Problems with Oxygen Concentrators

by Justin LaClair October 15, 2021 3 min read

Common Problems & Issues with Oxygen Concentrators

Oxygen Concentrators are generally a very reliable, life saving piece of equipment! They are made to run non stop around the clock, if needed. The first Oxygen Concentrators from the 1970's weighed several hundred pounds and were literally made to look like furniture to put in your living room. They were extremely cumbersome and not very reliable. My, how things have changed! Most Oxygen Concentrators weigh between 31 and 55 pounds, easily fit in any room in your home, and will run at least 10,000 hours reliably before they need any major service!

While being overall very reliable, these are in fact still machines with many moving pieces. As you add hours of use to them, the pieces will wear out and inevitably fail. The good news is you can always rebuild the machine for many many years until the machine ultimately becomes obsolete. Lets talk about some common problems with Oxygen Concentrators.

Low Oxygen Light:

The Low Oxygen Light normally indicates that the purity of the oxygen coming out of the machine is below 87% pure o2. This issue can be caused by one of many components going bad, and is generally best to be diagnosed by an experienced technician. Spending some money for an accurate diagnosis will save you money from incorrectly replacing components that were not bad in the first place.

Machine will not turn on:

Lets study this one carefully. Turn your machine on. Do you feel any air blowing out of the exhaust vents on the back or bottom of the machine? If so, this might mean that your motor has went bad. It can also mean that your Motor Start Capacitor has failed. The Motor Start Capacitor has one job.....jump start the motor when you turn on the power button, and keep it running. If you do NOT feel any exhaust out of the vents, no alarms when you turn on the power button, no lights or any sign of life at all.....this could possible mean a bad circuit board, or in some cases the power switch itself has failed. You could also possibly have a broken power cord, or a wire unhooked inside the machine.

Machine runs for awhile, gets very hot, and shuts off:

This obviously means your machine is running too hot. In most cases, your cooling fan has failed. We sell replacements. In very rare cases, if you have just installed a new capacitor, you could have installed the wrong one. In either case, once the motor overheats, the thermal protection switch will shut the compressor down until it cools off. This problem will not go away, and the failed component will need to ultimately be replaced.

My Machine is alarming:

We get this one a lot. The causes are many, and SOMETIMES can be diagnosed over the phone, but most times not. Some instances could be:

  • Machine is unplugged, or a component has failed and is preventing the machine from starting
  • Oxygen Tubing is kinked
  • Internal leak inside the machine
  • High operating pressure inside the machine

Most of the time these instances will need to be properly diagnosed by a technician.

If you can think of any other questions you might have, send us an email to and I would be happy to update this blog in the future!

Justin LaClair
Justin LaClair

Justin has been working with OxygenPlus since their storefront start in 1993. In 2002 he earned the title of CEO and has been operating OxygenPlus ever since. Most of the time if you call, Justin will answer the phone. He tries to be extremely hands on with most every transaction that takes place. Raised with a very high quality standard, any work must meet his satisfaction before it is approved. He is a classic car enthusiast, loves traveling either for work or pleasure, and is a renewable energy advocate. As of 2015, he saw to it that his personal home, and OxygenPlus Medical run 100% off of solar power.

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