Defibrillator Troubleshooting

Defibrillator Troubleshooting

If your defibrillator has a fault, it most likely it will not be rescue ready. Indications that there is a problem with your defibrillator include a the device emitting a beeping/chirping sound, displaying a cross, or displaying a red light. These signs mean that your device requires urgent attention in order to restore it to fully working order. 

It can be difficult to determine what exactly is causing an issue with your device, so we’ve put together this blog to help you come to a conclusion on what the fault could be. More often than not, it’s a simple matter of replacing the pads or battery, but if it becomes apparent there is a more serious fault, such as a software issue, we strongly advise you contact the manufacturer directly who may ask you to return the unit to them for testing. You will likely be offered a temporary replacement while your defibrillator undergoes these checks so you don’t have to worry about being without a defibrillator for this duration.

If you have any further questions or need further assistance, please ensure you refer to your defibrillator user manual or get in touch with our team on 0330 223 6336.  



Flashing red light

This can mean slightly different things depending on the make and model of your defibrillator, so we would advise that you refer to your defibrillator manual, which should provide instructions on how to conduct a manual self-test. After the self-test is completed, the defibrillator will audibly advise what the issue is, and provide instructions on what you need to to to rectify the problem.


Defibrillator is beeping/chirping

When a defibrillator emits a beeping sound, it usually means that a component within the device has caused the unit to fail a self diagnostic test. Refer to the device instructions to perform a manual test, which will then inform you if the error is due to an expired battery and/or pads, or whether a specific error code has been identified.


Replacing the pads and/or battery 

Disposing of expired electrode pads

Electrode pads may be disposed of as you would with normal waste. You may also be able to donate them to local CPR trainers who may be able to use them when delivering their CPR and defibrillator training sessions


Disposing of defibrillator battery

You can recycle your defibrillator battery as you would with any other battery. Most supermarkets and shops that sell batteries have collection bins for used batteries and some town halls, libraries or schools may also set up collection points.


Should I be checking my defibrillator?

Defibrillators are intelligent devices, and most, if not all of them perform their own daily or weekly self-diagnostic tests to ensure that they are always rescue ready. Having said that, it is a good idea to assign somebody to perform weekly visual checks to ensure the readiness indicator is displaying as it should, and that there is no visible damage to the body of the device itself, especially if you keep your defibrillator in an outdoor cabinet.

We don’t usually recommend paying for an annual service, as in most cases, it isn’t necessary and could end up being costly. 

All defibrillators come with a manufacturer’s warranty, but the length you are covered for, and the type of coverage varies. Please ensure you check any documentation you would have received with your defibrillator for the full details on this.


Defibrillator indicators

Below are images for some popular defibrillators so you know what the symbols mean, and what to look out for.








The icons shown in the green box are what your device should be showing when it is rescue ready - this means that there are no faults, the battery life is sufficient and the electrode pads are in date.

The icons in the yellow box, where the 'circle of life' is either faded or has diappeared completely, means that there is an LCD problem. Please note that this means the defibrillator CAN still be used in an emergency, but you should contact the manufacturer as soon as possible to resolve the issue.  

A cross as shown in the red box indicates a fault, either internally or because it’s detected a low battery. These types of faults are usually accompanied by a flashing red ‘I’ button. If you have checked the date on your battery and pads and they are both in date, ensure you contact the manufacturer immediately who can help determine what the fault is.

Pad symbols



Cardiac Science Powerheart G3