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.