How to Best Prime a New Coil for Your Vaping Device

How to Best Prime a New Coil for Your Vaping Device

Wondering why your vape suddenly has a strange burnt taste? Burning through coils way faster than you should? If you didn’t prime your coil before use, that’s likely your culprit. Not only does priming your coil maintain the clean flavor of your vape juice, but it also helps prolong the life and efficiency of your coil.

Never heard of priming a coil? Not to worry, we’ve got you covered.

Table of Contents

What does priming a coil mean?

To prime a coil, you merely use a small amount of vape liquid to wet the wick before you begin using it. There are slight variations in technique for different models and coil types, but we’ll get to that in just a moment.

Why do you need to prime your coil before use?

If you're a vaper that doesn't prime your coils, you're probably wondering why it's even necessary. I mean, you've been using your vape without priming your coil so far, right?

Here's the thing—yes, you can vape without priming your coil, but it isn't necessarily good for your atomizer. Nor are you getting the best and fullest use of your vape pen.

To understand why priming is beneficial, it helps to understand what a coil does, and how. A coil consists of resistance wire wrapped in an absorbent material (usually cotton) often referred to as a wick. This wick fills with e-juice which is then rapidly heated by the wires creating vapor.

When you install a new coil, the wick is dry, meaning if you just replace your coil and start vaping, you run the risk of burning the wick in the coil, damaging it, and adding an unpleasant flavor along with actual smoke to your vape.

Priming a new coil, then, extends its lifespan. As the wick is primed with your e-liquid, it retains moisture critical to preventing overheating and burning. Not only that, after priming the wick can deliver more uniform, flavorful, and consistent draws. The bonus? You avoid that unenjoyable burnt taste that happens when wicks aren't correctly primed.

How to prime a metal coil?

Every few weeks you’ll need to replace your vape coil, and you want to prime it slowly. Gradually getting a new coil primed helps the metal break into subtle expansions and contractions that naturally happen when metal is heated and cooled.

When you begin using your vaping device with a new coil, it's a good idea to start at a lower voltage than you usually would. Use it at the lower level for around 15 to 20 draws (not in quick succession, either) before adjusting the voltage to your preferred power level.

If you've purchased a coil that comes assembled, go ahead and attach it to the bottom of your vape tank. On the side of the coil, you should see a small bit of exposed cotton. Lightly moisten the wick with only one to two drops of your vape liquid.

Now, you should see another bit of exposed cotton when looking at the top of your coil. Repeat the same process as you did with the cotton on the side, remembering to use only two drops at most. After doing this, your next steps are slightly different depending on what type of device you have.

If your vape isn't a top-filling model:

First, fill your tank with your chosen e-liquid, and then put your vape tank together. Now you can open your airflow, but don't start vaping until the liquid has a chance to soak into the wick completely. It should take anywhere between 10 and 15 minutes to absorb and be ready for use.

If your vape is a top filling model:

The process is very similar to the above process for non-top filling devices. After applying the drops to the exposed cotton, go right to assembling your tank. Next, close your air flow, and fill up your tank.

Open your air flow back up and allow the e-liquid to soak into the wick. Like above, this should take 10 to 15 minutes.

How to prime a ceramic coil?

Ceramic coils seem to the newest vaping trend. Despite their rising popularity, users tend to have a bit more trouble getting them correctly primed.

So, if you’re just getting onto the ceramic bandwagon, or you’ve been on it a while and want your atomizer to work better, here’s how to prime a ceramic coil:

The process is similar to priming with a metal coil, but not identical. Depending on your specific coil, you'll see the exposed cotton wick in different places. However, just like the process above, you'll need to place a couple of drops of e-liquid onto the exposed cotton.

Be sure to watch closely to ensure you're putting enough liquid on the wick while avoiding over saturating it. Once it looks like the wick has absorbed all the liquid, and the cotton appears uniformly moistened throughout, you'll know you've put a sufficient amount on.

If your device has a honeycomb style intake on the bottom, you'll need to get these primed as well. Simply put a small drop of your e-liquid in each hole and allow it to absorb. Now all you have to do is fill it, assemble it, and wait.

Just like with metal coils you should wait 15 minutes before use. However, unlike with metal coils, that’s 15 minutes minimum. Some ceramic coil fans suggest starting a new coil before bed to allow it to set overnight. This isn't mandatory, but if you're having trouble getting your ceramic coil properly primed it's worth the extra wait.

Other priming methods

If you’re looking for even more ways to get your coil primed, here’s a couple you can try:


Before we get any farther into this method, it’s worth noting that the drumming method should only be used on eGo-style devices, which means if you have a 510-thread style device, do not attempt it.

It can ultimately damage the threads that keep your tank secure, so if you’re unsure what kind your device is double check first.

That being said, the drumming method of priming is easy and actually pretty fun. The point of drumming is to release air bubbles and lead a small amount of e-liquid to prime the coil. To prime your coil this way, you shake your vaping device forward (think of the angle of drumsticks on a drum).

Go for a little interlude and make sure you see bubbles rising. Once no more air bubbles appear, it’s time to stop before you over prime it.

Using Suction

The suction method is more commonly used by habit, even if the vape fan isn’t doing it with the intention of priming their coil. It’s a big time saver, so when vapers do know to prime their coil, it comes out as a winner.

To use the suction method, you need to make sure the air intake on your device is closed or covered. Then, draw on the vaporizer as you usually would, but do not power it on. It can be easy to get a little overzealous with the suction method, so don’t try and get the coil totally primed in two drags.

Basically, the vacuum you create by apply suction while keeping the air intake closed allows liquid to flow into the coil.

The most important thing to know about using the suction method?

Go slowly and use gentle suction. It’s far better to take a few extra seconds and use suction in many small steps than to over prime your coil.

What happens if you over-prime?

You might think you can never put too much e-liquid into priming a coil, but you’d be wrong. You can, and it's easier to do than you think. Not only that, it can really mess up your vaping experience.

If you add too much vape juice to your coil, you're essentially going to end up flooding it. First, your device isn't going to work as uniformly as with a properly primed coil.

Worse, it can get just plain messy. A flooded coil can result in a sticky, leaky vape. If it gets bad enough, this leaking fluid can drip into other parts of your vaping device causing damage.

An over primed coil will give off a gurgling sound (and feel) when you try to draw on your vape. As you can imagine this leaking and gurgling leads to spitting back. You'll be getting splashes and “spits” of your vape liquid when you're trying to use your vape.

In Conclusion

Priming your coil is important for a variety of reasons, but most of all it provides a better vaping experience. No matter what method you choose to use, be patient. Taking a few extra minutes might seem like torture when you’re really jonesing, but it’ll save you from having a burnt out coil that gives off an undesirable taste (to put it kindly).

Likewise, you’ll be able to see how well primed your coil is, without overdoing it and causing a lot of mess, or even worse, breaking your vaping equipment.

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