable or other modern tank system may help.
- Switch flavors. Sometimes if you’re vaping one flavor too long, you can get “flavor fatigue” and stop noticing it as much. Switch to a different flavor (ideally a different type of flavor, e.g. a fruity blend to a menthol) and see if it helps.
We have a more detailed post on getting more flavor when you vape here.
5 – My Tank is Gurgling / My Coils Get Flooded
Gurgling sounds from your tank are a sure sign that too much e-liquid has found its way into your coil and has “flooded” it. This can lead to tons of problems, including leaking, spitback or just poor vapor production. There are a few things you can do to solve your flooding problem:
- Increase your wattage. If your tank is pulling more e-liquid into the coil than it can vaporize, this can lead to flooding. Turn the power up and see if that fixes the problem.
- Inhale more softly. If you’re inhaling too hard, you might be sucking e-liquid into the coil in the same way as you suck liquid through a straw. Don’t inhale too sharply and this will minimize the issue.
- Use a higher-VG e-liquid. PG-based e-juices are much thinner than VG-based ones and are more prone to flooding. Switch to a juice with 50% VG or higher and the problem should rectify or at least improve.
- Change your coil or wick. Unfortunately, if your coil is flooding it could just be that your wicks are old and can’t soak up e-juice as well anymore. Change to a new coil and that should fix the problem.
We have a full post on this issue if you want more information.
6 – E-Juice Gets Into My Mouth When I Vape
This is a simple issue but quite a common one. If you get small bits of e-juice in your mouth when you vape, it’s probably related to a flooded coil. The best advice is to use the tips in the previous point to address the flooding issue, and in particular, you should inhale more softly when you vape. You should also remain upright (or at least not horizontal) when you vape, because gravity could have a role to play in the problem if your tank is on its side or inverted.
7 – My Battery Isn’t Working
Nothing stops your vaping in its tracks like a faulty battery. If your battery isn’t responding, there are many potential causes, but unfortunately most of them aren’t good news:
- Check for simple problems. If you’re lucky, the issue will be something simple. Make sure your battery is charged and your device is switched on before declaring the battery dead.
- Check your connections. If your battery charges but doesn’t function when you attach an atomizer, the problem could be the connection between the battery and the atomizer rather than the battery itself. Clean any e-juice from the contact points and make sure your atomizer’s connection is making contact with the point on your mod or vape pen. Some atomizers have adjustable pins that you can unscrew slightly and lengthen if it isn’t making contact.
- Try a new battery. If you have a mod with a replaceable battery, test out a new battery if you have one. If the mod is working but the specific battery you’re using is dead, it will work with a new battery. You can also try the same battery in other mods to see if the battery is the issue or your device.
- Get a new battery or mod. If you have a mod with an in-built battery that isn’t responding, the battery could be the problem, and this means the whole mod is probably done for. You may have noticed your battery not holding a charge as well previously, which is a sure sign of an aging battery. If you have a mod with a separate battery, it should work if you pick up a new replacement battery.
8 – The Throat Hit is Too Strong/Not Strong Enough
Getting too much throat hit when you vape can make vaping pretty unpleasant, and if you don’t get enough vaping might not feel satisfying. There are many potential solutions to the issue, but here are some of the main things to try:
- Adjust your PG/VG ratio. E-juice with more PG produces a stronger throat hit, and juice with more VG has a milder throat hit. You can adjust your throat hit by choosing e-juice with a different PG/VG ratio. Black Note’s juices have a 50/50 mix to provide the ideal balance between throat hit and vapor production.
- Change your nicotine strength. More nicotine leads to a bigger throat hit. If you aren’t getting a big enough throat hit, try a higher nicotine strength. If the throat hit is too strong, try a juice with less nicotine.
- Adjust your power setting. More power increases vapor production, and this in turn leads to a bigger throat hit. Try out different settings and see if that fixes the problem.
- Try a different flavor. In general, menthol flavors produce a stronger throat hit and darker, sweeter flavors lead to a gentler throat hit. For example, the throat hit with Solo (our menthol blend) will ordinarily be stronger than the throat hit from Prelude (our smooth Virginia blend), provided you use same settings and the same nicotine strength.
9 – I’m Not Getting Enough Nicotine
Vaping is really all about nicotine, so if you aren’t getting enough nicotine it can make it really hard to make the switch. There are a few things you can do to fix the problem, and we have a full post on the topic here, but here are some key things to try:
- Increase your nicotine strength. This is simple, more nicotine in your e-juice means more nicotine when you vape. Try a higher nicotine strength and see if that helps.
- Increase your power. More power means more vapor, and more vapor means more nicotine. Try to increase your wattage and see if that helps.
- Switch to sub ohm vaping. Sub ohm tanks and low-resistance coils in rebuildable atomizers generally improve vapor production and make it easier to vape at higher wattages. It’s so much more effective that many vapers switch to a lower nicotine strength when they start sub-ohming.
10 – Vaping Makes Me Cough/I Get Dehydrated When I Vape/Other Issues
If your problem is more about what happens to you when you vape, there are a lot of potential causes. However, you can generally solve the problem if you think about the different factors at play and try changing things up.
For coughing, we have a full post explaining what to try, but it’s generally related to the same factors as getting too much of a throat hit. Follow the tips in point 8 and the problem should be fixed. However, some people are allergic or sensitive to PG, so if nothing else work try a very high VG e-juice and see if that helps.
Dehydration is a common problem for vapers because both PG and VG suck moisture out of their environment (in technical terms, they’re hygroscopic). The only solution to this is to drink a lot more water. Alternatively, you can minimize dehydration by switching to a higher-nicotine e-juice and vaping less frequently.
However, there may be many other issues you experience when you vape, and unfortunately all you can do is work out the cause through trial and error. The problems you’re experiencing could be due to PG, VG, your nicotine level, your airflow settings or the specific flavors you’re vaping. You can try vaping with different e-liquids and different setups, ideally changing just one thing at a time, and see if you can pinpoint the source of the problem.
If you’re having a medical issue, though, the best advice is to go to see your doctor as soon as you can. But if there’s no other solution, you may have to stop vaping. If you can’t quit entirely, though, consider trying snus, nicotine patches or gums rather than returning to smoking.
The Learning Curve With Vaping
All of these problems are more likely when you first start vaping, and there’s a simple reason for that: there is a definite learning curve with vaping. Everybody is unique, and what works for me might not work for you and vice-versa. Vaping is all about exploring the options and hitting on the right combination of flavor, nicotine, PG/VG, atomizer and mod to suit your needs. Unfortunately this means it can take some time to solve the issues you’re experiencing and find your ideal way to vape, but when you do, it’s well worth the time spent experimenting.