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How to Prime a Vape Coil

Improperly prepared vape coils is one of the the leading causes of an unpleasant vaping experience and a shortened life span on a vaping device. The last thing you want after picking up a new device or coil is to have it burn out just days after that first inhale.

If you’re new to vaping and need help with priming your first coil, or are a long-time enthusiast who’s looking to get more life out of your vape coil, this blog by our in-house vaping experts here at Legion of Vapers is here to guide you through the coil priming process.

What is a vape coil?

A vape coil, also known as an atomizer head, is the part of a vape that heats up the e-liquid, turning it into vapour suitable for inhaling. There are many forms of coils on the market now, but all of them essentially consist of a heating element (the coil) and wicking material held together in a case.

The way coils work is pretty simple! The wick, usually made of an organic fibre such as cotton, draws the vape juice from the pod and into the head where the coil is located.

When the vape is activated, it heats up the vape coil which vaporises the e-liquid in the fully saturated wicking material. The e-liquid vapour is then drawn through the vape’s ‘chimney’ where it is inhaled by the user.

Why do I need to prime my coil?

If you’ve never set up a vape pen by yourself before, then you may be unsure of what it means to prime your coil.

Priming vape coils is a quick but very necessary process in which the wicking material must be saturated in e-liquid before using it for the first time. If the new coil is used before it’s had enough time to soak up the vape juice, the wicking material will start to burn out.

This process is necessary to avoid accidentally taking those dreaded dry hits, which is when you inhale the burnt cotton fumes. Dry hits not only have a very strong burnt taste but are also not good for your health. Although an accidental dry hit on the odd occasion won’t cause long-term health problems, it can make you feel quite sick and leave you with a sore throat.

What you’ll need:

To prime your coil, you only need your new coil and a few drops of your favourite e-liquid. It is also good to have paper towels for spills and a sink nearby to wash any e-juice off your hands

If you’re working with a new vape kit or have never primed a coil before, we recommend having a quick read of the user instructions that came with your device so you’ll know how to properly disassemble and reassemble your vape.

(PS. If you’re in the market for new coils, we’ve got tons of options to choose from here at Legion of Vapers. You’re guaranteed to find a coil suited to your vaping needs!)

Vape Coil Priming Instructions

Step 1: Unscrew base of tank

The first step is to open up the vape so that you can fill the tank with e-liquid. It is best to do this when your tank is empty.

Depending on whether it’s a bottom or top filling device, the pod must either be unscrewed from the battery part at the bottom of the vape (bottom filling), or the atomizer head and mouthpiece must be unscrewed from the top of the pod (top filling).

Most manufacturers produce tanks with top-filling designs nowadays due to the sheer ease of use and mess-free refilling.

Also, make sure you unscrew the battery and put it to the side so you don’t damage it with e-liquids during the priming process.

Step 2: Drip e-liquid into tank

Once your tank is unscrewed from the battery or the atomizer head/chimney, slowly drip the vape juice directly into the tank. Using a vape juice refill with a thin nozzle will help you not spill any e-liquid.

Regardless of what type of pod or tank you’re working with, the most important part during this step is to be very cautious and not flood the air tube when pouring e-liquid inside the device. This can damage the coil as well as cause your vape to leak excess liquid.

Step 3: Refit vape coil back into tank

If you are using a top-filling device, then you need to simply screw on the atomizer head. If you are using a bottom-filling device, you can screw the base back into the bottom.

Be careful not to spill the e-liquid while doing this part as you don’t want to spill e-liquid in the air chamber or all over the outside of the device.

If you do happen to spill some of the e-liquid, you can use a paper towel to clean off the tank’s outside and firmly flick it once the coil part has been screwed on tightly to clear the air chamber.

Step 4: Let e-liquid soak into the wick

To prime your coil and fully saturate your wicking material with the e-liquid, you can simply let your pod and attached head sit for anywhere from between 5 to 30 minutes.

To avoid dry hitting, it is best to let your coil soak in the e-liquid for as long as possible. If you damage your coil and burn your wicking material by not waiting long enough, you will need to replace it. You’ll know if it wasn’t properly soaked if the vape tastes burnt upon inhaling.

If you’re short on time, you can speed up the process by wetting the wick with e-liquid to reduce the risk of burning it. To do this, add a single drop to the cotton inside each of the air holes in the atomizer head before you screw it onto the pod.

Step 5: Screw tank back together

Once your new coil has been soaking in the e-liquid for long enough, the device can be reassembled and used.

Before you hit the fire button though, we recommend that you take a few priming puffs. Priming puffs ensure that there is sufficient e-liquid in the coil before you start properly vaping.

To do this, take a few sharp draws on the off-powered vape, making sure not to inhale the e-liquid contents that come through. This will also ensure that there are no small air pockets caught in the tank.


Not priming your coil is the leading factor in vaping problems and short coil life spans. Taking burnt hits on your e-cigarette vape is not only unpleasant because of the burnt taste, but you risk burning out your new coil and permanently damaging it.

Taking these steps to prime a vape coil with e-liquid is worth the effort and time as it will ensure your vape kit will last as long as possible and save you from any unnecessary coil replacements.

If you’re interested in finding out more about vaping, or want to try it for yourself, make sure to check out our complete range of offerings here at Legion of Vapers. From nic salts to vape kits, coils to tanks, we have everything you’ll need to help you get started.

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