It’s not fun when your vape mod prevents you from vaping. Messages like “check atomizer”, “atomizer low”, “no atomizer” or “atomizer short” will not let you move forward until the issue is resolved. When it happens, it feels like getting a 404 message when you want to vape.
If you are using a regulated mod, or a pod vape with a visual display, it’s bound to happen at one point or another. But those regulations are there for preventing mishaps. It’s great to have protections, but it sucks to be at the mercy of your electronics. While some of us know the simple fixes to get back on course, it can be very confusing for new vapers. After all, there is a vape tank on the mod… so why would your mod say something like “no atomizer”?
Different brands often use different error messages, complicating the matter further. One company may use the standard “atomizer short” error for a shorted coil, while another may say “check atomizer” for the same reason—or use it as an umbrella term for all atomizer issues. We won’t be addressing each error message separately. Instead, we’ll explain the reasons behind them and offer some suggestions on how to resolve them.
Here are the six most common reasons behind your mod’s error messages, and our suggested remedies.
It could be something as simple as a bad factory coil, a loose connection on your rebuildable, or the factory coil itself isn’t properly seated or missing an insulator. Also, some people may misjudge the size of their builds, causing their coil to touch the chamber and short out—and that will cause an “atomizer short” or an “atomizer low” error.
Remedy: For factory coils, first make sure your coil is properly seated. If it still doesn’t work, try another coil. If the new coil works, you just got a bum coil which happens from time to time. For rebuildables, make sure to check your coils and all the connections are tight. The screws on a post may loosen a bit after during the build process—they may also loosen gradually with time. Also, make sure there is enough clearance between the top cap (or chimney) and the coil. If the coil touches any metal other than the posts, it will short.
Almost all atomizers these days use PEEK insulators to separate the positive from the negative. Any damage to your insulators may cause a short, resulting in an “atomizer short” or a similar error.
Remedy: Inspect your insulators. One will be at the 510 pin. Remove the 510 pin if possible and inspect the insulator for cracks or damage. If you are using a rebuildable, remove the positive post and inspect the insulator that’s separating the two posts. If it’s all good, then your error message is due to another reason.
Some mods don’t have the best connection at the 510 pin. It could be due to any number of reasons. Some are just poorly designed and fail with time, others are faulty and make it through quality control. This could be due to poor grounding, poor manufacturing (especially with press fit connections), or just really shallow or deep positive 510 pins.
Remedy: While there is nothing you can do yourself—unless you are familiar enough to replace or modify a 510 pin on a mod—sometimes using a different atomizer could work. Atomizers have different lengths on their 510 pins and some mods may just not work well with a shorter or longer one. While it’s somewhat rare these days, it is possible for an atomizer to not be compatible with a mod due to its 510 pin. If some atomizers work and others don’t, it’s likely a poorly designed 510 connection on the mod.
Even if everything is fine with your mod’s 510 and the placement of your coils, you may still get an “atomizer low” or “check atomizer” message. If that’s the case, check the resistance of your coil. Each mod will fire at a certain resistance range; if the resistance of your coil is lower than that, your mod will refuse to fire it.
Remedy: If you are using a rebuildable, note that dry burning the coil may eventually raise its resistance. If you are set on vaping on that coil, you will need to find a mod or an ohm meter that will fire it and see if dry burning it puts it into the range that your mod operates at. Otherwise, consider adding a couple of wraps to your coil—this will hopefully raise its resistance enough to allow firing it for dry burning. For factory coils there’s not much you can do. You either need to find a higher resistance compatible coil or get a mod that can power the coil you have.
Vapers can be rough on mods for sure. Considering how many mods are in our hands, some accidents are going to happen. But, like any electronic device, vape mods need to be handled with proper care. Sometimes error messages are due to a damaged mod bugging out, and this can happen for a number of reasons.
Remedy: Maybe not a remedy but some simple advice; take good care of your mod! If you drop it or soak it in juice, and it starts giving you errors afterwards, it’s time to replace it. Even if it sometimes works, it’s not worth vaping on a device with electronic damage. If your job or lifestyle is making you prone to damaging your mod, try buying one with an IP67 certification. These are water and dust-resistant, and usually rugged enough to survive most everyday accidents.
Like all electronics, sometimes things just fail. It’s why we have warranties (maybe you should register those purchases!). Any vaper will eventually have a mod die on them. If you haven’t damaged your mod, but it keeps giving you these messages regardless of what you put on top of it, it could be a chip failure.
Remedy: If damage has already happened, there’s nothing you can really do outside of replacing your mod or chip. Note that some devices are more prone to chipset failures than others, and customer support quality varies between companies. Do some research before buying a mod; people that have had bad experiences with devices and companies are usually very vocal about these things online.
Even if you do everything right, you may still get an error now and again. Don’t panic! Most of these are easy to solve and you’ll be back to vaping in a matter of minutes. And if everything fails, be thankful that we are not still in the early days of vaping. With vape mods getting cheaper and cheaper, a new device will not set you back the same way it used to.
Remember to register your warranty and take good care of your vapes. And if you want to be prepared, maybe it’s time to grab this backup vape you’ve been eyeing for a while now. Good luck!