If you are a long-time vaper, you have probably experienced the ‘spit back’ problem; you are sitting somewhere, ready to inhale, and then a nasty surprise, the vape device spits back. It is highly frustrating because it ruins the moment and prevents you from enjoying your vape.
This is not the only issue with vape pens; occasionally, there are some crackling or popping sounds when using the vape. These issues are very common with vape devices, regardless of your expertise or the quality of the pen. So, what causes these problems, and how to fix them?
Do not worry! Problems such as spit back, popping, and crackling can be quickly resolved. However, you need to be familiar with the causes of these issues and how to prevent them from affecting the quality of your vaping experience!
What is the Cause of Spit Back?
As you probably know, spit back refers to the occasional hot droplets of e-liquid that shoot in your mouth when you try to vape or inhale the vapor. It is very unpleasant; sometimes, it can ruin your outfit or burn you!
So, what causes the spit back? Spitback happens when the center of your coil, which is soaking up the vape juice from the cart and turning it into vapor, starts experiencing issues with the liquid on the inside of it, causing the pen to spit back. There are several reasons why this happens:
If you use vapes for an extended period, you accumulate various devices you seldom use. Because of this irregular activation of the coil or not putting voltage through that coil to produce vapor, the cotton oversaturates over time.
The atomizing coil is usually made of cotton but can be produced from other materials, such as ceramic. Generally, ceramic rings are said to be more durable and stable compared to cotton ones.
So, essentially the e-juice is constantly making the coil damper and damper, and when you finally try to inhale the vapor, the residue from that cotton moves to the inside part of the coil and then shoots up in your mouth. So, what to do with an oversaturated coil?
Unfortunately, if you notice that your coil is saturated, the only solution is to replace it.
2. Vape Coil Burn Out
The taste of your vaping device can notice coil burnout, and it usually gives off the flavor of something charred or burnt. However, sometimes this taste can be masked by dark, rich, and dense flavors, such as coffee or caramel flavor.
As soon as the coils burn out, the cotton will not be able to wick constantly. When this occurs, it can oversaturate, and you will end up with spit back. The solution to this problem is replacing the coil, as you might have guessed.
However, there are some ways to prevent burnout. The correct ratio between the juice and the correct wattage for this issue
3. Incorrect Coil Installation
This issue happens more often with starter kits rather than sub-ohm-based devices. If you install the coils incorrectly, not only is there a chance that the e-juice will flood through the base of the tank but also more air will be allowed to travel through the center of the coil when you are vaping.
If your coil is not installed correctly, you have the problem of additional air and oversaturation, resulting in spit back. Also, you will most likely use the thinner juice with the mouth-to-lung kit. As a result, it will produce more of that potential spit back issue.
When installing the coil, make sure that you are doing it correctly.
4. Tank Etiquette /Temperature Change
So what is tank etiquette? It refers to how you ‘treat’ your cartridge or tank and some rules regarding its maintenance. Although the term might sound funny, it will make sense after reading this section.
Regularly cleaning and maintaining your device can prevent a number of issues, including clogging, which is also a widespread problem. The temperature change can cause your pen to spit back or other types of malfunctions.
Generally, as you already know, vaping devices do not cope well with low temperatures because they are powered by lithium batteries, which are highly sensitive to cold weather.
Furthermore, leaving the tank somewhere where it might experience a temperature change can cause it to pop.
Essentially, the pen cools down or gets very cold. When you turn it on, it starts heating, making it too hot, resulting in the atomizer oversaturating again due to condensation and other variables.
5. Juice Viscosity VG/PG Ratio
Juice viscosity or thickness is a vital factor directly related to a vape user’s experience and the vapor density. Users often ask: ‘What is the perfect ratio or the maximum you should go with different tanks?’
For example, spit back is very common with devices utilizing a sub-ohm tank operating at high temperatures.
Although you might have heard about other people’s experiences using different ratios, such as 70% of vegetable glycerin (VG) and 30% propylene glycol (PG), which can enhance and pronounce the flavor, we do not suggest that you experiment with this.
Always be careful when choosing the juice ration; in reality, anything thinner than 50%-50% can cause several issues. Why? You will burn the coil very quickly, resulting in oversaturation.
Interestingly, the e-juice is invariably one of the main reasons an atomizer or coils lifespan is reduced.
6. Incorrect Priming of the Coil
There are many different tanks and coils on the market, so you have to work out which is most suitable for you. Do you want to prime the coil before you install it into the tank, or do you not prime the coils first, fill it up, and leave it to soak?
If you use a sub-ohm tank, we suggest you prep the coil first with three drips of e-juice in each wicking hole, stick it in, fill it, and leave it to soak for 15 minutes.
On the other hand, if you are using a mouth-to-lung kit, given that you are using a thinner e-liquid, you do not need to prep the coil individually. Just put the coil in, install it correctly, fill the tank, and leave it for 15 minutes, and you are good to go.
How to Prevent Vape Spitting, Popping & Crackling?
1. Use the Correct VG/PG Ratio and Wattage
If you want to avoid and prevent dealing with coil burnout, choosing the right e-juice with the correct ratio will do the trick! Specific devices work better with different ratios, so when buying your vape pen, ask for the information to avoid this problem.
Propylene glycol is thinner than vegetable glycol, which has a great chance of flooding your device. Therefore, juices with higher VG might be a good choice for you!
Furthermore, a low wattage level can also be why your device is spitting.
What happens is that your device cannot heat the e-liquid quickly enough to turn it into vapor, causing the flooding of the chamber, popping, and leaking. So, always use an RTA with a loose airflow.
2. Prime the Coils Correctly
As noted, incorrectly priming the coil can cause several issues, so before you start doing this with your new device, do some research about the tank and atomizer so you do not overprime the coils. Generally, it includes dropping a couple of drops onto the coil and leaving it to soak.
However, if you overprime, try pulsing the fire button several times before vaping. It should deal with the popping noises.
3. Stop Inhaling Forcefully
Another way to deal with leaking and spitting is by reducing the airflow within the device. When you inhale forcefully, you pull more juice into the chamber, which can cause it to leak. To avoid this, try inhaling softly and in smaller hits.
If you notice the issue is not solved, although you stopped inhaling with force, try changing the airflow configuration.
4. Use a Different Drip Tip
If this issue is common, maybe you should try a different drip tip. If you are unfamiliar with this component, drip tip refers to the hollow tube mouthpiece that clips onto the atomizer or cartridge.
The most common is 510 dip trip which works well with 510 batteries. However, those with curved designs are unlikely to result in spitting because of their position. The longer the dip trip, the more likely you will not deal with the issue.
5. Cleaning the chimney
Did you know that e-liquid can accumulate in the chimney? Yes, not only that it tends to build up, but it also finds a way to go back down to your coil, again causing oversaturation. Luckily, this issue can be fixed with some rolled paper towels or tissue paper.
Here’s what to do! Take the tissue paper, remove the drip tip, and insert it down into the chimney of the cartridge. The tissue will soak the excess liquid and reduce the chance of spitting and crackling.
The problem of your vape pen crackling and spitting back is related to the oversaturation of the coil and can be caused by a burnt-out coil, incorrect coil installation, temperature change, incorrect priming, and bad e-juice.
However, there are ways to prevent this and other issues regarding vaping devices, such as cleaning the chimney, checking for leakage, properly installing and priming coils, and choosing the right vape juice.
As always, if you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask!