Effect of Tubing Length on Oxygen Concentration

Oxygen Therapy
oxygen tubing length

Longer oxygen tubing may affect your oxygen concentrator’s performance. Factors such as the type of oxygen concentrator you are using and the type of air flow impact whether a shorter tube may be necessary. 

Effect of Tubing on Pulse Dose Machines

Pulse dose oxygen concentrators deliver oxygen only when they detect an inhale from the user. Longer oxygen tubing means that your oxygen concentrator may not detect a breath, which means no pulse dose will be administered. Additionally, pulse dose is the preferred method of oxygen delivery for portable oxygen concentrators. For those reasons, it is best to use a shorter tube. A 7-foot nasal cannula should be sufficient.

Effect of Tubing on Continuous Flow Machines

Continuous flow machines provide continuous oxygen therapy. Because this is the preferred method of delivery for home oxygen concentrators, longer tubing is usable. However, most manufacturers caution against using tubing longer than 50 feet. This is due to a drop-off in oxygen output past 50 feet. Additionally, while longer tubing gives you more freedom of movement, it can sometimes get caught, kinked, or tangled. 

How to Keep Oxygen Tubing from Tangling

In order to keep oxygen tubing from tangling, make sure that it is properly coiled at all times. Think of your oxygen tubing like a garden hose – to keep the water flowing through the hose, there can’t be any kinks. Tubing in a big pile on the floor is more likely to become snarled. Maintaining a smooth, even coil and feeding out only as much tubing as you need helps reduce tangles. 

What is an Oxygen Tubing Reel? 

Another option to minimize tangling is to place your longer oxygen tubing on an oxygen tubing reel. Just like the reel on a fishing rod, an oxygen tubing reel lets you slowly unwind as much tubing as you need and then wind it back up again when you need less length.

What Should Be the Length of Tubing for Optimum Oxygen Delivery?

As previously mentioned, most manufacturers recommend oxygen tubing lengths no more than 50 feet. Longer oxygen tubing will diminish oxygen concentration and effectiveness of therapy. If your oxygen tubing is too short, consider using an oxygen tubing connector to create one long tube from two short tubes. 

If you need advice on which machine best fits your needs or help with oxygen concentrator supplies like tubing, our customer care team is here to help. Give us a call at 888.941.1688 or email us at contact@oxygenconcentratorsupplies.com.