If you vape, there’s a good chance that you’ve never spent a lot of time thinking about the components of your vaping device and how they work. You simply expect your device to work as it should without a great deal of input from you, and that’s fair. An e-cigarette is, after all, a consumer device. Even if you’re not the type of person who likes to take things apart and examine their inner workings, though, it can still be useful to learn a bit about the components of your vaping device because that can help you understand what’s going on when something doesn’t work as you expect it to.
Out of all the components in your vaping device, the atomizer coil is the one that could perhaps bring you the greatest benefit if you took the time to understand it a bit more deeply. You already know, of course, that you need to replace the atomizer coil when its flavor quality starts to decline. When your vape starts to taste burned, though, what’s actually happening? Is there something you could do to make your coils last longer? Why do you choose the coils you do when you visit a vape shop like V2 Cigs? Is there some other coil that you might like better?
As you’re likely beginning to realize, you can understand a lot more about your vaping experience by simply learning more about your vape coil. So, what’s inside a vape coil? Let’s learn more.
The Parts of a Vape Coil
If you happen to have a spare vape coil available, you might find it helpful to grab it and use it as a visual aid while reading this section. Beginning from the bottom of the coil, we’ll describe its various parts.
- At the very bottom of the coil is the pin that makes an electrical connection with a plate – usually made from copper – in the bottom hardware of your vape tank. Power travels from the battery in your vaping device to the atomizer coil through that bottom pin. You’ll also notice that the pin has openings for airflow.
- The bottom pin of an atomizer coil is removable. You can pry it off with your fingernail. Under the pin, you’ll see the positive and negative leads of the coil’s heating wire, separated by a rubber insulating ring.
- On the side of the atomizer coil, you’ll see the coil’s specifications etched into the metal casing. The specifications usually include the manufacturer’s name and the model of the coil. In addition, you’ll see the coil’s electrical resistance and recommended operational wattage range.
- On the side of the coil, you’ll also see openings that reveal the coil’s white cotton wick. We’ll describe the function of the wick in greater detail momentarily.
- Looking through the top of the coil, you’ll see the coil’s heating wire(s). Every coil assembly has at least one heating wire constructed from a strip of metal mesh or a wire twisted into a spiral shape. Some coils have multiple heating wires that operate simultaneously.
Now that you know what’s inside a vape coil, let’s learn more about how the parts work together.
How Does a Vape Coil Work?
When you consider the number of holes a vape tank has, it’s pretty amazing that it works as well as it does without – usually! – leaking. A tank has holes allowing air to enter and a hole allowing vapor to leave. As you’ve already seen, even the atomizer coil has holes. So, how is it possible that a vape tank can work without spilling your e-liquid everywhere?
As you probably noticed when examining your coil, a vape coil usually has multiple silicone gaskets. When you assemble the tank, the gaskets isolate the tank’s center air channel and prevent e-liquid from escaping through the mouthpiece at the top of the tank or the intake vents at the bottom.
What about those holes in the pin at the bottom of an atomizer coil? When you vape, the air pressure that you create by inhaling causes air to enter the tank through the intake vents at the bottom. The air enters through the holes in the atomizer coil’s bottom pin before traveling through the length of the coil assembly and out of the tank’s mouthpiece. As the air travels through the tank, vapor produced by the atomizer coil’s heating wire travels with it.
To generate vapor, of course, your atomizer coil needs e-liquid. The coil is full of cotton, and the cotton is saturated with e-liquid. When you press your device’s fire button, the heating wire begins to vaporize the e-liquid in the cotton. If you hold the fire button down so long that the cotton dries out, it may burn. Keep that in mind when you use your device, as burned cotton is one of the most common reasons why you might experience an undesirable flavor when vaping.
The reason why the e-liquid in your tank doesn’t flow right through the coil’s wick openings and out the bottom of the tank is because the wick is stuffed so full of cotton that the tank reaches a sort of equilibrium once the wick is fully saturated with e-liquid. When you vape, the cotton replenishes itself through absorption.
Try a New Coil to Change Your Vaping Experience
One of the great things about vaping is the fact that something as simple as a different coil can have a profound impact on your experience – and these days, the most popular vape tanks typically have many different coils available. Depending on the tank you’re using, you may be able to find coils with traditional twisted heating wires or mesh strips. You may be able to find coils made from different alloys such as kanthal and stainless steel. Some manufacturers sell coils with wick materials other than cotton, such as wood pulp and ceramic. Now that you know a bit more about how vape coils work, you have a better idea of why changing just one of those factors can transform your experience. So, why are you still waiting? If you’re using a tank with multiple coil options, try them all. You may find that a simple coil change completely reinvigorates your vaping experience.