Dry Hit Vape: Guide to Avoid Dry Hits When Vaping

Guide to Avoid a Dry Hit When Vaping

By now, we all know that dreaded feeling – going to hit your vape and tasting nothing but the flames of hell, no flavour and a throat hit that is full of nothing but pain to go along with a nicely ruined coil – that is what a dry hit vape feels like!

Thankfully, by following our handy guide below you can learn how to avoid dry hits on vape.

What is a Dry Hit When Vaping?

Dry hits are when the cotton (or other wicking material) in your vape is not saturated with ejuice. This can either be down to a wicking issue, a coil being ran at too high of a wattage (or in need of being changed) or simply having an empty tank!

How to Fix Dry Hits in Sub Ohm Tanks:

When you are using a sub ohm tank (such as the Aspire Clieto 120 Pro Tank or Horizon Falcon Legend, there are several things you need to take into consideration.

1 – Does your vape tank have juice in it?

It may sound a little silly, but there are plenty of times the staff at Vapour Depot have been working on packing orders, on a live chat with a customer or just chatting and didn’t realise that their tank was running dry!

Most tanks have a minimum juice line – after your ejuice has reached below this, your coil will simply not have a way to get any more juice. If your tank doesn’t have a minimum indicator, then make sure to refill your vape once the juice level reaches the bottom of the cotton on the coil head.

2 – Are you running your vape tank at the right wattage?

Almost all replacement coils have a recommended wattage range on the side of them.

This is specified by the manufacturer so you can be sure you are getting the best performance from your sub ohm tank.

If you are running your sub ohm vape tank above this wattage, then you are risking running into wicking issues where the coil simply can’t keep up with the amount of ejuice required to keep your wicking material wet – leading to a hit that resembles a desert rather than the flavour you are expecting.

When you install a new coil and you get a vape dry hit with a full tank, the issue is usually down to running your device at too high a wattage.

3 – When was your coil head last changed?

Replacing your vape coil at regular intervals helps more than you would think!

Over time, certain things in your e juice (such as sucralose sweetener) can cause a build up on your vape coil and start to reduce the effectiveness of your wicking materials which also slows how quick e liquid can reach your coil.

If you have been using the same sub ohm vape coil for an extended period of time, you may find that you are starting to see a reduction in flavour and your vape is starting to taste a little unsaturated. This is probably a great time to look at replacing your tank’s coil head!

4 – Is your ejuice ratio correct?

Some vape tanks have issues with some juice ratios, based on the size of their wicking ports (the little white cutouts on the side of the coils – that’s your wicking material). If you have small wicking ports on a coil, it would be best to use an e liquid that is lower in VG – a 50VG 50PG juice may be better suited to these types of coils.

If you are using a vape juice that is too thick (too high VG percentage), it may not wick correctly with your vape tank and then you’re heading into dry hit territory sooner than you expect.

How to Fix Dry Hits in Rebuildable Tanks / Drippers:

In rebuildable vape tanks & rebuildable dripping atomisers (such as the Wotofo Profile M RTA ), there are extra things to consider over a Sub Ohm vape tank as the coils have not been built for you.

1 – Are your coils firing correctly?

When you install a new coil (or pair of coils) in a rebuildable atomiser, the first thing that you should do is fire them without any wicking material to make sure they are glowing evenly.

Your coils should glow from the inside out without any hot spots (super bright glowing marks on your coils).

If they are not, simply give them a little strum with a pair of ceramic tweezers or flathead screwdriver (if you are using a metal tool – make sure not to fire your coils at the same time as this will cause your device to short).

2 – Are your coils shorting on any part of your device?

If you are using a rebuildable tank or a dripper, before installing your wicking material we would always recommend putting the device together (including any chimney sections or top cap) and firing your device.

Check your build resistance before putting your device together then fire it when everything is back in one piece and you shouldn’t see a change in resistance – if you do, it may be that your coils are shorting out against another piece of metal in the device! Make sure your post screws are nice and tight too, as a loose coil can also cause issues further down the line.

3 – When was the last time you re-wicked?

As with Sub Ohm tanks, your wicking material is being used for a long period of time.

Over time, certain things in your vape juice (such as sucralose sweetener) can cause a build up on your coil and start to reduce the effectiveness of your vape wick which also slows how quick vape juice can reach your coil.

If you have been using the same cotton wick for an extended period of time, you may find that you are starting to see a reduction in flavour and your vape is starting to taste a little unsaturated.

This is probably a great time to look at replacing your vape wicks! Simply take your RTA vape tank or dripping atomiser apart, remove your wicks, fire your coils after rinsing in warm water and make sure they are glowing evenly! You don’t even have to replace the coils every time – they can go several weeks or even months between changing!

4 – Is your rebuildable atomiser wicking correct?

Now this is a slightly more difficult one, but is your device wicked correctly?

This is less important on RDA drippers as the purpose of the wicking materials is really to hold your vape juice for your coils (which is why you have to re-drip every few hits), but on a rebuildable tank atomiser this is normally the number one cause of dry hits.

When building your device for the first time, have a look at youtube reviewers as they normally have some great tutorials on how to build these devices. If you need a recommendation, try Mike Vapes or Vaping With Vic.

There is no best cotton for vaping, this is simply down to personal preference and how you like to build. It’s definitely worth trying different types of vape cotton so you can work out which works best for you.

5 – Is your vape mod wattage correct?

This is less important than Sub Ohm tanks, but can still cause issues.

Based on your coil resistance, you should be running an appropriate wattage. There are exceptions to this, but you wouldn’t run a higher resistance build at a high wattage (i.e. we wouldn’t recommend running a 0.7 coil at 100 watts) – your coil will overheat and cause your wicking material to burn.

When you install a new coil and you get a vape dry hit with a full tank, the issue is usually down to running your device at too high a wattage.

Burning wicking material is exactly what a dry hit is!

6 – Is your vape liquid ratio correct?

Again, not as important as with Sub Ohm vape tanks but it can cause issues! With the recent resurgence of Mouth To Lung tanks, you may run into issues with high VG ratio juices.

On Mouth to Lung style rebuildable tanks, the wicking style is suited to lower VG ratio e juice so you may find if you try and use something 80VG you are going to run into wicking issues after one or two hits.

7 – What if I get a dry hit with a new vape coil?

When you are using a brand new coil (it doesn’t matter if its with a rebuildable vape device or a subohm tank) we always recommend letting your coil sit for a couple of minutes before vaping.

Another great time is with any new coil, start the wattage low and every couple of hits slowly increase it until you get to your desired wattage. Each coil requires breaking in slowly and if you try and hit it at a high wattage you’ll end up with a dry hit with a full tank of juice that could lead to you needing to replace your coil again (and possibly ruining the juice that you have in the tank!).

8 – Are dry hits bad for you?

Getting a dry hit isn’t a great experience and it certainly isn’t going to be great for your health as you are inhaling burnt cotton. In the short term, this wouldn’t cause you any issues but if you keep repeating this, you could possibly face some issues down the line

If this happens once, you’ll soon discover that dry vape hits are probably one of the worst things in vaping and you will do what you can to avoid them. Thankfully in our vape dry hit guide, we’ve gone through everything you need to know to get the best experience from whatever device you are using (and without getting any dry hits – although they can happen from time to time even for the most seasoned vaper)

Guide Conclusion:

We know there is a lot of information above and we have tried to keep it as short and to the point as possible, but after time you will know exactly how to get the best performance from your device as possible and make sure you don’t end up inhaling something worse than you ever imagined.

Here are the three main things to consider:

  • Your wattage is correct for the coil you are using
  • Your wicking (or coil) isn’t looking like something from a horror movie
  • You actually have juice in your tank / dripper
  • If you are using a new coil, leave it to sit for 5-10 minutes and start the wattage lower

We hope that this dry hit vape guide has helped you to find out how to fix dry hits or at least diagnose any issues you’ve had.

If you have any other topics you would like to see us cover in our blog, please contact us.

This article was originally published in January 2018 and has been updated with new information on 18/07/2023.

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