Changing Coils

Welcome all, to another Throwback Thursday. Today, we will be discussing changing the coils of your tank. Why its important, how to do it, and how often you should.

IClear coilIClear 30 coilNaut Coil

The coil assembly is the primary disposable component on most stock tanks. Its a replaceable component affixes to the base (in bottom coil tanks), or the top of the chimney assembly (in top coil tanks). The coil is characterized by the atomizer (the coil of wire inside), and wicks (which may be visible, or concealed within the coil). The wicks draw liquid within the tank to the atomizer, and the atomizer heats up and vaporizes the liquid. This is the heart and soul of your personal vaporizer.

The coil assembly has a limited lifespan, due to the nature of the assembly. They need to be replaced regularly in order to maintain an optimal vaping experience. The resistive wire that is used to make the coil heats up and cools down quickly. This inherent usage accelerates oxidation, meaning that the coil will break down over time. The wick is generally made of silica, which will also begin to break down under the heat over time. Additionally, sediments that may be present in the liquid may begin to build up on the wick causing an off taste to develop. This may be more prevalent with the usage of darker liquids, as they contain more sediments. It is because of these reasons that the coil should be changed once every one to two weeks.

You can see the difference when you remove a fresh coil from it’s package, and compare it to the used coil in your tank. A brand new coil will be crisp and clean, and the wick is usually bright white. A used coil will have a darker wick, there will be no metallic sheen on the resistive wire (it may even have a black color), and the new coil will be devoid of liquid. Unthread the coil from your tank (generally counter-clockwise) and thread the new one in (generally clockwise). Once the new coil is installed, fill the tank with your liquid of choice, and let the wicks in the coil get saturated before use. You can accelerate this process by gently drawing air through the tank without firing the battery. Five to Ten pulls should be enough to prime the wicks properly. Alternatively, let the tank sit for five to ten minutes while the liquid saturates the wicks. Once the wicks are fully saturated, then you’re ready to vape.

The one to two week rule is a general recommendation. The life of a coil may vary, depending on usage. You may have a coil that lasts you a month without having any issues, or you may have a coil that only lasts you for three days. It depends on the manufacturer, the darkness of the liquid, the quality of the hardware, how powerful the battery is, and your overall vape habits. You will know when it’s time to replace the coil when you notice a change in the quality of your vapor. A bad coil may not produce as much vapor as it once did, or it may produce an unpleasant flavor. Replace your coils, as needed, and you will be able to avoid this bad experience.

Most manufacturers use proprietary coils. This means that coils will generally not work from one manufacturer to another. Example: Kanger Protank coils will not function in an Aspire Nautilus Mini. Many manufacturers also produce widely different styles of tanks, so you will need to make sure that the coils you purchase are suited to the style of tank as well. The Aspire ETS-BDC, for example, uses different coils than the Aspire Nautilus. So you will need to make sure that you use the right coils for the job.

We hope that you enjoyed this Throwback Thursday’s info. Do you have a preferred style of coil? Know a way to help prolong coil life? Let us know in the comments below!

Vape on!

By Kyle Chapman


Tim Mechling

Tim is Mt Baker Vapor's resident creative weirdo. He writes, composes music, draws, designs, produces podcasts, investigates, and blows the trumpet for the Common Man.

  • Matthew says:

    I am new to vaping. I have a Matrix tank. I’ve been using it regularly for the past week and a half. It is starting to get very harsh on my lungs. Does that mean that I should replace the coil?

  • carl says:

    I have a smok micro one starter kit and it keeps telling me new coil up same down, I changed my coil and it still says it. What is wrong with it?

    • John Swanke says:

      I’m not really sure I understand the issue here. Could you please elaborate on what “up same down” is? Check to make sure your connections are clean. You could also maybe have received a bad coil.

    • Jaromie_shrew says:

      When you install a new coil on a smok it will ask you that. If its a new coil you push up, if its not then you push down. The mod has presets for new coils for break in settings.

  • Chris M. says:

    I’ll start by saying that I’ve only been vaping for right at a week and have done tons of homework on it. Still have some questions though. I have a Jomo BGO 40w sub-ohm vape. I’ve had it for maybe a week and I’ve already had to replace the coil twice. The first coil was not primed properly. The woman in the shop didn’t explain anything to me and she’s the one who neglected to prime it. The wick in the second coil turned black in just over 24 hours with a slight metalic taste to the vapor… I only went through one tank of juice (clear I might add), made sure to prime it properly too. I keep the tank, mouthpiece, and vent pristine. So what happened? I have a new coil in now and it’s holding up. Also, what is the deal with people saying you can clean the coil with rubbing alcohol and reuse them?

    • John Swanke says:

      It is possible you had received some dud coils. Every once in awhile I notice I get a bad coil in my pack, it’s unfortunate, but it does happen. Also, certain juices will gunk up and ruin coils faster than others. In regards to cleaning, I know some people do this, but I still find it easier and more cost effective to build your own coils. When cleaning with rubbing alcohol or whatever your solution may be, make sure it is completely removed and the coil is dry before you begin vaping. You do not want to be vaping any leftover amount of alcohol.

  • Chris M. says:

    I made absolutely sure to check them before I put them in the case. They were all good. I think it may not be because they were duds or the frequency of use but because I take long pulls when I use it. I’ve read about other people having that issue. I’ve also looked into making my own coils but I don’t understand that mechanics of the process. As far as cleaning goes, I rinse them VERY thoroughly and let them dry. Anyways, thank you plenty for the input and I would very much appreciate any further opinions and information on the matter.

  • Chris M. says:

    Thanks for the video link. It was really informative. Unfortunately, my rig is different from the one in the video. Still, now I know how to make my own coils. I just need to get some kanthal wire and an ohm meter. My Jomo tank takes those disposable coils. However, I was able to reverse engineer the first one that burned out and figured out how it works. The coil itself was actually still in really good condition! The wick… Not so much. Good news is that I can reuse these until the coils are no good. All I have to do is replace the wicks, which my brother-in-law taught me how to do. So I think I’m all set now. Onward to crafting my own juices! Thanks plenty for your help and, of course, if you can offer advice on making my own e-liquids, I’m open to any knowledge you may have.

    • John Swanke says:

      Sounds like you’ve really got things figured out there! I’m not sure what advice I can offer up on mixing your own juice. The biggest thing I tell people is to always error on the side of less flavor to start. You can always add more if you need it, but once you put too much in it’s hard to take it back. Cheers, and best of luck to you in the coming year!

  • Dylan says:

    When it says same coil down new up that means press down button as in the button you use to turn the wattage down with or up for new

  • Chris M. says:

    Me again. Trying to figure out how to reach 0.5 ohms with my 40w rig. I’m using 27 gauge A1 kanthal. I ordered my ohm meter but it hasn’t arrived yet. I’m getting rather frustrated because two out of five of my previous coils have broken and the remaining three are probably not going to last much longer either. Also, is it possible to use a multimeter to measure resistance on a coil I make? Please and thank you.

  • Chris M. says:

    Well, I found that an approximated 3.5 wraps on a 2 inch length of wire at a diameter of 2 mm yields in the neighborhood of .9 to .7 ohms. Now the issue is in the wick for such a small coil… Too much juice is being pulled through with minimal vapor production. I’m going to simply cut my losses and buy a lower gauge kanthal. It’s only so difficult because my mod is nonvariable. It has a built in regulator that keeps it at a constant 40 watts… Anyways, any advice on the matter of wire gauge, wattage, and resistance would be greatly appreciated as I’m now down to only two good coils and would very much like to avoid spending another $22 for only five replacements. Keep in mind that I’m working with a fixed 40 watts. Please and thank you.

  • Chris M. says:

    Yeah… I have a Jomo Tank that only Jomotech coils/wicks can fit into. Really obscure rig that is apparently made in China and is about 2/3 cheaper than what I paid for it. Either way, I’ve found a way around the cooling issue. I’m using 27 awg kanthal a1 wire in a device that is at a fixed 40 watts. When I made my coils the same as the ones I bought with the rig I had a resistance of 1.2 ohms. Well, I feel like a moron for not thinking of this before, but I can simply twist two strands of the wire together this lowering resistance by half and can modulate that yield by adjusting the length and testing it on my ohm reader. Longer wire = higher resistance. Likewise, thinner wire = higher resistance. I feel like a total rube for not remembering all this sooner. I mean… I was in advanced placement conceptual physics in high school and aced it. Either way, thanks for all the help I’ve received thus far.

  • Chris M. says:

    Oh! To answer your question about those Jomotech coils; the only physical locale near me that carries them is the store from which I bought my rig. Blue Smoke in the Oglethorpe Mall in Savannah Georgia. Also, as I stated before, they sell the rig for almost three times it’s actual worth. I could have gotten a decent Coolfire IV for the same price and would have been able to adjust my watts. The only sites that I found before deciding to just make my own coils sell them for around the same price plus shipping. So… I like the choice I’ve made. Cheaper in the long run. Cheers!

  • Areli says:

    Why does my vape pen get really hot when I’m using it ? Not the battery part but the top part?

  • r says:

    i just recently got my mod its a kbox mini and just today when I hit it it tastes like rubber and just gross nothing is melting I already check. i figured it would be the juice so i switched juices but its still the same taste just not as bad. is it because the coil is burnt?

    • Josh Hanna says:

      It might just be time for a new coil. It can also be correlated to what wattage setting is being used with the ohms resistance of the coil, if a sweeter ejuice or a dark colored ejuice is being used, and more. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact our friendly Customer Service Team at support@mtbakervapor.com!

  • JESSE says:

    Hi I’m also new to vaping.

    If I wanna switch out to a coil that was previously used, do I need to prime it again?

    • Corey G says:

      Priming your coil wouldn’t hurt. I would suggest adding your e-juice, restrict your airflow, and suck for a bit without firing until you start tasting a bit of flavor. Should be ready to go after that!

  • Jeffrey Valerio says:

    Hello everyone,

    I have a joytech eqrib 2 mod.

    The kit came with a rebuildable .5 ohm coil burning at 25 watts. After 2 weeks of vaping I’ve been ‘cleaning’ the coil by taking apart the coil and running it under water to esnsure that the cotton is back to it’s original white color. The coil wire is black even after running it through water. I’ve been doing this for 2 months now and no change in taste, or vapor production.

    Anyone have any thoughts on this?

  • akanac says:

    Hi everyone,

    i’m using avocado special edition 22mm. when i use it, i can feel the coil taste? anyone one what is the problem? even i change new coil , cotton and clean it , i can still feel the coil and juice taste.

    wire i used khantal A1 24mm and alien wire 26mm both still the same. Normal setting Watt. 30-40 watt.

  • Nolen says:

    I ha e a vape and it keeps sucking juice to the top. Is there something that needs replaced?

    • Corey Gefroh says:

      If you are sucking juice, changing the coil may help. This is normally caused by excess saturation of the cotton which could also be caused by faulty rubber o-ring. Next time you change your coil, clean out your whole tank with the coil off to remove any possible build up. Hope this helps!

  • Emma says:

    I change my coil today but every time I try to vape it asks me to change my coil and I’m not sure what to do

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