How to Change an Oxygen Tank Regulator

May 12, 2022

How to Change an Oxygen Tank Regulator

Oxygen therapy is a common procedure for many patients, both in hospitals and at home. Whether you’re a medical professional working with patients on oxygen or are a caregiver to a patient who is currently undergoing oxygen therapy, it’s important to understand how oxygen devices work. In this article, we’ll discuss how to change an oxygen tank regulator the right way to help ensure that oxygen is administered safely and effectively.

Oxygen cylinders can be dangerous if not handled properly — and that includes proper regulator installation. If you are preparing to put a regulator on a new oxygen cylinder or if you need to replace an old or damaged regulator, read more below to discover how to change a regulator on an oxygen tank.

The purpose of an oxygen regulator

Oxygen cylinders are highly pressurised and need a way to safely administer the oxygen they contain. The oxygen regulator helps reduce the oxygen pressure to make it safer and more manageable. In addition, as oxygen passes through the regulator, the regulator reduces the PSI to be used with oxygen delivering devices.

There are several different types of oxygen regulators, including:

  • Traditional or non-adjustable regulators
  • Adjustable regulators]
  • Flow control regulators
  • Paediatric regulators

Choosing a high-quality regulator is vital for safe and effective oxygen therapy. When purchasing oxygen regulators, buy only from a trusted supplier and take the time to ensure that your regulator will work with your oxygen cylinder.

How to change the regulator on an oxygen tank in 6 steps

If you need to know how to change an oxygen tank regulator for a new tank of oxygen, simply follow these steps.

  1. Ensure that the cylinder valve is closed. Never remove the regulator unless the cylinder valve is tightly closed.
  2. Loosen the regulator’s T-handle.
  3. Remove the washer and clip from the new cylinder
  4. Slide the regulator over the post of the cylinder.
  5. Alight the pins on the regulator with the holes on the post.
  6. Ensure that there is one washer (Bodok Seal) between the stem and the regulator.
  7. Gently hand-tighten the T-handle to keep the regulator in place.

To remove an old regulator for maintenance or to replace it, follow the steps outlined below.

  1. Shut off both the regulator and the tank. Never remove a regulator if the cylinder valve is open.
  2. Unscrew the T-handle until the regulator is loose.
  3. Lift the regulator off of the cylinder’s post.

Once you’ve changed the regulator, you can use your oxygen device as prescribed.

Troubleshooting common regulator problems

Now you know how to change your oxygen regulator — but what happens if you aren’t getting the oxygen you need after replacing your regulator? Check for these common problems before you assume that your regulator is broken or defective.

Problem: There is a sound of leaking air or hissing near the regulator.
Solution: Your regulator may be missing the washer (Bodok Seal), or the washer may have become damaged; a broken or missing washer can result in leaking oxygen. Remove the regulator and replace the washer.
Solution: If your washer is in good working condition, your regulator may not be tight enough. Retighten (using a wrench if you can’t tighten it by hand) and assess the cylinder again for sounds of a leak.

Problem: The flow of oxygen from the tank is irregular.
Solution: Remove the regulator and check the opening for debris. To remove dust, dirt or debris, you can quickly open and close the valve on the post to eliminate anything obstructing the flow of oxygen.

Medical oxygen, equipment, and consumables

Here at Mega Medical, we’re proud to be known as one of Australia’s leading medical equipment providers. From medical gases to resuscitation equipment, we have everything you need to help ensure your own or your patient’s health and safety.

Our collection of oxygen regulators and other medical supplies and equipment can be viewed online or in person at our Sydney location. For help finding a particular product, reach out to one of our friendly staff members online or call 1300 881 824 today.

If you need assistance operating any of our equipment or have any questions about how to change your oxygen regulator that were not answered above, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.