How often should you change cartomizers? I have received so many similar questions from YouTube and comments/e-mails on my blog, that I thought that it’d be helpful to just voice my opinions here.
There is no hard and fast rule here to be honest. Electronic cigarette cartomizers are not made equal and one can last anywhere between a day and 3-4 weeks, it really varies.
So here is my routine with cartomizer changing, and signs that I look out for. Note that this applies to all sorts of cartos from dual coils to low resistance (LR) ones. I do personally stick to the Boge brand but I’ve used other brands like the Halo e-cigarettes, Kanga, Smoketech cartomizers and it’s pretty much the same deal.
I’m mainly using the ProVape Provari (variable voltage electronic cigarette mod) these days but I’ve used cartomizers on mod units like the Ego-T as well. This guide still applies. So without further delay, let’s get on with these tips…
One of the tell tale signs that it’s time for me to change a cartomizer is when the amount of vapor gets significantly less. When taking a drag, you will notice that you need to suck much harder to get any vapor out of the carto.
However, another cause of reduced vapor production can also be due to a dying battery, so I recommend you swap or recharge your batteries beforehand just to make sure.
Clogged Poly Filler
The spongy material that sits within the cartomizer is called “poly filler”. When this stuff turns black or dark brown, I normally throw out the carto. This darkening has a lot to do with the thickness (viscosity) of my e-liquids, as well as the flavor. The thicker and dark e-juices (like coffee and chocolate flavors) tend to clog up cartos faster, so you will have to change carto’s more often.
Cartomizers DO have a lifespan and usually after two weeks of use they become gunk’d up like this, and flavor as well as performance tends to suffer. Reduced vapor production is bound to follow as well.
Burnt Taste When Vaping
This one rarely ever happens to me these days mainly because I do a good job of pre-filling and refilling my cartomizers before use. If you haven’t already checked my tips on refilling cartomizers, I suggest you do so.
When you burn the poly filler, the flavor gets nasty. You will experience a burnt or chemical-like taste and that’s when you should chuck out the carto as there’s nothing you can really do to fix it.
When the Cartomizer Leaks
Lastly, this is a no brainer. When you notice the leaking, it’s time to throw out the carto. If you’re over filling, it will leak you as well.
How do I tell if the cartomizer’s rooted? When the filler material looks dry, and I add a couple of drops of e-juice and it starts leaking through the bottom, that’s telling me that the atomizer coils have probably burnt a small hole somewhere, causing the e-liquid to leak out.
Mixing Flavors in your E-cigarette Cartomizers
I also got asked a few times about how I manage multiple flavors with cartomizers, and whether or not this is good practice. Generally speaking, I don’t mix flavors. I rip open a new carto for each flavor I’m using.
At any one point, I might be using up to 3 of my Boge cartomizers on a rotational basis. I also store cartos I’ve filled in small zip lock bags (to keep an airtight seal), to keep the flavors as fresh as possible. I then use a Sharpie pen to label each bag so I can keep track of which carto’s are which.
I hope that this answers your questions about e-cig cartomizer changing and how often you should do it. For the sake of hygiene, I would suggest that you change your e-cigarette carto’s every weeks anyway, even if there’s nothing wrong with it.
They are so cheap to buy anyway and besides, fresh carto’s always taste so much better – don’t be a cheapskate and change them every couple of weeks or so. You’re already saving yourself a huge amount of cash by not smoking and not buying tobacco cigarettes.
Drop me a comment or an e-mail if you have any further questions.