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(5) Baditude's Cartomizer Tank Setup Guide

Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.
by , 02-12-2013 at 01:35 AM (34309 Views)
How to Prefill a Cartomizer and Fill a Cartotank

Filling, or Priming, the Cartomizer - "Drip & Flick" Method:
This is the method that I have used successfully. To keep juice out of the center air hole when filling the carto I plug it with a wood tooth pick: Using a Tooth Pick in a Carto During Priming

The most important step is to completely fill the carto with enough juice. How well you do this step will determine how well this carto will perform for the rest of its life in the tank. Take your time & do it right.

I hold the carto at a slight angle, and spin it around as I drip liquid onto the polyfill. When the fibers are wet, I flick the carto down like a thermometer. Hold the carto from the top & flick it forcefully toward the floor (keep holding the carto) a few times. This produces the same effect as a centrifuge, forcing the juice down into the bottom of the wick of the carto.

Then add more drops, and flick it down again. Repeat this process until the polyfill will absorb no more liquid. The fibers should glisten like a slushy drink; saturated but not pooling on top. Now the carto is ready to be put into the tank. (I don't count drops; different size droppers make different size droplets and can throw your volume way off. 35mm carto will hold 1 ml; 45mm carto will hold 1.5 ml)

Filling the Tank:
Your tank should be completely assembled with both end caps on the tube. I replace the tooth pick now with a tank tool as shown in the PBusardo video in this blog article. I lubricate the tool and carto with a little bit of e-juice and insert the carto about half way into the tank through the bottom end cap. I then fill the tank about 80% full of juice through the hole in the top end cap.

Now I'm ready to twist the carto all the way up through the top cap, while also securing the top cap with my other hand to be sure not to allow the cap to be pushed off the tube. Remove the tank tool and replace it with a drip tip. It's now ready to vape.

How to Refill a Tank

To refill a set up tank with more juice, I remove the drip tip, insert the tank tool, and while securing the tank's end caps, I push down on the tank tool so that the cartomizer slides halfway through the tank. This allows enough space to add more liquid. Once refilled, again still securing the end caps with my other hand, I twist the carto back into position. Remove the tank tool and replace the drip tip. (You need not add juice to the carto during refills, but this is optional)

The following is the best video demonstration I have found that shows how to fill a cartomizer and cartotank that uses most of the methods I practice. Keep in mind I use the tooth pick and the Slap Yo Moma tank tool in addition to what you see in this video.

How To Prime a Carto and Setup Your Cartotank

How to "hot swap" cartomizers in a tank that is still partially filled with juice

(Special thanks to The Ocelot)

Cartomizers in a cartotank can last for 1-3 weeks depending upon how heavily it is used, and how
dark/thick the juice is. Darker and thicker juices will eventually cause the polyfill in the carto to become clogged, resulting in flavor loss and a stiff pull when vaping. A cartotank can be refilled multiple times with the same carto in place. Spent cartos are discarded.

Slap Yo Momma - Best Tank Tool Ever !


I highly recommend all cartotankers to obtain a tank accessory tool. I find having one of these tools to be indispensable if you use cartotanks. It simplifies and speeds the assembly and filling of your tanks, and best of all using one will protect your tank's o-rings and keep it from leaking from torn or worn out o-rings.

IMHO, the Slap-Yo-Momma tank tool from Big Daddy Vapor is the best designed one. Watch the following PBusardo video review to learn how this tool can protect your tank's o-rings and makes filling your tank with juice much faster & easier.

Why Pre-Punched Cartos for Noobies?
Since many newer vapors are just getting their first tanks, I provided a list of Vendors Selling Pre-Punched Cartos in another one of my blogs that are ready to be primed and put into a tank.

I personally recommend that beginners buy pre-punched cartos because they can provide a beginner a level of consistancy in the size and placement of holes without needing to learn a new skill of punching their own, and using these removes at least one of the potential human error factors in using a carto tank for a beginner.

Once one has some experience with cartotanks, they can then decide to obtain a punch tool and learn to punch their own. Alternatively, they could learn to slot cartos with a powered dremmel tool.

I've been using cartotanks pretty much exclusively for 2 years. I have both punched and slotted my own cartos. I've personally found making my own holes or slots to be unsatisfactory for a couple of reasons, and have returned to purchasing carto's with the laser-drilled holes made by the manufacturer.

Tool-punched cartos can physically deform the cartomizer's shape from round to oval (see first image below; notice the deformity of the carto's shape). This deformity could possibly make them difficult to fit through the tight round hole in the tank's endcap. The extra effort required to twist them through the endcap puts unneccesary wear and tear on the endcap's rubber o-rings, which prevent a tank from leaking it's liquid contents. You can see this damage in the video of the Slap Yo Moma tank tool in PBuardo's video review previously seen on this page. Cartos slotted with a dremmel can also damage o-rings.

Laser-drilled cartos
do not have this issue, and they wick the juice just as well as the larger tool-punched holes in my experience.

How many holes? If given the choice in the number of holes I choose 2. I choose a single hole for juices with a Pg ratio of 70% or more. A Vg ratio higher than 70% I choose 3 holes. This has worked great for me.

blogs/baditude/attachments/177534-5-baditudes-cartomizer-tank-setup-guide-tool-punched-carto.jpg blogs/baditude/attachments/177535-5-baditudes-cartomizer-tank-setup-guide-laser-drilled.jpg

Dual vs Single Coil Cartos: My Experience
You can use either single or dual coil cartos in any cartotank. Some cartos have a flange (lip near the connector end) which fits into tanks made by Smoktech, but a flange is not really necessary.

After having used dual coil cartomizers exclusively in my tanks, I had become somewhat dissatisfied with them with an occassional burnt taste with my e-liquids. I did some research into dual coil vs single coil cartomizers on ECF.

What I found were mostly opinions. Many people had switched from duals to singles, arguing that the dual coils didn't produce enough benefits to warrant the additional drain on battery life. There were others that preferred dual coils for their warmer vape.

There were statements made that dual coils were developed to be able to provide more vapor production for fixed voltage PVs, via twice the number of coils within the cartomizer. However, there were skeptics to that statement who claimed that for a dual coil to really shine, voltages of 4.5v and higher were required. Contradictory theories? I thought so, too.

Long story made short, I decided to give single coils a trial. I switched out all of my tanks to single coils...same brand, same ohm resistance, same number of holes. The verdict: I was and am impressed with the single coils. Same vapor production and flavor, no more burnt taste, and the expected increase in battery life. Your results may vary from mine.

What Ohms or Resistance Carto Should I use?
This is determined by personal experience after sampling low and standard resistance cartos. In general if you are using a fixed single voltage device (mechanical) low resistance cartos are used. If using a regulated variable voltage battery, standard or high resistance coils are used.

Keep in mind that low resistance cartos burn hotter and use more battery energy. Standard or high resistance cartos will provide a cooler vape and allow a wider range of voltages to use, and be kinder on battery usage.

Safe Vaping Power Chart

Updated 02-20-2015 at 07:14 PM by Baditude



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  1. Larzis's Avatar
    Bad, your posts on Carto Tank setups convinced me to give them a try, and I do not regret it one bit! And the info here helped save me a heck of a lot of headaches. Thanks for putting this together!
  2. telijah's Avatar
    I am also here to give praise to Baditude's blogs. I am still a noobie (only vaping for a couple months) but this blog, and another, and Baditude's countless replies in the tank forum has gotten me onto my first tank already, and I have a slap yo momma tool on order. Thanks Baditude!!!
  3. hope1's Avatar
    Thanks so much for the information! I really wanted the put together look of the Pro V2 tank, however I have only used vivi nova's till today. I bought a cheap (leaky) carto tank and gave it a try. I really like the flavor, even hits, consistency...so, using the info you provide here and that of the vendor, I have ordered the Pro V2 tank and some cartos. Can't wait to get into full swing. Definite improvement from my novas...problem is that I like to have three tanks going--lime, menthol and wine....guess i will just have to get more tanks. Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it.
  4. Baditude's Avatar
    I have up to 10 cartotanks up and going at any time, each with their own flavor. I've accumulated that number over several months time. But you are right, making use of multiple tanks simultaneously can be very convenient.
  5. DuffyA2Z's Avatar
    Long overdue praise to baditude for this blog....I love you man!
  6. Lilkurty's Avatar
    My first mistake was filling the tank and not the cartoso anyways I ended up with kind of a mess and ended up pouring some juice from the tank into a 10 ml graduated vial. So I just figured I'd drop the carto in and let it soak up the 1 ml I had in there. Seems to work...but messy!
    Thanks for posting these blogs, I appreciate it! One day I'll get it right, but that day isn't today! Still not smoking though
  7. donnah's Avatar
    I wish I could have had all this great info a year ago when I was just starting out with carto tanks! I wouldn't have had to learn everything the hard way! Great stuff Baditude!
  8. roonies's Avatar
    I'm a relative noob and this info is just great. I've just ordered some poly pro tanks from High Desert Vape...they're not glass but soft, come in colors, and won't crack with those cracking juices. Come to think of it, you may have been the one to give me the link awhile back. So I got them, and a bunch of new juices, and need to stock up on cartos. Someone suggested your blogs and here I am. I'm wanting Boge LR 510's, which is what the tanks came with....double punched. The funny thing is, I've read so many of your posts and come to find out that I have actually also watched a ton of your review videos....so now I have a face to go with the name! You do a great job and this noob really appreciates what you do for us beginners!! I feel really reinforced with new carto knowledge now!! Thanks again!!
  9. Baditude's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by roonies
    ...The funny thing is, I've read so many of your posts and come to find out that I have actually also watched a ton of your review videos....so now I have a face to go with the name!
    I appreciate the shout out, but unless I'm misunderstanding your comments I believe you are confusing me with someone else?

    I haven't done a ton of review videos, in fact I haven't even done one (I don't even own a video camera). All the videos that I link to in my blog articles are specifically chosen by myself from You Tube videos done by other people. To see my face, you'd have to go to my profile page here on ECF and click on my photo gallery. http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/for...-my-setup.html
  10. jnnfrlsw's Avatar
    Thanks for taking the time to put all this carto info in one place. I have been using a carto tank set up exclusively for a few years and I was able to pick up some new tips from your great info. I will be saving this link to pass on when I have new vapers asking for help on using the cart tank setups. Thanks again!
  11. roonies's Avatar
    oops....I am confusing you with P. Busardo....thanks for the clarification. I still appreciate your info though! :-D

    [QUOTE=Baditude;bt7785]I appreciate the shout out, but unless I'm misunderstanding your comments I believe you are confusing me with someone else? :blink:

    I haven't done a ton of review videos, in fact I haven't even done one (I don't even own a video camera). :) All the videos that I link to in my blog articles are specifically chosen by myself from You Tube videos done by other people. To see my face, you'd have to go to my profile page here on ECF and click on my photo gallery. [URL]http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/members/baditude-albums-pictures-my-setup.html[/URL][/QUOTE]
  12. Patkid's Avatar
    thank you so much for this information.
    Will you please be my best friend? LOL
    I have been able to completely stop using cigarettes. I am 65 yrs old. I have never been more proud of myself.
    I am ready to step up a bit in my vaping and have found your posts and blog entries to be the MOST helpful!!
    I am still nervous about trying new setups and my v2 batts and clearos have stood me in good stead, I'd just like to move up a bit.
    During my working life my nickname was Patitude.......................so I naturally noticed you the first time I came to ECF.
    Thank you so very much!
  13. NancyB's Avatar
    I recently purchased a "5ml DCT Carto Tank" and got it this morning. [Previously using EVODs with eGo-C Twist 650 bats. Have a new VAMO v2 also.] I've tried unscrewing either the top or bottom cap on the tank - nothing budges... so removed the drip tip. I carefully dropped some juice down the side of the center air hole - got some in but it took some time (tried it out and wham! nice flavor!!) - but 'nothing' has showed up in that '5ml' space outside that center column ?? - now, after reading your blog above and watching PBusardo's video on the SYMMTT - I understand a bit more (grin). Things come slow when you get to be 69! - haha I think I might need a couple cartos in the future for this 'little' tank but don't know a name, size, or shop to go to close by to ask. hmm Perhaps I'll ask where I purchased it, 1st. Also, will get a SYMMTT while online (grin). THANKS for the info you shared so freely - it is awesome to have found ECF and your blog with just a search! NancyB (life is good, vaping!)
  14. NancyB's Avatar
    Update to yesterday's post regarding my new 5ml DCT Carto Tank.... watched some more videos on these tanks and learned I could also flip the drip tip around and poke out the carto in the middle, in order to better access the tank for filling - only my new drip tip on this tank is too large around to poke out/down the carto - so I borrowed one from a CE-4 clearomizer (grin) - that worked! and so easy too!
    Also investigated (some) where to get a couple empty cartos - still looking on that one.
    I really like this big tank - sure does deliver taste and vapor wise!! I think for a bit of mental security, I'll try and find a 'ring' that would screw onto the ego threads and help support the bottom of the tank - or - keep the tank from breaking off the 510 threads if dropped (Heaven forbid!) I'd rather be safe than sorry.
  15. Evi|grin's Avatar
    Another convert here thanks to Baditude. I was close to giving up on cartos and stick with my clearos.

    After one bad and one mediocre experience i decided to try something simple. A plain XL single coil unpunched carto. It was my first WOW carto experience and im still enjoying them. At least two of my juices taste noticeably better in a cheap $1.39 XL carto vs a $6 clearo.

    The tutorials also helped me realize not all VG blends work with 1 or 2 holes. I had a tank leaking with two holes using 70PG/30VG and tried a single hole. No more leaks!! No burnt taste!!

    I can finally enjoy a carto tank without all the headaches.
  16. SoCalMichelle's Avatar
    I love you Bad <3

    Your a genius!

    Can't wait to receive my tank tomorrow!

  17. SoCalMichelle's Avatar
    Finally got my favorite juice I've been waiting for in the mail! So I bought a blunt tip syringe from my local B&M so I could fill the carto(instead of the toothpick(this worked well. I also used it to fill the tank and was able to get the juice very high as the syringe tip needed little to no room to get into the tank! It took me all of 3 minutes!

    Thank you Bad! This guide came in handy for my first carto tank!

    The only question I have is it normal to have an airy whistling sound when you take a toot?

    Edit: The loud whistling stopped after vaping for a few minutes with it. SO MUCH FLAVOR can't believe it!!
  18. Baditude's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by SoCalMichelle
    Thank you Bad! This guide came in handy for my first carto tank!

    The only question I have is it normal to have an airy whistling sound when you take a toot?

    Edit: The loud whistling stopped after vaping for a few minutes with it. SO MUCH FLAVOR can't believe it!!
    Cartos used either solo or in a tank can be nearly silent or crackle with an occassional pop. Either are normal. Never heard one whistle!
  19. gerrymi's Avatar
    My introduction to vaping "starter kit" had 3 CE4's. I liked them...quit analogs easily...then spent the next 5 months buying/trying the "next best" clearomizer.

    About a month ago I ran across this Baditude post in a cartotank thread:

    "I get the opportunity to try most of the newer clearomizers on the market, and none of them have been able to hold a candle with a cartotank. The Innokin iClear 30 line came close, but no cigar.

    If you really think about it, how can you expect a couple of small silica string wicks in a clearo to keep up with the wicking ability of a big wad of polyfill completely surrounding a heating coil in a cartomizer?"

    So...I decided to "take the jump" and try one. I got an IBTanked and...WOW!!! It gave me (in taste, TH and vapor) what I had been searching for (but didn't realize it) in my slowly fatiguing "next/best clearo" search.

    Now my search for the "perfect topper" is at an end. Thanx Baditude!!!
  20. Burnie's Avatar
    Just wanted to say THANKS Baditude.
    I never liked Carto's, guess I never primed them right, always had a burnt taste. Took my time and let it soak, Very Nice. Been using one all weekend. Purchased a bunch on the classes because I won a IBtanked & SID at Christmas, and a month later I figure it out, thanks to Your Blog's. I have to crank up the Dual Carto's to 10w and the singles are only around 6w for about the same hit, don't understand that, but they are working good. Still like my clero's, but you have converted another to cartos in my rotation. Thanks Again.

    Vape On
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