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How Long Is the Life Cycle of A Coil Head? What are the decisive factors?

Source:OriginalAuthor: Vpbus 322Like Issue Date:2016-06-18 12:28 Sort:Ecig Tutorial 󰀢Comments:0


[Guide] Electronic cigarettes are not as simple as they look—heating the coils by the power of the battery and producing vapor through evaporating the liquid. To really understand this kind of products we should first learn some basic knowledge of them, which is beneficial to the process of using and choosing.

In this passage we’ll talk about a universal question that many beginners would like to ask—how long is the lifecycle of a coil head?

1. Categories of coil heads

The categories of coil heads could correspond to those of atomizers. Atomizers could be classified into sub ohm atomizers and RBAs. Coil heads of different kinds of atomizers also differ in their life cycles.

A. Sub ohm atomizers are equipped with the processed coil heads, which could be directly replaced. 


Most of the coil heads adopt vertical coils. By winding the cotton around the coils, the air flows by and takes away the vapor produced by heating.

B. RBAs require users to make coil heads by themselves using coils and cottons. 


RBAs provide building deck for users to install coils and make coil heads. Users need to wind the coils and fix them on the electrodes, and then pass the cotton through the coils. The air flows by the two sides of the coils to take away the vapor.


Many sub ohm atomizers are also equipped with RBA kits, which allows both processed and self-made coil heads.

Atomizers could also be classified into flavor-oriented atomizers and big-vapor atomizers according to their uses. Both the two kinds of atomizers include sub ohm atomizers and RBAs, thus it’s important to purchase according to the uses and classifications. 

Most vapers use e-cigs mainly to replace cigarettes, then the priority for them is to make sure that they should chose flavor-oriented atomizers. After that they need to consider what kinds of coil heads are suitable—this is concerned with the topic of this passage. 

2. The life cycles of coil heads


The life cycles of coil heads decides the cost of e-cigs. Generally speaking, processed coil heads have a life span of one week to half a month. But the span will reduce depending on different using frequency and categories.

Peoples' use habits are also related with the difference of the coil heads’ life. For example, some prefer replacing the coil head once a day or even once for each tank of liquid; while some would like to replace it every 3-5 days, or even half to one full month. 

3. What are the decisive factors?


No matter it is the sub ohm atomizer or RBA, the life span of coil heads are not fixed. It differs according to different use habits. Then what are the decisive factors?

A. Power. Coil heads’ affordable power are generally marked on the shell of them, for example, 1.6Ω and 8-15W represents the resistance of  1.6Ω and the suggested power of 8W-15W. If the output power is too high, the high temperature produced by the coils will evaporate excessively and finally lead to burnt cottons. 

B. Liquid. The most important effect that liquid has is its carbon deposition. The liquid is delivered to the coil through the cotton, and then produces vapor by heating. Due to the high temperature, some black matters will formed up on the coils, which is the so-called carbon deposition. Liquids’ different raw materials and additives will affect the speed of carbon depositing. For example, the Malaysia liquids are known for their high carbon deposition due to their special essences and high sugar content. 


Carbon deposition will affect the heating efficiency and vapor flavor of the atomizer. However, the phenomenon is inevitable because of the existed heating method. If you are using Malaysia liquid, you’d better go with a RBA, which has a lower cost and allows self-made coil head—ensuring that you could replace it freely.


C. Improper usage. While using new coil heads, especially processed ones, it’s important to do some preparatory works. Most of the sub ohm atomizers are preinstalled with the coil heads before delivering. After receiving it, users should disassemble the coil head first and drop a spot of liquid to soak the cotton before using.


By doing this the cotton could absorb the liquid more swimmingly. The reason is that the fiber surface of cotton is full of tomentum, which forms up a surface that prevents the liquid from entering inside the cotton. By soaking the cotton, the absorption will be much more freely. 

Some manufacturers will notice the importance of preparatory soaking in the manual book, some will not. Although direct filling could also effectively make the coil head fully absorb the liquid relying on the effect of pressure, but the process needs 15 minutes or more. Firing the coil head before the cotton is fully soaked will cause the burning of cotton.

While soaking the coils, be careful to control the amount of liquid. Just soak the cotton around the coil and liquid flow ports. Excessive liquid will lead to problems like leaking.

In the process of soaking, do not drop toward the center of the coil. It is suggested to drop toward the cottons around the coils.

D. High VG liquid. If flavor-oriented RBAs are equipped with high VG liquids, the mobility of the liquid will lower the liquid flow and lead to burnt cotton. Generally, a higher VG will result in bigger vapor, softer flavor, and viscous liquid as well as bad mobility. Thus usually high VG liquids are applied to big vapor atomizer like RDAs. Some sub ohm flavor-oriented atomizers' liquid flow system could not deal with the high VG liquids, thus lead to burnt cottons. So the PG/VG proportion is also an important matter. Nevertheless, some many add deionized water into the high VG liquid to improve the mobility and liquid flow, which is suitable for being used in sub ohm flavor-oriented atomizers.

4. When should we replace the coil head?


There is no fixed replacement cycle during actual uses. Users often replace it according to their use habits. The following points are listed for your reference:

A. The change of flavor. In actual use, if the flavor of the liquid becomes worse or even stimulating and has the smell of burnt cotton, then you may have to check the carbon deposition and consider if it should be replaced.

B. The inner side of the coil head. Disassemble the liquid tank and observe the inner side of the coil head to check the status of burnt cotton, color changing and carbon deposition. Pay attention to the placing of the disassembled tank to avoid liquid leaking. 

5. Could the coil heads be washed?


Some RDAs adopt trick coils. Because of the complex structure, it’s hard the make the coil head. Therefore some vapers many dry heat the coils after a certain period of use, and wash the burned red coils directly with tap water. By repeating this process the carbon deposition could be eliminated. 

Pay attention to protect the box from water inflowing, which will damage the device and cause short circuit. The method is a little bit difficult for actual operating, thus beginners are not suggested to apply. 

Strictly, processed cool heads are washable, but you need to reinstall and use it after the coil head is totally dried out. Otherwise it may lead to liquid lacking, liquid bursting and short circuit. 

The main purpose of washing the atomizer is to clean the carbon deposition on the surface of the coils. As processed coil heads’ cottons could not be disassembled, the function of washing is limited. Moreover, if the cotton is already burnt, the method makes no sense.

6. Could sub ohm atomizers’ coil head be self-made?


Many vapers want to make the sub ohm atomizers’ coil heads by themselves to save cost. 

Actually the structure of this kind of coil head is very complex, which makes it harder to build than RBAs. Misplacing of the coils will lead to touching with the metal tube of the atomizer and therefore causing short circuit. Besides that, even if the building succeeds, its flavor and performance are still worse than the original. That’s why I do not suggest beginners to try rebuilding. If you want to save cost, you can choose RBAs which could also provide the fun of DIY.


Summary:The life cycles of coil heads may differ according to different use habits and the components of liquid. The main factors that affect the life span are the carbon deposition and power. The amount of carbon deposition will affect the flavor and heating performance; the speed of carbon deposition will affect the life cycles of coil heads; and excessively high power will lead to burnt cottons. Therefore, to lengthen the life cycle and lower the costs, you have to pay attention to these points and correctly operate the device. 

Both sub ohm atomizers and RBAs have their own characteristics. The former features stable flavor, convenient use and easy operating; the latter allows adjusting the flavor through exchanging different coils, which is more flexible and playable and with a lower cost. Beginners could choose the most suitable atomizer according to your actual requirements. Pay attention to your use habits and choose the right liquid to maximally lengthen the life cycle of the coil head.

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