It’s not uncommon to get a burnt flavor every once in a while after hitting your vape. Most of the time, you’ll get a burnt flavor once and it’ll pass. But sometimes, that acrid, unpleasant taste lingers, and when it does, you know you’ve got a problem.
There are several reasons why your vape hits might give you a burnt taste. Fortunately, every problem on this list has an easy solution. The key to ensuring a smooth, pleasant taste on every hit is understanding how flavor can go sour in the first place. Learn the problems so you can understand these solutions.
What Is a Burnt Hit?
You might assume that you’d know exactly what a burnt hit tastes like were you to experience one, but that isn’t necessarily the case. A variety of unpleasant flavors can accompany a vape hit, some that resonate in the throat, some in the mouth, and some in the aftertaste.
Vape hits with a burned flavor are often confused for “dry hits.” A dry hit is caused by a dry wick, or the small, swatch of material (usually cotton) that carries the e-liquid from its reservoir to the atomizer coil to be ignited. If your tank is running low on e-liquid, or if it’s gunked up with dried-up and crusted-over remnants from old cartridges, the wick can grow dry.
When the wick grows dry, you’ll get a dry hit, which, more often than not, will lead to burnt hits. If the wick isn’t properly coated in e-liquid but is being ignited again and again, it will char, and you’ll inhale that charred flavor with each hit.
Maintaining the health of your vape wick is important, as burnt hits can damage your throat, and the throat is a key site for examination in care for healthcare providers.
What Causes a Burnt Hit?
There are several causes of burnt hits. The second you get a hit that tastes off, record it, describe the flavor, and keep monitoring. You’ll need this data to diagnose the issue.
Wrong Priming of the Coils
The more experienced vapers know that, as in life, patience is a virtue in vaping. When you install a new coil in your vape device, you need to “prime” the coil before you take your first hit. Priming consists of filling your vape with a new e-cartridge and letting your coils soak for at least half an hour. Any sooner, and you risk burning them.
Vaping too many hits continuously can lead to a burnt flavor. You can exert a tremendous strain on both the coils and the wick from so-called “chain vaping.” You need to give the wick enough time to re-coat itself in e-liquid.
Not only can you experience a burnt flavor, but you can also damage your vape by charring the wick.
Long DTL Hits
DTL stands for Direct to Lung hits, as opposed to MTL, or mouth-to-lung hits. DTL is when you inhale straight into your lungs, without letting the vapor billow around in your mouth.
Optimum vaping practice consists of taking short hits and letting the vapor linger in your mouth before inhaling. Taking too many DTLs quickly can lead to burnt hits because you aren’t giving the wick time to recharge.
Lack of or Inadequate E-Liquid
If your e-liquid cartridge is running on empty, you may start getting burnt-tasting hits. If the vape device can’t draw enough e-liquid to coat the wick, the coils won’t draw enough in to properly vaporize either.
You may also be using the wrong kind of e-liquid. Check whether your vape device is better suited to VG (vegetable glycerin-based juice) or PG (propylene glycol) juice.
Battery Voltage / Coil Capability / Power Setting Disagreement
Vapes can be highly complex devices. It’s not always as simple as loading your e-liquid cartridge, pressing a button, and inhaling. Of course, if you’re using a disposable vape pen, it is as easy as that – and there’s no shame in it.
But more sophisticated vape devices have several settings and features that need to be toggled to make sure they all agree. Your coil capability must be able to accommodate the voltage of the battery you choose, and you must set the power setting to match both. If any of these settings are out of alignment, you may get a burnt taste.
It’s especially important to make sure your battery has the proper voltage, as the FDA does warn of the danger of vape battery fire and explosions.
How To Prevent a Burnt Taste From Your Disposable Vape
If you’re getting frequent burnt, dry, and unpleasant-tasting hits, try one of these remedies:
- Take a break: Give your device a chance to rest and restore its proper functioning. Take a vape break.
- Increase the wattage: If you have an adjustable wattage setting, tinker with it to bring it closer in range to the battery voltage.
- Replace your e-liquid: If your tank is running low, replace it with a fresh e-liquid cartridge. Or try a new type.
- Take your vape out of the cold: Don’t store your vape in a cold place, because cool temperatures can cause e-liquid to thicken, resulting in a burnt wick.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Difference Between a Dry Hit and a Burnt Hit?
A dry hit is, in many cases, the precursor to a burnt hit. Dry hits come from a wick that isn’t absorbing enough e-liquid, which then can’t pass enough juice onto the coils for vaporizing. Burnt is the acrid flavor that dry hits produce.
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