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Oct 10 2020 0 Comments

What is a Dry Hit Vape? Tips to Avoid Burnt Vape Taste

what is dry hit vape

Just like professional football players understands all the rules of the game, vapers are much aware of their own and all the challenges that they may encounter in their vaping life.

They all know that terrible feeling that they might experience when drawing a puff from their favorite e-juice and they only end up receiving flames of hell without any flavor, a completely painful throat hit and destroyed coil: we call this a dry hit vape! That burnt taste of vape juice can be a very awkward vaping experience particularly to your throat, when rather than getting a smooth flavorful vapor you feel a burnt taste.

Now, this might be a complete turn off especially for newbies who are anticipating a smooth hit with their vape. Actually, it hurts when you take a hit off your vaping gun, expect to have a good time with your favorite e-liquid flavor  but it ends in tears when it gets blasted with an awful, scorched taste and undesirable hit on your throat.

If you’ve not yet experienced this before, rest assured this won’t find you in your vaping life. A dry hit can raze your taste all day, cause irritations in your throat, and this can discourage you from vaping altogether. Also, it can probably destroy your vape coil.

How does it occur? The answer is very simple. Dry hits occur when the wick – cotton – inside the vape isn’t saturated properly with e-liquid. The cause might be attributed to a wicking problem, running the vape with an empty tank, or simply using a high wattage setting in your device.

How to Detect Burnt Out?

This is pretty simple, as you’ll notice an unending burnt taste from your vape. The reasons why burnt coil will occur are the same reasons we’ll experience dry hits:

  • Vaping on depleted or entirely empty e-juice tanks
  • Vaping on high-wattage settings
  • Failure to prime the coils
  • Chain vaping
  • Cold weather, et al.

Nevertheless, in other times the coil head will just die (maybe because the resistant wire was fried or the wick was oversaturated such that too much juice was passed and didn’t gunk up). After noticing that the coil is burnt out, then replacement must be done immediately.

Burnt hits aside, your tank is adequately fed with e-juice and the coil is correctly primed but you’re still getting a burnt taste from your vape! What might be the issue? Whist burnt hits are the most likely suspects behind the nasty hit you are receiving on your throat, they aren’t the only culprits. The coil might be burning due to numerous reasons, and the sensations aren’t that pronounced, only that you aren’t getting the right feeling/flavor from the e-juice.

Knowing when the coil “knocks down” isn’t rocket science; it only requires a bit of learning. The longer you interact with the vaping device, the more you get to know the right time you need to replace the coil with a new one.

Perhaps the first indication will be getting “bad” flavor from your e-juice, followed by poor production of vapor. Even at this point, you can still buy some time before the coil fails.

Causes of a Dry Hit Vape

1. Depleted/Empty Tank

The first and simplest one is a depleted/empty tank. The atomizer is meant to heat the vape juice converting it into vapor form. Without the adequate amount of vape juice in the tank implies that there is no proper saturation of the wicking material.

By taking a hit on a depleted tank whose ports are exposed, the air is drawn into the wick rather than juice and the hits – if priming/soaking is not done after refilling the tank – are most likely going to pass through the dry wick. This causes the coil to be extremely hot up to a point that rather than vaporizing the e-juice, it burns the wick.

In the case where the tank is full and you’re still experiencing dry hits, this might be caused by wrong priming. Priming is pretty simple – requires you to drip some e-juice on the wick until it gets saturated. It is always important to prime the coil before installing a brand one, and this is common when using high-wattage sub-ohm tanks.

2. Practicing Chain Vaping

This is simply taking continuous hits without pausing. Chain vapes don’t give the wick adequate time to draw/absorb vape juice from the tank implying that there will be no enough juice for the coil to vaporize and the wick will eventually burn.

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3. High Wattage Level

This can as well ruin the coil. When the stipulated wattage range is exceeded, the coil may burn out. Vaping at high wattage causes the juice to vaporize faster than the wicking material can absorb more juice resulting in dry hit vape.

4. Choice of e-Liquid

Choice of e-liquid (especially the use of inexpensive e-liquids). Some e-liquids can cause blockage of the coil. Also, e-liquids with a high concentration of VG are more likely to result in dry hits as they are highly viscous and not easily absorbable by the wick causing vapes to fail. If you are making your own vape juice, take appropriate measures.

5. Using old coils

An average coil shouldn’t last for more than three weeks in the vape. After this period, it should be replaced to prevent taste burnt vape.

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6. Lack of Proper Maintenance

Another cause is the lack of proper maintenance, particularly when cleaning the coil.

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7. Cold Weather

When the weather temperatures are very low, the viscosity of the e-juice increases (e-juice thickens), and this increases the chances of the coil to clog which in turn results in dry hits.

How to Fix Dry Hits?

It’s not possible to eliminate dry hits – indeed not yet. Nevertheless, several proven ways can be used to reduce the chances of experiencing this unpleasant occurrence. For newbie vapers, keeping your coil wet very important. It’s that simple, keeping it wet always won’t subject you to dry hits. Below are the methods of keeping the coil wet to avoid dry hits:

1. Keep Your e-Juice Tank Full

tank full e-juice

You see the tiny holes on the sides of the coil head, they should be all submerged and never exposed. This’s one of the fundamental vaping rules and a great way of preventing dreadfully burnt wick hits that cause dry hits.

The majority of tanks come with the minimum e-juice line – beyond which the coil will not get more e-juice to vaporize. If the tank misses this kind of indicator, then it’s good to ensure that the tank is refilled once the e-juice level is significantly low.

Also, you need to prime the coils when refilling and never allow the ports/holes on the coil head to get exposed. If after all this you’re still getting the burnt taste, deep clean or completely replace the coil head/wick.

2. Run Your Vape with the Right Wattage

vape with right wattage

If you’ve just refilled your tank and you’re getting dry hits, the first thing you should do is to check your wattage setting. Perhaps you’ll find your wattage is above the recommended range.

If this is true, make sure that this is corrected. The majority of replacement coils come with the recommended range of wattage indicated on their side or on the packaging. The manufacturer specifies this to ensure that you’re getting the correct performance when they are installed in the tanks. Kindly do yourself a favor; always stay within the specified range, genius!

Now, if you’re operating your vape above the recommended wattage, then you’re risking putting yourself into wicking problems where the coil won't simply tolerate the quantity of e-liquid needed to keep the wick wet; your e-juice will vaporize faster – resulting in a dry hit that appears like a dessert instead of the anticipated flavor.

Note: just because the minimum wattage level of the coil is specified does not imply that vaping cannot be done at a lower wattage. For safety reasons, it’s good to start a new coil on a lower wattage than the specified one and then work your way up.

3. Change Your Coil

change vape coil

Unfortunately, coils don’t come with the dates of expiry, but of course, they go bad. Even if you don’t experience dry hits, the coil will eventually burn out. Constant replacement of the coil is healthy not only to the vape but also to your vaping experience.

With time, various elements in the e-liquids like sucralose sweetener may result in buildup on the coil reducing the effectiveness of the wick that also interferes with the absorption of the e-liquid.

You can even feel it yourself if you’ve been using the same coil for a longer period without changing: you might experience a reduction in flavor or change in taste of your e-liquid. If this is the case, then you should consider changing the coil.

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4. Priming Your Coil

When preparing to vape on a new coil, either in a new vape or a replacement coil, the first thing is to open the tank and prime the coil head and allow the wicking material to get saturated with e-juice before filling your tank.

Priming typically involves soaking the wicking material before installation. Notwithstanding, vapers are advised to take some minutes for the wick to get completely saturated before taking their first puff.

But some vapers have no patience as the urge to vape when their devices are ready is always strong. Luckily, priming the vape coils offers some sort of assistance to them as it protects the wicking materials while enabling instant use.

5. Use the Correct e-Liquid Ratio

You must know that the size and wattage range of the coil actually determines the e-liquid ratio, particularly VG/PG, which you should use with your vape.

For instance, a smaller coil head, such as those used with small-size vape pens should be used with less viscous e-liquids. Vaping with thicker e-juice (e-juice with a high percentage of vegetable glycerin) may result in improper wicking that they may result in dry hits with your vape.

If the problem persists, the concentration of the e-juice can be adjusted. Of the two bases, propylene glycol (PG) is thinner. High percentages of PG is recommended for vape coils that operate at lower wattages. Also, make sure you’re using the right nicotine strength of vape juice.

Also, just by a mere look and judging the size of the wicking ports located on the sides of the coil heads, you can tell if the coil should be used with a higher percentage of PG or VG. Simple rule, bigger ports will accept more VG while the smaller ones will be okay with more PG.

6. Unclog Your Wick

Regularly using e-juices high in sweeteners and colorants may result in clogging up of your wicking material. While it’s not necessarily prohibited to vape e-liquids that may caramelize your wick or those dark-colored juices that may mess up the coils as they may be too great to avoid, you need to do regular rinses on your coil to increase their lifespan and most importantly, prevent burnt hit.

7. Avoid Chain Vaping

There are times when you don’t have an option to enjoy life other than doing some drinking, banging a great vape juice, do some social anxiety, and all manner of things to provoke some chain vaping reaction. But it’s rather to stay super cool with your “bad” mind, than ending up with a lungful of burns as they are more dreadful.

What happens with chain vaping is that the e-juice gets overheated, thins quickly, and vaporizes too fast for the coil to saturate before drawing our next puff. And this results in a very “delicious” coke inhale from the mouthpiece of your vape. Not subtle at all; it may even discourage you from vaping altogether.

To prevent this, consider drawing longer, slower puffs, and give your vape some rest between vaping sessions. Some vapers have learned how to prevent dry hits by taking timed primer puffs – while the battery is inactive – forcing more juice to the atomizer compartment.


From the information above, you should be able to understand what burnt hits and dry hits are, and how they can be prevented. If they occur, at least you will know the probable causes and how to mitigate them.



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