I’ve been running the after-hours phone calls for Howard’s for over a decade now and have heard about every phone call possible. I won’t spare you all of the details of most calls but I can tell you what the most common call complaint is, my oxygen is not working.
Here is the question, why? You have a perfectly good oxygen concentrator and all of a sudden it stops working. Now, in most of these instances it continues to run but it will start to beep telling you something is wrong with it. Here are the top three reasons why it has stopped:
- The main reason a concentrator stops producing oxygen is kinked tubing. Think of a garden hose. When you kink it, it inhibits how much water comes through the hose. The same happens with oxygen tubing and this is the case with about 80% of our phone calls. The telltale sign this is wrong with the one’s oxygen concentrator is everything else runs fine and frequently there will not be a warning signal as frequently as soon as other problems. You know this is the problem when the ball on the concentrator drops down below zero.
- The second most common problem with an oxygen concentrator is a beeping concentrator. When it beeps, there can be a number of reasons why and the beep just means that something is not running properly. This used to be Howard’s number one problem. This moved down to our fourth most common problem once we started being very proactive in changing them. The manufacture for Respironics says they have to be changed once every two years but it is our policy to change them every six months or every time they come into our store because an affordable filter is cheaper than a 2am service call.
- Next is the beeping concentrator because of a patient or caregiver moving it too close to a wall. This is primarily a problem with our Respironics Everflow since it has a flat back. It can be moved directly against walls or drapes which can then block intake flow. As a result the concentrator will then not be able to have air flow in.
This are the big three reasons your concentrator may beep. There are a few others but are rare. We have had an occasional blown motor (typically after 20,000 hours), the sitz beds will get clogged (in this case the concentrator will beep but the purity will drop and it will need to be rebuilt), and there are a few other reasons too.
As always, make sure you do business with a local oxygen company that maintains a 24-hour on-call number and does business in your town. Nothing is worse than having an oxygen problem and having to wait for the company to “ship” your replacement to you as is the case with certain companies.
If you have any questions about your oxygen service, give us a call at Howard’s: 654-9899
Team Lead for Howard’s