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How To Avoid Dry Hits and Flooding In Tanks

West Coast Vape Supply


The rebuildable tank atomizer (RTA) market is rising, and dry hits and flooding tanks are the most common issues people are having with them.  Let’s spend a few minutes looking at the best ways to optimize your vaping experience.

If I had a dollar bill for every e-mail I’ve received telling me that a certain tank was terrible, and no matter what had been tried it was either leaking e-liquid or just producing a nasty burnt taste, I would probably get rich quickly.  The thing that I always ask is “Did you wick it correctly”, and the answer is almost always yes.  The problem that most people get into is the simple fact that no one ever showed them the right way to wick.  I was one of the worst people on the planet for complaining about bad tanks, when in truth, it wasn’t the tanks fault, it was mine.

This will be a basic checklist and set of guidelines to help you make sure that the next hit you take off a tank that you just filled, isn’t the worst of your life.

The Most Common Cause Of Dry Hits

How To Avoid Dry Hits and Flooding In Tanks: cotton padsBelieve it or not, but the most common cause of getting a dry hit is not too much power going to the coil.  When I ask the people who e-mailed me with their questions to show a picture of their deck and coil set-up, it seems as though most vapers  are scared of using cotton.  That may sound a little harsh, but I was once one of those people.  If you put cotton into a coil, it should snugly fit around the inner circumference, more to the point it should feel tight around the inside.  If your cotton goes in easily and can be pulled out in the same fashion, chances are your wicks aren’t big enough.

When you apply e-liquid to that coil, will it be touching the entire inside of the coil or did you leave enough room for the cotton to sag after a couple of hits and have the top basically dry burning.  This works exactly the same way on any coil system, be it on a Rebuildable Dripping Atomizer or Rebuildable Tank Atomizer — if your cotton isn’t tight enough, you are going to be left with a bad taste in your mouth.  Unfortunately, at the same time, if you use too much it will prevent adequate juice flow to the center of the coils and cause the same thing.  Trial and error will be your best friend, but once you have it figured out you should never have this problem again.

The Goldilocks Effect

The next major issue from a tank is having too much cotton left on the deck.  Your cotton should never block the juice channels, but should be sufficient to prevent the dreaded flood.  This is really a Goldilocks paradigm: too much and too little are both wrong, you have to get it just right.  Tank decks are all slightly different, but they generally use the same principles.  Coils are fitted inside a chimney, which is fed from beneath with e-liquid and a central open area to allow for airflow.  If you leave too much cotton, you stand the chance of blocking the juice channels and airflow opening.  The result of which will be dry hits for days.

Next on the list is too little cotton left on your tails, allowing e-liquid to flow freely through the system and out onto the top of your device.  Honestly, starting out, walking a tightrope across the grand canyon may seem less daunting.  As soon as you have figured out the sweet spot, I promise you will never have a problem again.

There are hundreds of video’s online to give you the best chance of wicking correctly, but the best advice I have is to keep on trying until you get it right.

Additional Information: Dry hits can also be caused by not having enough e-liquid in your tank, your wicking material not being saturated enough with e-liquid, too much power going to the coil, too little power going to the coil, or not enough airflow.

Daniel Hall
Daniel Hall

Avid Vaper, advocate and cloud chaser. Writer for 3 vaping websites and broadcaster/presenter as Vapin Demon on Coast 2 Coast Vapers. Originally from Manchester, England, I got bored one day and moved to the USA. Vaping saved my life and my aim is to save as many others as I can.

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