Guide to Avoiding Dry Hits
Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned vaper, dry hits affect everyone. No amount of experience will prevent them, nor is there any technology out there to guard against dry hits.
One thing we can all agree on is that they're painful, taste awful and - worst of all - take us by complete surprise. You never know when you're going to get a dry hit, making it one of those nagging fears in the back of your mind every time you take a puff.
But this doesn't mean you have just accept dry hits as a consequence of vaping. There are several ways you can minimize these nasty surprises.
What is a Dry Hit?
As the name implies, dry hits occur when you fire your atomizer when there isn't enough juice in the wick. Consequently, instead of your favorite e-juice, you get a lungful of burnt cotton - not exactly a popular flavor in anyone's books.
There are a few reasons why this could happen. Gunked up vape coils, poor airflow and wicking issues are just a few examples.
Whatever the reason, one thing's clear; you want to kick dry hits to the curb.
Ways to Avoid Dry Hits
Again, dry hits are just one of those things that vapers have to deal with from time to time. But a lot of these situations happen due to user error or technical problems - both of which can be addressed.
Prime Your Coil
If you're not familiar with priming, you've been missing a critical step. When you're dealing with replaceable coils, the first hit needs to go smoothly. If you vape too soon and there isn't enough juice, you'll get a dry hit and possibly ruin a brand new coil. Don't let this happen.
Before installing a new coil, place a few drops of e-liquid on the exposed wick. Allow it to absorb and then repeat at least once more. Don't overdo it, as you might end up flooding the atomizer and that just leads to a new (albeit less painful) issue.
Then, fill the tank and let it sit in an upright position for 10 minutes. Most instructions will probably say four to five minutes is enough, but that's the bare minimum. Save yourself some potential hassle and give it another five minutes, just to be safe.
Break in Your Coil
This is a technique that applies to more advanced mods with wattage control. If you happen to own a vape with that feature, this is a great opportunity to reduce dry hits.
Different coils are designed to work within certain wattage ranges, along with an ideal range labeled on the coil. But when a coil is fresh out of the box, you need to treat it with care.
Breaking in your coil is like warming up before exercise. It eases you into the process, leading to less strain. The same principle applies with coils.
To break in your coil, take a few drags with your wattage set a bit below the minimum threshold, then gradually increase it every few minutes. This will prepare your coil for the sessions to come.
You can also break in your coil by inhaling on the mouthpiece without actually firing the vape. This uses suction to pull liquid into the wick, giving it a bit of a helping hand.
Switch to a Different Coil
There are a lot of great, reputable vape companies out there. But that doesn't mean that they don't make lousy coils sometimes.
While advanced sub-ohm coils typically have plenty of good-sized wicking holes, some designs might drop the ball. This can pose a problem after a few drags.
If you notice that the coils you use have a tendency to create dry hits midway through a session, you have two choices. The simplest one is to simply try a new design. Most tanks offer multiple varieties of their coils to suit different needs.
The second option is to simply slow down. Smaller holes mean that they need more time to re-wick. Give yourself 30 seconds in between each inhalation and see if that improves things.
Lower Your VG
Vegetable Glycerin (VG) is a favorite among cloud-chasers and those looking for a smooth vape. Unfortunately, it's not a big favorite among coils.
All coils experience more strain from high VG e-liquids. These tend to be thicker and therefore more difficult to absorb. Some coils just can't work with it after a certain level. This is where dry hits become a common issue.
Try using liquids with lower VG. There's a good chance dry hits won't be as big of an issue.
Keep Your Tank Filled
Refilling is a pain, but it's critical to keep your tank topped up. If you let the e-juice level run too low, the coil is no longer fully submerged.
Consequently, it stops soaking up new liquid, so you gradually drain whatever's left in the wick.
But this little emergency storage runs out. When it does, you can expect a nasty dry hit, along with potential coil damage to boot.
A good rule that most vapers follow is to refill once their juice levels hit around 10% to 20%. However, the sooner the better.
Change Your Technique
Sometimes, fighting dry hits is a simple matter of adjusting the way you vape. If you tend to take fast, shallow drags, try switching to longer, deeper hits. Then, take a short break before your next drag.