How do I know when my electronic cigarette atomizer is going bad?

When I was getting ready to buy my first electronic cigarette, I read a lot of e-cigarette reviews and became familiar with sudden atomizer death. Allow an atomizer to run too hot, or too dry, or simply use it past its normal lifespan of around one month, and the heating element suddenly fails from fatigue or overheating. I was under the impression that this was how an atomizer always dies.

As it turns out, though, an atomizer can also die gradually. If you are having an unsatisfying experience with your electronic cigarette and have tried all of the cleaning and troubleshooting steps that you can think of, it might be time to pick up a new atomizer. Could your electronic cigarette atomizer be failing slowly? Here are some of the signs:

  • Atomizer constantly squirts juice

Have you noticed that your electronic cigarette has begun to constantly squirt juice into your mouth after you add a few drops of liquid? Are you constantly blowing the atomizer out because you think that you might have flooded it? Your atomizer probably isn’t heating up as quickly as it used to, and when you draw on the electronic cigarette, you draw plain e-liquid into your mouth. Yuck.

  • Atomizer makes gurgling noises

Gurgling noises are, of course, a telltale sign that you have flooded your electronic cigarette atomizer. How could this indicate that the atomizer is failing? If you have been dripping for a while, chances are that you have fallen into a rhythm — two drips to seven puffs, or whatever it may be — even if you don’t realize it. If your atomizer is not heating up as it once did, you are leaving residual liquid each time you drip. Eventually, this floods the atomizer.

  • Less vapor production

This can happen so gradually that you probably won’t even notice it until, one day, you realize that your electronic cigarette just doesn’t seem to satisfy you at all anymore. Are you becoming tolerant to the nicotine? Probably not. Most likely, the atomizer is going bad.

  • Nothing happens when you draw (automatic battery) or push the button (manual battery)

Each time I have had an electronic cigarette atomizer start to go bad, it began with the atomizer doing nothing when I pushed the button on the battery. Each time, my initial reaction was “oh, I flooded the atomizer.” I blew the atomizer out and it started working again. However, the performance was never the same as it once was. If nothing happens when you try to use your electronic cigarette, this could very well be the first sign that the atomizer is going bad.