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How long do attys generally last you?

Discussion in 'IkenVape' started by VaporMadness, Jul 13, 2010.

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  1. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Thusfar, in my quest for the perfect vape, I've been less concerned with atty longevity than with finding attys that hit the spot to start with. Now that I've got dial in what I'm looking for (2.0 resistance level type behavior), I'm wondering what people's experience is with how long attys can be expected to hit that spot before requiring a ceremonious burial.

    I haven't been searching for longevity, but what I've noticed so far is that 510s don't last as well as 901s or 801s (or 401s). I've only used one (yup, just one) 801 atty so far, so that's not a large sample size to say the least :) I do have a pile of 510s and a few 901s (and decent pile of 401s too). It's my experience that 510s give up the ghost faster than most. Wondering if others find that to be the case too?

    I've never had an atty "pop" on me yet. Instead, they whither and die by way of under performing in terms of vapor and flavor to the point that I just can't stand to use it anymore at 3.7v. If a cleaning/dry burning does bring it back sufficiently, its done for. Some of these "done for" attys may still be usable at 5v (but they get really hot).
  2. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Oh boy, oh boy! Goldie (<---- term of enderment) you have just opened a can of worms LOL.

    You have unknowingly opened a can of worms not because of the Q or subjectivity but dependability, and to that, there is no simple answer. I tried in to extrapolate the information and arrive at a conclusion in the past. I thought I had it pegged, but alas I was mistaken. My conclusions were skewed by my own successes.

    ... and that is pretty much what I have been doing as well. Unfortunately attys of the same resistance is but one factor I have come to find out. Resistance is only a portion of atomiser make up. Would these devices perform better if they were mass produced by a machine, rather than manufactured and assembled by hand?

    Ouch! goldielocks says that porridge taste funny :) My experience has been the total opposite, and hence why I started off by saying that is one big can of worm you opened there. Nonetheless a subject worthy of discussion.

    I am still using atomisers that I have started with from February (510s) I have two SLBs 510 left from my original batch of 6. I have one 801 left from my original batch of 10, mind you these were used at 5V plus. I do not like the 801 at 3.1-3.7V, it runs too cool and vapour production is poor, because of the inability of the atty to wick or the cart to deliver the liquid proportionately to the atty. As WWay I farted around 3 ways from Sunday to get them to work properly (801 carts) and just gave up on them. I found that the 801 performed slightly better on a PT at 5V, and hence why I built a 5V boxmod. At the time, I had also come across that dripping the 801 was the way to go. 901s I am not too fusyy about them. They provide great flavour with diminished throat hit which makes them perfect for morning coffee vaping. The learning curve is steep IMO. Getting one to work properly, is hit and miss. When they work hey work great, when they don't it can be frustrating. Because of their relatively HR, I have been using them at 5-6V while dripping. The downside, the vape quality of the 901 as previiously mentioned goes out the window IMO. I have only popped 1 trying to break it in, and it was user error as I got frustrated with it. When my mood is more relaxed I give them a whirl and slowly they are finding their place in my vaping arsenal, but nothing replaces the 510.

    Popping attys is excatly that they pop. It is a distinct sound (usually when new) that occurs followed by the atty turning cold. Most of my attys will die off as stated, performance drops, then the die. However, I have also had them simply go cold. It has also occured after I have tried to revive them by cleaning. I am starting to lead towards cleaning is a pointless time consuming process that provides marginal results at best.

    It has been stated we need to accept that attys are a semi-disposable item, with a life expectancy of 2 weeks at best. Armed with that information, any atomiser that lasts and performs past that is a bonus. Some folks have claimed? 10-12 months out of an atomiser. I find it a little reaching based on my own experience, but will nonethelss calssify it as an exception rather than a norm.

    More to follow....
  3. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    The previous post was to answer VM's questions. Longevity in atomisers is hit and miss because of the manufacturing processes involved IMO. Is there ways to increase the life expectancy of an atomiser? Yes.

    • Purchase atomisers from a reputable dealer. Atomisers have a market value of X. Buying atomisers well below market value should raise a question mark vice Wow! what a deal. Many will dis-agree with this statement, and are partially right because...
      • atomisers being semi-disposables; and
      • being they are semi-disposable, why pay more for something that lasts 1-2 weeks?
    • That being said, many unscrupulous vendors will sell sub-par atomisers at market prices. This is not really hard to find out as there is usually tell tale signs throughout their sites, but not always. In all fairness to vendors, sometimes they receive sub-par product from their suppliers;
    • The first batch of LRs to hit the streets were said to be garbage, yet I am still using one since the beginning. I believe...
      • being the first run, the bugs may not have been entirely worked out;
      • folks were/are taking longer hits than necessary;
      • folks were not using them properly, running them too hot or dry;
      • dripping on an overly hot atty; and
      • using highly concentrated VG liquids to increase viscosity (prevents leakage while promoting flooding). These are reported incidents. If an atty floods...
        • you are either dripping too much; or
        • not vaping enough; and
        • trying to fire an atty while flooded, is as bad as firing an atty that is too dry. Current is flowing to the atty but because vapour is not being produced, the atty fails due to too much current being applied to it. Think of it as a brain aneurysm.
    • Because of the aforementioned mentality, folks sought the cheapest atomisers available. Eastmall answered their prayers and offered LR attys for $3 a pop. The rationale folks employed is if they are only going to last days, then why spend $10 for an atty when a $3 atty will do; since
    • Folks have learned how to use these atomisers properly, whilst better manufacturers are producing them.
    That is the story behind the low resistance atomiser. Folks have become accustomed to vaping with them, and because a greater number of more reputable manufacturers, manufacturing them, their overall quality has/seems to have improved. Notwithstanding, a better build = a better product.

    The aforementioned discussion is not solely attributed to the LR atty, but can be attributed to attys in general. Is there a way to stack the deck in our favour, based on the inconsistencies of the manufacturing process? Yes...

    • Some atomisers require a break in period, more than others. How do we achive this?
      • Be patient with it;
        • some attys will break in within minutes; whilst
        • some take hours, even days.
      • Break it in on lower voltages or slightly depleated batteries; and
      • Use normal drain batteries vice high drain batteries, especially high drains coming straight off the charger.
    • Ensure the atomiser is kept wet at all times. This is achieved by...
      • If using carts:
        • the batting or material used provides for;
          • only holding the liquid in proper suspension; and
          • readily releases said liquid to the bridge of the atomiser without causing flooding and/or leakage.
        • do not vape the cart dry, be conscious of when the cart requires topping off, this usually occurs way before foul tastes are incured:
          • It usually is associated with diminished vapour production;
          • lack of flavour being delivered or both; and
          • At this point the atty is too dry, and the cart requires topping off.
        • It is therefore recommended to top off frequently, rather than less frequently and
          • avoid burining the batting; or
          • worst running the atty in a dry state.
        • Should an atty be vaped into a semi-dry or dry state, ensure you prime the atty with a drop or two before vaping once again (after the cart has been topped off).
      • If dripping:
        • on a fresh atty, ensure the atty has been primed properly:
          • 6 drops for 901s;
          • 6-8 drops for 801s; and
          • 5 drops for 510s.
        • allow sufficient time for the priming to take effect 3-5 seconds;
        • only drip enough liquid into the atty to keep it moist and produce vapour:
          • 510 and 901s 1 to 2 drops;
          • 801s 3 drops; and
          • when flavour and/or vapour production decreases, drip another drop or two. Keeping in mind that each drop is a good solid 5-6 hits. Therefore during a smoke break, you should only have to drip one or twice.
        • do not flood the atty. Should flooding or leakage occur...
          • blow out the atty from the mouth end into a tissue;
          • re-prime the atty; and
          • if you are going to continue to vape, add the required drops on top of the prime. If not, then your atty is primed for the next session.
        • when the atty starts to taste foul or burnt, it is often necessary to blow out the spent liquid contained in the atomiser's reservoir. To do otherwise often results in leakage or a flooded atomiser. The blown out liquid is usually much darker than the parent liquid and smells foul.
    • Blow out your atomisers at the end of each day. This will get rid of the spent liquid while keeping your attys fresh. Make sure to re-prime them;
    • When switching liquids, use afresh atomiser. This will...
      • provide the greatest staisfaction as
        • you do not have a mix of flavours; and
        • you do not have to vape through the flavours which, in turn could cause the atty overheating in your quest to get to destination.
    • When atomiser performance drops, cease using it if possible, and clean it;
      • by either flushing it;
      • or dry burn.
    • Do not use the same atomiser at different voltages, this will only cause premature failures in many instances. For poorly performing atomisers, using them on a higher voltage will often extend the life of an atty for period X;
    • It has been widely reported that many attys will fail if used at higher voltages, and then subsequently used at lower voltages;
    • Use the proper atomiser for the selected voltages e.g
      • low resistance 1.5-2 Ohms ot 3.1-3.7V;
      • regular resistance 2.2-2.5Ohms at 3.7V;
      • high voltage 3-3.5Ohms 5-6V; and
      • X high voltage 5.2Ohms for 7V.
    • There is nothing wrong with using a higher resistance atomiser at lower voltages, for a cooler vape. However, longevity is decreased when using a lower resistance atty at higher voltages for a hotter vape or "reckless" TH; and
    • Forget the hype or fads as allot of it is exactly that, hype IMO. Match your vaping equipment against the liquid vaped, atomiser used, voltage required for the mood your in. This includes but not limited to nicotine content, because:
      • It is better to increase the nicotine content of the liquid vape than to chain vape; and
      • Often just a change of flavour at your usual strength will often prove to be sufficient.
    Deciphering the chaff from the wheat is not easy at times, especially on forums. However, if one reads carefully, it can be easily extracted. So...

    What is the life expectancy of an atomiser? One should be able to expect a good solid 2 weeks to a month of great performance out of them if use properly and properly cared for afterwards, the performance steadily drops and forcing it to perform often leads to failure.

    That being said, atomisers will last a long time, but that is, as inconsistent as the manufacturing processes involved.
  4. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    Thnx for the mountain of info and tips to chew on.

    As for longevity... sounds like roughly 2 weeks to a month... and 510s should be expected to last as well as the others (if not better).

    I could have been particularly abusive of the 510s in my pile of attys which may explain my expectation of a shorter life for those guys? I preferred the 510 to the 901 when first making the transition from 401 gear, so i used them a lot more... and clumsily at that (over heating, running too rich and too dry, 100% VG). I should probably reset my expectations now that I have a little better idea of which way is up.

    The sole Iken LR801 that i have is still going strong well into week 2 with nary any maintenance. I think I've only drained it out two times (by turning upside down with tissue touching the bridge to draw old liquid out).
  5. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Glad to be of help. Speaking of longevity, the atty my eGo came with has been fading for the last couple of days. It is going to get a water alcohol enema today, to see if I can't extend its life somewhat. It still meters at 2.2Ohms but is getting a little stiff and vapour production a little less. I have been using this atty since mid-March, so 4 months, which has been pretty much the norm for me. I have had the ODD one quit within a mothn, maybe less.
  6. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Addendum: Something I forgot to mention this morning (post was long enough), atty life can be significantly increased by pulsing the switch on long draws of 5 secs or more. This is especially crucial in HV applications. Pausing between hits will also assist in increased longevity.
  7. Iken

    Iken Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2009
    I had this tab open for a week now, just reading and re-reading. I swear Switcher, almost everything you say is truly golden and for you to take so much time to write these hefty knowledgeable posts means everything to the ask'ee,silent readers, and myself. This thread is being stickied for sure!
  8. Iken

    Iken Unregistered Supplier ECF Veteran

    Jan 23, 2009
    I do have one thing that I would like to add.

    The 1st 2 weeks of almost any atomizer, is it's true life or death trial. Typically if an atomizer surpasses it's 2 weeks of steady use and most of all, it's break -in period, it should last somewhere in between 1 to 3 months. The feedback average has been roughly 2 months, but there are those wonders of 6+ out there.

    Atomizer maintenance: Maintenance methods have been greatly expanded, ranging from home ovens, to air compressors and baths. Baths that consists of vinegar, grain alcohol, peroxide, to even just hot water. Maintenance should be considered the "Final draw" in atomizer use. Doing any of these methods over an extended amount of time can heavily damage the unit. Such as the baths eating away at the soft rubber coating of the wires that are built into them, or even solidifying the mesh, there for blocking air travel. When all hope is lost in atomizer, then maintenance should come into play. As the chances of resurrecting an atomizer with maintenance, has been tested true, it's still a Chance non the less.Then again, what isn't?
  9. VaporMadness

    VaporMadness Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jan 26, 2010
    CA, USA
    There's great info in this thread... thank you.

    I believe this may be the key to why I've been experiencing shorter 510 life times. Predicated with the insight that running attys too hot will kill them faster...

    The 401 (batt + atty) is designed to run at lower power and produces less heat. The batts only put out 2.8v. It's more difficult to abuse them by design, they over heat less and last a long time as a result.

    The std 901 atty is higher resistance and produces less heat. Ditto less abusable and lasting longer.

    The std 510 is 2.2/2.3 ohms, fairly low resistance makes for lots of heat. I think I've been overheating them and causing them to die an early death. They're designed to run on 3.1/3.2v power supply, but I was hammering the button on them with full 3.7v and 5v. Really cranks for a short time but ultimately leads to an early demise.

    Since using the LR 2.0 ohm attys, I've been getting more conscious of how hot the atty is getting and 'pulsing' the button accordingly. The only spot that needs to heat up is the area immediately around the coil to produce good strong vapor. Super heating the entire cannister is a recipe for early atty death.

    My first LR801 2.0 ohm atty is still going real strong. I have given it a bath and dryburn after almost 2 weeks of exclusive use. It was performing reasonably well, but not "like new". Since cleaning, vapor perked up a bit and flavor really picked back up by a lot. I'm gonna see how long I can make this one last.
  10. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    :oops:Thanks Isaac. But really, I am just doing my part in trying to make everyone's vaping experience more enjoyable and less frustrating, and if I can share info I have gathered here and there, and well sharing is nice.:)
  11. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Bang on Isaac :thumbs: that has been my experience as well.
  12. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Yup! VM you are definitely on the right track.

    I believe if drippers tailpiped instead of using Ttips, their attys would last longer.
  13. mini_art

    mini_art Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 2, 2010
    Florida USA
    As always Switched , you are a veritable font of information and I thank you!
    Mine last me 2 weeks at best without maintenance. The lr 901s seem to do a bit better.

    However I kill mine with dark juice so I really cant expect them to last. The sacrifice of the attys is what keeps me vaping so ,,,, so be it.

    As for maintenance, everyone seems to have their favorite, I do it only if they are dying,
    then if I soak them overnight in some denture cleaner, efferdent and dry burn a bit, I can extend the life of them for perhaps another week.
  14. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Yes I found (reports) that dark liquids = premature death for some reason. You can add highly sweet liquids to that list as well. For example buttery nipple in a carto is a clogger, but oh what a sweeet vape that is. Considering we spent $8-10 on a pack of cigs/day, we are still ahead of the game. I just whish kitting ourselves out wasn't so expensive LOL.
  15. Vaporologist

    Vaporologist Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 26, 2010
    Epic Journey
    As always, great info Switched!

    I am confused about this one. Would you mind explaining? Thanks.
  16. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Aaaaaah VP,

    • Go outside;
    • Start your car;
    • Let it idle for 10 minutes;
    • Turn it of; and
    • Suck on the tailpipe.
    Is it hot? All kidding aside... If you touch your atty to your face vice your hand, and you can't stand it against your face, then put the PV down, and assume the position LOL.

    Your lips are even more sensitive than your face, therefore you will know when the atty is too hot, when tailpiping. Your atty should never be hot enough to cook an egg on it, or not being able to touch it to your face.

    Delrin tips insulate your lips from the heat, not so much so with a steel D tip. Drippers have a tendency to overheat their attys, probably because most drippers are HV.
  17. stubear62

    stubear62 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2009
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    OK, I just want to say something here if I may..
    Switched, you ARE WRONG on all levels!!
  18. Switched

    Switched ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 18, 2010
    Dartmouth, NS Canada
    Cool, I hate being right ;)
  19. stubear62

    stubear62 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Sep 27, 2009
    Myrtle Beach, SC
    No, just kidding..
    TY for all te GREAT info Switched.. I too have come to acknowledge the facts of what you have typed in that looooooooooooooooooooooooooong post. LOL..
    I just feel that I would have gotten lost myself if I was to type it out. I too find that if you TP your lips can let u know how hot ur atty gets compared to if u use a tip.
    There is just one thing I do when my atty's draw gets a bit hard. I use either a phillips screw driver or flat tip to go into the batt end, very carefully, and just feel my way (like in the dark or bed) to try to open the plastic end that tends to melt a bit cause the atty got too hot.
    This works very well and I have extended a few atty's by 2+ weeks.

    Oh, as for the prior post, I was just trying to get ur goat.. I'm hungry.. LOL.
  20. Vaporologist

    Vaporologist Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

    May 26, 2010
    Epic Journey
    Gotcha Sitched. I didn't realize your comment was regarding atties overheating. I don't run into that problem with our without t-tips. I guess after over 3 months of dripping you just learn.

    Hey Stu, I can't exactly visualize how you do that with a screwdriver. I'm really interested in seeing how you do that. Would you mind shooting a quick video?

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