Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Season's Greetings 2011

Northwest Respiratory Services would like to
wish everyone a safe and Happy Holiday!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Oxygen System Troubleshooting

As the weather turns colder, especially here in the Midwest, oxygen equipment can sometimes be prone to some issues. For instance, as with any electronics, concentrators included, you want to do your best to keep them warm so that they operate correctly and efficiently.

If you are using a portable oxygen concentrator for travel, you would not want to leave the equipment in a cold vehicle overnight as this can affect performance of the batteries in particular. Oxygen cylinders should also not be stored outside during extreme cold as seals can be affected by the low temperatures. Concentrators should also be allowed to warm up before use to ensure optimal operating conditions for use.

For more information on troubleshooting oxygen related equipment please see the below information. After all, it's not just cold weather that can lead to problems with equipment operation.


Concentrator does not turn on.
  1. Make sure unit is plugged in.
  2. Check outlet for power with a working light. If the outlet does not have power, switch plug to new outlet.
  3. If outlet has power and unit is plugged in but still does not turn on switch oxygen tubing to back-up tanks and call NRS.
Concentrator turns on but oxygen does not flow.
  1. Check oxygen flow meter on the front of the unit. Be sure flow rate is set.
  2. Check humidity bottle for bubbling. If humidity bottle is not bubbling, disconnect humidity bottle and reconnect.
  3. Place cannula tips in a glass of water and check for bubbles. If water does not bubble, check tubing for kinks or disconnect.
  4. Replace Oxygen Tubing.
  5. Switch oxygen tubing to back-up tanks and call NRS if oxygen still does not flow.
Concentrator alarms low oxygen.
  1. Make sure nothing is within 12 inches of the concentrator.
  2. Remove and clean filter (do not put a wet filter back on the concentrator).
  3. Re-start concentrator.
  4. If concentrator alarm continues, call NRS.

Liquid Oxygen

Liquid oxygen system does not provide oxygen.
  1. Check for tubing disconnect or kinks.
  2. Disconnect humidify bottle or oxygen adapter and reconnect.
  3. Check for bubbling in humidity bottle.
  4. If the humidifier bottle is not bubbling unscrew cup and reconnect.
  5. If humidity bottle is bubbling and oxygen still does not flow, place cannula in a cup of water and check for bubbles.
  6. Check liquid oxygen content level.
  7. If empty or oxygen still does not flow, switch to back-up oxygen tanks and call NRS.
Liquid portable oxygen and stationary system are frozen together.
  1. Do not force apart.
  2. Wait 10-30 minutes and then separate the two pieces.
  3. If units still do not separate, call NRS.

Oxygen Cylinders

Oxygen leaking from cylinder regulator.
  1. Close oxygen cylinder valve.
  2. Remove oxygen regulator and make sure yoke seal (washer) is on the regulator.
  3. Align regulator pins on oxygen cylinder and tighten “T-handle”.
  4. Turn cylinder valve on with wrench.
  5. If problem persist call NRS.
Oxygen does not flow from oxygen cylinder.
  1. Turn valve “on” by turn valve counterclockwise.
  2. Check gauge for oxygen content. If empty replace cylinder.
  3. Check oxygen-tubing connections for disconnect or kinks. Un-kink and reconnect any tubing issues.
  4. Place oxygen tubing in a glass of water to see if oxygen is flowing. The water will bubble if oxygen is flowing.
  5. Call NRS if problem continues

Please do not hesitate to call NRS @ 800-232-0706 if you are having troubles with your equipment.