Why Is My Vape Spitting?

Spitting, leaking, popping, spitback – whatever you call it, it’s something that can be anything from inconvenient to actually painful, and indicates that your vape might not be working to the best of its abilities. But don’t think that this phenomenon of hot e-liquid spitting (potentially into your mouth as you inhale) is something that only happens to those fresh to the vaping community. Spitting can sadly affect us all, even those more experienced.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Learning why spitback happens and what causes it is the first step to understanding what you need to do to prevent it from happening to you in the future. It’s easy and straightforward to eliminate spitback from your vaping experience, and with this useful guide you’ll surely never have to deal with it again!

Spitting: What is it and Why does it Happen?

Have you ever filled an electric kettle so full of water that when it begins to boil it bubbles up the spout and spills onto the counter? Vape anatomy, and therefore spitting, is very fundamentally the same principle. Caused when there’s simply too much e-liquid in the centre of your vape coil, spitback happens because the liquid cannot be vaporized properly and starts to bubble and pop. When you inhale, some of this spitback may shoot up the centre of your tank and through your mouthpiece.

Spitting happens because the excess e-liquid does not vaporize the way that it’s supposed to, but gets ‘cooked’ instead. Although similar to having ‘flooded’ coils, spitting can happen even if the coils aren’t actually flooded. This is of course not the best thing for your mouth, but it’s also not very good for the health of your device and can cause irreparable damage to your tank if it happens too often.

Spitting: How does it Happen and How Can I Stop It?

There are a few reasons why your vape might be spitting, and once you understand how spitting occurs, it’s much easier to avoid it happening in the future.

Over-Priming Your Coil

The process of manually dripping e-liquid onto your device’s wicks before you use it is called ‘priming’, and it’s quite easy to overdo things here. If you put too much e-liquid in the chamber before use, you may cause flooding and spitting. The best way to avoid this is by being patient, and trust me, I know how hard that is. But if you allow for the wicks to become fully saturated before adding more liquid you will be well on your way to avoiding spitback and damaging your device.

Using Thin E-Liquid

There are two main compounds used in the production of e-liquids, Propylene Glycol and Vegetable Glycerin, and Propylene Glycol is thinner in consistency than Vegetable Glycerin. This means that e-liquids with a higher concentration of PG are more likely to cause flooding and spitting in an atomizer. If you switch to an e-liquid with a higher concentration of VG, it will slow down the wicking process which should ultimately lead to less of a chance of flooding.

Forcefully Inhaling

If you inhale too forcefully when you vape, this could cause flooding by suction pulling more e-liquid into the chamber of your vape, which again subsequently leads to that tell-tale bubbling, popping, and spitting. However, if you simply reduce your intake and inhale at a softer and more steady pace, this should be avoidable. You could also try reducing your airflow setting to balance things out.

Using a Low Wattage

If your wattage is too low, your wick might be supplying e-liquid too quickly for the power to turn into vapor. This, again, causes pooling and spitting. If you’re using a mod with variable wattage, increase this by 5 or 10 watts to level out the e-liquid to power ratio.

Using the Wrong Drip Tip

If spitting is an issue for your machine, try using an anti-spitback drip tip. The angled design of these kinds of drip tips make it harder for e-liquid to spit up the mouthpiece of your vape, and a longer drip tip will effectively do the same.

Using the Wrong Coils

If you have a device that allows for rebuilding and customization, you might be using the wrong type of coil. Multi-strand coils, for example, can cause popping and spitting due to their design, as can twisted and Clapton coils. By design, these types of coils make it easier for e-liquid to pool on the coil. Using a simple round wire coil will avoid this issue.

Spitting vapes have many causes, but if you’re in a bind and need to stop the issue fast, there are a few simple things that can be done. You can try flicking the tank a few times (over a sink preferably with some paper towel close to hand) to rid the device of excess e-liquid, or remove excess liquid from the tank’s central post to stop the condensation of e-liquid that can exacerbate spitting. Simply roll up a bit of paper towel and use this to clean the post.

Of course, always keeping a clean device will do wonders for preventing all kinds of issues, not just spitting. And, if the notion of spitting and the maintenance involved in preventing it is a lot to handle, there are of course other options. Dry herb vapes, for example, completely eliminate this potentiality as they do not rely on e-liquid but rather dry herbs, and convection or conduction heating methods rather than coils. And, just like e-liquid vapes, there exists a whole universe of options to choose from by brands that have perfected this form – like the exquisite Crafty by Storz and Bickel, or the advanced Davinci IQ. Just as portable and just as convenient, there’s a dry herb vape for any and all preferences.

So think ahead, take care of your vape, and get enjoying that spit-free experience!

Author: Shane Dwyer
Shane Dwyer is a cannabis advocate who isn't afraid to tell the world about it! You can find his views, rants, and tips published regularly at The 420 Times.

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