My e-cigarette is gurgling and spitting!

It's normal for e-cigarettes and vape pens to make popping and whistling sounds when activated, but excessive gurgling and spitting normally indicates a flooded coil. If you also find that your e-cigarette isn't producing as much vapour as it usually does, or that you're getting vape liquid in your mouth (known as spitback), these are also signs of flooding.

Flooding occurs when a coil is oversaturated with liquid, which can happen if you over-fill your tank, over-prime your coil or inhale too hard on your e-cigarette. Another common cause of flooding is improper vaping technique: using a direct-to-lung inhale on a mouth-to-lung device, or vice versa, can flood your coil. 

Don't panic! A flooded coil is easy to fix. Unscrew your tank from the battery and position the mouthpiece over some tissue or a sink to catch the drops of e-liquid. Either tap the tank a few times to clear out the excess e-liquid, or blow down the central airflow tube (with the mouthpiece positioned away from you). You can also use a piece of tissue or kitchen roll to mop up any extra e-liquid from the central airflow.

Another option is to try to vaporise the liquid that's pooled in your coil by holding down the fire button for a couple of seconds without inhaling.

To avoid flooding your coil in future, try the following:

  • Don't over-fill your tank. It doesn't need to be filled right to the top: make sure to leave at least a small air gap.
  • Don't over-prime your coil. When priming your coil, you only need to use a few drops of liquid. If you add too much, you'll oversaturate the coil.
  • Don't inhale too hard on your e-cigarette. Deep draws on your e-cigarette can pull excessive liquid into the coil.
  • Reduce your PG level. If you're using a high-PG e-liquid, be aware that the higher the PG content, the thinner the liquid is. Thinner liquid will be absorbed into the coil more quickly than thicker liquid, which can sometimes flood your coil. If you're using a sub-ohm coil, we advise that you use higher-VG liquids to avoid this problem.
  • Make sure you are using the right vaping technique for your kit - read our guide here to learn about the differences. Most standard vape pens require a mouth-to-lung action, while a direct-to-lung inhale is normally used when sub-ohm vaping. However, you should double-check which technique is right for your device!         

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