Why is Your Vape Device Popping and Crackling?

One of the things that catch new vapers off guard on their first month or so of vaping is the noises that devices make whenever they draw. There's the sound of air and vapor being inhaled, which is to be expected.

Then there are times when it pops, crackles, and hisses for some reason. It doesn't happen all the time, but it does happen, and it can happen more often for some people with some devices or setups more than others.

If you’ve been wondering why your vape is making all these different noises that may alarm you, then here’s a primer on the popping and crackling sounds coming from your vape.

How is Eliquid Turned into Vapor?

To properly understand why those sounds tend to come up, we must first get into how eliquid is turned into vapor—the most fundamental mechanism of vaping.

For most vape devices, eliquid is dripped or channeled to the cotton wick, which brings it to the coil. When you press the button, electricity from the battery flows through the coil and the resistance from the coil wire produces heat, which then heats up the eliquid and vaporizes it. You then draw in the vapor, which is basically how vaping works.

There are times when the process of vaporizing the eliquid produces some noises since it's essentially heating up a liquid. It's like when you throw water onto a hot pan on the stove, which produces the same kind of noise.


What Causes the Popping and Crackling?

Some crackling and popping is normal and shouldn't really be a cause for concern. Different devices yield different levels of sound. It also depends on how you vape and how long you keep the button pressed (assuming your device has a button) 

The longer you press it, the more chances that you’re heating up all the liquid available at the moment on the wick and you may start actually burning the wick itself. Burning the wick will give you that nasty “burnt hit” that tastes really bad and sticks to the back of your throat.

It tends to happen more with sub-Ohm coils, usually due to more eliquid building up compared to what's being vaped. That excess eliquid pops and crackles as it's being heated, with some of it not immediately turning into vapor.


What Can You Do About It?

If it tends to happen for you consistently, then you may want to address how the eliquid is being channeled to the wick and find a way to limit it. It may also be the wattage or voltage needing to be increased to heat the eliquid more completely.

You may also just need to change your way of vaping just a bit, like drawing a bit longer at the correct wattage to make sure that all of the eliquid is being turned into vapor when you hold down the button.

If it still happens way too much, then you may want to change your wick or coils. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then you may want to try a different tank or atomizer.

Thinner eLiquids are going to be more likely to flood the atomizer, which can also cause more pronounced popping and spitting noises.  This is much more likely to happen with high PG eLiquids. 

kurt sonderegger
kurt sonderegger


Founder/CEO of Cafe Racer Craft E-Liquid

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