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Equipment longevity with VG liquids

Discussion in 'IkenVape' started by Switched, Dec 4, 2010.

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  1. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Well let me tell you a story about a man named Jed... wrong story :lol:

    I was/am fortunate to have time on my hands, which enable me to extrapolate information from a variety of subjects. Having surfed the various subs and forums, especially the DIY sub, it seems to me the liquid used will indeed affect performance, in more ways than one.

    Vaporologist asked that question some time ago wrt switching to entirely VG based liquids, if I noticed that atties/cartos clogged up sooner? Yes they do.

    Now many folks choose to dismiss this claim, but having been on both side of the fence, I am now in a position to say it does affect the lifespan of our equipment.

    In the beginning I couldn't understand why folks were going through atties like they were going through underwear. Some were indeed using their equipment outside of their design norms and hence reporting failures. Nonetheless, I couldn't grasp how these folks were seeing short lived attys when I was seeing longevity in months compared to weeks. I knew I wasn't doing anything special so there had to be a common denominator, vegetable glycerin.

    Although I roll my own and can tailor the viscosity of my liquids similar to the viscosity of PG liquids, the longevity and performance of my atties and cartos have seen a significant decrease in their lifespan. The latter is exacerbated with "sweet" juices or liquids that contain "sugars". Not so predominant with tobacco flavoured liquids (with the exception of Levy's RY4) but even tobacco flavours over a period of time affect atties and cartos.

    I would have to say that although a little pre-mature with my observations that my equipment's life expectancy has been reduced by 35-50% since switching over to all VG liquids. That is a significant decrease.

    Some DIYrs have claimed that using PGA vs distilled water increases performance without adding flavour. Perhaps in small quantities, but IMO PGA does change the flavour not to mention making the TH harsh (even in small amounts). The good side of this observation, in the future as I reduce nic content, I will be able to get a decent TH without the nic. Some have claimed that using PGA in their mixes cleans the atties while vaping. I have yet to observe such a phenomenon.

    In closing, I have no choice in the liquid I vape any more, I have developed a sensitivity towards PG and can only use VG liquids. In my reviews (latest) I have attested to this as it will affect the reviewing criteria and findings. Although some folks enjoy plumes of vapour, there is indeed a price to pay for clouds of vapour. My recommendations to folks that are still capable of vaping PG, because many vendors now offer ratios, get yourself liquids that have a maximum content of 20% VG. Many liquids do indeed come 80/20 these days. For the longest time this is also an adopted recommendation in the DIY section, as a ratio that provided the best performance both visual, sensation, taste and provides adequate equipment longevity. I hope this is helpful :vapor:
  2. Iken

    Iken Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2009
    Well done Switcher! Just a great and insightful thread.
    i tottaly agree with you on high VG causing these build ups and destroying atomizers. To put it simply, it's all about the effects of how the liquid burns. Sugars naturally resonate when heat is applied. Switcher from just recent events, I want to send you a sample of PG liquid when they come in, just for a 2 puff trial if you wouldn't mind. There is yet another solution pf PEG, but I hear that stuff is just plain awful. Would you mind informing me on PGA? I heard it the past, but vaguely as memory can recall.
  3. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Isaac, e-mail sent.
  4. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    As customary I endeavour to keep my reviews/recommendations/observations as accurate and current as possible. Where preliminary findings are either corroborated or debunked, I will always post the new info should it arise.

    In general, undiluted VG in great concentrations will clog attys and cartos quicker, especially cartos. This was my experience in the beginning as well. My preliminary findings were exactly what they were.

    I am vaping 100% VG liquids now. I did not look forward to the projected longevity, good for vendors but not the average vaper. I always diluted my VG 4/1 because I was a cart user for the longest time. I still prefer carts over dripping. I wasn't fussy about cartos because the only thing out there was KR8s. Since, the carto industry has made leaps and bounds especially the cartos here.

    Initially I was only diluting the "added" VG. Although the liquid was fairly thin, it wasn't akin to PG liquids. It vaped fairly well but the viscosity was greater than what I was used to. Because I was using 50mg as a base to reach 18mg (my current level) that equated to 36% undiluted VG in my mixes - a substantial amount.

    Having created my own calculator for mixing, I was able to edit the formulas to take into account all the VG added and dilute the qty 20% with distilled water. The final result a liquid with a viscosity of PG but with the vapour production of VG. Sometimes I add the odd drop of PGA which defaults the calculator to subtract from the distilled water added.

    On average VG has a density of 1.2, PG 0.9, PGA 0.8, water and nicotine is 1. If we were to compare PG and VG, VG's density is 25% greater that PG. So diluting at 20% with distilled water is well within the norm. Now I could fart around and dilute my VG to replicate PG, but that becomes just too cumbersome and takes the fun away from it. Considering that the majority of flavours are either suspended in PG, distilled water, alcohol or a combinations thereof, it is a moot point.

    In closing, since I changed my mixing ratios to take into account the nic liquid, I have yet to loose equipment outside their norm. Decreasing Levy's RY4 flavouring from 20-15% has paid dividends as well albeit with some flavour loss. FWIW BlueMist is one company that I know of that sells 100% VG liquids that have a similar viscosity to PG. The proof is in the pudding :) but YMMV.
  5. Vaporologist

    Vaporologist Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 26, 2010
    Epic Journey
    Nice tutorial Switched!

    One question regarding my DIY liquids. I've been using 85/15% PG/VG ratio without diluting the VG. Are you suggesting to dilute the VG for that ratio as well? Thanks.
  6. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    For carts and cartos yes I would for dripping it is not really necessary. Remember I always used carts in the past and I had wicking issues when it wasn't diluted. Give it a whirl with a small batch and see how it goes.
  7. Iken

    Iken Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2009
    You have done it again Switcher! Great follow up! This is definitely sticky material. :thumb:
  8. 5cardstud

    5cardstud ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 1, 2010
    I agree with Isaac Switched. You've done another excellent post and one I've referred too already. Your posts are always very enlightening.[​IMG]
  9. benjayman2

    benjayman2 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 29, 2010
    Chicago, IL
    Good reads Switched as usual. Thanks for shedding some of your wisdom on us.
  10. stubear62

    stubear62 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2009
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    I too can tell you that the best would be the 80/20 ratio. I had an atty (510 eGo slim) that lasted me for over 6 months. Then one day I only had UltraPure eliquid, as we all know, its 100% VG, and after two cart fulls of this my atty started to go down hill.
    I blew out what I could and used my 80/20 (what was left) and got the performance back up..
    I was worried I did something bad to my atty.
    The next day I had run out of my own mix (RY4 with ultrapure) and only had VG. That day my atty had died at night with my 2nd to last drag. I couldn't believe for 6 months, it was a work horse. Now nothing seems to last more than 2 to 4 weeks.
    Maybe I had a fluke of an atty.
    I am back with the 80/20 and my atties tend to last longer unless I do something wrong.
  11. FeistyAlice

    FeistyAlice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Near Dallas Texas
    Great article and observations. Thanks for sharing.

    My DH had a sensitivity to PG from the get go. It took us a week or so to realize what caused his issues. So he's been using "100" vg since. I, too, use distilled water or PGA, but don't dilute it down quite as far as you do. DH prefers the PGA over distilled water as he achieves the TH he wants, without harshness, using the mild "2X" Cuban from FSUSA, at 3.7v, and a 1.7 to 2.0 ohm 510 atty. Yes, I have enough attys to find the near exact "ohm" rating by metering each one after initial boil (I boil everything boilable) and after each boil cleaning, with adequate drying using forced warm air from my Notebook, and then a 20 sec pulse dryburn until there is no more vapor coming off the atty. I let them cool down a bit between the 20 second pluse dry burns.

    Except for his first week of vaping, 801 pen style w 3.0 ohm atty, he has yet to kill an atty. I use a lot of high VG juices, hardly ever below 50% VG and I've never lost an atty except for one IKV LR 306 that I pushed beyond the 20 sec pulsing dryburn. I have three attys that were starting to show age after ~5 months of use. Those I debridged and use for testing flavors.

    So I do think it is possible to have longevity using very high amounts of VG. BTW.... I use only sweet flavors. I've been pretty much stuck on FSUSA 50/50 Hopscotch and Butterscotch Almond for over two months, now, as my all day vape which is not less than 6ml a day and usually more.

    As soon as an atty's draw changes just a little bit it goes into the "to be cleaned" bowl. That and my cleaning technique has given us a near perfect track record, virtually 100% survival of attys. I'm still using some Joye 510 that I started with in August 2010. For the first two months, I only had three or four to rotate. DH used only 801s until December and all but one of the attys are still in prime condition; about four in rotation. The one and only that started getting "weak" is the one I debridged.

    One other factor is that we do rotate attys. In DH's case, he goes through about 3 ml a day and I give him a cleaned atty about once a week; occasionally a little more often but that depends on how much juice he has been vaping. I can get only about 24 hours vaping out of an LR 306 before it starts clogging, an extra day for LR510, and a couple of more days for LR 801.

  12. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Thank you Alice for your observation sand sharing your experiences with us. FWIW outside of blowing out my attys, I don't clean them :)
  13. FeistyAlice

    FeistyAlice ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 24, 2010
    Near Dallas Texas
    Mine just get too clogged up with the sweet juices and sometimes dark sweet juices, with high VG. I always make sure they are totally dry (they are totally dry before I do the dryburn) and I keep desiccant packs in the storage cases. I just ordered some more packets from Amazon as I've been using ones from pill bottles and other things and they must be at the end of their useful lives now. I read to store them with a few drops of VG or PG but I'm counting on the drying, dryburning, and desiccant packets to keep moisture from settling in them. I usually let cartos, which I don't dry burn, get about 24 hours in front of the Notebook exhaust before storing them. I do use a huge syringe with baby medicine rubber end to force as much moisture out of them before doing the drying. It only takes a few minutes to maintain them. The dryburning takes the longest but I do it while I'm at the computer with a USB PS that has a bttery in line, that should protect the USB port. It's not a 5v PT, btw.

    I've only had one atty get a burn taste that wouldn't leave with boiling and dryburning. I debridged that one.

    It's pretty interesting that most of the 510 attys I purchased in August and September, before LR got really popular, are below 2.5; actually more closer to 2.0 ohm and a couple a little below 2.0. I'm still using the, I assume, Joye 510s, that I got with my first eGo from Awesome Vapor, in early Sept. They are still going strong, all under 2.5 ohm, and only one of five has lost some punch. I debridged one of those.

    I have a little hand torch that comes in handy for making the 306 wick, that goes up to bridge and the E2 wick, right at cup slit, refreshed. Not only is it a handy little device but it's really pretty too; all black and chrome look.

  14. cr12

    cr12 Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 28, 2009
    i have recently switched to all vg juices, ( i found out what cinnamon oil was doing to my attys see my thread in atomizer issues) i have been at it for 2 weeks with the same attys i rotate them a different one per day, i have had two in rotation, every night i blow them out really well and soak them in everclear for several hours and it seems to keep them from gunking up. Hopefully it works out, I dont have a PG allergy I just wanted to try AVE juices and as you know that are almost all 100% vg. Im hoping to at least get a month out of an atty back when i was using a cinnamon based juice i was getting maybe a week, due to the degradation of plastic components of attys (namely the plastic cup) so a month would be a great improvement for me, ill report back after its been awhile. I just started using a stealth cannon today ;)
  15. thejeff

    thejeff Senior Member

    I'm wondering if anyone has experience with clearomizers and extending their longevity; I've already choked out one coil with an RY4 style flavor, but I suspect that that has more to do with the wick in my CE5 coil-changeable, and the fact that the coil has to be in contact with the wick... it just seems that wick setups leave less surface area for the coil to heat, and therefore, that smaller surface area gunks up faster. Any thoughts?
  16. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    What type of longevity are you looking at, or for? They don't last for ever...
  17. thejeff

    thejeff Senior Member

    Switched, I would like to burn a coil out... these CE5 clearos are getting gummed up after two or three fills- super stiff draw, total flavor muting; one juice has made it for five fills in a CE5, but I'd estimate the flavor at 40%. Once I've used all my backup coils, I think I'm just going to toss these; I've used several different cleaning methods, to no avail. On the bright side, the Vapeonly BCC Mega is running like a fog machine :thumbs:

    Sincerely, thank you for your interest, and I still welcome any suggestions!
  18. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    OK, gotcha :)

    FWIW CE anything although some luv them are pretty much crap. Who's RY4? I had RY4 that would kill a 306 in a day :( so to use strictly that as a measuring tool is not really accurate IMHO.

    As stated here (OP) a lot of factors are involved liquid viscosity is only one of them (the main one IMO) For example I believe that mentholated liquids have a natural cleansing effect on our equipment. I can't prove it but it does seem to be that way.

    At the time of this particular post there was indeed a large conversation wrt VG, dark and sweet liquids and the correlation of these factors on equipment longevity. It was also debated at the time that these factors had nothing to do with equipment longevity. It has now become an accepted norm, but not necessarily so at the time.

    At the time we were measuring longevity expressed in weeks/months. We have moved from that form of somewhat inaccurate measurement as know we see a more precise measurement to mean liquid used vice weeks etc... which indeed seems to reflect longevity more accurately. For example...

    Cartos were intended for an initial use and that was it. You would then toss 'em and put a fresh one on. They were never intended for mutli-use scenarios. An acceptable norm these days is 7 to 10ml, some folks still boil their cartos to extend their life. It has been my experience that they do not return to their original freshness and provide but a mediocre vape at best. Considering the cost of these, I prefer to toss them when they start to go stale rather than vape crap. IMO recycling cartos is akin to gathering cigarette butts from ashtrays, rolling them up and smoking them.

    I guess what it all comes down to is what is an acceptable time frame something should last? That again is not easy to answer as we all vape differently and that atties and cartos are meant to be semi-disposable. In my most humblest of opinions if a carto lasts a week or 7-10ml can be ran through it, and atties 30 days, then we have a winner. Everything else is just bonus :)

    I hope this made sense :)
  19. thejeff

    thejeff Senior Member

    Thanks for a great post, Switched!

    The RY4 I'm using is Rawr's JY4. It's a fantastic vape, and I'm having great success in an Ikenvape Fusion tank (and carto) with that one. I have made the same observation about Menthol flavors, incidentally, and I love my menthol fruit flavors... the issue is that, in these CE5 clearos, EVERYTHING gums the coil... I think it's related to the wick. I certainly agree, as everything I have that is not a CE5 performs markedly better, that these CE clearomizers are a sub-par product.

    Since we're on the Ikenvape sub-forum, let me just mention the fast priming, clean, unmuted flavor, and smooth vape of the IKV Fusion carto/tank system :)

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