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How to Use an Oxygen Tank

Even though the air we breath is 22% oxygen, some people might require additional concentrations of oxygen. People with different types of pulmonary issues like emphysema, cancer and certain cardiac diseases may simply necessitate extra oxygen. There are various systems of oxygen supply for home use, including oxygen tanks.

It’s important to learn how to use oxygen tanks correctly and safely to guarantee adequate oxygen supply to the lungs.


The main components of an oxygen tank include a pressure gauge, which measures the amount of oxygen that is left inside a tank at any given moment, a regulator where the rate of oxygen flow can be adjusted and a flow meter.

To begin using oxygen from the tank, open the regulator to open the valve. This permits oxygen to flow out of the tank. Take a look at the pressure manometer to determine how much oxygen there is left in the tank.

The meter shows empty on one extreme, while the other shows full. In between these extremes, there are numbers that indicate the amount of oxygen left in the tank. It is advisable to speak to your healthcare professional to see how to calculate the amount of time the oxygen will last. There are different calculations based on the size of the tank and the rate of flow of oxygen.


Connect your oxygen device (nasal cannula or mask) to the flow meter. Whichever device you use, there will be tubes connected to it and one of the ends could be inserted to the flow meter. Now, turn on the oxygen tank.

Your doctor will prescribe a certain flow of liters of oxygen. Normally, oxygen tanks can go from 1-15 liters of oxygen per minute. There are different types of flow meters on oxygen tanks but they are all pretty simple to read. Just turn the dial and the number should appear in a small window on the meter.


When performing oxygen therapy, keep safety a priority. Remember that oxygen is a gas and that the tank has tremendous pressure inside. Keep the oxygen tank in a vertical position for safety. For this, you can see about acquiring a storage apparatus to keep the cylinder from falling. Furthermore, oxygen is flammable. Therefore, you should refrain from smoking near the oxygen tank and avoid exposing it to extreme heat or fire.


A good piece of advice is to turn off the tank after using it and obviously this also prevents you from wasting oxygen.

Oxygen can irritate the nose and throat so some doctors suggest a humidifier be connected to the tank to provide some moisture for the upper respiratory tract.

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