Learn how to diagnose several common EKG (ECG) failures and implement effective troubleshooting methods. Contact ZoetekMedical.com for any medical equipment maintenance in New York.

Today, we will be diagnosing several common EKG failures and implementing effective troubleshooting methods.

Lead Clip Integrity

Check the patient lead clips for any damage and ensure all of them are tightly secured to the leads.

Cleaning Lead Clips

These clips are susceptible to a buildup of adhesive as they make frequent contact with the electrodes placed on patients. Use a non-abrasive cleaner, such as alcohol, to clean the affected clips.

Paper Test

The paper test is a simple way to confirm the lead clips’ integrity. Grab a piece of paper, in this case, a Post-It note, open up the clip and close it onto the paper as shown. Pull the paper, making sure the connection is held.

Lead Clip Integrity

If noise and artifacts persist, inspect the lead cable connection to the EKG. It is typically best to remove the connection and check the connector itself for damage. After reinstalling the cable, verify there is no physical damage to the wire sheathing of the lead cables.

Verifying Printer Paper

Open up the printer door and check to see if the paper has been installed correctly. Confirm the printer paper installed is the correct model for the EKG. Non-manufacturer approved paper will cause errors such as misprinting or not printing at all.

Power Failure

If the EKG is not powering on, it is best to verify all of the connections on the power cord are tight and undamaged. Often, there is an indicator on the device itself or on the screen to indicate the EKG is properly plugged in. On some EKG models, such as the Welch Allen cp150, once the internal battery is completely dead, the machine will not work even when plugged into the wall. At that point, the battery will either require charging or replacement before use.


Zoetek wants to be your partner.  If you perform the routine maintenance – weekly, daily, monthly –  and we come in and do the routine PM once a year, we can keep your EKG working well. Thank you for coming to zoetekmedical.com and keep an eye out for more Tek Tips on other equipment. If you ever need any assistance, feel free to reach out and contact us. We’re more than happy to help you with EKGs or any other equipment you might have with any kind of technical or operator issues.

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