Why is my vape spitting?
A spitting e-cigarette is an issue that a lot of e-cigarette users have experienced before. Rather than a pleasant, smooth vapour on inhaling you experience popping, spitting and hot e-liquid on your tongue. While it’s not really anything to worry about from a safety perspective, it’s not a nice sensation and could lead to frustration with your vaping device.
Commonly known as 'spit-back' there's a few reasons it can be happening and how you deal with it might depend on the type of coil and kit you are using. In this blog, we’ll look at some tips and things to try that will hopefully solve it for you. In some cases, it might take a little trial and error to pin point the issue and a little troubleshooting might be necessary for you to get a consistent, smooth and enjoyable vape.
What causes my e-cigarette to pop, girdle and spit?
In most cases the cause of spitting comes from a flooded coil or tank chamber. This is when there is too much e-liquid in your e-cigarette tank or when you haven’t left enough time for the e-liquid to soak into the vape coil after refilling. You can usually tell if your coil is flooded because you will hear or feel a 'gurgling' when you draw on your device.
The “flicking and clearing” solution
The quick solution to a spitting e-cigarette is to give your device a couple of quick flicks downwards, outside or over some kitchen paper or a sink. Any excess e-liquid will be expelled through your mouth piece and should relieve the spitting and popping symptoms. If this 'flicking and clearing' technique solves the issue, but only temporarily, then you'll need to dig a little deeper as to why your device is flooding.
Some tanks and AIO (all-in-one) devices will flood when filling. A lot of recent designs have tried to address this issue which is caused by the changes in pressure from opening and closing the top of the e-cigarette device to fill. If you find this is a reoccurring issue, try closing off the airflow and refilling as quickly as possible. If your device always starts spitting after refilling, then using the 'flicking and clearing' technique immediately after filling should solve the issue until you refill again.
Are you drawing too hard?
Another cause of flooding is drawing from your e-cigarette device too hard. You should only need to draw gently on your device, let the device give you want it wants to give you, sucking hard on your e-cig won't create more vapour it will just increase the chance of flooding. If your device allows it, adjust the airflow so it's in a comfortable place for you and adjust the power to suit the airflow.
Check your coil and wicking
If the spitting goes away but returns often then there could be a problem with the wicking or vape coil head. Before changing the coil for a new one, you can take it out and soak up any e-liquid with some paper towel and also take the time to clean your drip tip and the inside of the tanks chimney (if it uses one in its design). Reassemble your device and start again. If you continue to experience flooding it could be a defective wick in the vape coil and it will need replacing.
Check your seals
It's also worth checking the O-ring seals in your device. Most e-cigarette devices will come supplied with spares you can use to replace any that look worn or damaged. A tank that isn't air tight around these seals can be prone to flooding and causing it to spit.
Don’t leave your e-cigarette on its side or upside-down!
If a vape is left on its side or even worse, upside down, your e-liquid can leak into the chimney and mouthpiece. This may feel like the device is spitting if you are sucking droplets of e-liquid that have accumulated in these places. Either clean out with some tissue or use the flicking technique. It's good practice to keep your vaping device clean and in good order, try to keep it as upright as possible to avoid flooding.
Are you using the correct power?
If you have a variable power device than running it too low or too high can also cause spit-back. Too low and you could be having more e-liquid being pulled into the coil than being turned to vapour, after a while you might experience flooding issues. Run the power too high and it could be creating vapour that's too hot and producing it in an aggressive way that can make it pop and spit. Try to find a happy medium where you are getting a consistent, comfortable vape.
Check what vape coil you are using
'Exotic' coils made from multiple strands of wire are notorious for popping and creating spit-back. This is because e-liquid can get trapped and 'pool' in the small gaps between the wires. Generally speaking, these types of vape coils are not usually found in the common replacement coil heads, but some may have 'Clapton coils' inside that are essentially a thin wire wrapped around a thicker wire core. If you are using these then see if there is a plain wire option you could use instead, it might help.
The suitability of the e-liquid you are using
One last thing to consider is the suitability of the e-liquid you are using for your e-cigarette device. Most mouth to lung setups and devices aimed at transitioning smokers have been designed to use 50/50 VG/PG e-liquids. If you have a more powerful direct to lung tank that has bigger wicking holes in the coil and is designed to vaporise a lot more e-liquid, using that at lower power as a mouth to lung device or with 50/50 e-liquids may not allow it to work at its optimum and you may need to consider using a thicker 70/30 e-liquid or changing to a more suitable e-cigarette for you.
Hopefully this blog will help you sort any issues you are having and allow to continue with a happy, spit-free vaping experience.
My Vape Box Team