Portable Oxygen Concentrators Preventative Maintentance

In: Oxygen Concentrator Maintenance

14 Jun 2010

No matter what portable oxygen concentrator you have all manufacturers have simple routine maintenance steps that will help keep your portable concentrator in peak operating condition.  Whether you own a SeQual Eclipse, Invacare Solo, Invacare XPO2, Innogen One, Respironics Evergo, DeVilbiss IGO, OxiLife or a different transportable oxygen concentrator, the basic user maintenance recommended for any POC is simple and easy.

Before you perform ANY routine maintenance on ANY portable oxygen concentrator some simple common sense precautions:

  1. Turn Off the portable oxygen concentrator
  2. Unplug the power cord
  3. DO NOT allow any cleaning agent to drip inside the air inlet and outlet openings.
  4. DO NOT spray or apply any cleaning agent directly to the cabinet.
  5. NEVER clean the cabinet, filter or carry bag of any portable concentrator with alcohol and alcohol based products (isoproply alcohol), oil based products (Pine-Sol®), chlorine based products, or any other harsh chemical agents.  Only use mild  liquid dish detergents (like Dawn™) on a damp cloth (not soaking) or sponge.

…and the simple preventative maintenance steps portable concentrator users should perform are:

  1. Keep the unit clean, remove the unit from the carrying case or protective covering and wipe down the unit with a damp (not soaking) clothe or sponge with mild detergent.  This keeps dust and particles that may have built up on the concentrator from entering the gross particle filter.
  2. Clean the air intake or gross particle filter weekly (More or less depending on your environment and usage.)  Typically its a black spongy looking filter on the back on the unit, sometimes it can be on the side or bottom.  You can clean the filter by vacuuming or by washing in mild soap and water and rinsing well.  Allow the filter to air dry or use a towel to thoroughly dry the filter and replace it.  NEVER place a damp filter back in your portable oxygen concentrator! Moisture is a terrible thing to introduce to the zeolyte inside your oxygen portable oxygen concentrator and your POC can be damaged by the moisture.  Also your users manual will tell you never run the portable oxygen concentrator without a gross particle filter! A top notch portable oxygen vendor would have given you two sets of filters.  THE BEST WAY TO CLEAN YOUR PORTABLE OXYGEN FILTER IS TO SWITCH IT WITH A NEW CLEAN FILTER! Then you can clean the old filter and give it ample time to dry for the next filter switch.
  3. Maintain the battery The manufacturers of every portable oxygen concentrator battery agree on a few simple truths. Store the portable oxygen battery packs at room temperature when not in use.  Do not store the trunk of your car when the outside temperature is very hot (100° F) or very cold (10° F).  Heat is the enemy of your battery (and your portable concentrator) so maintain airflow around your portable concentrator when in use.  e.g. Don’t shove your portable concentrator in a closet or trunk when in use!!  Specific care for batteries varies a little bit depending on the manufacturer.  SeQual, for example would like to see the Power Cartridge (battery)  fully discharged once a month. An Invacare XPO2 battery should not be kept in a fully discharged state for any great lengths of time or else you could affect the batteries performance.  Consult your specific portable concentrators preventative maintenance manual.

Most portable oxygen concentrators have estimated lives of 20,000 to 30,000 hours, and keeping the concentrator in tip top shape by performing the routine maintenance will definitely help a POC reach its full potential.  THERE IS A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ROUTINE USER MAINTENANCE AND PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE for a PORTABLE OXYGEN CONCENTRATOR. Changing internal bacterial filters and HEPA filters, along with any internal batteries is NOT something that is typically recommended by the manufacturer.  While the parts in the Preventative Maintenance kit may be  acquired through various channels, the tools and knowledge required to correctly install, test and calibrate the portable concentrator are typically beyond the skills of most end users.

The best way to ensure your portable concentrator is kept in peak performance levels is to purchase your POC from a supplier with a Preventative Maintenance service package.  A provider that has the ability to provide a loaner portable concentrator to you while your concentrator is repaired, or a quick turn around service while your portable concentrator preventative maintenance is performed.  As we have seen in previous posts, when choosing what company to buy a portable oxygen concentrator from, the local provider, large national provider, or seemingly large online store are not your best choice.

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If you have any questions about oxygen concentrators, liquid oxygen, portable oxygen, you have come to the right place. Whether you are lookiing to buy a POC, rent a POC for a trip, or understand how what that alarm means, you have come to the right place. Since 1992 we have immerseed in all things Oxygen Therapy, here you will find not only a users perspective, you will find the technicians perspective! Welcome!!