One of the best aspects of vaping is that it tastes great – at least, it’s supposed to taste great. It’s a major problem, then, if you’re experiencing a burnt flavor when you vape. That’s especially the case if you’re new to vaping and haven’t experienced anything other than a burnt flavor. If you’re new to vaping, you might assume that the burnt taste is completely normal. Cigarettes burn, after all; why shouldn’t a vaporizer?
The first thing you need to know about a burnt taste when vaping is that it’s definitely not normal, and the second thing you need to know is that a burnt taste is usually quite easy to fix once you’ve diagnosed the cause of the problem. In this article, that’s what we’re going to help you do. It’s usually a fairly simple matter to figure out why your vape tastes burnt based on the circumstances. So, when did you first notice the burnt flavor?
Vape Tastes Burnt With a New Coil
We’ll begin with an explanation of what you should do if your vape tastes burnt starting from your first puff with a new coil or a new vaping device. The most likely explanation in this case is that you filled the tank and started vaping without first priming the coil properly. Most vape coils use cotton wicks, and dry cotton doesn’t absorb liquid quickly; you have to give it a little time. If you don’t make sure that the wick is completely wet before you begin vaping, the heat of your device’s atomizer coil can burn the cotton. If the cotton burns, the coil will produce a burned flavor forever.
Priming a vape coil essentially forces e-liquid into the cotton before you install the coil, helping to ensure that the wick will have no dry spots when you begin vaping. Learn how to prime a coil now. After installing the coil and filling the tank, wait several minutes before vaping. When you do begin vaping, set your vaping device to a low wattage and ramp it up slowly. Even if your coil is properly primed, you can still burn the wick by pushing the wattage too high.
Vape Tastes Burnt With a Small Pod System or Vape Pen
Are you using an ultra-portable vaping device such as a small vape pen or a pod system? If you are, you need to choose your e-liquid carefully because your device’s atomizer coil has small wick openings and is designed to accommodate thinner e-liquids such as nicotine salt e-juice. Many of the e-liquids that ship in large bottles, on the other hand, are thicker and are designed to work with atomizer coils that have very large wick openings.
So, why does the viscosity of your vape juice matter? It matters because a thick e-liquid has trouble flowing through small wick openings. If the wick in your vaping device has trouble absorbing e-liquid, you’ll randomly experience harsh “dry hits” because your wick will be dry when you try to vape. These are the three signs that your e-liquid is probably too thick for your vaping device.
- The burnt flavor seems to appear randomly. You’ll get a few good hits in a row, and the next one will be burned.
- You find yourself puffing very hard on your device in an attempt to get a satisfying hit. The extra-hard puffing may also cause your device to gurgle occasionally.
- You find that you generally can get a good hit out of your device if you wait a long time between puffs. That’s because waiting a while gives the thick e-liquid time to flow through the device’s small openings and saturate the wick.
If the above statements sound similar to your situation, you should try an e-liquid with a lower VG/PG ratio. Try a 50/50 ratio, which should work well with most of the vaping devices on the market.
Vape Tastes Burnt With No Warning
Regardless of what type of vaping device you use, it’s possible for your pod or tank to suddenly – and permanently – give you a burnt flavor with seemingly no warning. When this happens, it’s nearly always because the wick is burned. If you’re vaping at a low enough wattage, you might actually get a warning before that happens; you’ll get a puff of vapor that seems almost “dry,” as if it has less flavor than a normal puff. If you keep going after that point, you’ll experience a burnt flavor. So, what’s happening here? These are the three most likely reasons why you’ve suddenly burned your wick.
- You’re chain vaping – puffing on your device constantly without ever giving the wick a moment to absorb more e-liquid from the tank. Eventually, you take a puff – and the wick is completely dry, so it burns.
- You’re vaping at too high a wattage, and the coil is getting so hot that it vaporizes all of the e-liquid in the wick almost instantly, leaving it dry.
- You’re vaping with a tank that’s empty or nearly empty. If the e-liquid in the tank doesn’t cover the coil’s wick openings, the wick can’t work efficiently. Keep your tank topped up.
Vape Tastes Burnt After a Gradual Change in Flavor
In some cases, it’s possible for a vape coil to produce a burnt flavor that appears gradually. When you first begin using a new coil, the flavor is great. As you use the coil, though, the flavor begins to change. At first, the sweetness in your vape juice starts to become more concentrated. Some of the flavor notes in the e-liquid become difficult to taste because those notes are overwhelmed by the exaggerated sweetness. As you continue vaping, the sweetness changes into a slightly smoky caramel-like flavor. After a while longer, you start to notice a slightly irritating tingle in the back of your throat. Finally, you notice an unpleasant burnt flavor even when your tank is completely full. The problem that you’re experiencing in this case isn’t a burned wick; it’s coil gunk.
If you’re getting a burnt taste because of coil gunk, that’s very easy to confirm just by looking at the coil when you remove it from your tank. When you look through the top of the coil, you’ll see that it’s completely black. You have two options for dealing with coil gunk. You can consign yourself to replacing your coils frequently, or you can switch to an unsweetened e-liquid for better coil life.
Vape Tastes Burnt With an RDA
If you get a burnt taste when using a rebuildable dripping atomizer (RDA), we’ve got good news for you. Since you can always remove the RDA’s cap and take a look at the coil, it’s very easy to figure out what’s going on. Follow these simple steps to diagnose the problem.
- Is the coil covered with black, slimy stuff? You’ve got coil gunk. It’s time to rebuild the coil. As we mentioned above, you’ll get better coil life if you use unsweetened e-liquid.
- Is the cotton dry? You’re probably not adding e-liquid to the RDA as often as you should. When you use an RDA, you need to drip more e-liquid through the RDA’s mouthpiece after every few puffs. If the wick is burned, you’ll need to replace it.
- If the cotton is wet and the coil isn’t covered with gunk, it’s possible that the coil has a hot spot. Add some e-liquid and press your device’s fire button in brief pulses. Does the coil have a section that glows red? If so, the coil has a hot spot. Either you didn’t use enough cotton when adding the wick to the coil, or you need to adjust the coil with a pair of ceramic tweezers to eliminate the hot spot. If all else fails, discard the coil and build another one.
Vape Tastes Burnt With an RTA
If you get a burnt flavor when vaping with a rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA), all of the tips in the article apply to you. There is, however, one additional tip that we can provide for your special case. When you use an RTA – or any sub-ohm tank with a rebuildable coil deck – the coil is enclosed in a metal case. The metal case, with its wick openings, is what controls the flow of e-liquid from the tank to the coil and prevents the tank from leaking.
The challenge of using an RTA, though, is that you can’t see what’s going on with the coil once you’ve put the cap on and filled the tank. If you make an error when building the coil – perhaps you’ve forgotten to trim one of the leads, for instance – you could end up with a situation where part of the coil is actually touching the metal case. Sometimes, your device will identify that as a short circuit, so you’ll immediately know that there’s a problem.
In other cases, though, the device will simply read the coil as having an extremely low resistance, and it’ll try to fire the coil. You’ll get a terrible burned taste when that happens and will need to disassemble the coil to find out what’s going on. If you use an RTA, it can be extremely helpful to have a standalone resistance meter. After building the coil and assembling the tank, test the resistance before filling the tank. If the resistance isn’t within the expected range, there’s probably improper metal-on-metal contact within the coil assembly.