What Is an E-Cig? An In-Depth Look At Your New Best Friend

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E-Cigarettes don’t have to be complicated. In this post we run down all the key components including:

  • Batteries
  • Coils
  • Tanks

E-Cig Batteries

The anatomy of an e-cigarette is largely the same across all types of devices – a battery powers a coil, which heats your e-liquid – but variations on this same theme produce the huge range of apparently complicated devices available today. Really, they’re all very simple, but how the battery works, where the coil is located and how e-liquid is supplied to it all vary between specific devices.

Containing lithium batteries similar to those in your laptop, phone or any other portable device you own, the battery is what powers your device. Whether it’s in a box shaped device, traditional cigarette shaped or one of the myriad of other device designs, its job is to provide the power to the real workhorse of your device, the coil. The battery can have all manner of circuitry connected to it, which allows users to modify the amount of power the battery will output to the coil, changing the heat produced and as a consequence, the amount of vapour and flavour that is created.

E-Cig Coils

The coil is the most important component in your setup. It is as it sounds, a coil of wire (typically kanthal wire, although nickel, stainless steel and nichrome wire is also used) connected to a positive and negative terminal of the tank. When the power is sent to the coil, just like your old lightbulb or toaster filament, the coil rapidly starts to heat up. If exposed, it will glow red hot in a matter of seconds.

A wicking material is inserted through the coil, or wrapped around it, to carry the e-liquid through to the coil to be vaporized. This originally was made of a silica ‘rope’ but an unbleached, organic cotton is now more commonly used. Through capillary action, the e-liquid is carried through to the coil, where it is vaporized and inhaled by the user. The coil and the wick are two parts of your device that will have a limited lifespan. Anywhere from a week to a month is an average lifespan of a coil, although this will vary based on the liquid being used, power setting and how often it is used.

In some devices, the coil and wicking material are user serviceable and can be changed. This is something that requires quite a bit of knowledge as issues can arise from a badly made coil, especially in unregulated devices. Most devices have a coil and wick self-contained and when they have reached the end of their lifespan, you simply throw the used one away. This is the simplest way of servicing the coil and is favoured by the majority of vapers as it is quick, simple and requires no extra knowledge of electronics.

When To Change Your Coil

The biggest question I get asked is “When will I know it is time to change my coil?”. The answer to this is very simple – as the coil degrades, you will start to notice a ‘burnt’ taste to your e-liquid. This is due to the sugars in the e-liquid building up on the coil, eventually degrading the performance. At this point, it is time to change it out for a new coil, you will notice the difference right away.

E-Cig Tank

The tank section, with the exception of the coil, is relatively simple to maintain. When changing the coil, give it a rinse under some hot water to clean out any remaining liquid, dry it thoroughly with a clean paper towel, then screw it all back together. The mouthpiece can also be cleaned. When screwing any parts together, or when attaching the tank to the device, always remember – finger tight. You will need to open it again in the future, so don’t try to fuse it together with your super strength.

Article Writen By Irene

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