I’m having a lot of snap, crackle, pop, and spitting. As you all know I’m a noob and I’m sure I’m doing something wrong , probably with wicking.
I’m also having dry hits in my Zeus RTA.
I welcome any and all advice and thank you in advance!


I vape a different style, but cotton too loose in the coils does this for me…


@TimWV, @Ianc13 is right, it’s 99% that the cotton is too loose IN the coil.


Sometimes this can happen with too much cotton as well, choke the coil and she will pop before dry hitting. You want that cotton tight enough that it wont pull through with a gentle tug but not so tight you can pull the mod right over or move the coil while tugging the cotton.

Remember cotton will swell up as it get wet, however some of the synthetics wont.


As @Ken_O_Where and @SessionDrummer said, it seems that you need to adjust how you wick.

The dry hits from an RTA are generally due to not feathering the ends enough to have an effective capillary action (I tease the ends each time to maximise the surface area. Just letting a needle to move away from the coils will tease out excess cotton).

Popping can be due to hotspots, the cotton being too tight when feeding through the coil, or being too loose where air-pockets are allowed to wander like uncontained mogwai. If you need to twist the cotton multiple times to run it through the coils, then you are using too much.


Thank you, I will be re-wicking all my RDA and RTA’s today using that guidance.


If the cotton feels to tight or loose when feeding it through your coils, then you know you need to adjust it.

Don’t worry about the questions: we all constantly learn and share here.


Once you get the hang of it will stop. Pull the cotton back and forth to fluff it in the coil and to make sure its snug. If it moves to freely you dont have enough. If it pulls the coils its too tight. So snug with a little resistance is the winner


You got all the tips already. The first thing that popped into my head reading your title was distilled water.
Do you happen to use any? If not, disregard and re-wick.


Everyone is telling you the cotton is too tight. That’s pop. The snap and crackle is the cotton being too loose.
If I remember right you use the cotton pads. Put the pad against the ID of the coil. Either make a mental note or a slight nip with the scissors the OD of the coil. Cut your cotton there. As mentioned by many above once inserted slide your cotton back & forth. If you can feel little or no resistance it’s too loose. If you have to support the coil from bending sideways it’s too tight. Tails I cut a little longer than the distance to the base. I rake the cotton with a tweezers and remove the fluff I raked out then insert.
There are 2 basic base designs. Pocket and open base. If the RTA has pockets be sure the bottom hole is plugged with the cotton. If not plugged it will leak. If too tight I pull up the cotton a small amount.


@TimWV I agree with @rcleven. Basically every time that happens to me, it’s too loose. Now it’s impossible to fully explain over the interwebs how TIGHT is tight. You can roll the tip to get it to start, then pull it through the coil, and there should be some resistance. Even if there is MORE resistance than you want, you can pull it back and forth, and it can, and will loosen up a bit. Somewhat snug is a good starting place. If it’s SOO tight that you’re deforming or moving your coil while pulling the cotton through that is typically TOO tight.


the immediate first thought would be your wicking (too tight or too loose) but here’s a remote possibility - i found that i have a specific reel of SS wire that if i use to wrap a coil, i will have similar issues… by trial and error, i came to suspect that the wire is bad quality … try changing the coil wire… also if your liquid has any water in it, it may cause these issues…

you can also try a different wicking technique altogether … try this one The Shredder Wicking Method.. getting better flavor from cotton pads

good luck :slight_smile:


I’ll also add, leaving your rda on the side for a day or 2, the first couple of vapes will cause a pop and crackle due to water in the air being drawn in to the VG. Not that you can do anything about that, but thought I would say :slight_smile:

But like others have said, usually its your wicking is too loose, I do this too sometimes. Again trial and error, your coils can usually take more cotton that you think they can :wink:


Nothing better than a good crackle and pop especially on my mtl it’s not lose it’s bubbling


I agree @Grabbo, When my mtl build loses it’s crackle, I know I need to clean my coil and rewick.