What is rain out in oxygen concentrators?

Rain-out in an oxygen concentrator refers to the condensation that develops and collects in the tubing when a humidifier is located in the same room as the portable oxygen unit. The water that is created by the humidifier eventually makes its way into the tubing and then into the patient’s nose and mouth. The easiest solution, of course, would be to turn off the humidifier, but with certain individuals this is not always possible.

There are a few reasons why rain out occurs including:

  • The temperature of the floor
  • The length of tubing
  • The model/brand of equipment
  • The location of the device

The following actions can be taken to prevent rain-out:

  • Examine the location of the concentrator and keep it away from any extra heat.
  • Try relocating the concentrator to a shaded and ventilated area around the unit.
  • If the unit offers venting on the bottom, make sure to keep the space under the unit clear.
  • Use cooler water in the humidifier.
  • Use an in-line water trap to prevent water from continuing on to the patient.
  • Cutting down on the tubing length or elevating the tubing off of cold floor surface.

One of the biggest problems with rain-out is that once it occurs, it takes a very long time before the oxygen tubing will clear itself. One of the best ways of clearing up tubing would be to spill out the water in the bottle and allow dry oxygen to run through the tubing. See the full article here.

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