If you’re new to vaping, or even if you’ve been vaping a while but still sometimes get a less-than-perfect vape experience, you might be making some vape tank mistakes.
It is true that vaping has come a long way since we first wrote about this more than ten years ago.
Devices are much more user friendly, and you don’t need to have a Master's degree in vaping in order to be able to use them! However, there are still some pitfalls to avoid.
So in this post, we’ll explore some of the most common vape tank mistakes and the simple steps you can take to avoid them.
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned vaper, following these guidelines will ensure a more enjoyable vape and extend the life of your equipment.
Indeed, by the end of this post, you'll know how to avoid leaks, burnt hits, and other frustrating vape tank issues. You'll also understand the importance of proper maintenance and how it can impact the overall quality of your vaping experience.
Let’s get started…
Also see Vaping Mistakes for a more general list of common mistakes.
One common issue is a tank not producing enough (or any!) vapour, or burnt coils.
However, this will usually have nothing to do with the tank itself and more to do with the device you’re pairing it with or using incorrect power settings.
Each vape coil needs a certain amount of power to heat it up and produce vapour.
This is where pairing your tank with the correct device is crucial. If the device does not supply enough power, the coil will not heat up properly.
The opposite is also true – use too much power and the coil will burn out.
The best way to avoid this is by checking the recommended wattage range for each coil. You’ll find this on the packaging and, sometimes, on the coil itself.
You then simply need to make sure to pair your tank with a device that can produce this wattage range, and make sure you keep within these parameters.
Luckily, many mods now have a handy ‘Smart Mode’ option that helps you avoid this altogether.
When activated, Smart Mode in mods such as the Vaporesso Gen 200 and Geekvape E100 will recognise the resistance of the coil you’re using and automatically select the best wattage for that coil and/or restricts you to the recommended range.
Using the correct vape juice for your coil and device is essential to getting the best performance out of your tank.
Vape juice is made up of 2 primary ingredients – Vegetable Glycerine (VG) and Propylene Glycol (PG) – and the ratio of these is what you need to pay attention to. You’ll find this ratio displayed on your e-liquid bottle/packaging displayed as VG:PG XX:XX. For example, a juice that is half VG and half PG is displayed as VG:PG 50:50. For more information about VG:PG ratios, see our in-depth guide.
Vape juice with a higher VG to PG ratio (such as shortfills which usually have a ratio of VG:PG 70:30 and above) are suited to lower-resistance coils as these coils come with wider inlet holes which allow for that thicker juice. These are usually paired with higher-powered devices such as mods and pod mods.
Low-resistance coils work best with high-powered devices. As this produces more vapour, a lower nicotine strength is used. (A high nicotine strength e-liquid which produces a lot of vapour is likely to be too strong for most users.)
Nicotine salts and regular 10ml e-liquids usually have a VG:PG 50:50 ratio or lower, and work best with coils with small wicking holes. Typically (but not always) these coils come with higher resistance and work best with lower-powered devices such as pods and starter kits.
- High VG (e.g VG:PG 70:30 and above) – use with lower-resistance coils & higher-powered device
- Lower VG (e.g VG:PG 50:50) – use with higher-resistance coils & lower-powered device
An incorrectly installed coil can lead to many problems.
Firstly, it may prevent you from being able to connect your tank to your mod.
If the coil is not installed correctly, the mod may not recognize it and will not work. Finally, if the coil isn’t attached tightly enough, it can cause the tank to leak.
For ‘screw-in’ design coils, you need to ensure the coil is properly screwed in and tight to the tank base. (Don’t screw it in too tightly as you’ll have difficulty removing it later!)
Tanks that use ‘push-fit’ coils (such as the Vaporesso iTank 2) are becoming the norm nowadays, making coil installation easier and more mistake-proof than ever. When installing a push-fit coil, you just need to ensure it is fully inserted into the tank as far as it will go.
As the tank is the part of your vape kit that holds the e-liquid and produces vapour, it’s essential to make sure it is filled correctly.
Not filling the tank enough (or letting your e-liquid levels drop too low) means your coil won’t be sufficiently saturated – leading to ‘dry hits’ and burnt coils.
On the other hand, while it’s tempting to fill your tank all the way to the top, this can also lead to a flooded coil and pesky spit back.
Avoid both of these issues by filling your tank to roughly 90%. This is enough to cover and saturate the coil without leading to the problems caused by overfilling.
Many tanks, such as that on the Aspire PockeX, also come with a handy minimum and/or maximum indicator displayed on them, so look out for this.
You’ve installed your coil, filled your tank and now you’re ready to vape! BUT, you’ll need to be patient, as powering up your device too soon can lead to a burnt/wasted coil and a seriously unpleasant taste.
To avoid this, it’s important to leave the coil to soak in the e-liquid for a few minutes (we’d recommend between 5 – 10) to ensure it’s fully saturated before you use your device.
See our Guide to Priming Coils for more information.
While it’s important to make sure your coil is tight inside your tank and the tank is securely connected to a mod, you don’t want it to be too tight!
Not only can overtightening make it difficult to remove and detach the coils and tank later on but it can also cause damage to the threads.
The solution here is to screw in the tank/coil to the point where it is secure then stop and not force it any further. You should then be able to unscrew the tank or coil easily when you need to remove them.
It may not be obvious, but how you store your tank can also affect its performance.
Keeping your tank upright is important because leaving it on its side can cause leakage and dry out the coil. If the mod your tank is connected to needs to be laid down when charging, it’s best to disconnect them and keep the tank upright in the meantime.
Another issue is where you store your tank.
Avoid leaving it in direct sunlight for too long as this can lead to overheating and leaking. Direct sunlight can also cause coils to burn out more quickly because they take longer to cool down in the extra heat. If there’s vape juice in the tank, too much direct sunlight can also affect the flavour.
For best results, it’s best to keep your tank upright and in a cool, shaded area.
On a related note, it’s also important to empty your tank when flying.
On a plane, the pressure changes as you reach higher altitudes. This can cause the e-liquid to leak out of the tank.
I’ve forgotten to do this myself, and have reached for my first drag after hours of flying only to find the tank completely empty!
If you notice your coils burning out prematurely, the length of your inhales may be a factor. While it’s tempting to take extra long puffs, this can damage the coil and shorten its life. This is especially true of lower-resistance coils which require high wattages.
Sticking to shorter inhales will help prolong coil life – saving money, reducing waste and avoiding a burnt flavour.
Some e-liquids are sweetened with additives such as sucralose, which can leave a residue on the coil and cause it to burn out more quickly.
It’s best to avoid sweetened e-liquids if you want to prolong the life of your coil. If you do use very sweet e-liquid, choose a device that works well with them. For example, we find the Vaporesso Xros 3 with a 0.6Ω coil works better with Bar Salts than other devices. (Strictly speaking, this is a pod rather than a tank!)
If you don’t regularly clean your vape tank you may notice your vape juice doesn’t taste quite as good as it once did. This is because e-liquid leaves a sticky residue that, if left to build up inside the tank, can affect the flavour produced.
This is also true if you use different flavours in the same tank without cleaning it in between. Droplets of previous flavours can mix with the new e-liquid and affect its taste.
The obvious solution here is to regularly clean your tank!
Simply empty the tank and remove the coil, take it apart and wash the pod with warm (not hot) water. (While you’re there you can also take the opportunity to clean the connections with a cotton bud too.)
After cleaning, allow the tank to dry completely before using it again. Depending on the climate, this may take 24 hours or more. This will ensure it dries out completely.
When the tank has dried, put it back together and you should find a great improvement in flavour.
Also see: How To Change Flavours in Your Vape Tank.
One of the dangers of putting troubleshooting guides like this together is that it can make vaping seem more complicated than it is.
In reality, vaping is a lot simpler and easier than it used to be (and vape devices are a lot better too!)
If you’re using a modern device, by taking a few simple steps such as allowing e-liquid to soak before using it and avoiding ultra-long puffs you can avoid most potential problems.
So whether you’re a seasoned vaper or just starting out, we encourage you to take the time to learn about your vape tank and device.
You’ll enjoy better flavour and longer-lasting equipment and have the satisfaction of knowing you’re getting the most out of your vape tank.
Your taste buds (and wallet) will thank you!