Tag Archives: howard’s

And my oxygen concentrator is beeping . . . !!!

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.

Oxygen Tubing: The most common source for Howard's after-hours phone calls.
Oxygen Tubing: The most common source for Howard’s after-hours phone calls.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Erik Mickelson

Team Lead for Howard’s

Auto Safety

We often think of using wheelchairs and walkers to help get around.  There is also a whole line of aides-to-daily living products to help people get in and out of their cars.  With swivel cushions, handy bars, and window hangers, they will help you get in and out of your vehicle safely and all under $40.  Stop by our Yakima store on North 16th Ave. and River Road to look at our supply and remember that you get a fifteen day trial on all our aides-to-daily living products. Let our family serve your family’s healthcare needs at Howard’s.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.

Powered Mobility

I get a lot of phone calls from people in the Yakima Valley to fix their scooter or power wheelchairs they purchased by some supplier on the west side of the mountains or on the internet. Scooters and power wheelchairs can have problems just like your car and it is important to make sure you have someone that can come that same day or week and fix it as well as provider a loaner in case the problem can’t be fixed same day. When looking at powered mobility think Howard’s Medical.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.

Vehicle Lifts

Hi, I’m Erik from Howard’s Medical. As our power mobility customers use their chairs outside, they want to travel to and from church, the grocery store, or on a vacation. An interior or exterior mobility lift allows our customers to bring their scooters anywhere. A vehicle lift can be installed on most vehicles. You can come to Howard’s Medical Supply Store on north 16th Ave. to watch these working vehicle lifts in action. Dream about where you will travel this summer with your scooter or power wheelchair.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.

Go-Go travel Scooters

As we enjoy the great weather in Selah and Yakima, our customers love to enjoy the outdoors. If you have a hard time getting around and don’t want to be tied down you can get outside with our Go-Go Travel Scooters. With a range of 7 miles, they will take you down the Yakima Greenway or to the local sports field to cheer your grandkid play soccer. Its heaviest piece is only 31 pounds and can be put in any car. Stop by either Howard’s Store in Selah or Yakima and we will show you how easy this scooter is to disassemble.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.


Most people don’t know that after childbirth, over 50% of women deal with some form of incontinence. Just because you or someone you cares for has a small bit of incontinence does not mean you have to worry about the unexpected leak anymore when you exercise, laugh, or are active with friends. Inserts, pull-ups, and diapers are also covered by medical coupon if you have a prescription from your doctor.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899, we offer free delivery anywhere in the Yakima Valley.

Canes and Walking Sticks

Unfortunately, your doctor or loved one might not suggest you need a cane or walker until after you have a fall and have a scare. Canes are used to help you compensate for an injury or disability. The most common medical supply on the market today is the cane and at Howard’s we carry thirty kinds. We have different colors, folding canes, ergonomic canes, adjustable canes, acrylic canes with different styles of patterns and prints, derby canes, and canes with seats on them, you name it, and we probably have it and most are under $20.

One of the many benefits of using a can is you get to keep your independence. I will admit using a cane is a downside of aging but it is a whole lot better than falling down and possibly permanently your independence. People who use a walking aid stand up straighter and move with more and more control.

When sizing for a can, it is best to see your health care professional. The cane users should be wearing his/her normal shoes and be as upright as possible. His/her arms should hang at their sides with a normal bend at the elbow. If possible, have a second person place the cane upside down and the bottom portion of the cane should be even with the bend in the wrist. If you do not have a second person, you can use a tape measure to measure the bend of the wrist of a person to the floor to get the right length of a cane.

Stop by one of our two locations in Selah next to the Red Apple Market or in Yakima on North 16th Ave or call us at Tel: 509-654-9899.