How to Prime a New Atomizer


One of the most common mistakes new vapers make is failing to prime their new atomizer coils correctly. By not priming your new coil correctly, it can significantly reduce its lifespan and even ruin it outright.

As we covered in our beginners’ guide, ecigarettes work by heating up eliquid with a coil, wrapped around some sort of wicking material. The wicking material soaks up and holds the ejuice ready for it to be vapourised by the heated coil. But, if left dry it can burn and give off a bitter, burnt taste. These atomizers need to be replaced fairly regularly (as often as once a week depending on your vaping habits) and so knowing how to correctly prepare a new coil for vaping is essential.

When a new atomizer is installed in your ecigarette it will be totally dry, which means that you need to fully soak the wicking material before you use it. Depending on the tank you have, this can be an easy, quick exercise, but with some cheaper models priming a new atomizer can be a nightmare.

Here’s a rough guide to priming different sorts of devices:

EGO style vape pens

Pictured: The eGo CE4 available to buy here.

The EGO kits can be a bit temperamental when priming a new coil, and it can sometimes feel like a tightrope walk between not saturating the wick enough, and flooding it completely.

However, with cheaper clearomizers, the wick usually doesn’t receive as much eliquid as higher-end models, which makes them particularly susceptible to getting burnt out. Once the wick is burnt, there is no way to salvage it, and your vape will taste terrible until a new atomizer is installed.

  1. Squeeze a drop or two of eliquid directly into the new atomizer, before screwing it in and inserting it into a full tank of eliquid.
  2. Before you fire your battery, block off the airholes with your fingers and take some short, light draws on the tank. You should see some small air bubbles float from the atomizer as eliquid is drawn into the coil.
  3. After doing this a couple of times, leave the ecigarette for 10 minutes to let the eliquid fully soak into the coil.
  4. After the 10 minutes is up, take a couple more draws without firing the battery.
  5. Take a couple of shallow draws with the battery. If the vape doesn’t taste burnt or metallic, your ecig should now be ready to use.

Premium Tanks

Pictured: Kanger Subtank Mini, available to purchase here.

With higher quality tanks, priming the atomizer tends to be much quicker and easier, as they are better designed with a better build quality.

This usually means that there is a good, consistent supply of eliquid to the wicking material, which means that dry hits and the chance of burning the wick is reduced.

Regardless, you’ll want to follow these steps to ensure that your atomizer is properly primed to deliver the best taste and vapour production possible.

  1. Squeeze a couple of drops of eliquid directly into the coil
  2. Install the coil and screw into a full tank of eliquid
  3. Take a couple of draws without firing the battery to draw eliquid into the atomizer
  4. Leave the tank for 5 minutes to allow the ejuice to soak into the wicking material
  5. If you have a battery with adjustable voltage, set the voltage to as low as it will go and set the airflow on the tank to the smallest opening
  6. Lightly draw on the tank in short bursts 2 or 3 times, and then slowly increase the voltage, stopping to take 2 draws at each interval until you reach your usual vaping voltage
  7. Your tank is now fully primed and ready to go

If you’re a heavy vaper and are tired of buying new coils, you can also learn how to rebuild atomizers yourself, it is surprisingly easy to do and significantly cheaper than buying coils.