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Introduction to Cartomizers: 101

Discussion in 'Mom and Pop Vapor Shop' started by pwyll, Aug 14, 2012.

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  1. pwyll

    pwyll Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Cartomizers come in two basic types, the original version with the atomizing coil(s) located at the bottom of the tube and surrounded by some sort of polyfil material (commonly known as "filler cartos") and the "Cartomizer, Edition 2" version with the atomizing coil at the top of the tube being fed via a fibrous wick (commonly known as "CE2's," "CE4's," "CE5's," "Clearomizers," &c.). There are many variations on each type, but the biggest difference (at least for the purpose of this sticky) is the placement of the coil(s) and the use (or lack) of filler. Filler cartos are known for their convenience and slightly muted flavour, while CE2's are known for their 'cleaner' flavour and wicking issues many people have. If you have not tried cartos, or have not tried both types, you should at least try both--most people prefer the filler cartos, but the people for whom CE2's work often will use nothing else.

    Both types of cartos come in two basic styles, steel or plastic tubes. The steel tubes can be painted or covered with a sticker and the plastic tubes can be clear or translucent colours. The steel tubes are durable, but you must pay attention to the flavour and vapour profile to tell when it needs to be topped off. The plastic tubes allow you to see the level of your juice, but are less durable and susceptible to damage from certain types of juice. Either type of (plain/unadorned) steel tube can be used in a carto tank, neither type of plastic tube will work.

    How long will a carto last me?
    I dunno. That depends on a whole lot of variables--the voltage at which you're vaping, the resistance of the coil, the amount of juice the carto holds, how often you hit the PV, how long the drags are that you take--it'll last a lot longer than an atomizer, though ;)

    Oh, you meant how long before it has to be replaced. I dunno. That depends on a whole lot of different variables and I don't even know what those variables are. People argue over which brand lasts the longest, and every brand has its champions (except Billy-Bob's Famous One-Hit Cartomizers, but I don't think anyone even sells those anymore). Some people expect a cartomizer to last two months and some people are happy if one lasts two days. Personally I think it's all voodoo, but the real answer is that you won't know until you find out. Sorry.

    One thing that's absolutely true: if you pop the coil, it's dead. Most people, though, notice that their juice is starting to lose flavour or that the vapour is noticeably less or that it's getting harder and harder to draw through. These are signs that the cartomizer is getting all gunked up and losing its effectiveness--most people will toss them at this point, though many people clean and reuse them.

    Okay, so far all you've done is dish out a load of condescending crap. Just tell me how to use one.

    Filling videos:

    Help! My tank gurgles and there's no vapor!
    Help! My tank is leaking out the bottom of the cartomizer!
    Help! I keep getting juice in my mouth!
    Help! I push the button and try to vape but nothing happens!

    If you are using a carto by itself, these are all signs that it is over-filled. Blow it out slightly as Mr. Busardo shows in the first video.

    If you are using it in a tank, an over-filled carto (after the first few draws) is indicative that your holes/slots are too big and/or you have too many of them. However, some filler-type cartos will gurgle in a tank--if you have good flavour and vapour production and no leaking or splatter, it's just a gurgler.

    Ewww. That hit tasted like a hot dime.
    Ewww. That hit burned the back of my throat.
    Ewww. That hit tasted like a hot dime and burned the back of my throat.

    Congratulations, you've just had a dry hit! It's exactly the same as a dry hit on an atomizer--the coil dried out the wick and you get to taste burning metal. Refill your carto--if the carto isn't low then just don't vape so danged fast. You can also switch to a lower voltage if you're on a vvPV, or switch to a higher-resistance carto if you get a lot of dry hits.

    HOLY CRAP! Someone just set a wet dog on fire and chased it into my mouth!

    Congratulations, you just burned the filler! This is just like a dry hit except that the filler surrounding the wick was also dried out and you kept the coil burning long enough to burn the filler around it. This will usually only happen after several dry hits or if you're running high voltage and/or low resistance. You can try refilling the carto--sometimes the filler is only singed and the flavour is not noticeable (or barely noticeable) when the area is kept wet. Or you can just toss it--if you've burned the filler like Smokey Bear's house, there's no saving it...

    I didn't burn the filler but it's starting to taste funny anyway. I don't want to give up on this carto, though--it's become like a child to me. Is there anything I can do to save it?
    You could try cleaning it. There are a lot of different ways people go about cleaning cartos, some of the more popular ones are:;; It doesn't always work and some people think it never works, at least not well enough to bother with. But you can always give it a try, some people swear by it (and they're the ones getting two and three months from a single carto).

    The flavour's fine but it's harder to draw through than when it was new. Will cleaning help?
    Yes, maybe. That's why I specifically mentioned it getting harder to draw through like seven paragraphs and three videos ago. Are you even trying to keep up?



    Cartomizer Issues
  2. P0P

    P0P Moved On ECF Veteran

    Nov 23, 2011
    C'Ville Virginia
    Wow! pwyll both Tami and I Thank you for all this hard work making all the stickies
    Thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. OK how much i owe ya:p:vapor:
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