Sick of dry hits? Don’t worry: this is the #1 most common problem ALL new vapers experience. In this post, we’ll outline the 5 most common reasons your vape tastes burnt (and also show you how to fix them)
There is NOTHING worse than a dry/burnt hit while vaping. They suck and can easily ruin an otherwise glorious day.
So why does it happen?
Why do you occasionally get a horrible, burnt taste from your vape tank?
- The #1 reason your vape tastes burnt is that you have run too much power through the atomizer without priming it first with E Juice.
- Remember: when you install a new coil in your vape tank you need to prime the coil (by dripping some juice onto the cotton) before you fire it for the first time.
- Saturating the cotton ensures it does not burn and this, in turn, will solve 90% of dry hit issues.
I have now lost count of the number of times someone has asked me this question – it is such a common problem.
It’s basically a right of passage for new vapers, a thing we all experience, and it is very common, so have no fear.
This article will run down the main reasons why this happens and provide simple techniques, tips, and guidance on how to fix it.
By the end, you’ll be able to set up your tank properly and you’ll never have to worry about your vape tasting burnt ever again.
Why Does My Vape Taste Burnt – All Possible Causes Detailed
This is the one that catches out nearly ALL new vapers.
You assemble your tank, add some E Juice, and start vaping. But…
Moments later your throat is violated by a disgusting dry-tasting hit – and it is GROSS!
What has happened here? Simple:
1) You Didn’t Prime The Coil Correctly
You DID NOT prime the coils, and this meant the cotton inside the tank’s coil burnt. And this is what creates that horrible burnt taste.
To avoid this you should ALWAYS prime your coil, meaning add some E Juice directly to the cotton inside the coil before assembling the tank.
We have a guide on how to prime mesh coils too, so check that out for more details.
Once you’ve done this, fill the tank up with E Juice and let it sit for a good 10 minutes.
Do this and your coil will be perfectly primed 🙂
Additional Points To Consider:
- Bigger coils (like SMOK’s) will require more priming, as there’s more cotton.
- All coils are different (check YouTube for priming tips)
- Watch for bubbles in the tank – this means the cotton is absorbing the E Juice (and you want it doing this)
- DO NOT rush this process.
Other Causes of Dry Hits Include…
2) Your Coil is Too Old (Or Busted)
If you’ve been vaping a while (anywhere from a few days to two weeks) and your coil, all of a sudden, starts tasting burnt it could mean the coil is dead.
This means you have to replace it with a new, fresh one.
Vape tank coils only last for a certain amount of time; the best might run for a week or so, while the worst (hello, SMOK coils) might burn out after a day or two.
If you’ve primed the current coil correctly, a burnt taste when you vape is a sign you need to switch the coil – if this happens, DO NOT continue to use it.
How long a coil lasts depends on the brand that makes them; SMOK’s latest coils tend to SUCK, while UWELL’s coils for its Valyrian tank are very impressive.
3) Your Vaping With Too Much Power
Most modern box mods – even cheap ones – will output anywhere from 150W to 200W at the top end.
But you 100% DO NOT need to go anywhere near the top end.
Why? Simple: it will (and does) destroy your coils (as well as your E Juice and battery life).
Stick to these three steps to avoid dry hits:
- Even if a coil is advertised as working “best” at 150W, chances are its bunk.
- Start low, way lower than it says, and work your way up to the sweet spot.
- For me, it’s usually anywhere from 70W to 90W.
I’ve vaped ALL kinds of tanks over the years, and I seldom venture over 100W on my mod’s settings. Even with RDAs.
So, yeah… turn your mod turn. It’ll help prevent your vape tasting burnt.
4) You’re Using The Wrong E Juice For Your Tank
This is one that trips up A LOT of people, so take note.
If you’re E Juice contains too much VG or additives, it can (and will) clog up certain types of coils, leading to a burnt taste while vaping.
Beginner vape tanks, or ones with smaller coils, designed for MTL vaping, run much better on higher PG E Juice, as it is thinner and runs through the coil more efficiently.
High VG E Juice, though popular, is only really designed for BIG sub-ohm tanks and rebuildable tanks like RDAs and RTAs.
You can use high VG E Juice in sub-ohm tanks, of course, but certain E Juice brands “gunk” up coils more so than others.
It’s all down to the ingredients.
For instance, I love NAKED 100 E Juice.
But it clogs the hell out of my coils whenever I use it, reducing their life expectancy dramatically.
If you’re interested in E Juices that don’t contain any sweeteners or additives, save for the flavor constitutes, you should definitely check out this helpful list of additive-free E Juices from Reddit.
5) Your Tank’s Coils Suck!
Sometimes – whatever you do – your coils just burn out within a day or two. This is hugely frustrating, especially when you’re new, as it means you have to spend EVEN more money on fresh coils.
Back in the day, it was really common to get entire packs of coils that were duds.
Mercifully, it is no way near as common nowadays.
But it does happen, so if it does, ensure you take your tank back from where you bought it and request a new one.
If in doubt about what sub-ohm tank to get, check out our highest rated sub ohm tanks below – these all have great coil systems.
Can You Reuse Old Coils?
Vape tanks coils can be expensive, especially if they burn out quickly and you have to keep on buying them.
So… the next logical question is this: can you bring old coils back to life?
Actually, you can – but it’s not exactly a simple process.
RIP Trippers has a great video on how to clean SMOK (or any) coils and bring them back from the dead, so you can reuse them in your vape tank.
You can check out the video guide to cleaning vape coils below:
As I said, it’s not exactly an easy process. You have to invest time and money in cleaning products and tools.
Would I do this? Personally, no.
I give a vape tank one chance to impress me. If it doesn’t, I get rid of it.
Coil performance is one the main areas I look to as well; as this is essentially the most important part of a sub-ohm tank.
Over the years, I’ve used A LOT of vape tanks.
And the ones with the best coil performance are always logged for posterity in VapeBeat’s Long Lasting Vape Coils Guide.
Dry Hits on RDA and RTA Tanks
This is where things get a little trickier…
If you’re using an RDA tank, you shouldn’t really get any dry hits – not unless your wick is dried-up.
If this happens, simply squonk and/or drip some more juice onto it. Problem solved!
With RTA tanks, it gets a little more complicated. For a few reasons:
- RTAs can dry hit if they’re not wicked currently
- RTAs can be tricky to wick correctly
- All RTA tanks are different and require different wicking techniques
For this reason, burnt, dry hits are A LOT more common on RTAs than, say, an RDA or RDTA.
In order to avoid them, you first need to get an RTA that is easy to wick and then get your wicking on point.
Our list of the Best RTAs features tanks that are fairly simple to wick, it’s a big ranking factor for us, so please check that post out for more information.
A lot of the time it’s a process of trial and error.
All RTAs are different, so there isn’t really a fix-all explanation for them.
Burnt Taste From Pod Mod Vapes (Like The JUUL)
Again, like a vape tank you NEED to prime the coils – it doesn’t matter that they’re smaller.
They still need to saturate with E Juice before you vape.
Pod mods come in all shapes and sizes, but the vast majority follow a similar priming method:
- Take off the top cap (where the juice goes)
- Fill it up with E Juice
- Let the pod site for 5-10 minutes
- After this period of time, the pod should be fully primed
It is DEADLY important that you do this too. Busted pod mod coils are no good; you cannot bring them back once you burn them.
And if your pod vape only came with one pod – as Suorin’s do – then you need to get it 100% right the first time.
Bottomline? Fill it up with E Juice and then let it sit for 10 minutes.
This way the E Juice will have plenty of time to soak into the coil’s cotton.