It can be tough deciding how often to replace your vape coil.
The lifespan of your wax atomizer can depend on how often you use it, and the temperature at which you vape. So it’s nearly impossible to give an exact time for swapping it out.
There are however ways to guesstimate your atomizer’s life expectancy, in addition to a few blaring signs that the time has come to replace it.
How Long Do Atomizer Coils Last?
Most wax atomizers will need to be replaced within 4 to 12 weeks. This number depends on how often you vape, and the temperature you choose. Those who vape constantly at high temperatures will need to replace their atomizer more frequently.
Atomizer life can also depend on the quality of the coils, which is usually dictated by the materials used.
An atomizer with Grade 1 Titanium coils is going to last longer than one that features cheaper metals. Likewise an atomizer with a solid build quality will stand the test of time better than one with shoddy construction.
Invest in a great atomizer. Enjoy a longer atomizer life.
When Should I Replace My Atomizer?
There are tell-tale signs that spell doom for your wax atomizer. If you experience any of the circumstances described below, it might be time to pick up a new coil.
A nasty burnt flavor is the biggest sign that your atomizer is at its end.
Often caused by “hot spots” on the coil that overheat wax, burnt flavor usually tastes smoky and bitter, sometimes tainted with the smack of metal or plastic.
That gross taste can also be caused by resin that’s been left in the chamber so long it’s become burnt.
Most times leakage is caused by overloading the atomizer. But if your atomizer is still leaking even when you use a small amount of wax, there may be a deeper problem.
It’s important to replace a leaking atomizer if it’s been determined that overloading isn’t the cause. This issue can cause other issues with your wax pen that are more difficult to solve.
Leaking wax can drip onto the threading of your wax pen and cause a bad connection. And it can gunk up your power button.
When an atomizer hasn’t been cleaned regularly, black gunk may build up on or around the coil. This resin can become crystallized over time. At that point, even a good long soak in isopropyl won’t do the trick.
Black gunk can leave a foul taste in your mouth, cause harsh hits, and even clog the air path, creating more draw resistance than there should be.
To avoid this kind of build up, clean the wax atomizer regularly.
Another sign that your coil is ready for a replacement is harsh hits that burn your throat. A little harshness might be normal on higher temperatures, but if you’re gagging even at lower temps, the coil is probably overheating your waxy oils.
Melted wax concentrates can leak into the airway of your vaporizer, and if not cleaned, crystalize. At this point you can try clearing the airway with a paperclip or needle, but if you wait too long, it might be too late. You’ll need to replace the atomizer.
It will be fairly obvious if the vapor path is clogged. You'll have to inhale harder to get anything out of the vape.
How Do I Make an Atomizer Last Longer?
The best way to extend the life of your atomizer coil is through regular cleaning.
Dipping a Q-tip in isopropyl alcohol and cleaning the coils and chamber after each use is highly recommended.
We went over how to clean your atomizer in a recent blog with some helpful visuals.
Also remember not to hold down the firing button too long. This can burn out the coil faster.
If you follow these simple procedures, you can enjoy better vapor for a longer amount of time, bearing in mind that no atomizer lives forever.
Thomas Gregorich is a writer at The VaporNation Blog, a Los Angeles-based online publication focused on providing balanced and trustworthy information about vaporizers. His blogs are visited by an average of 60,000 readers each month. His goal? To help build awareness about the true benefits and downsides of vaping.
As a vaporizer critic for the past two years, Thomas does not recommend that people take up vaping if they don't already smoke. He also does not claim that vaping is healthier than smoking. He does, however, provide information on how to choose and use vaporizers for those who already practice smoking or vaping.
Thomas bought his first vaporizer after looking for an alternative to smoking, a practice which he found to be odorous and wasteful. Since then, he's become an enthusiast, reviewing the most popular devices to provide readers with a balanced perspective. His aim is to offer responsible advice and information that ensures the continued happiness, health, and safety of his readers.
Thomas graduated from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and lives with his family in the Los Angeles region. You can read his articles on High Times, Chicagoist, Leafly, Westword, Leaf Science, Green Rush Daily, Ganjapreneur, and more.