Priming is a skill that every vape enthusiast should learn. It doesn’t matter if you’re just getting started with vaping or if you’ve been vaping for several years now. It’s a skill that’s important to learn no matter what vaping device you use. Priming can help ensure that the heating element and e-juice delivery system of the vaping device gets properly prepared prior to use.  

A new coil or tank usually doesn’t have any e-juice in it. The only ones with e-juice in them upon purchase are pre-filled tanks. If you have a new coil or tank, the cotton wick is completely dry.

What are the benefits of priming coils?

There are several reasons why you should prime your coils before using them. The most practical reason is so you can save money. When a coil is not properly primed, the coil will burn not just itself but the wick in your device. Wicks are often made of cotton and can easily burn if they are not fully saturated with e-juice. This means that you will need to replace them unless you want to have burnt-tasting hits. The coils themselves will eventually burn if you continue using them unprimed.

It’s the same thing that happens when you have a candle with an extra long wick. The long wick of a candle will eventually burn down until you have just enough wick to maintain a flame while staying in contact with the wax. In the end, no matter how long the wick of a candle is, it will just go to waste since you will still have just the right length for your use. This is the same principle with a vaping device, the wick that is not soaked with e-juice will just burn off. You’ll be wasting a perfectly good wick.

The second reason for priming a coil is something that I already mentioned earlier.  Not priming your coils can result in a burnt taste. Vaping is an enjoyable activity and you won’t enjoy having a burnt taste in your mouth. A burnt wick will result in an unpleasant taste until such time that you decide to replace the entire coil head. Yes, even priming the coil afterward will still deliver a burnt taste. Even using an e-juice with intense flavor cannot overcome the aftertaste that results from the use of a burnt wick and coil.

If you used to smoke cigarettes, it’s the same taste that you get when you smoke your cigarette down to the cigarette butt and the butt material starts burning. It’s an awful taste that makes you want to gag.

How do I prime my coils?

Priming your coils is easy. You just have to follow some easy steps. These steps are so easy that even if you are new to vaping you shouldn’t have any problem following them.

  1. Attach a new coil
  2. Saturate your wicking material with e-juice
  3. Take some dry hits
  4. Break-in your coils

Attach a new coil

This is a step if you’re replacing an old coil. If you are priming a new tank, then this is a step that you can skip since a new tank will have pre-installed coils. Just remove the old coil and properly dispose of it. You now have to screw the replacement coil in place. There are different ways of screwing a new coil in place and it can vary from one device to another. Just follow the instructions on your vaping device on how to screw a new coil in place.

You need to screw the replacement coil in place prior to saturating your wick. This will help in ensuring that you won’t get any e-juice on your fingers. If you screw the replacement coils in place after you’ve saturated your wick with e-juice, you increase the likelihood of getting e-juice on your fingers. In short, you won’t be making a mess if you screw in your replacement coils prior to saturating your wick.

Saturate your wicking material with e-juice

Now that you have your coils in place, you need to look for the juice holes on the body of the atomizer head. This is the part where the wick makes contact with the e-juice. Coils have different designs. Some coils have cotton sticking out of the holes. Others have the wick behind them. The design of the coils has no effect on your wick. They will all have the wicking material exposed so you can easily spot them.

All that you need to do is to add a single drop of e-juice in each of the holes. Some vapers use just one of the holes to apply e-juice. It is possible to do that although we recommend using one drop per hole. This is so you can make sure that you’re saturating the wick uniformly. Applying e-juice from just one side can leave some parts of the wick unsaturated.

Now that you have saturated the wick with e-juice, you need to saturate the cotton. The amount of e-juice that you will need to completely saturate the wicking material will depend on the atomizer that you have. If you’re using small atomizer coils, you can saturate it with just a couple of drops of e-juice.

For bigger atomizer coils though, you might need around 4 or 5 drops of e-juice. The best way to do this is by applying one drop at a time. Observe the wicking materials after each drop. This is to check if you need to add more e-juice. It is also a good way of avoiding oversaturating your wicking material. If you use too much e-juice, you will end up flooding your materials. This means that there will be excess e-juice that might get into your mouth when you use it. You’re just trying to saturate the cotton; you’re not trying to drown the coils in e-juice.

Take some dry hits

Now that your coils and wicking materials got primed, you need to take a few dry hits. Around 5 dry hits should be enough. A dry hit is when you take a drag on your vaping device without using the firing button. If your vaping device has an airflow adjustment valve, you need to tighten it. Use your hand to cover the air intake holes. Once you have the airflow holes covered, take around 5 normal drags from your device. What you’re trying to do is making sure that the e-juice in your tank gets sucked into the cotton. Just be careful not to make your drags too strong or too deep since you might accidentally flood your coil with e-juice.

Break-in your coils

The last step in priming your vape coils is to break them in. Metal – like your coils – expands when heated and contracts when cooled. To break in your coils, start vaping using low wattage. You need to use a wattage that is lower than what you’re used to. Take a few hits and then gradually increase the wattage. Simply repeat the process until you reach your normal vaping wattage. When you have new coils, it is also important to take short hits during the first few times. This is a way of preventing the coils from getting too hot during break-in.

Priming refillable pods

If you’re using refillable pod systems, they are even easier to prime. Most refillable pods don’t have any e-juice in them upon purchase. Just fill the pod with e-juice. Leave the pod for around 10 to 15 minutes so it can properly saturate.

Take a couple of hits from the pod without the use of the battery. What you’re trying to accomplish is pushing some e-juice into the wicking channels. This can also help prevent dry hits.

Your initial hits should be short and not too deep. This will help break in some of the smaller coils. Taking hits that are too long or deep without completely saturating the wick can result in a burnt hit. This is equivalent of gradually adjusting the vaping wattage when you’re using a mod with adjustable power.

What is the difference between a dry hit and a burnt hit?

If you’re confused between these two terms, you’re not alone. Most vapers use these two terms interchangeably. Like what we mentioned above, dry hits are when you take a drag on your vaping device without activating your battery through the firing button. You can also experience a dry hit if you use your device’s firing button when the wick of your coil dried up. Taking a dry hit will result in less vapor. The vapor produced will also have less flavor.

If you continue vaping even after getting a dry hit, you’ll end up getting a burn hit. Burn hits occur when you activate the firing button even when you have no e-juice on your wick. Since there is no e-juice left to vaporize, your coils will then start to burn your wicks. Without any e-juice left, you’re vaping burnt cotton. Unlike dry hits that just don’t have enough flavor, burnt hits can result in coughing fits. This is because of the nasty taste that seems to coat your mouth and the back of the tongue.