Individuals who frequently engage in DIY projects may encounter the frustrating issue of carbon deposits in their heating wire. This article aims to provide a detailed explanation of how to solve this problem effectively.
Understanding the Causes of Carbon Accumulation in Heating Wire
Carbon buildup in atomizers has long been a significant concern. Regardless of the type of atomizer used, some degree of carbon deposits is inevitable within a week, adversely affecting the flavor. The primary causes of carbon deposits in e-cigarettes are the inclusion of sugar in certain e-liquid varieties and the organic substances found in flavorings. During the heating process of the atomizer, these organic compounds can easily condense, char, and eventually transform into carbon deposits.
E-liquids with higher sweetness levels are more prone to producing carbon deposits, and some additives may introduce fine particles that adhere to the surface of the heating wire upon energizing and heating, such as plant fibers and various spices added to fiber-based e-liquids. This issue can be likened to the concept that higher-grade fuel in cars results in reduced carbon deposits.
Method 1: Removing Carbon Deposits from Heating Wire
You will notice a distinct burnt smell if your heating wire exhibits carbon deposits. In such cases, cleaning or replacing the cotton within 1-2 days is advisable. Follow the method described below to attempt to remove the carbon deposits. After removing the cotton, attach the atomizer to the central unit. Similar to when you heat the wire, adjust the voltage to approximately 3.0V (the author uses a 0.16Ω resistor with 55W power). Avoid setting the intensity too high, as the carbon deposits may ignite, posing a risk of burns or even causing the entire heating wire to fuse. As the wire heats up, a solid burnt smell will become noticeable, resulting from the carbon deposits on the wire’s surface. Once the wire turns red-hot, evident carbon deposits resembling scabs will be visible. Subsequently, release the ignition button and immerse the heating wire in warm water (temperature ranging from 40-60°). Remember to ensure that the central unit does not come into contact water.
It is crucial to note the following: Do not ignite or start a fire! Otherwise, the heating wire may fuse when it turns red in water due to a short circuit.
The process of submerging the red-hot heating wire into the water for rapid cooling is known as “quenching.” If there is a significant temperature difference between the water and the heating wire, the wire may become brittle and prone to breaking, affecting its lifespan. Repeatedly perform “quenching” to observe black granular carbon deposits accumulating in the water.
Next, utilize a brush designed for cleaning heating wires to remove carbon deposits hidden in the small gaps between the cables. The bristles of such brushes are typically made of stainless steel or brass, with stainless steel being the harder of the two.
However, please be aware that this cleaning method carries certain risks. Since water is a conductor, any accidental contact with the base of the atomizer or internal components may damage the device. Exercise caution during the cleaning process!
Apply gentle force, avoiding excessive pressure. The outer wire of the heating wire is usually relatively thin and may sustain damage with excessive force.
b. When cleaning, follow a consistent direction and avoid repetitive back-and-forth brushing. The author recommends cleaning from left to right and then from top to bottom, employing two separate cleaning actions. Repeated back-and-forth brushing can disrupt the intricate winding process, leading to more significant gaps between the wrapped wires.
Afterward, the author prefers disassembling the entire atomizer and placing it in an ultrasonic cleaner to clean all concealed dirt within the atomizer thoroughly.
For the final step, after air-drying the atomizer, reassemble it with the central unit and adjust the wire. Then, allow the heating wire to cool down naturally to room temperature. This step helps verify the evenness of heating and acts as a “tempering” process, improving the heating wire’s performance and lifespan.
Method 2: Cleaning Carbon Deposits in the Heating Wire
Start by removing the atomization chamber’s wall, then cut the cotton near the coil’s edge to facilitate its removal. Hold the opposite end of the cotton with tweezers and gently pull it out. Once the cotton is removed, you will observe the coil fully covered in carbon deposits and e-liquid, significantly impacting the flavor. At this point, press the fire button to heat the wire until it turns red, then release the button and wait for the coil to cool down. Repeating this process several times will help burn off the residue attached to the ring.
After multiple heating cycles, the coil will reveal itself, with stubborn carbon deposits being the only remaining issue. This is where a vital “dry cleaning” tool comes into play—a small flat-blade screwdriver that often comes included with most equipment. Ensure it is a flat-blade screwdriver, not a Phillips or cross-shaped one. Use the small screwdriver to gently scrape from one side of the coil to the other, avoiding excessive force that could damage the ring while ensuring effective carbon deposit removal. After a few scrapes, the carbon deposits will start falling off. Change the position of the screwdriver and continue scraping around the coil.
The carbon deposits should now be mostly removed, with the majority falling to the atomizer’s bottom. Repeat the heating process a few more times while adding a drop of e-liquid onto the coil to facilitate rinsing. The e-liquid will help wash away the remaining dirt, but remember that it will burn when exposed to high temperatures. Allow the e-liquid to burn briefly, exercising caution to prevent potential fire hazards.
Conduct a final dry burn to eliminate any residual e-liquid on the coil and clean the carbon deposits at the bottom of the atomizer. Important tip: Never use ordinary paper towels or toilet paper, as they may leave behind debris. Instead, opt for nano towels, dry hair towels, or similar alternatives for cleaning purposes. Once complete, replace the cotton, and you’re done!
After following these steps, your heating wire should appear significantly cleaner. The editor recommends using the second method due to its reduced risks. In most cases, replacing the coil entirely may be more practical rather than attempting extensive cleaning. However, if your ring is more expensive than the heating wire, this method allows you to clean and reuse it. The same principle applies to pre-made coils, although cleaning them can be more cumbersome, making direct replacement the preferred option. These guidelines provide relevant information regarding carbon deposits in e-cigarette heating wires.
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