Having problems with your vape?
You’re not alone.
So I sat down with our customer services team and brainstormed the most common problems users have – and the best solutions for them.
Some of these are basic tips – but one is a tip I hadn’t heard of until I discussed it with our team.
By nature, this is a very general post, so you’ll find links throughout to far more in-depth posts.
1. Not getting enough of a nicotine hit
i. Nicotine level is too low
Electronic cigarettes deliver nicotine more slowly than cigarettes. The good news is that some scientists believe that because of this, ecigarettes are less addictive than tobacco cigarettes (see: Why everything they told you about nicotine addiction could be wrong).
On the negative side, you may need a higher level of nicotine in your e-liquid to get the same effect as a cigarette, so try switching to a stronger e-liquid.
ii. Using a weak device
The device makes a difference! In fact, one mod I used nearly blew my head off even when I was using a fairly weak e-liquid.
If you’re using a basic tank, a good step up is the Jac Vapour S22 kit. This has a reasonably powerful battery and provides a good vape. You can also increase the amount of vapour with a simple change of the coil.
If you want something with a bit more oomph, you might want to try out the Coolfire Ingot. The latest in the popular Coolfire range, this produces up to 50 watts of power, and works well with the Aspire Nautilus 2.
At the other end of the scale (but not suited for beginners!), the Aspire Sky Star Revvo kit provides 220 watts of power and produces absolutely tonnes of vapour!
iii. Using the device incorrectly
If you are new to e-cigarettes, you may simply not be using the device correctly.
Most tobacco cigarette smokers draw short drags straight to their lungs.
Vapers, however, tend to take a long drag into their mouths, and then draw it into their lungs, as shown in the video below:
We find taking long, very gentle drags produces the most vapour and the best throat hit.
According to early research by Dr Murray Laugesen of Health New Zealand, nicotine from vapour is absorbed in the airway passages, not the lungs.
Perhaps that’s why you you need to take long slow drags rather than the short sharp intakes you would with a cigarettes.
But what if you are used to taking very large very quick drags? Then you’re probably better of with sub-ohm tanks, which have much more airflow and may be better suited.
iv. Weak Battery
- Your battery may simply just be running out of power. Try switching to a fully charged battery and see if it makes a difference.
- If you are using a variable volt/power battery, try turning up the power.
- Check your coil. If you are using a coil with a low resistance (measured in ohms) you will need more power. You may need a more powerful battery, or you could try a coil with a lower resistance.
For more information see our Guide to E-Cigarette Batteries.
v. Tank Issues
Your tank may need a new coil, or it may be flooded. See below for the solutions!
2. Not getting enough of a throat hit
i. Using the wrong e-liquid
All e-liquids maintain a balance between throat hit and vapour production. The exact throat hit/vapour production depends on the ratio of propylene glycol (PG) to vegetable glycerine (VG).
This usually displayed on the label as a ratio e.g. 60/40 (60%PG, 40%VG) or as a single percentage.
Propylene glycol (PG) leads to a greater throat hit, while vegetable glycerine (VG) leads to greater vapour production.
If the throat hit is too weak, you may need an e-liquid with more PG (propylene glycol), such as Halo E-liquid. If it is too strong you may need an e-liquid with more VG (vegetable glycerine).
ii. Using the wrong device (again!)
Again, some devices produce a stronger throat hit than others.
Tank systems (also known as second generation ecigarettes and are the ones that take e-liquid) generally produce more throat hit than cigalikes (ecigs which closely resemble traditional tobacco cigarettes).
Grab a tank system with variable wattage, ramp the wattage up and you should get more of a throat hit.
iii. Flooded tank
Alternatively, your tank may be flooded – see gurgling ecigarette below for solutions!
3. Not getting enough vapour
i. PG/VG Ratio
Again, the PG/VG ratio may not be quite right for you! Using an e-liquid with more VG may increase vapour production.
ii. Use a More Powerful Device
This is starting to sound repetitive 😉 But the more powerful the battery you are using, the more vapour you are going to get from it.
4. Battery Not Working
i. Is the battery turned on?
If you are using a manual battery, click it 6 times or 3 times (depending on the type you are using) to make sure it is turned on. The light on the button should flash when either being turn on or off.
A basic tip, but one we find many new users are not aware of!
ii. Connection issues
The issue could be the connection between your battery and your tank. Ensure that the battery terminal and end of your tank are clean. Using a cotton bud is sufficient enough, although you will find more detailed steps in our tank and battery articles.
If these steps don’t work, check out the battery troubleshooting guide on our Ultimate Guide to Ecig Batteries.
5. Leaking Tank
i. Is the tank fitted correctly?
The best way to fit your tank is to give it a half turn anti-clockwise till you hear a click, then screw it on clockwise till it is firmly attached. This avoids mis-threading the tank.
Check out the video below for detailed steps:
ii. Using a Bad Tank
If the problem is repeating itself, you may simply need to change the brand of tank you are using. For more troubleshooting tips, see 13 Tips For Fixing a Leaking Tank.
6. Getting a burnt taste
i. Using the tank straight after filling
Have you let your e-liquid soak in? Most tanks should be left for five minutes or so to allow the e-liquid to soak into the wick and atomiser. If you haven’t done this, you will probably get a horrible burnt taste!
It’s also a good idea (and essential with sub-ohm coils) to prime the coil first.
To do this, simply drip a few drops of e-liquid directly onto the coil and into the any air-holes in the coil.
ii. Time to Change the Coil!
Atomisers (that’s the part that heats up the e-liquid) don’t last for ever. Depending on the device you have, you may be able to replace the coil (see video below).
If not, you will need a replacement cartridge or tank. The life of your coil varies depending on the ohms you are using as well as how frequently you use your e-cig, but you probably want to change the coil at least once a month.
Tip: The longer you hold down the button, the quicker the coil will burn out. Its best to give your e-cig a few seconds break between each puff.
iii. Insufficient E-liquid
Atomisers will usually have little holes which soak in the e-liquid from the tank. Try to always make sure there is enough liquid in the tank to cover these holes and ensure the atomiser doesn’t dry too much.
For more tips see 7 Easy Ways to Stop Your Coil From Burning.
7. Not tasting the e-liquid
A tip which I picked up while researching this article is to gently blow back through the tank (don’t blow too hard or you will get e-liquid into the center tube, leading to flooding issues.) This works surprising well at releasing flavour.
Alternatively, you may have the dreaded vaper’s tongue! This can be usually solved by changing the e-liquid you are using.
If this doesn’t work, check our out Vaper’s Tongue: What is it, What Causes it, and How To Cure It, which includes a description of the problem, possible causes and 9 solutions to try out.
8. Getting a dry/sore throat
The propylene glycol in e-liquid can cause a dry/sore throat. 90% of people find that a drink of water is enough to cure it, but a very few amount of people may need to switch to a vegetable glycerine (VG) based e-liquid.
9. Gurgling noises
If you get a gurgling noise, when you are using your electronic cigarette, you probably have a flooded tank. Possible causes include:
- shaking the tank too much or too vigorously
- blowing too hard down the top of the tank
- inhaling too hard from the tank
- overfilling the tank (which will flood the centre tube)
- cross threading the tank (always give a half turn anti-clockwise first to ensure correct threading)
- screwing the tank on to the battery too loosely or too tightly
- overfilling the tank (which will flood the center tube)
The best solution is to clean the tank.
Take the tank apart if possible, and run it under hot but not boiling water. Leave for at least 24 hours to dry, or place in rice. (Some people go the full hog and use an ultra-sonic jewellery cleaner!)
10. Charger Not Working
i. Are you using the right charger?
We have found that many problems are caused by using the wrong charger. In particular, iPhone chargers are really not suitable for vape mods and batteries. If you’re having problems, try using a Veho plug and AnyVape USB charging cable.
ii. Are the terminals clean?
As mentioned under batteries, also make sure that the charger and battery terminals are clean – if not, clean them with a cotton bud.
Also remember that electronic cigarette batteries are not designed to be used with tablet or phone chargers (again, electronic cigarette batteries should only ever be charged using the charger provided).
iii. Are the terminals touching?
Sometimes it’s possible for the charging terminals to be pushed in and not make proper contact.
11. Losing your ecig
Okay, we said ten common problems – consider this a bonus point!
Ecigs are easy to lose and, if you’re like me, sofas, beds and car seats pose a major challenge 😉
If you still have a problem with your device or your experience, please feel free to visit one of our shops. Our staff are knowledgable and always strive to be as helpful as possible.
Spitback, in vaping parlance, is when your tank spits back a little bit of hot e-liquid. If you get a little pop when you first fire up your vape, you’ll know what we are talking about.
You can read more about spitback and its causes here, but essentially its an easy problem to solve. Simply point your vape away from you when you first fire it up!
What common problems do you have? Let us know in the comments!
E-Cig Problems & Solutions: Downloadable Cheat Sheet
Get our best advice in a compact, printable guide to help you easily solve common e-cig problems!