• Shruti GOCHHWAL

Troubleshooting Guide for Oxygen Concentrators

An oxygen concentrator is a device that concentrates the oxygen from a gas supply (typically ambient air) by selectively removing nitrogen to supply an oxygen-enriched product gas stream

Common Oxygen Concentrator Errors

Probably the most important thing to note when troubleshooting an oxygen concentrator is that it’s not the same as an oxygen tank. Whereas oxygen tanks are purely mechanical, an oxygen concentrator has electrical components that need to work in order for oxygen to come out of the device.

What this means is that if your device suddenly stops working, it could be due to a temporary glitch in the system that can be fixed easily and without a significant amount of technical knowledge of the device. Let’s take a look at some of the most common errors and how to fix them easily.

No Breath Error

If you’re using a full battery but end up getting a “no breath” error on your oxygen concentrator control panel, there are several things that may be causing this. The “no breath” error typically occurs when your device hasn’t detected a breath for a certain period of time, so if you’ve been using it, you should check to make sure there are no kinks in the cannula tubing and that the cannula is connected to the concentrator.

This error may also result if your cannula isn’t positioned properly in your nose. Although you can position the nasal cannula prongs up or down in the nose, they should be facing down in order to have the best results and to ensure that oxygen is sent directly into the nasal canal.

Oxygen Error

Since oxygen concentrators don’t have an oxygen tank on them, they draw ambient air and turn it into pure oxygen. This happens in a five step process:

  1. Taking in ambient air

  2. Compressing the oxygen

  3. Removing oxygen from the air

  4. Adjusting the flow rate

  5. Delivering purified air

If your device runs into an issue with any step in this process, you may be given an oxygen error indicating that oxygen output is low or isn’t working as it should. Although this could be a complex issue with the device, you should try turning it off and on again to see if the error message goes away.

Battery Won’t Charge

If your battery won’t hold a charge or your oxygen concentrator won’t turn on, you should make sure the power cable is plugged in correctly. If it is, you should use another electrical device to try the outlet and make sure it’s working. And if it does, there may be a problem with your charging cable or the battery in your device. You can also try taking the battery pack off of your concentrator and putting it back on and checking to ensure it isn’t loose.

Oxygen Purity Error

Another important function of your oxygen concentrator is to purify the air that you breathe through your cannula. Breathing clean air is crucial to preventing COPD exacerbations but if your device becomes clogged with airborne particles or the sieve bed quits working, you may get a purity error. Sieve beds generally last a year or so but, amount of use, proper storage and humidity present can reduce its life expectancy.

System Too Hot or Cold

Like all electronic devices, oxygen concentrators need to be kept at a reasonable temperature in order to prevent overheating or becoming too cold for use. If not, you may get an error on your control panel or an audible notification or the device may simply shut off.

Make sure that all air intakes and outputs are free of obstruction and try switching out your battery if one gets too hot.

Troubleshooting Checklist

Before you contact your equipment provider, there are a few things you can try, no matter what error or symptom you’re experiencing. Follow this checklist to see if it fixes your device.

  1. Turn the oxygen concentrator off and unplug it from the wall. Remove the battery pack and leave it for 30 minutes. After the allotted time, plug it back into the wall, turn it on, and put the battery pack in after 10 minutes.

  2. Check all vents and your cannula to ensure they aren’t obstructed

  3. Ensure your battery isn’t loose or try replacing it with a backup

  4. Check for physical damage on the system or the battery

  5. Research any error message in your device manual

  6. Take note of the error code and frequency of the issue you’re experiencing

  7. Disconnect the power adapter

  8. Remove the batteries

  9. Let the unit stand for 20 minutes without power

  10. Plug the AC power into the machine – do not attach the batteries yet

  11. Turn the unit on and use it for 10 minutes on AC power

Quick Solutions

Here are some do-it-yourself solutions to troubleshoot the oxygen concentrator issue.

  1. Turn the device on by pressing the power button twice. Some oxygen concentrators turn on by pressing the on/off button two times or holding down the button for a few seconds.

  2. Make sure all the cords are connected properly. Moving around or accidentally stepping on the wire may detach it and block the power supply. Check whether the power cord is plugged all the way into the wall outlet and power adapter, and check that the power adapter is connected to the oxygen concentrator.

  3. Check for any wire damage. Regular wear-and-tear may damage the power cord or compromise the insulation. If there is any damage, replace the cable with a new one.

  4. The power supply adapter should be well-ventilated. An overheated adapter will shut down the concentrator.

  5. Do not use an extension cord to power your unit as it may not provide ample power to operate the device.

  6. When using a portable oxygen concentrator, see that the battery is properly installed.

  7. If the battery is correctly latched and the device is still not turning on then disconnect the power supply, pull the battery out, connect back the power supply without the battery, and hold the power button to turn it on. Note: some devices won’t turn on without battery installed, even when the unit is connected to the power supply.

  8. When traveling internationally, make sure that the input voltage of the power adapter is compatible with the power source.

  9. Check whether the wall outlet is working and there is no power outage (a breaker may be tripped). If it’s not working, try another wall outlet.

  10. If the oxygen concentrator isn’t working, even though it is turned on and the power light or control screen is lit up

  11. Make sure the nasal cannula is connected to the nozzle on the oxygen concentrator.

  12. If using a humidifier bottle, make sure that the cannula tubing is connected properly.

  13. Position the nasal cannula correctly on your face, or else the pulse dose will not work.

  14. Ensure that the tubing is not twisted or bent.

  15. Check whether the flow-meter knob is closed.

  16. The device should be in a well-ventilated space.

Troubleshooting chart for Devilbliss oxygen concentratorSYMPTOMPOSSIBLE CAUSEREMEDYA Unit does not operate Power light is off when the power switch is “On ” Audible alert is pulsing and Service Required light is ashing.1 Power cord not properly inserted into wall outlet1. Check power cord connection at the wall outlet. On 230 volt units, also check the mains connection on the back of the unit2 No power at wall outlet2 Check your home circuit breaker and reset if necessary Use a different wall outlet if the situation occurs again3 Oxygen concentrator circuit breaker activated3 Press the concentrator circuit breaker reset button located below the power switch Use a different wall outlet if the situation occurs again

If the above remedies do not work, contact your DeVilbiss provider.B. Unit operates, the Power light is on when the power switch is “On ” Red Service Required light is illuminated Audible alert may be sounding1. Air lter is blocked.1. Check the air lter. If the lter is dirty, wash it following the cleaning instructions on page 52 Exhaust is blocked2 Check the exhaust area; make sure there is nothing restricting the unit exhaust3. Blocked or defective cannula, face mask, or oxygen tubing.3. Detach cannula or face mask. If proper ow is restored, clean or replace if necessary Disconnect the oxygen tubing at the oxygen outlet If proper ow is restored, check oxygen tubing for obstructions or kinks. Replace if necessary4. Blocked or defective humidier bottle4. Detach the humidier from the oxygen outlet. If proper ow is obtained, clean or replace humidier.5. Flow meter set too low.5. Set ow meter to prescribed ow rate. If the above remedies do not work, contact your DeVilbiss provider.C. Unit operates, the power light is on when power switch is “on,” audible low-frequency vibration sound is detected1. Turn your unit “Off.” Switch to your reserve oxygen system, and contact your DeVilbiss provider immediatelyD Both the green Normal Oxygen and the yellow Low Oxygen lights are either on or off1 OSD malfunction1 Contact your DeVilbiss providerE Yellow Low Oxygen light is on or the yellow Low Oxygen light is on and the intermittent audible signal is sounding1. Flow meter is not properly set.1. Ensure the ow meter is properly set to the prescribed number.2. Air lter is blocked.2. Check the air lter. If the lter is dirty, wash it following the cleaning instructions on page 53 Exhaust is blocked3 Check the exhaust area; make sure there is nothing restricting the unit exhaust

If the above remedies do not work, contact your DeVilbiss provider.F Red Service Required light is on and an intermittent audible signal is sounding1. Flow meter is not properly set.1. Ensure the ow meter is properly set to the prescribed number.2. Air lter is blocked.2. Check the air lter. If the lter is dirty, wash it following the cleaning instructions on page 53 Exhaust is blocked3 Check the exhaust area; make sure there is nothing restricting the unit exhaust

If the above remedies do not work, contact your DeVilbiss provider.G If any other problems occur with your oxygen concentrator1. Turn your unit “Off.” Switch to your reserve oxygen system, and contact your DeVilbiss provider immediately

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