Learn How to Read Oxygen Tank Pressure Gauges

Jan 10, 2023

Learn How to Read Oxygen Tank Pressure Gauges

An oxygen gauge is a medical device designed to display the pressure level in an oxygen tank or cylinder. Learning how to read an oxygen tank gauge is important to ensure that you only use oxygen tanks with a sufficient amount of oxygen in them. With their easy-to-read scales, oxygen gauges make it simple to determine how full a tank is before you begin treating a patient.

But how do you read an oxygen tank pressure gauge? We’ll walk you through it below.

What is a pressure gauge?

Oxygen is a life-saving gas that is frequently used in medical facilities. It’s often compressed and contained within cylinders or tanks. These tanks are equipped with an oxygen pressure gauge mounted on a regulator to help you determine the pressure — and, in turn, the amount of oxygen — in the cylinder.

Medical pressure gauges are devices that are designed for use with everything from oxygen tanks for oxygen therapy to anaesthesia or dental equipment. These tools help facilitate the safe delivery of medical gases. They measure the pressure in a specific zone — in this case, within an oxygen tank — to ensure that there is enough gas or liquid to complete treatment.

The oxygen gauge sits on top of the oxygen tank, sliding over the top and aligning with the holes in the valve post. There are several different types of gauges available, including mini regulators, traditional regulators, and stand-alone gauges that can be used as replacement parts.

Oxygen tanks and other medical gases are measured in kilopascals (kPa).

How to read oxygen regulator gauges

Oxygen cylinders are generally full between 15,000 and 20,000 kPa, though gauges generally read higher. It’s important to always test your cylinder before use, even if you believe it to be full, as small leaks or improper labelling and storage may result in an empty tank.

Fortunately, learning how to read an oxygen gauge is as simple as following these five easy steps.

Reading an oxygen pressure gauge in 5 steps

If you’re using a pressure gauge that includes a regulator, here’s how to read the oxygen gauge:

  1. Ensure the flowmeter reads zero.
  2. Open the valve on the oxygen cylinder by turning the key counterclockwise to the left.
  3. Observe the regulator dial. As the tank opens, the indicator should adjust to display the supply of oxygen in the cylinder. If the needle is in the white or green zones, it indicates that there is enough oxygen in the tank for another use. If the dial is within or just outside of the red, it means that the cylinder is close to empty and needs to be refilled.
  4. Close the oxygen cylinder by turning the key clockwise to the right.
  5. Release pressure from the regulator by turning the flowmeter to the highest setting. Once pressure is released, turn the flowmeter dial back to its lowest setting.

When to change your oxygen tank

Be sure to check the pressure gauge every time you use your cylinder to ensure you don’t run out during treatment. Once the needle in the gauge drops into the lower section of the red zone, you should replace or refill your oxygen cylinder. It is recommended to change the cylinder when the pressure gauge reads at or below 2,000 kPa.

Whether you’re using oxygen for at-home oxygen therapy or for procedures inside a medical centre, it’s important to ensure you have enough usable cylinders on hand to provide proper treatment. If you find yourself running low on cylinders, reach out to your medical gas provider for more information about changing or refilling the cylinders.

Mega Medical: Australia’s online medical gas supplier

Understanding how to read an oxygen tank pressure gauge is important, as is investing in high-quality equipment for your medical needs. Whether you’re searching for a trusted supplier of medical gasses or simply replenishing your medical consumables, our team at Mega Medical is here to help.

Visit us online today to explore our range, where you’ll find resuscitation equipment, oxygen consumables, cylinders and concentrators, Penthrox and more. For assistance finding a certain product, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today on 1300 881 824.