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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2020-04-09, 4:16pm
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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Default Invacare platinum 10 dropping in oxygen purity as it runs.

I got an as is invacare platinum 10, 10 LPM, concentrator with 12300 hours on it.

When i was checking it out when i picked it up, it seemed fine.

When you turn it on, the green O2 light comes on, everything sounds good, and the torch is happy.

After about 5-7 mins, the yellow light comes on meaning the oxygen concentration has dropped to 73-85%.

After 20-30 mins it falls below 73% and alarms out, throwing a RED RED GREEN alarm indicating oxygen below 73%.

This cycle restarts every time you turn it back on if you let it sit for a few mins. It will always start off running strong at acceptable O2 levels and will eventually alarm out.

Things i have tried-

Filter clogged? Nope. Took filter off entirely, same result.

Low O2 in room? Nope, ran it outdoors, same result.

Too much back pressure in the line? Nope, ran it without any O2 hose attached at all. Same result.

Leaks? No major ones that i can find with soapy water. I found a small one at the valve between the two zeolite beds, bit i fixed that and it didnt help.

Ive found very little info, but mayne it could need new sieve beds?

I really have no clue what the hell im doing with these things. Im far from an electrician.

If it needs major work, i much rather just hire someone who knows what they are doing to do it so it gets done right. I really dont feel like trying to bake zeolite in my oven or something like that lol. So if you know any good repair guys, let me know.

I know the 4 way valves crack sometimes, but from what i can tell, that doesn't seem to be the case here. Could be wrong though.

Thank you!

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  #2  
Old 2020-04-09, 9:51pm
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Speedslug Speedslug is offline
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My first thought is that there should be more than one filter.

It's been a decade since I was knee deep into the details of these things but if I remember correctly there are 2 filters on the input side; one with larger pores that block hair, dust bunnies and critters and another one with much finer pores that would block flour sized particles and things of that size.

Then there was a third filter that I think is a bio-filter on the output side just before the oxygen gets to the front panel.
This one is supposed to keep biologic organisms from getting straight access to the lungs of someone sick enough to need an oxygen concentrator to stay alive.

I think Salt Lake City Glass used to have replacement filter kits for most of the oxygen concentrators out there.

The zeolite beds can last for a long time if they are not operated in a fine dust environment or in a high humidity area.

Once you ensure the filters are not the trouble you could try just turning it on at half the rated liter per minute output and let it run for an hour or two even with the alarm sounding and see if it will clear.

You can replace internal hoses and tubing with stuff from any hardware store and I would if they are not looking their best.

I wouldn't run it for for more than an hour without any of the filters in place but you could try it and see if it will clear the fault.

I have heard of some spiders that are fond of 1/8th to 3/16th inch openings. I wish I had more direct news for you.



Do you have an age estimate on the thing?

The motors that run the air compressor often have a start capacitor and I know from my 17 years of electronics work in the Navy that capacitors will go bad when they age and this kind of warm up symptom could be just that kind of thing.

Any motor rewind / repair shop should have replacements and there is always online or Grainger / McMaster Carr if you feel comfortable doing the work yourself.

The zeolite requires a specific minimum pressure to separate the oxygen from the nitrogen in the air and a weakening compressor motor will limit the purity of the oxygen coming out of the canisters.

Sorry to hear that this thing turned out to be a problem for you.

Please come back and teach us what you learn when you nail it down.

ETA; I almost forgot; Have you chased up any You Tube videos on your model? I am always learning stuff from online videos.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2020-04-09 at 10:01pm.
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  #3  
Old 2020-04-09, 11:32pm
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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It has the porous sponge filters on each side of the body and 1 HEPA filter for the intake. Theres also the bio filter in it, but i cant take that one out as i have no way of connecting the lines with it removed. All the filters looked really clean anyway.

I ordered another set when i got it to be safe anyway though.

Could be bugs, but everything was sealed off except the output nozzle and a bug wouldnt be able to get back past the bio filter.

Once the O2<73% alarm goes off, it shuts itself down.

Theres a sticker on the machine from when it was serviced in 2016, it indicates that all filters were replaced and basic maintaince was done. Also, the check box "Major Repair" was also checked. So something big was replaced 4 years ago and im willing to bet it was the 4 way valve as it looks suspiciously new relative to the rest. Im not sure how old the machine is, but the lines look great. No discoloration or cracking and they are ductile. It almost looks lile a freshly rebuilt machine.

The guy i got it from was just a reseller. He said he picked it out of a bunch of stuff being sold off from a nursing home. It was sitting in a dusty garage for an undetermined amount of time. Months - 4 years based on the service in 2016.

Last edited by DetroitMachinist; 2020-04-09 at 11:43pm.
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  #4  
Old 2020-04-10, 6:20pm
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Hmm.

Maybe a rewind / motor repair shop could test that capacitor I mentioned but getting a new cap and stuffing it in there is the next cheapest thing even without testing the old one.

Other wise I am guessing it got dumped because it too much trouble to get it looked at.


I don't know how much it ran you but it probably won't justify the cost of getting it diagnosed and fixed.
The places that work on them are certified for medical devices and that adds a premium on top of the fact that they deal with insurance companies that have very deep pockets.


You could try to get another one of the same model and keep this for parts.

But these things really are pretty simple;
There is an air compressor that feeds the sieve beds and a system of controllers and valves and testing units that switch one bed out and the other one in.

Having a good output for a while indicates that the beds should be working properly.


The symptoms you describe are classic of an over heating motor.

Have you got a IR temp reader you can point at the motor or even the components on the circuit boards?

If it isn't a capacitor it might be a bearing over heating.

As for the bio filter; you could just wrap the tubing ends together with duct tape in its place long enough to run a test.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2020-04-10 at 6:26pm.
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  #5  
Old 2020-04-10, 7:34pm
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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I paid 415 for it. I mean if someone charges less than $800 including to and from shipping i would do it as a rebuilt one with a warranty is going to cost me about 1200 before shipping anyway and getting another used one without a warranty is pretty much totally off the table for me.

I dont have an IR thermometer unfortunately. My DIY arsenal is pretty anemic in general, i have basic hand tools but that's about it lol.

I have terrible luck with used anything in general. Last used car i got developed rod knock literally a week after i got it, the car before that blew the trans in under 7000 miles after i got it and any refurbished item ive ever bought has died on me. Generally speaking thats why i usually dont buy anything expensive without a warranty any more and i should have followed my rule here. Of course, things i buy with a warranty never break down while they are covered lol. They will wait until the warranty is up. At least that would give me 2-3 years of use from most of the people selling rebuilt units.

Last edited by DetroitMachinist; 2020-04-10 at 7:39pm.
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  #6  
Old 2020-04-10, 7:46pm
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I know what you mean only too well!
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Old 2020-04-11, 2:20pm
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Have found that in some cases, there is a huge leak in the large hose from the compressor. This drops the oxygen levels. The compressor is rated for about 40 PSI. Use your hand to feel for any large air leaks. Be sure to stay away from any moving parts for safety reasons.

The unit may have an exhaust muffler that is used to keep the noise down. Remove from the exhaust port on the compressor just in case it is defective.

See two attachments for low oxygen levels hints.
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  #8  
Old 2020-04-11, 4:51pm
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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Ill try those for sure. Also, another interesting thing ive found is that i can keep it running as long as i want by just turning it off and back on. The yellow warning light still comes on quickly, but i jist ran it for 2 hours by just flicking it off and back on right away every 15 mins or so. It never alarmed out due to O2<73%.

I know it isnt good to run it like this and is in no way a long term solution, but thought it may give some more hints towards the cause of the issue.

Last edited by DetroitMachinist; 2020-04-11 at 4:55pm.
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  #9  
Old 2020-04-11, 11:12pm
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Have you looked for any "crispy critters" on the circuit boards?

My sister in law had a problem with red ants being attracted to an out door lighting control box.

Something about voltage acted like a sweet tooth to them and they would pile into the box until the shorted it out.

Had to blow out the bodies and stuff putty in all the openings to keep them out.

I hope you don't mind if I copy that troubleshooting guide into my technical documents.
That's good information to have.
Thanks for posting it.
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  #10  
Old 2020-05-12, 7:02am
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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The results are in. I finally got ahold of a medical supply company that was willing to send it to their repair company with a couple other machines they needed to send out anyway.

Turned out it was a leak, but not the kind i was looking for. One of the seals on the sieve beds itself was leaking. Im glad i went this route because my total bill is less than the shipping alone to send it out of state to be fixed and much cheaper than to just start buying random parts trying to get lucky.

Sent from my LM-G850 using Tapatalk

Last edited by DetroitMachinist; 2020-05-12 at 7:06am.
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  #11  
Old 2020-05-12, 1:45pm
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That is great news!

I wonder if that company wants its name circulated in the glass melting community.
You might ask them because I'm sure there are lots of folks that would be inclined to send them business.

But they might not want non commercial sources of equipment needing repair.
Some companies are only set up to do the wholesale work and don't want any retail complications.
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Old 2020-05-15, 9:42am
DetroitMachinist DetroitMachinist is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedslug View Post
That is great news!

I wonder if that company wants its name circulated in the glass melting community.
You might ask them because I'm sure there are lots of folks that would be inclined to send them business.

But they might not want non commercial sources of equipment needing repair.
Some companies are only set up to do the wholesale work and don't want any retail complications.
Im guessing they wouldn't want to deal with the public because from what i was told they do a lot of warranty work for invacare, but it wouldnt hurt to ask. They fixed mine for just 65 bucks, i assumed it would be at least that much just to have it looked at lol. Its diversified medical supply in fenton michigan.

I sent mine there through michigan medical equipment in livonia.

I think the only reason they helped me out is that they assumed it was for medical use. They never asked what i used it for so i never told them lol.

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Last edited by DetroitMachinist; 2020-05-15 at 9:46am.
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  #13  
Old 2020-05-15, 4:51pm
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I have a brother living in Livonia and I grew up in the Wayne / Westland area.

Shipping charges would exclude most not living in the tri-county area from contacting them anyway.

Thanks again for posting where the problem was found.

There will be others that will have that same thing happen to them and now there is a history of the fix in this conversation thread.
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