E Cig Tanks - Beginners guide and helpful troubleshooting tips and tricks

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Looking To Learn A Little More About Vape Tanks? Have A Problem With Your E Cig Tank? You’re In The Right Place


Introduction To E Cig Tanks

You may know them as e cig tanks, vape tank, sub ohm tank or clearomizers. Whatever you choose to call them they are all, on a basic level, the same thing.

I have a confession to make – despite vaping for close to five years now I still get my cartomizer mixed up with my clearomizer and until just recently I hadn’t even heard of a glassomizer.

And when it comes to the bewildering array of acronyms in most vapers vocabulary – such as RDA – RBA and the more recent RTA, RDTA – most of us mere mortal vapers linger for a second then move on – we’ve all been there.

So when we thought about creating a kind of ‘dummies guide to vaping tanks and coils’ it was little surprise the word dummy and tank meant my name immediately sprang to his mind.

So if like me you have a kind of vaping blind spot when it comes to much in the vapers glossary – then fill up your tank of choice, grab a beverage – settle back and let’s see if together we can understand a little more about the different types of tanks and coils out there and why you may be having problems.

A Quick Vaper’s Glossary For Vape Tanks

I’ll go into more detail later but for now here’s what those acronyms and titles actually mean:

  • Cartomizer – usually found on cig-a-likes – a pre-filled cartridge with coil/cotton built in.
  • Clearomizer – E-liquid well is made from clear plastic or glass, usually pyrex glass.
  • Glassomizer – The term isn’t used too much anymore but certain brands such as Aspire labelled some earlier tanks this way due to the tank section being made of glass.
  • Sub Ohm Tank – This is a tank that uses coils under 1.0 Ohm. Hence the term ‘sub ohm’.
  • Atomizer / Coil – This is the part that produces the vapour once heated up.
  • RBA – rebuild-able atomizer – A term that encompasses all of the below.
  • RDA – rebuild-able dripping atomiser [not strictly a tank as I’ll explain later]
  • RTA – Rebuildable Tank Atomiser
  • RDTA – rebuild-able dripping tank atomiser – a kind of hybrid.

The Basic Anatomy of E Cig Tanks

It’s safe to say that most if not all the tanks out there are pretty much functioning the same way.

  • You fill your tank with e-liquid
  • The battery sends power to the coil
  • The coil heats up
  • The atomizer/coil vapourises the e-liquid and emits the vapour and voila. We get that sensation we all adore.

So let’s break it down and look at your average vape tank – in this case the Smok Brit Mini Flavour tank as it’s the last one I reviewed.SMOK Brit Mini Flavor Tank parts

As you can see from the image the whole thing comes apart nicely giving us a clear view of the components.

I plan to cover coils – filling – cleaning and common issues with tanks later in the article – so for now let’s just look at each part of a typical tank.

From left to right on the image we have:

  • The drip-tip / mouthpiece
  • The top cap
  • The tank – usually either glass or plastic – more on that later
  • The atomiser/coil head – more on those later
  • The base or connector – more on those later

You can also see the ‘O’ rings if you look closely enough.

On the base you can see a rubbery orange disc and two grey ones on the drip tip.

These little beauties hold the whole thing together and act as an airtight seal to stop your e-liquid leaking – most good tanks come with spares.

So here’s a reminder of what happens in your average e cig tank once it’s all assembled and filled with juice.

  • You hit the fire button
  • The battery sends power to the coil
  • The coil/atomiser heats up
  • Which in turn produces the vapour we inhale – simple!

In an e-cigarette or ‘cig-a-like’ the battery is shaped like a cigarette and the cartomizer [coil – atomiser and juice] is shaped like a filter and is self-contained.

Most folks who quit the evil smokes tend to start with these as on a subconscious level they look a lot like cigarettes and are, let’s face it, simple to use and easy to pick up from the corner shop.How e cigarettes work

However, the vaping world has come a long way from those early e-cigarettes. Whilst they are still popular things have moved on somewhat.

So now we’ve figured out the basic principles of tanks – coils – cartomizers and atomizers let’s dip a bit more into the well of vaping knowledge.

Are Tanks Universal?

That’s not a philosophical question lol and the simple answer is NO. Not every tank is compatible with all batteries and vice versa.

You may have seen the phrase ‘510 connection or connector’ thrown around a lot in vaping reviews and articles.

In simple terms that’s the name for the bit on the base of the tank that screws onto your battery or mod.

‘510’ in this case is the thread size of the tank you’re screwing into your battery or mod as in ‘5mm and 10mm’ shortened to 510!510 e cig connection

Most of the popular, if you like, mass-market tanks and mods have this size thread.

You may hear some reviewers or vapers mention the length of the ‘pin’. This is of particular importance to folks who use a custom made mod – rather than one bought off the shelf – as the pin needs to be able to fit correctly on the battery for both obvious and safety reasons.

So for most of us a 510 connector is all we’ll ever need to worry about – so when it comes to buying your next tank just do a quick check and see if your mod/battery has a matching 510 connection – pretty sure it will be 😉

Another style of connector you have heard about is the so called Ego, originally designed by vape company Joyetech. This is found more often than not on the entry level pen/tube shaped e-cigarettes and is usually smaller than the 510.510 vs ego e cig thead connections

If you really love your Ego tank and want to use it on your new 510 threaded mod/battery – then never fear an Ego 510 adaptor is available – though personally I wouldn’t – buy a new tank ya cheapskate haha!

Here’s a list of connector sizes:

  • 901 8mm X .75
  • 801 9mm X .75
  • 510 7mm X .5 (Most Common)
  • RN4081 8mm X .75
  • EGO 12mm x .5

I’ve Seen ‘Ohm’s’ on Coils – What Is this?

What is resistance in e cigarettesAs I’ve said many times – I failed physics at school and can barely change a plug – so all this voltage – wattage and resistance can make my head spin! lol.

There’s a fantastic guide to resistance – voltage and watts and how it equates to vaping here – so I won’t [couldn’t lol] better that.

So for this section let’s look at a basic overview of the wattage and resistance we find on our coils.

If you take out a fresh coil you’ll normally see etched on the side the resistance (ohm) and sometimes the wattage recommended for use with that particular coil:innokin slipstream coil

You see the 0.8Ω [the symbol for ohm] – [KAL stands for Kanthal – that’s the wire material inside] and the wattage set at 20-35watts.

Right take a deep breath lol.

The resistance of the coil relates to the amount of heat the coil can produce when the device is fired.

Higher Resistance

Usually the higher the resistance the less heat – this results in less vapour produced.

You will find higher resistant coils on cig-a-likes for instance and these tend to produce a similar amount of vapour as smoke from a normal cigarette.

They are also common in a lot of vape pen type starter kits.

Lower Resistance

So therefore the lower resistance [including sub-ohm vaping – more later] your coil is rated the more heat is delivered.

Which in turn helps increase the vapour you can produce.


Wattage is how much power is produced on your vape device which in turn sends the voltage into your coil.

So more wattage and the voltage hitting your coil usually means a more intense flavour and more clouds!

That’s all very basic but I am a dummy and this is a ‘simple guide’ lol!

Getting More Flavour From Your Tank

As to flavour – most of the time that depends on personal taste and indeed the type of coil and tank you’re using.

However, on basic everyday tanks the lower the resistance the more intense the flavour – whilst at a higher resistance the flavour can dim a little.

And yeah I know that can all change depending on the type of e-liquid, tank/coil and other variables – but that’s the absolute basics of it!

Choosing The Right Tank: Mouth To Lung Or Direct To Lung Vaping?

Mouth to lung or sub ohm tank?For beginners to vaping – as in straight off the fags – most of the kits nowadays are all a much of a muchness – though we do have some recommended vape pens that are a great starting point.

But anyway I digress we’re supposed to be looking a tanks lol.

Pretty soon into your vaping journey you’ll be eying the vast array of vape tanks and clearomizers – and be thinking which e cig tank is the best one for you?

Back in the day [lol] we vapers didn’t have much choice when it came to tanks.

However the vape industry has evolved considerably and today you have seemingly a zillion tanks to choose from. So it’s easy to get a little overwhelmed.

It’s fair to say some kits come complete with the mod/battery and tank – but even then you need to make sure you’ve chosen the right one.

We’ll get on to sub ohm vaping and the type of tank/coil you’ll need shortly – but let’s start with your average vaper looking to move on from a cig-a-like or even a pen style vaping device.

As we’ve already learned the higher the resistance or the higher/lower the wattage coil we use defines the vaping experience.

There’s Basically Two Types of Vaping

1: Mouth to Lung or ‘MTL’ for Short

This is the same as smoking a cigarette only without all the ‘unwanted extras’.

You inhale the vapour – hold it in your mouth for a moment – draw into your lungs and exhale – just like smoking.

The coils tend to be of higher resistance (1.2-2.0 Ohms) and lower wattage (around 10-20W).

Most e cig batteries will work with these types of tank. Although due diligence is needed.

2: Direct to Lung or DTL

Also referred to as STL (straight to lung) This is mainly for sub ohm vaping – you draw the vapour directly into your lungs before exhaling.

The coils tend to be of lower resistance (0.5Ohm and below) and higher wattage (25W+).

For most newbies to vaping the MTL style is the best place to start because it mimics smoking perfectly.

So let’s look at a couple of new MTL tanks that are perfect for the beginner.

Want To Learn More About Vaping Styles? Check Out Our DTL vs MTL Vaping Guide

MTL Tanks

I recently reviewed the Aspire nautilus 2. The updated version to the extremely popular Nautilus and loved it.drip tip Aspire nautilus 2

There are two coil options for this tank. The 0.7Ohm rated for use between 18-23Watts and the 1.6Ohm coil rated for use between 10-14Watts. This tank offers two slightly different, but great MTL vaping experiences – remember MTL vaping is similar to smoking [amount of vapour and throat hit] minus the extras that come with tobacco!

Another well received MTL tank has been the Jacvapour S22.s22 tank on rx mini

That’s just two of the very many MTL tanks out there but all of course do pretty much the same thing – mimic smoking.

It pays to have a good look around – particularly at our comprehensive and extremely fair and detailed reviews – before choosing the one for you.

We have put together our recommended e cig tanks for mouth to lung vaping here.

DTL / Sub Ohm Tanks

I’ll go into the RBA’s and the R2D2’s [joke] later. For now let’s look at your simple to use sub ohm tank and its components.

As a reminder. Sub ohm vaping on the whole relies on a coil with a low resistance that can handle higher wattage.

So as we’ve seen MTL tanks use coils that are anything between 1.2Ω to 2.0Ω whereas sub ohm vapers use coils below 1.0Ω. More often than not, 0.5Ω and lower.

I’m currently using a 0.4ohm coil set at 70watts in my Aspire Atlantis Evo – it’s a warmish vape with great flavour and tons of clouds.aspire evo atlantis preview

Sub ohm vapers tend to use [on the whole] the DTL [direct to lung] style of vaping and this as I can attest gives a much richer flavour profile as well as chucking out the clouds.

Air-flow also helps with both flavour and vapour production and we’ll look at this later.

As vaping technology advances there doesn’t seem to be a week or even a day before a new sub ohm tank hits the vaping hungry market.

Again sub ohm tanks do also come as part of a kit – but as you no doubt know stand-a-lone tanks are everywhere!

You just need to be sure whatever battery you choose can handle a sub ohm tank. Not all can.

So here’s a few sub ohm tanks you might like to consider buying and adding to your collection.

The awesome Phazer Tank by Apollo and this sub ohm tank is not only a looker but received a massive thumbs up from yours truly.Apollo Phazer Sub Ohm Tank

It chucks out the clouds – has a phenomenal flavour profile and handles 0.2ohm and 0.5ohm coils.

The Aspire Cleito was my first sub ohm tank and along with the Phazer my go to tank – apart from the Evo as well 🙂Aspire Cleito - Best Sub Ohm Tank Runner Up

It was a revolution when it arrived with its internal chimney design a real eye-catcher.

It operates on 0.2ohm to 0.4oh coils and personally I think it’s one of the very best tanks for both newbies to sub ohm vaping and old timers 😉

There’s a new version called the Cleito 120 which is designed for real high power vaping, as the name would suggest upto 120W.

The SMOK TFV8 tank is another which has been recognised by many as one of the best sub ohm tanks available.

It even won the ‘Best Sub Ohm Tank’ category in our very own Ecigclick Vape Awards 2016 among some stiff competition.Best Sub Ohm Tank - Award Winner SMOK TFV8

Despite that, I wouldn’t recommend this tank for new vapers. Even vapers new to sub ohm vaping will need to carefully consider if it’s the right option.

I won’t get into the whys and why nots of this specific device so if you want to learn more check out out SMOK TFV8 review.

Important tip: Not all batteries are capable of powering sub ohm tanks.

Check what resistance coils the battery can operate when you are in the buying process.

For example: You will see this listed on the features/specs of most batteries and vape mods stating what resistances they can handle.e cig battery resistance ratings

For a more detailed look at all aspects of sub ohm vaping I also suggest you head over to DaveX’s excellent article – https://www.ecigclick.co.uk/beginners-guide-to-sub-ohm-vaping/

You can also check out our list of recommended sub ohm tanks

Choosing The Right Liquid for the Your E Cig Tank

Sounds silly – but the type of e-liquid you put into your tank can have a massive effect on not just the flavour and clouds.

Certain flavours and flavour enhancers in e-liquid can clog and ultimately burn your coils out quicker than one not so dense.

E-liquids are sold with a PG [Propylene Glycol ] and VG [Vegetable Glycerine] mix.

VG is thick and gloopy whilst PG is lighter and runnier 😉

PG Characteristics

  • Thinner consistency
  • Carries flavour well
  • Produces less vapour
  • Helps provide more throat hit
  • Some people can be allergic to PG

VG Charateristics

  • Thicker consistency
  • Higher vapour production
  • Helps for a smoother throat hit

Mouth to lung and sub ohm style tanks won’t necessarily perform well with the same e liquid.

Too high a VG e liquid in a MTL tank and it may struggle.

Too high a PG e liquid in a sub ohm tank and it may be too harsh a vape or too thin a juice and cause leaking.

You can of course try and use any e liquid you want, this is just a general guide!

Want more in depth details? Then check out our PG vs VG guide.



If you are using a mouth to lung style tank these tend to have smaller coil heads with smaller juice flow holes.

Which can result in issues wicking/soaking up higher VG e liquids.

Again, it all depends on your specific device but we would recommend sticking with higher PG mixes for these types of e cig tanks.

I have personally used 50/50 and 60VG/40PG juices on the Nautilus 2 and Triton Mini and they have worked well. But… Depending on the MTL tank you use higher VG e liquids like the 60/40 may not be as flavoursome as they would say in a sub ohm tank.

Sub Ohm Tanks

If you are using sub ohm tanks the most common VG/PG ratio is 70VG/30PG but I find anything from a 50VG/50PG to 80VG / 20PG can work well depending on the tank.

If going for a 100% VG juice ask the question whether your tank/coil will wick the thicker juices well enough.

Higher PG e-juices, as previously mentioned, may be too harsh on the throat when paired with the higher heat that sub ohm tanks need to produce.

When we say high here we are talking in the 60%PG – 100%PG range.

Obviously, it follows a higher VG could clog your coils up a touch quicker than a 50-50 mix as could certain juice ingredients.

As with pretty much everything relating to e cigs it’s very much a case of trial and error with all these things until you find your ‘sweet spot’.

I’m a New Vaper – Which Nicotine Strength Should I Choose?

which nicotine strength e cig liquid should I choose forIt also matters on what strength of nicotine you use.

Most e-liquids are sold from 0mg nicotine to 20mg – it used to be 24mg until the TPD came along.

Mouth To Lung

As a rule of thumb most folks who begin with MTL tanks enjoy a higher nicotine mix.

A popular starting point is 16mg to now a max of 20mg giving you a fair hit whilst helping keep up your nicotine levels.

DTL – Sub Ohm Vaping

For DTL vapers (Direct to Lung – sub ohm vaping) it’s highly recommended to drop your nicotine strength.

This is due to the higher heat that is hitting the coils. What I can say is I once tried to sub ohm vape a 20mg nicotine e-liquid and literally cried 😉

I personally vape 3mg nicotine when sub ohm vaping. Although I can also vape 6mg nicotine depending on the mood I’m in! – Again it’s all about personal taste.

Just be careful going over the 6mg mark when sub ohm vaping, try it by all means, if your juice has a higher VG content then you 8may* be OK. Just son’t say we didn’t warn you!

E Liquid Cracking Tanks (Tank Crackers)

Believe it or not some e-liquids can crack your plastic/polycarbonate tank [clearomizer]!

You can find an in-depth list here – but suffice it to say it’s something in the ingredients – particularly acidic fruity ones – that CAN cause the plastic to go into meltdown – literally.

It’s rare – I’ve personally never experienced it. But it does and can happen so something to consider if you’re using a plastic rather than Pyrex glass tank 😉

The exception to this rule is the Innokin iSub. This tank was produced with a German made polycarbonate that won’t crack or discolour when used with these flavours.

With so many quality Pyrex glass e cig tanks available today it probably makes sense to start with these or make the switch.

Best Practices For using Your Vape Tank

e cig use - best practicesThis section will include how to keep your coils performing longer – priming your coils – various filling methods and for me the all-important cleaning of the tank.

First up:

Priming Your Coils

You’ll see that in order to keep your coils performing well for longer many of the steps I’ll mention help – none more so than priming your coils.

Most of us screw in our new coil – fill up with e-liquid – leave it for a minute or two and then vape.

However, it’s far far better to prime your coils first and leave it a good 5 to 10 minutes before vaping.

On most coils you’ll see juice holes – where the cotton is peeping through. It’s the cotton that sucks up and soaks in your e-liquid.

Before adding your shiny new coil it’s recommended to drizzle a tiny amount onto the exposed cotton/wick – just a drip will do on each exposed area.

This tells the cotton to begin sucking and as more e-liquid is added to the tank the process is already working.

You can also help the wicking process along by giving a couple of controlled ‘dry hits’ – in other words take drags WITHOUT firing your device.

If the juice doesn’t have time to soak through the cotton to the coil it will simply burn – and we all know what THAT tastes like! If you don’t it’s nasty! ha

Not only that, once the cotton is burnt the coil is ruined and will need replacing.

If you try and top up a tank with e liquid that has previously been in a tank with a burnt coil installed this can also contaminate your juice. Double whammy.

So when it comes to priming your coil and then filling your tank – patience is the virtue!

Don’t Run on Empty!

Nowadays most tanks are clear enough to see the level of e-liquid and this might sound daft but this is extremely important!Jacvapour Series S tank

Always keep your tank topped up!

That’s not to say it should be filled to the max all the time but if the level drops too low then the cotton nearest to the coil will be drier than that on the outside – resulting in a nasty dry burn yuk!

Try keeping your tank topped up to 3/4 level.

How To Fill an E Cig  Tank

How to fill an e cig tank

Top fill – side fill – bottom fill – they all sound like gardening terms.

Not so, it’s pretty obvious they’re just the various ways the vaping manufacturers and designers have settled on how you add the e-liquid to the tank – pretty self-explanatory really.

However each one has its positives and negatives.

Top Fill

I personally prefer the top-fill for ease of use.Top Filling The iSub Apex Sub Ohm Tank

That simply means unscrewing (fully or part way) the top of tank and glugging in the juice – simple and mostly clean!

Side Fill

Side fills do exist but are pretty much a thing of the past and are mostly featured on more advanced tanks.Side filling the Lemo 2 Sub Tank

Bottom Fill

Bottom fills [insert smutty joke] are everywhere and can be the bane of many vapers although they can still do the job well.Bottom Fill tanks When filling any e cig tanks or clearomisers,  be sure that you don’t get juice in the centre tube.

This is where you will be drawing the vapour up and into your mouth. You can see the centre tube in the image above.

It’s important that the juice goes down perimeter of this.

When and how to Change Your Coils

How To Change An E Cig CoilOver the last year there’s been a move from vaping designers to introduce so called ‘clean hand coil swaps’.

This means you can screw on and off your coil from either the base or top-cap without having to empty your tank of e-liquid.

The image below is the Innokin Apex 5 tank, which has the clean coil swap feature – though with anything to do with coils and e-liquids you will get some residue around so always have a tissue handy!easy swap innokin coil

However there’s still plenty of coils out there that can be a nightmare to swap in and out – check our extensive e cig tank reviews for the culprits ;).

When Should I Change My E Cig Coil?

As to when you need to change your coil that can depend on many many factors.

However, the basic reason to change is your juice flavour deteriorating or the horrible taste of burning coming through.

By following the steps in this section you will drag a little extra life out of your coils – but on average 1-2 weeks for a heavy vaper and longer for a lighter vaper is the norm.

Although many different variables can effect this such as the type of e-liquid you are using. So it will differ from vaper to vaper.

Can I Clean and Re-Use My Vape Coils?

I have seen tutorials on You Tube for cleaning your coils – and I did once try to clean a handful of Aspire Cleito coils.

However for me, once the water had hit the cotton no matter how much I’d dried it out – it just never quite tasted the same.

One school of thought is to soak your used coils in Vodka – however my bottle of Grey Goose is more valuable than a £1 coil lol.

I also [very unsuccessfully I might add] followed a tutorial to replace fresh cotton into a used Cleito coil – it is possible but rather fiddly!

Some coil heads such as the Innokin iSub coils are easier to change the cotton in if you have the inclination and patience!

We can never get a coil to last forever – but simple steps can eke out the performance a bit and these day every little helps!

Unless you are going down the re-buildable route but that’s a whole other post!

Further reading – Beginners guide to rebuildables

How To Clean Your Vape Tank / Clearomiser

how do I clean an e cig tank?Anyone who’s read one of my vape tank reviews will know I always mention if it can come apart easily for cleaning – I’m a stickler for it!

Thankfully most, if not all of the newer tanks on the market recognize hygiene as a primary concern and most come apart for easy cleaning.


We HIGHLY recommend cleaning a new tank fully (not coils) before first use.

While not a common occurrence, it has been known for machine oil residue from the manufacturing process to be present on vape tank parts.

Not ideal by any stretch, but easily rectified. It could save not only a nasty vape experience but contaminating your e liquid as well.

However it’s not a case of popping the parts into a dishwasher – washing machine – or in the washing up bowl with plenty of Fairy Liquid!

The real vaping enthusiasts out there have an Ultrasonic Cleaner to hand – however you can of course just rely on hot water with NO detergent.

Take your tank apart [leaving the coil to one side] and wash through with warm water.aspire nautilus x

You can dry off the excess and then leave to air dry. Or if you are impatient get the hairdryer out!

Simple as that!

Common Issues and Fixes with Your E Cig Tank

Vape tank problems and how to fix themNo matter how well built – how well maintained and indeed how clean your tank is there’s gonna be times [thankfully not often] when things go a little screwy.

We know how annoying it can be but usually with an adjustment here and there we can get things firing on all cylinders again.

Here’s some common issues and how to fix them:

Why Is My Vape Tank Gurgling and Bubbling? What is this and how to fix

Whenever I had gurgling happen to me the sound as I inhale is like sucking the last dregs of a milkshake through a straw but nowhere near as tasty lol.

  • Simply overfilling of the tank meaning there’s too much e-liquid for the tank to cope, which in turn over-saturates the cotton wick.
  • This can result in e-liquid coming up through the mouthpiece/drip tip and into your mouth. Urghh.
  • Another reason is that you *may* have dripped juice down the centre tube of the tank when filling. It’s easily done especially if you are using a tank for the very first time.
  • The centre post/tube is there for the vapour to make it’s way out of the tank and into your mouth, not for pouring in e liquid.

Things to try to stop your e cig tank gurgling:

  • Don’t drip juice in the centre tube of the tank
  • Take the tank off the battery
  • Take some kitchen tissue and place around the base of the tank
  • Blow down the mouthpiece – This should result in excess e liquid being expelled onto the tissue.
  • Take a Q tip or roll a piece of tissue tightly and poke down the mouthpiece/drip tip into the center hole. This will mop up excess juice build up within the coil.
  • If the two methods above do not work out then you’ll need to take the whole tank apart and clean off the excess juice – making sure you also give the mouthpiece a good wash and dry!
  • It may also be a case of repeating the above mopping up method until your coil ‘breaks in’. This has been the case (on minimal occasion) with me in the past.

It should then be good to go – if not leave it for a while to air dry and try again.

If all the above that fails check out some reviews of the tank in question. There are some tanks that are worse than others for gurgling.

Why is my Tank Spitting? How To Rectify

When your e cig tank spits hot e liquid in your mouth this can sometimes go side by side with the above gurgling and spitting.

So have a look at the above information first and then try the below.

Spitting is down to your coil wicking the juice faster than it can vapourize it, over-saturating your wick. This can result in juice sitting on the actual coil. You then go to vape and the juice on the coil heats, pops and spits.

I have found on occasion when this has happened to me that just vaping on through this can work and the coil settles in and does its thing. I have found the first tip below works most of the time for me.

Things you can try to stop your e cig tank spitting

  • First take a Q tip or roll a piece of tissue tightly and poke down the mouthpiece/drip tip into the center of the coil. This will mop up excess juice build up on the coil itself.
  • Press the fire button for a second before taking a drag – Give the e-liquid on the coil a chance to get the popping and spitting out of the way.
  • Up your wattage a touch if you have a variable wattage mod – It’s possible you may be vaping at too lower a wattage for the coil you are using.
  • Adjust airflow to see if this has an effect.
  • Your juice may be too thin (High PG% Juice). Try an ejuice with a higher VG content, this is thicker in consistency and will wick differently to thinner juices. See ‘Which E Liquid Is Right For Your E Cig Tank’ above.
  • If you are a DIY type then adding a little mesh/gauze of some sort at the top of the tank can catch the spitting juice before it reaches your mouth. Just be careful if attempting this and make sure the material is securely in place.

Why is my E Cig Tank Leaking/Flooding? How To Rectify

There are a couple of common reasons why vape tanks leak and some fixes you can try.

Things to try to stop your e cig tank from leaking/flooding:

  • If it’s a crack that’s causing the leak then time to use the spare glass/plastic that ‘some’ manufacturers supply. Most of the major brands do indeed sell spares for pocket change.
  • Another reason for leaking and flooding could be the ‘O ring’ seals. Check to make sure non have been dislodged or damaged. Check the coil as well as the tank. Again many companies supply a little bag of spares and once everything’s clean and dry changing/replacing them might do the trick.
  • Make sure no e-liquid is on any of the threads. Usually taking the whole thing apart – cleaning and reassembling will help. A perfect time to check your seals.
  • Make sure your coil head is screwed in flush with the threading and not cross threaded and don’t over-tighten. Sometimes when unscrewing your tank to fill with juice the coil can also loosen a little or a lot. This of course depends on the tank you are using.
  • High PG e-juice has a thinner viscosity. High PG juices may saturate wicks quicker than you can vape. This is more of an issue with sub ohm tanks that have big coils and juice flow holes.
  • If using sub ohm coils a higher VG juice (thicker juice) is recommended over higher PG (thinner juices). Read more about PG Vs Vg e juice here.

Airplanes and Leaking Tanks

While we are here, a little note on travelling with an e cigarette.

If you are taking a tank or clearomiser onto a flight be sure to empty the tank before boarding. The air cabin pressure effects the pressure within the tank and causes it (from my experience) to dump some or all of the contents.

I should know better but I have experienced this a number of times and while it can make the inside of your bag smell pretty amazing, e liquid takes some cleaning up!

If you forget to empty your tank then just wrap your tank in some tissue, close the airflow holes and take it off your battery.

You don’t want e liquid leaking on your battery for obvious reasons!

For more on this subject check out our in-depth guide to travelling with an e cigarette

So What E Cig Tanks are Leak Proof?

Truth be told we can’t honestly say every single vape tank out there is 100% leak proof.

However, we’ve come a long way and pretty much all of the reviews I’ve done – when I follow the instructions lol – have shown tanks and kits to be far better than they’ve ever been.

Leaks, it’s fair to say, whilst of course will still happen for a variety of reason are nowadays few and far between so long as you of course follow the instructions and the steps shown in this article.

Jonny – “I have personally been using the Aspire Nautilus X (MTL tank) and haven’t had any leaking in 4 months use following the above advice to rectify leaking tanks.

Same can be said for the Aspire Cleito. The only exception to the above was when I took my tank on-board a flight!”

Why Does My E Cig Coil Taste Burnt?

This is the burning (sorry) question and probably the most common issue people have with their tanks and coils.

Good news is the reasons are usually pretty obvious (once you know how) and more importantly, avoidable.

  • If you let the coil/wick dry out then as the coil heats there’s no juice to vapourise hence the disgusting taste of burning cotton – double yuk! Keep your tank topped up and your coils fed with juice.
  • Your voltage or wattage could be far too high for the coil you’re using.
  • Double/triple check your wattage before firing up your coil!!! Best practice is to start low and work your way up. This also help break in your coil.
  • If you are a bit of a chain vaper then slow down sunshine – too many drags in succession can lead to the coil overheating and vapourising the the e-liquid on your cotton too quickly.
  • Don’t take quick sharp draws like you would when you smoked the stinkies. Vaping is different. Slow, long and smooth is the order of the day.
  • In short, you need to give the cotton in your coil the chance to soak up your juice in between draws.
  • Finally, your coil may simply have reached the end of it’s working days. You enjoyed your time together while it lasted. Now it’s time for you and your coil to part ways.

High VG E Liquids

You might find using a high VG e-liquid can lead to a nasty taste if the cotton isn’t soaked enough.

Being of a thicker consistency means high VG juices can if you like ‘gloop’ around the coil and become almost toffee like.

Once heated this will indeed give off a foul burning taste – it can also be true of the sweeter e-liquids. Again trial and error will tell you what’s best.

Also, depending on your coils, VG can take longer to wick/soak into your cotton. Be patient and give your coils some time to suck that juice up.

I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again – don’t let your tank run dry! Just because there’s a drizzle of juice left doesn’t mean it’s getting to the coil!

Make sure you prime your coil/wick and let it soak for a good 5 to 10 minutes so all the cotton is soaked sufficiently.

Why Does My Tank Get So Hot? Why Does My Drip Tip burn My Lips?

Some vapers experience the actual tank itself getting too hot or the drip tip/mouthpiece burning their lips.

This is actually a common thing and something that while not ideal isn’t something to concern yourself with too much. Modern tanks are taking on some high wattage/heat so it’s to be expected.

Things to try if your tank is getting hot:

  • Chain Vaping / Heavy Use – Too many big draws in a short space of time will be the likely culprit. Try and let your tank settle between puffs to allow it to cool down. This can happen if you take 4/5 drags in a row for instance.
  • Open up your airflow fully
  • Have a play with your wattage at lower settings and see if you can still get a good vape.
  • May help to buy some of the heat dissipating bands that are available to fit around your tank. The Cleito, for instance, comes with these bands for that exact reason. Use them!
  • Use a Delrin drip-tip/mouthpiece – Delrin is a plastic material that provides a higher operating temperature range than stainless steel.

Why is the Flavour in my Tank Suddenly So Poor?

I’m glad you asked!

Flavour loss in e cig tanks happens to us all at some point or other. As with many vaping problems there is a reason and a solution.

Here are some of the reason this could be happening and what you can try:

Vapers tongue

Been enjoying a flavour and all of a sudden it tastes completely off?

Vapers tongue could be the reason.

This is when your taste buds become so accustomed to a flavour that they pretty much stop registering it.

Try the following:

  • Drink lots of water
  • Changing your e-juice for a while. Menthol and aniseed flavours are said to help clear the palate.
  • Popping a coffee bean in your mouth is also said to be a good way of resetting your taste buds. We all have coffee beans lying around don’t we?

Coil Has Reached The End

The most common and obvious reason for flavour loss is simply that your coil has reached the end of it’s life. It happens to us all.

Certain types of e liquid flavours can cause coils to fail earlier than others as well.

Try the following:

  • Chuck out the old coil and replace with a new one.

But My New Coil Head + E Liquid Tastes Disgusting?

If you are vaping away happily and change your coil and your juice tastes unusual (grim) this could, in rare occurrences, be residue machine oil left on the parts that make up the coil.

We touched on this further up in the tank cleaning section. This happens (or more to the point shouldn’t) in the manufacturing stage.

It’s more common that the tank itself will have machine oil than the coil but I thought I’d mention as ‘I think’ it’s happened to me before.

Not much you can do about this once your coil is saturated with juice. I wouldn’t recommend vaping through the flavour until it just goes. That’s surely not going to be good for you.

You could try the whole cleaning process above but for me I just start again.

New coil AND new e liquid. We don’t want to vape juice that has been contaminated now do we?!

The only way to help prevent this from happening is to use an ultrasonic cleaner for all your vaping parts prior to use.

RBA – RDA – RDTA – What’s All That About?

OK if you’re still with me then well done you lol!

If I’m honest just writing those acronyms gave me a bit of a brain freeze lol.

So without me repeating things check out our in depth guide to find out the difference between RDA’s, RTA’s, RDTA’s, RBA’s and Genesis Atties

Want to learn more about rebuildables?

Take a look at our beginners guide to rebuildables.

In Conclusion

I hope this ‘dummies guide to e cig and vape tanks’ has helped you understand a little bit more about one aspect of vaping – particularly the meaning behind those acronyms and common vape tank faults and how to fix them.

The fact is as vaping evolves the types of tanks we can try are only going to get more varied but the principles I imagine will always stay the same.

Right if you’ve managed to get this far well done and of course any questions you have just ask in the comments below!

Thank you and Vape On!


neil Humber 2
Neil Humber

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.

I have simpler vape tastes these days - I never leave home without a Caliburn G, a Vaporesso Luxe 40 or Innokin EQ FLTR and a CBD vape pen or bottle of CBD drops in my rucksack...or indeed an Aspire Nautilus Prime X in my pocket... At home I'll be using various mods topped with the GeekVape Zeus X RTA or the Signature Mods Mono SQ topped with the Augvape BTFC RDA... I'm a former journalist and now a writer and sometimes author... I'm ex Army - adore dogs and never happier than hiking over the hills or with a good book on a beach.


  1. just started vaping ,my mouth is hot all the time also throat feels sore dont want to go back to cigs so went on internet and think it is the pg that is causing it would like your help in using a vaper that takes low pg also tobacco flavour thanks

    • Hi Linda,

      It can take a while getting used to vaping as it is a fair bit different to smoking.

      Can you tell me the following please (where you can):

      What brand and model of e cig are you using?
      What is the PG / VG ratio you are using? If you can tell me the brand and flavour I can check for you.
      What resistance are your coils – this will look like 1.8Ohm or 0.5ohm….



        • Ok Linda..

          It sounds like it could be that your body is not used to vaping yet. PG in e-liquid draws moisture so can result in a dry throat/mouth whereas smoking kind of worked in the opposite way with the chemicals in tobacco. Very important to drink plenty of water when vaping to counteract this.

          Also very important! Smoking and vaping are different in the ‘way you do it’. This *could* be why your mouth feels hot when you are vaping.

          Be sure to take smoother, slower drags on your e cig rather than the sharp hard drags you would on a cigarette.

          I have actually tested the above two draw techniques on a similar (same different brand) e cig to yours and the mouthpiece and vapour can heat up really quick when you take sharp hard drags.

          I would think the above are the problems you are having and not necessarily a hardware issue.

          If you find the throat hit is too harsh or the coil is burnt this could be a couple of things.

          1 – Nicotine strength / PG too high – High nicotine and PG can add to increased throat hit
          2 – Is it possible there was a dry hit on the coil? This means that the e-liquid didn’t soak into the coil properly before trying to vape. This can result in a harsh hit that doesn’t taste good. Give the coil 10-15 minutes after filling before vaping. Already think you have a dry hit? You will need a new coil.
          3 – You may have a faulty coil – May be worth trying a spare if you have one.

          In summary Linda, try different ways of taking a drag as described above and drink plenty of water to stave off the sore throat.

          Hope that helps.. let us know how you get on and keep trying, vaping can be very much trial and error sometimes.



  2. Hi, I’ve been happily vaping with my mini innokin,when yesterday it suddenly came up “check atomizer”… I’ve tried everything and don’t get what this means. Any suggestions or help would be much appreciated.
    Thank you.
    Debbie 😃

    • Hey Debbie,

      First thing to try:

      – Remove tank
      – Clean the threaded connections on both tank and battery with tissue or q-tip to get rid of any build up or excess liquid.
      – Try again and see if that works.

      Next thing to try

      – Try loosening or tightening the tank a touch on the mod, sometimes this helps but can take a few goes.

      If those don’t help there may be an issue with your coil. Try swapping that out for a new one. When doing so it’s a good idea to take your tank apart and give it a good cleanthen dry it out before putting back together.

      Let me know how you get on with the above!



  3. Great article, I’d just mention I was told multiple times it was vapours tongue and it wasn’t, I had just started a new medication that had this side effect! The list of meds that can alter/mute (or cause a metallic taste) your taste is very long. It can also be a medical issue. (Some meds won’t affect taste but long term use can cause enhanced smell, I can smell if a melon is ripe across the room). It’s two weeks off the med and I can slowly taste things again. (No help for the smell, it’s ADHD med and I like being able to write complete sentences).

    • Thanks and yes there are other factors involved with loss of taste especially around vaping 🙂 I’m recovering from a nasty does of man flu and I couldn’t taste a thing!

  4. I’ve got to say a huge thanks, I’ve been vaping for two years now and this has been the best guide I have read on vaping and all the methods/kit that can be used. Thank you so much for explaining it in a way that makes for an easy understanding.

  5. I have too say u did a good job writing this post more for new people that are thinking of vaping I ben vaping for 3 months and stop smoking cigarettes and am a fast learner I make my own coils … and I read a lot of hours on learning everything I could learn with vaping went to 5 different vapor shop stores and found one store where the kid was cool and let me hang with him for hours at a time ask him a million questions and picked up more tips and for him being nice and straight forward no bull shit.

    I bought him lunch am not rich but when people are good at there job and tells u what’s good or not I like to buy lunch the least I could do but my point is u did a real good job breaking it down for newbies and even for people that ben vaping too ..

    I paint cars for a living and work on cars at home and ben painting cars for 19 years painted 95 percent of all colors out there and ben fixing cars a bit longer as a kid my dad painted cars and fix them as well and I always say no one no’s it all u learn something everyday something new that’s my way of thinking !!!

    Anyone who smokes cigarettes and is thinking of changing I would say run to the nearest vapor store and try it u will quiet with no problems I thought I would never stop I tried everything to stop down too chantix I hope I spelled it write but by far this is the best way to stop by far 100 percent they best way !!!!

    • Nice one James! Thanks for the comment!

      Good to see you’ve made the switch. You’re right, there is always something to learn and vaping is a great way to get you of the cigs 🙂

    • Hi Lisa,

      What tank are you using?
      What resistance is the coil you are using? ie: 0.5Ohm, 1.8Ohm etc
      What is the PG/VG ratio of the e-liquid you are using?

      Also, where abouts on the tank is the leaking occurring? ie: Airflow holes, from the glass where it connects to the steel or somewhere else.

      Also, the O rings you receive in a kit are just spares. Unless any O rings have been damaged or come out of the device then you may no need to use them.

      Let me know as much of the info above as you can and I’ll try and help more!



  6. I second that. This must be the most informative article I have found on the net, for a beginner like myself.

    Thank you for sharing the knowledge.

    Greetings from Greece

  7. I rarely leave comments on blogs or articles, but I am really impressed by this post! After spending hours researching vapeing (previous smoker), I have found the answers to all my questions right here. Brilliantly written, with so much extra information ive not been able to find anywhere else in one place.

    Thank You!


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