Intermittent failures due to low voltage

Symptoms of low voltage power:

  • Tripping of reset over-current protector in air separator
  • Overheating of air separator
  • Variability in oxygen flow level (up and down)
  • Irregular timing of air release from low-oxygen (Adaptive Contrast Models)
  • Unit sounds weak

Low outlet voltage is rare but can occur as a result of two conditions:

  • a power grid brownout or
  • a failed circuit breaker.

Explanation. The circuit breaker to the room had failed, likely damaged by lightning. The breaker had likely increased electrical path with excess resistance which limited current to the branch. As the air separator powered up, the resistance from the circuit breaker limited the current, hence power, available to the outlet, resulting in over-current and the symptoms listed above.

The diagnostic process is to move the unit to a kitchen or bathroom to test intermittent failures.

Kitchen and bathroom circuits are required by electrical code to be on an isolated circuit, and on their own circuit breaker. Plugging in a unit to an the outlet to the other side of the room or a nearby room usually will not change the branch circuit, as branch circuits will usually wire multiple adjacent rooms together.

This will not isolate an upstream failure.

When diagnosing an intermittent failure, always move the unit to a bathroom or kitchen to switch household circuits. Plugging into a different outlet in the same room, or a different outlet in an adjacent room will usually be on the same branch circuit and breaker.

If testing a unit in a bathroom or kitchen resolves the failure it is very  important to call an electrician to repair the failed component because the failed circuit breaker is a significant fire hazard.