How To Prime And Break In Coils

Matt Wallace
Feb. 24, 2019
by Matt Wallace
guide-to-prime-a-brand-new-vape-coil

For new vapers, one of the most important things to know right out of the gate is now to prime a vape coil. If a coil is not properly primed, the first vape could potentially fry the coil and for sure get an unpleasant burnt tasting vape. In addition, the coil will likely be ruined and require replacement. Ruining a new vape coil on the first vape equates to money down the drain. But when you learn how to prime a vape coil, you can avoid all this and ensure you get the maximum life possible out of each and every coil. And better yet, enjoy better vaping.

Not every vaper will need to prime a coil. E-cigs that use replaceable cartridges and pod mods do not require any preparation or priming. For example, adult smokers typically prefer to switch with Mig Cig e-cigarette kits, which look like cigarettes, and Ulta nicotine cartridges. Mig Cig e-cig kits are super easy to use and there is not need to prime or break in coils. Users only need to know how to prime and break in vape coils if using mods with refillable tanks or RDAs. For smokers or vapers looking for a no hassle electronic cigarette, get a Mig Cig kit. For vapers who want clouds, learning to prime atomizer coils is very important.

Learning how to prime a vape coil is a simple part of learning how to vape. There is no reason to be intimidated or worried about complexity. Priming is not hard, it just takes a little extra preparation and time. Priming a new e-cig coil is easy. Why do vape coils have to be primed? Because ultimately a coil is a high temperature metal element that is in direct contact with cotton. To better understand, it is helpful to know exactly what a vape coil is.

What Is A Vape Coil?

anatomy-of-a-vape-coil

NEO sub ohm vape coil. Note the juice ports on the side as well as wire and cotton visible from the top view.

A vape coil is a cylindrical device that contains the atomizer wire and wick in one piece. The atomizer coil itself is made of metal. The most common type of metal used is Kanthal. Although other metals such as stainless steel or nickel are used for temperature control vaping. The metal coil resembles a coiled spring. When vaping, electric current runs through the wire causing it to heat. When an atomizer coil is heated, it will actually turn orange like a stove top element. The heat will vaporize e-liquids to make vapor. But if the wick is dry, the heat will burn the cotton wick and cause a burnt taste when vaping.

As you can see in the image above the atomizer coil is surrounded by wick. The wick is usually made of organic cotton although other fibers such as bamboo can also be used. The coil and wick are in direct contact. If the wick is dry and the coil is heated, the cotton will burn. To avoid burning, the wick must be saturated when the atomizer coil is heated. That is why it is important to learn how to prime vape coils the right way.

When using vape coils, always follow the manufacturers recommended wattage settings. Exceeding the recommended wattage can cause the coil to overheat and burn the wick. The most common types of vape coils are:

  • Sub ohm vape coils – atomizer resistance is less than 1.0 ohms.
  • MTL vape coils – atomizer resistance above 1.0 ohms

Users should prime both MTL and sub ohm vaping coils. However, the methods are slightly different.

How To Prime A Vape Coil And Break It In Properly

Sub ohm vape coils must be primed. Sub ohm vaping involves using coils with atomizer resistances less than 1.0 ohms. The low resistance means more power is drawn from a battery. The end result is massive amounts of vapor, which is awesome of course, but with more power comes more responsibility! And that means you have to prime the coils so they don’t burn out.

The whole process of how to prime a vape coil does not take much time and it is well worth it. To prime a sub ohm atomizer coil, the first thing to do is insert the new coil into the base of the vape tank. The best quality vape tanks, found at Mig Vapor, are precision engineered and the coils thread easily into place. Once the coil is inserted, place a couple of drops of e-liquid through the top opening of the coil directly on to the cotton material. Then, also place a drop or two of e-juice into the juice ports on the side of the coil. After doing this, assemble the tank and fill it with vape juice. After filling, wait at least 10 minutes before you start vaping.

Step By Step Guide To Prime Coils

  • Thread the new coil into the base of the tank
  • Place a few drops of e-liquid into the top of the coil directly into the cotton wick
  • Place a couple of drop of e-liquid into the cotton that you can see through the juice ports
  • Assemble the vape tank
  • Fill the vape tank with vape liquid
  • Wait 10 minutes to allow the wick to become fully saturated

The ten minute wait is key. The user manuals from some coil manufacturers suggest waiting five minutes. However, we recommend waiting 10 minutes to be on the safe side. Sometimes the cotton wick can be dense and require additional time to saturate. Waiting a few extra minutes before the first vape helps ensure that a coil is fully primes and ready for action.

How To Break In Vape Coils

Now that the coil is primed and ready our attention shifts to how to break in a new vape coil. Don’t worry, this will only take a second to explain. Think of the process of breaking in a new coil as being similar to warming up a car on a cold winter morning. It is the same concept. Here is how to make coils last longer by breaking them in gradually:

  • When you start vaping, set the wattage to the lowest recommended setting
  • Take a few short vapes to slowly start to break in the coil
  • Increase the power by 5 watts
  • Take three normal vapes and increase power by 5 watts
  • Repeat the gradual increase in wattage until the desired power setting is reached

The process of priming a coil and then slowly breaking it in serves multiple purposes. First, the wick is saturated to avoid a burnt taste or cause coil damage. Next, the coil life is extended. Overall, coil life will be affected by how much you vape and the wattage. The idea is to get the most coil life you can because that’s money! Priming and breaking in vape coils is how to get full value and a better vape.

How To Prime MTL Vape Coils

MTL vape coils have an atomizer resistance above 1.0 ohms. MTL stands for mouth to lung, which means the user draws the vapor into the mouth and the inhales. Finally, MTL is the most familiar for smokers. Learning how to prime MTL vape coils is simple. The user does not need to take any additional action, instead it is more a case of patience.

MTL vape coils tend to be smaller than sub ohm vape coils. For smaller diameter vape coils like Aspire Nautilus coils or Mig Vapor SR 72 coils, you don’t have to drop e liquids on the coil itself to prime it. Just fill the tank, and let it saturate for 5 to 10 minutes. After that you can start vaping.

  • Insert a new vape coil into the base of the tank
  • Fill the tank with e-liquid and assemble the tank
  • Allow the coil to sit for five to ten minutes to fully saturate the wick
  • Start vaping

For an example of an MTL e-cig mod, start with the best. The Mig Vapor SR 72 MTL vape mod kit is a perfect marriage between American design and Aspire bottom vertical coils. To prime the SR 72 bottom vertical coils, or BVC coils, just fill and assemble the tank, wait five minutes, and then vape. Easy.

Refilling E-cig Cartridges

A cigalike is the type of electronic cigarette that looks like a tobacco cigarette. The e-cig cartridge that attaches to a cigalike battery can be refilled. For example, Mig Cig blank cartridges are designed to be be refilled. A Mig Cig cartridge can be refilled five to eight times before it has to be replaced with a new one.

The e-liquid that is used to refill e-cig cartridges should be one of these three types:

  • PG e-liquid
  • 50/50 e-liquid
  • Nicotine Salt e-liquid

To refill a cigalike cartridge first remove the top cap with the Mig Vapor e-cig cartridge cap removal tool available here. Then put a couple of drops of e-liquid into the top and let it soak into the absorbent material. The cartridge will hold up to one milliliter of e-liquid, which that takes only about 10 to 20 total drops. After the e-liquid has soaked in, replace the cap. Attach the cartridge to the e-cig and start vaping.

Inside each e-cig refill cartridge there is a small coil. But unlike larger vape coils, e-cig cartridge coils do not have to be primed. Once filled, it is ready to vape.

Summary And Tips

Taking an extra few minutes to prime and break in coils leads to better vaping and better coil life. That’s the entire idea. Follow the steps detailed above for the best results. The learning curve is short and easy to remember. For new vapers, here are a couple of additional tips to help manage vape coils:

  • How long do vape coils last? – the lifespan of a coil can vary. Chain vapers will go through coils faster than a casual vaper. The wattage will impact coil life. For example, cloud chasers vaping at 150 watts or more can go through a new coil in two days. However, the average coil life is about one to two weeks.
  • When to change coils: – when the vapor production and flavor obviously decreases or when a burnt taste is consistently detected, it is time to change coils.

Vapers are always learning about their mods and tanks. This guide to priming coils will help establish the baseline to get started. As experience is gained, vapers will become more and more comfortable with how their device works and how to get the most out of it.

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