What do “Atomizer Low” and “Atomizer Short” mean?

The evolution of technology has allowed manufacturers to offer great performance to electronic cigarettes while preventing the risk of accidents through countless protections. Through electronic boxes or regulated pods equipped with interfaces, modern vapers are regularly confronted with error messages in the context of a malfunction of the device. Among them, we generally find warnings concerning atomizers via the famous “Atomizer Low”, “Atomizer Short”, “Check Atomizer” or even “No atomizer”.

Although necessary and essential for safety, the recurrence of error messages creates frustration among vapers, especially when they cannot understand and identify the nature of the problem.

Indeed, these warnings rarely indicate danger but have the power to waste an entire day for the user who does not know their meaning (and does not have sufficient experience to repair the anomaly himself). It is in this perspective that we will raise the mystery of the various atomizer error messages in this article.

Here, you will therefore find everything you need to know about the operation of an atomizer, the definition of the problems announced by the “warnings”, but also the remedies to deal with these anomalies in order to continue your session serenely.

Atomizer error messages, an avoidable source of recurring frustration

 Any vaper using a kit equipped with an interface meets one day or another a message indicating a failure at the level of the atomizer. Depending on the model of the device used, this message could be clear or general and could cause the user to panic.

Despite its preventive role, however, the error message creates frustration, as it (usually) prevents the vaper from working completely.

Therefore, a mastery of certain technical parameters ranging from the interpretation of the message to the configurations (even the maintenance) of the equipment is necessary! Let’s go into the details!

“Check atomizer”, “Atomizer Short”… but what is an “atomizer” first?

 Familiarization with an electronic cigarette is far from obvious when it comes to a modern device. Unlike the first generation devices called “vape pen”, today’s vapers contain more parts and complex electronic circuits that make all beginners lose their way, but not for long.

You should know that an electronic cigarette is made up of two large parts, namely the “box”: the one that houses the electronics management chip, the navigation screen, the (+/- and switch) keys, the micro-USB charging port (or type C), the battery (or accumulator) and the clearomizer: the one that houses the atomizer or “atomizer” in English (resistance, wick) as well as the e-liquid.

When the device announces a problem with the atomizer, this refers in particular to the clearomizer and more precisely the resistance, the wick or the connection of these to the electronic circuit.

The different atomizer error messages and their interpretations

As announced upstream, the warnings vary depending on the model and brand of electronic cigarette. This being the case, a universal code has been adopted by the manufacturers so that all vapers can locate the problem easily regardless of the type of equipment they have.

Here are the messages that may appear on your screen when there is an atomizer problem:

1-      Atomizer shorts

Can be translated as “short atomizer”, this message indicates a bad installation of your resistance, a bad connection of the atomizer with the box or an insulation problem.

The dangers it prevents are the short circuit, the jerky heating of the liquid or the deterioration of the resistance.

In-depth, the short atomizer is not a technical anomaly in essence in the sense that the device should work normally after a little verification of connection problems or compatibility of parts.

In this perspective, you just need to do a little “checking” in certain areas, namely:

  •   The connection of the clearomizer with the box. In the majority of cases, the two parts are connected through a screw-nut (or screw-nut) system. The connection of the box, therefore, has a nut with steps acting as a negative pole on the sides and a spring bottom for the positive stud. The clearomiser is equipped with a threaded rod (negative pole) culminating on a flat top (positive pole). When the chip integrated into the box has trouble verifying the connection of the two parts, an “Atomizer short” type message will be systematically displayed. In this perspective, you should therefore remove the clearomiser, check that no dirt is embedded in the mechanism and that the positive and negative poles touch each other well.
  •   The connection of the clearomiser and the resistance. Whether your resistor is pre-designed (mass-produced by an industrialist) or rebuilt (that you have mounted yourself on your atomizer), a bad contact can always be revealed. If the positive (the resistive wire) and negative (the body of the atomizer) poles touch each other, for example, or if the rod of your resistance is not well fixed, the box will interpret this as an error.

2-      Atomizer Low

This error message refers to a technical problem, namely the non-detection of the resistance value by the chip integrated in the box.

For vapers who are not familiar with electronic circuits, you should know that the healing power of a resistor depends on three quantities, namely the potential (U), the resistivity (R) and the intensity of the current (I ). The formula known as “ohm’s law” relates these values ​​via the equation U=RxI or I= U/R. In simple terms, this means that the lower the resistance (R), the greater the intensity (power) of the current flowing and vice versa.

Furthermore, this flow of electricity through the circuit is subject to certain limits to preserve the health of the parts. To this end, too low a resistance can generate a waste of energy that the battery cannot support. In the same section, too much power applied to a resistor not designed for this purpose can cause the resistive wire to break.

When the interface of your box displays the message “Atomizer Low”, it invites you to check the resistivity value of the resistor. To protect the battery from possible over-discharge (which can cause an implosion when it is not IMR secured), the electronic chip installed in the box applies a systematic resistivity range to the circuit (between 0.2 and 1 .5 ohms for example). If the resistance value is too low (0.1 ohm for example), the battery risks discharging far too many electrons. By respecting this resistivity range by installing a compatible resistor, you will be able to erase the error message.

3-      No Atomizer and Check Atomizer

These error messages are more difficult to interpret because the chip claims not to detect an atomizer at all. In other words, it can be caused by poor contact, resistor breakage, parts mismatch, or improper resistive wire installation, the checklist is just bloated.

When this message is displayed, the device will not work at any time. Also, to save yourself a long control session, try to completely change the clearomiser beforehand! If it works, it will notably relieve you of a weight on a hypothetical flaw in the box, because indeed, one of the parts of the atomizer will be called into question. Otherwise, your equipment may have suffered unexpected damage (manufacturing defect, short circuit, electronic damage after a shock, etc.). Here, there is no choice but to change everything, or have it repaired by an electronics specialist.

If you are led (with a lot of will!) to check the possible anomalies of your atomizer after a “No atomizer” and “Check Atomizer”, proceed step by step by following our little guide:

  •   Check the installation of the resistors. We mentioned above that a resistor is an integral part of the circuit of the electronic cigarette. When it is not properly installed, the flow of electricity will be jerky or cut off completely. So try to remove your resistor, thoroughly clean the contact points (screws, poles, etc.) before reinstalling it. Another trick is to try the coil on another clearomizer and check its functionality.
  •   Check the insulators. Electrical insulators are installed everywhere on your electronic cigarette to prevent short circuits. Generally, the insulators on the 510 screw are exposed to wear (cracks) when you regularly change boxes or clearomizers. Do not hesitate to check its condition at regular intervals. It is the same for the insulators of poles between the poles of reconstructable resistors.
  •   Check the connection between the clearomiser and the box. The expected anomaly is the same as that of the “Short atomizer”. The objective here is to ensure that the circuit is not clogged or disturbed by dirt. To do this, remove your clearomiser and wipe the connection surfaces with a cloth (screwed rod, tip, thread of the nut, positive stud of the box). Small tip: if the connection cannot be established due to the short size of the rod, take a screwdriver and try to stretch the spring located at the bottom of the contact pad of the box to restore its original height. Indeed, a strong tightening of the previous atomizer could block the spring and prevent it from extending to join the new one.

Recheck power and resistance range. Again, revisit the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the resistance range compatible with the box. The user manual should include this information. If in doubt, do not hesitate to seek the advice of a specialist.

  •   Update the chipset. Current boxes are equipped with a USB or USB-C port for charging. However, these ports are also used to connect the hardware to a computer to obtain software updates. Eh yes ! These famous “Chipsets” regularly get improvements from manufacturers and when your version is too old, the new resistors may become incompatible for simple computer reasons.
  •   Check for short circuits. Since the vaper regularly plays with e-liquid, the risk of dripping and leaking is never excluded from the diagnosis. If your hardware refuses to start or displays some atomizer problem, avoid forcing it! Instead, do a little checking of the intersection points, hoping to find a small oil stain or a damp corner to clean.


From now on, error messages from atomizers have no more secrets for you! Do not let yourself be distracted by these warnings and take action directly by following the various advice given beforehand.

It should be noted that the diagnosis of the “Low atomizer” and “Short atomizer” presented in this article only covers the basic actions. Thus, the advice given upstream cannot solve all atomizer problems. If your beast refuses to start despite applying all these stratagems, do not put it in the trash yet. It could be that a minor electronic problem is the cause of the failure.

 Whatever machine you have in your hands, also remember that it is above all an electronic device and that an anomaly can occur at any time and that is part of the game! For our part, we advise beginners to adopt less complex electronic cigarettes in terms of chipset and clearomizers. In particular, this will save you from accumulating frustrations due to multiple protections that can spoil the experience. Instead, rely on starter kits or at least boxes with simplified settings, without deep maintenance and without frills.