How to Prime a Vape Coil: A New Vape User's Guide

How to Prime a Vape Coil: A New Vape User's Guide

Imagine taking a deep pull from your vape. It should be smooth and flavorful. It should bring you a sense of peace or joy.

Except, this time, it doesn't. It tastes burnt and it doesn't have that pleasant flowing sensation.

This happens when your coil isn't primed right. Whether you're an experienced vaper or a vaping beginner, knowing how to prime a vape coil ensures every pull is a luxury.

We've put together this easy guide to walk you through priming your coil so that all newbies can learn the steps and all experienced vapers can brush up on their skills. Keep reading to learn all you need to know to get the most out of your vaping devices!

Importance of Priming a Coil

A coil needs to be saturated to work right. As you assemble your new vaping device, you must prime the coil before using it. Avoid pressing the button that fires up the device until you do.

If you don't take the time to prime your vape before you take your first pull, you'll damage the coil. This results in a bitter burnt flavor in the vapor, making it unpleasant and even dangerous to inhale.

Instead of vapor, you'll inhale fumes from the burnt coil. As soon as you taste anything strange within a pull from your vape, it's important to check the coil.

You might need to reprime it, or even replace it.

How to Prime a Vape Coil

The good news is that priming your vape isn't a difficult task. It's easy to do and involves little effort. Once you learn how to do it with your first device, it's much the same process for future upgrades.

Wet the Cotton

The first step requires you to 'wet the cotton'. Once you spend some more time in the vaping world, you'll often hear this phrase.

All it means is that you need to locate the cotton wick on the coil and add a few drops of e-liquid until it's damp. You should see a hole or two at the top of the atomizer. Look closer and you'll see the white cotton of the wick.

This process usually requires only a few drops, but keep in mind the varying thicknesses of different e-liquid types. VG is thicker and will take longer to soak into the cotton than PG-based liquids.

Once you see the cotton soaked through and glistening, finish putting the device together into the finished build. Now you're good to move on to the next step.

Fill the Tank

It's time to fill the vape tank with your chosen liquid. Locate the fill line so that you have an idea of where to stop, then begin adding your e-liquid into the tank's hole.

Slow and steady wins the race. You don't want to go too fast and end up flooding the tank, but you do want to reach the fill line during the priming process. This allows the e-liquid to get into all of the wicking fabric and helps avoid dry spots.


Once you're done filling the tank, you should allow the device to sit for at least five minutes. The longer you let the device sit, the better the soaking progresses.

If you have a small device, five to ten minutes should be more than enough. Larger devices need to wait anywhere between ten to thirty minutes.

Dry Pulls

If waiting isn't your style, then you can do a couple of dry pulls to help move the priming process. Without pressing the fire button, draw quick pulls from the device.

Three or four small and quick pulls will help move the liquid through the device without running the risk of burning anything.

While this does speed up the process, you should still wait at least five minutes before turning on the device.

Start Low

Now that you're done with priming the coil, it's time for the fun part. The key is to avoid the high temperatures of your device until you're certain the wick is saturated enough.

Instead, start with the lowest temperature and take a few testing pulls with the fire button on. This should give you an idea of whether or not everything is good to go.

No problems? Congratulations, you're ready to vape for hours to come!

Fixing Potential Problems

Even experienced vapers run into priming problems. It's an easy process but can be tricky to get right, especially as a beginner or with a new device.

Weak Flavor

Did you take a pull from the device and weren't impressed? Did it taste like nothing at all or produce little vapor?

These signs point to a wick that hasn't had enough time to become saturated with e-liquid.

Add a bit more e-liquid and set the device aside to soak some more. Wait for at least five more minutes and try again.


When a vape device spits or splutters while in use, this usually means you've overfilled the tank. Open it up and take out some of the liquid. Blow through the mouthpiece to clear it, then try again.


Does the vapor taste bitter and burnt? It's possible that the coil's wick had a few too many dry spots or you had the temperature too high during testing. It could also be that the coil was simply faulty.

Regardless of the reason, you should stop vaping immediately, and install a new coil into the device. There's no way to fix a burnt coil, so you'll always want a few spares lying around!

Vape With High-Quality Gear

Knowing how to prime a vape coil is one of the foundational skills all vapers should learn. Wetting the cotton and soaking the wick will take you far in the vaping world. However, sometimes the quality of your gear will determine your success before you even begin.

Always make sure you get vaping gear that is from a trusted shop with knowledgeable people who can answer your questions.

Rapture Vapor is a family-owned smoke and vape shop that aims to share its passion with everyone who enters our buildings. We offer a large selection of gear so that you can get everything you need in one place. Visit one of our shop locations and we'll help you vape in style!

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