In the old days, getting a sense of your blood pressure required you to go into the doctor’s office and have it checked manually with a stethoscope, pump and gauge. While having to go into a clinic to have your blood pressure checked was a hassle, you could rest assured the measurement was being taken properly.
Today, automated blood pressure monitors make taking your blood pressure from home much simpler. While it can be tough to remember to do this every day, once you make measuring your blood pressure a part of your routine, it should be simple enough: Wrap the cuff around your arm, sit up straight and press a button. What could go wrong?
Unfortunately, things don’t always go so smoothly. Indeed, when you’re trying to get an accurate blood pressure reading, one of the most frustrating things you may encounter is an error message popping up on your device. These messages are often vague (something like “Err 2”), leaving you to wonder: Did I mess up? Is the machine broken?
To help clear things up, here’s a look at some of the error codes you may encounter on different blood pressure monitors, as well as some of the most common reasons you may be seeing an error message when you take your blood pressure.
See related: How to get an accurate blood pressure measurement
A&D brand blood pressure monitor error codes
Many of our members use an A&D brand blood pressure monitor in conjunction with our app. Some common errors on these devices (and on blood pressure monitors in general) are caused by too much movement during the measurement and an improperly-fitting cuff. Check out this chart of A&D error codes to see what may be causing you trouble, or take a look at an A&D blood pressure monitor manual.
|Error code||Why it happens||What you can do|
|Err||Blood pressure is unstable due to movement during the measurement||Try again and be sure to remain still and silent during the measurement|
||Take the cuff off and put it back on, ensuring it’s fitting properly and in the right place on your arm|
|Err CUF||The cuff is not applied correctly and/or is too loose||Take the cuff off and put it back on, ensuring it’s fitting properly. It should be tight enough that it doesn’t slide down your arm, but loose enough for you to fit a few fingers between the cuff and your arm.|
|E||The monitor is not detecting your pulse correctly||Take the cuff off and put it back on, ensuring it’s fitting properly and in the right place on your arm|
|Err E||There’s a problem with the device||Take out the batteries, press the power button and put the batteries back in. After that, if you still see this error, contact us for support.|
|Err 9||There’s a problem with the device||Take out the batteries, press the power button and put the batteries back in. After that, if you still see this error, contact us for support.|
|Err 10 / 11||The monitor didn’t pair with another device (like a smartphone or tablet)||Take out the batteries and put them back in, then try pairing again.|
BodyTrace blood pressure monitor error codes
The other main type of blood pressure monitor we use is a BodyTrace brand cellular device. These devices feature a slightly longer list of potential error codes, ranging from battery problems to a poor cellular connection. Check out this chart of BodyTrace blood pressure monitor error codes, which breaks down the cause and possible solution for each.
|Error code||Why it happens||What you can do|
|Er 1||Low battery||Open the back of your monitor and replace the batteries with 4 new AA batteries|
|Er 2||Movement was detected during the measurement||Try again and be sure to remain still and silent during the measurement|
|Er 3||Your measurement was out of range||Ensure your cuff is fitting properly and is placed against your bare skin. Remove all jewelry from your arm.|
|Er 4||No cellular signal||The monitor is having trouble connecting. Try moving to another area of your home, closer to a window. If you have a cell phone, you can check the cellular signal to see where its strongest in your house.|
|Er 5 / Er 6||Error with cellular connection||The device has a weak cellular signal or was unable to transmit data. Try moving to another part of your home to see if you can find a stronger signal.|
|Er 7 / Er 9||Internal device error||Replace the batteries and try again. After that, if you still see this error, contact us for support.|
|Er 10, 11, 15-24||System error||Contact us for support|
Omron blood pressure monitor error codes
Another popular blood pressure monitor company is Omron. Omron blood pressure monitors use a combination of symbols and text to show error messages. Check out an Omron manual or the chart below for a few errors worth keeping in mind.
|Error code / symbol||Why it happens||What you can do|
|An irregular heartbeat was detected during the measurement||Remove the cuff, wait 2-3 minutes and then take another measurement. If you keep getting this error, let your Wellness Coach or doctor know.|
|Movement during measurement||Take another measurement and stay still and silent until the test is complete.|
|Your device’s batteries are low.||Replace the batteries as soon as you can.|
|Your device’s batteries are empty.||You must replace the batteries before you can use the device again.|
|E1||The device’s air plug is loose, the arm cuff is applied too loosely or air is leaking from the cuff||Check to be sure the plug is secured, pull the arm cuff tighter or, if the cuff is leaking, replace it with a new one.|
|E2||Either there was movement during the test, or the cuff did not inflate properly||Take the measurement again without moving or talking during the test; if this error comes up repeatedly, you may need to inflate the cuff manually until it is 30-40 mmHG above your previous measurement result|
|E3||The arm cuff inflated past than the maximum pressure allowed and deflated automatically (applies to manual cuff inflation)||Be sure not to touch the cuff or move or bend the air tube during a measurement. Be sure not to over-inflate if inflating manually.|
|E4||Movement during measurement||Take another measurement and stay still and silent until the test is complete.|
|E5||Clothing is disrupting the measurement||Make sure you don’t have any clothing between the cuff and your skin, then take the measurement again.|
|Er||Device error||Contact us or Omron for support.|
Common reasons for errors or incorrect readings
As you can see, improper form or device errors are the main cause for most error messages and incorrect readings. Here are some of the most common causes for these issues:
- Too much movement: Any movement you make during the measurement can cause dramatic fluctuations in the pressure being measured.
- Cuff not fitting properly: If your cuff is too large or too small, or is wrapped too tightly or loosely around your arm, you may not get an accurate measurement or your device may not be able to properly register a measurement.
- Blocked air hose or leaks: Your device’s air hose could be blocked, or you may there may be a leak in the hose, connector or cuff. You can check for leaks by listening to the hose, connector and cuff for the sound of air. Be sure that you’re not pinching the hose and don’t have it knotted or wrapped around anything.
- Improper cuff position on arm: You want to hold your upper arm at heart level, with a bit of space between your arm and your side, otherwise you can distort the pressure signals in the cuff, throwing off the reading or causing an error message to pop up.
- Low batteries: This is often the cause of a cuff not inflating, as your device’s pump requires a certain amount of power to inflate your cuff. Even with weak batteries, if the cuff takes too long to inflate, your measurement could time out and end with an error code. Check for a low battery symbol on your device and replace them if needed.
Tips for getting an accurate blood pressure reading
Along with error messages, you may be getting blood pressure readings that just don’t seem right. While your blood pressure could genuinely be elevated due to diet, stress or other factors, you may accidentally be throwing things off. Follow these steps to be sure you’re getting the most accurate blood pressure reading possible:
- Don’t talk during the measurement. Talking during a test can add up to 10 points to your reading.
- Place the cuff on your bare skin, half an inch above the bend in your elbow. Having clothing between the cuff and your skin can add up to 50mmHG to a reading.
- Keep your feet flat on the floor and your legs uncrossed. Crossing your legs squeezes your veins, which can raise your reading.
- Don’t drink caffeine or smoke within 30 minutes of a test. Caffeine and nicotine can both raise your blood pressure.
|If you’re an older adult looking for a helping hand as you tackle high blood pressure, diabetes or other health issues, you may qualify for a myNurse membership as a Medicare-covered benefit. Membership comes with remote health monitoring, connected health testing devices and one-on-one coaching. See how it works and check if your insurance covers the program.|