Friday , 22 November 2019

What Is Short Circuit Protection on a Vape Device?

You will more than likely notice that many e-cigarettes and vape devices these days come with a string of safety features, including something called “short circuit protection”. These features are important, not just to ensure that you can vape safely, but also that your vape works in the most efficient way.

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Source: Jac Vapour Series-B DNA 75W

To be fair, most of us learn the hard way about features like this — something goes wrong, leaving you frantically flicking through the pages of the user manual to find out what’s going on so that you can fix it.

You don’t *need* to know about short-circuit protection or other safety features before you start vaping, or even before you start looking for your newest or first vape device, but it certainly helps to know about the things that are going to keep you safe.  

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WHAT MAKES A VAPE DEVICE SHORT-CIRCUIT? 

A lot of things can make this happen, but one of the most common reasons actually has bugger all to do with the battery itself … technically.

When the coil isn’t screwed into the tank properly, or the tank isn’t screwed onto the battery properly, the electrical connection can’t happen safely, causing a short-circuit message or signal. The built-in safety features kick in to stop the device from firing up. Eliquid can get in the way – something that happened a lot with me at the beginning of my Aspire Cleito EXO journey. I kept managing to get eliquid in places it shouldn’t go, and it took a little while for me to get the hang of things. 

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Dust can have the same short-circuiting effect as eliquid, as can pocket fluff, bottom-of-handbag ‘bits’, crumbs, and more. Anything that stops a safe and trouble-free flow of electricity between the tank/coil and battery will cause the short-circuit protection to kick in and shut the device down. 

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN A VAPE DEVICE SHORT-CIRCUITS?

Different vape devices will react in different ways when they have short-circuited. Boxes that have a screen will usually say something along the lines of “Shorted” or “Check Atomizer”.

Short Circuit Protection 1

It’s an annoying message, and definitely one that I’ve come across from time to time, but it’s there to make things safer for you. This is an electrical item, after all. Whether you’ve been vaping for five minutes or five years, you should never get complacent over the safety stuff. 

Devices that don’t have a screen still give off some sort of signal that the device has short-circuited. The on/off/power lights will flash a certain number of times before the device powers down, for example. The details are often found in the instruction manual, and that’s why I highly recommend giving the booklet or pamphlet a read. You don’t need to go through the entire thing, but knowing what different flashing light combinations or messages mean will help you out when it actually happens later on. (And it probably will, at least once.)

Long story short: a short-circuiting vape device won’t work. You won’t be able to get any vapour out of it, and it’ll be a very disappointing experience.

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HOW TO FIX A SHORT-CIRCUITING VAPE 

The good news is there are a few ways that you can fix this vape short-circuit problem. 

The bad news is you may need to try a few or all of them before you finally figure out the problem. It pays to have a little patience. 

🛠 Unscrew/Rescrew

The first thing that I recommend you try is unscrewing the tank from the battery and then re-screwing it back together again. You’d be amazed how often this actually does sort things out. Screwing too much – or too little – can also cut the connection, causing a short-circuit. Screw the pieces together gently, but firmly. You really don’t need to go all Arnold Schwarzenegger on the thing, twisting it around and around until the threads literally break. 

🛠 Unscrew/Rescrew Part Two

If that doesn’t work, try unscrewing and re-screwing the coil. This seems to be the cause of most vape short-circuits for me, and usually happens when eliquid and dust has managed to get between the two ‘bits’. A quick wipe down with a cotton bud sorts it out a lot of the time. 

Unfortunately, changing the coil often means dumping and wasting an entire tank of eliquid. If you can have a clean, empty bottle to hand, you can simply pour it out and then pour it back in again once the coil has been repositioned. 

🛠 Connection Clean 

If none of the above has worked, try checking the actual connection between the tank and the battery. Just with the coil and tank, if eliquid, dust or pocket fluff has managed to get in the way of the tank-battery connection, you might find yourself with a short-circuit situation. 

🛠 Connection Adjustment 

Some tanks have little pin connections that can be tweaked – screwed a little to the right or left. You can use a screwdriver (or similar) to make that tweak, before then screwing the tank back onto the battery or box to see if it works. 

For tanks that don’t have an adjustable pin ‘bit’, I still recommend giving it a bit of a poke n’ prod. The Vype eBox would persistently show that “Check Atomizer” message, but poking it with a pen actually worked for the longest time to get it working again. Unfortunately, this was a short-term solution. I had two Vype eBox devices and they both showed the “Check Atomizer” message towards the end, but no amount of poking or prodding worked to get them working again. 

🛠 Time to Change 

If your vape device still isn’t working, I recommend trying the tank and battery/box with other tanks and batteries/boxes. The Smok Helmet tank would short-circuit a lot on the box [Neon Box Mod] that came as part of the deal, but it would work just fine on other devices. I honestly have no idea why that is. I can only assume that the pin connections on different devices are ever-so-slightly different. The box that came as part of the deal would short-circuit with a few different tanks on top, but with others, it was just fine. The same applies to the Smok Helmet tank — it would only work when screwed onto certain devices. 

If the tank works on another box or battery, you know the problem is something to do with the connection with the original one. 

☎️ Call Customer Service

Sorry to say this, folks, but sometimes, the device is a faulty one and *that’s* why it keeps short-circuiting. No, it doesn’t mean the tank, battery, box or device is a piece of crap; it just means that the one you have is faulty. These things happen. My first Jac Vapour Series-S22 was an unpredictable mess, but the replacement one I was sent worked like a dream. 

Most customer service departments will replace the faulty bit of kit you have, but you won’t find out until you give tell them the problem. If you can’t get the answer you want on the phone, get in touch with them on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Businesses don’t like negative feedback on social media, and in my experience, they’re quicker to deal with socially-public complaints. 

Give the company a chance to fix the problem or talk you through a solution and you might just find that things work out just fine. You don’t know until you try. 


Short-circuit protection is one of those things that I expect my vape devices to have now. I haven’t delved into the world of unregulated mods, and it’s not something I want to learn about. Not my kinda thing, you know? Is this a safety feature that you look for? Would you buy a device that didn’t have it listed in their safety features? I’m interested to hear what you think. Leave your comments below and let me know! 

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