To number oracle error invalid number

How to Resolve an Invalid Number Error When Using Oracle TO_NUMBER

Getting an Invalid Number error with Oracle? This article will show you what’s causing it and how you can solve it.

Join the DZone community and get the full member experience.

Are you attempting to use a TO_NUMBER function, but getting an invalid number error? Learn how to resolve it in this article.

What Is the Invalid Number Error?

The invalid number error happens when Oracle attempts to convert a string to a number field but can’t.

This is often because the supplied string value is not a number (e.g. it is a letter or punctuation character).

You’ll get an error like this in your output:

ORA-01722: invalid number

So, how can you resolve this if you’re already trying to convert a value into a number?

First, Check The Data You Have Entered

Sometimes, checking the data you have entered can be the best way to solve this problem. It could be that you have not entered the value correctly inside the TO_NUMBER function.

So, check that your function input:

Does not contain any letters

Does not contain any punctuation symbols or extra characters

Does not contain any spaces or tab characters

Check the Parameter Separately

If you like, you can SELECT the parameter you’re using as a separate column, to check what the value is.

For example, if you’re trying to run this statement:


You can then see which values are stored in the age column, and see which values might be causing issues.

You can use DISTINCT to get a unique list of values as well:


This might help you identify if there are any outstanding values.

Check the WHERE Clause for Implicit Conversion

The final suggestion I have for resolving the invalid number error when using TO_NUMBER is to check the WHERE clause for any implicit conversions that might be performed.

For example, your statement might be:

If Oracle has found that the class.minimum_fees column is not a number value (such as a VARCHAR2), then the query may fail because it is trying to compare a number to a string.

Or it could be the other way around — the fees_paid column is not a string.

In this situation, confirm the definition of these tables, and try your statements again. You might be able to alter your table, but if you, you’ll need to alter your SELECT statement.

Hopefully, this article has helped to clarify the reasons you might be getting an invalid number error when using the TO_NUMBER function.

Opinions expressed by DZone contributors are their own.


to_number function return Invalid number

We have problem recently regarding one of our query that using to_number function. It worked smoothly for 4-5 years until recently our client complaints that the query is returning error ORA-01722: invalid number.

This is the SQL Script -> SELECT * FROM WHERE to_number(b) between :param1 and :param2;
* Column b is defined as VARCHAR2(20)

First thing that come to my mind is this error is due to invalid value entered by user. Using the solutions provided by users in this forum and internet, I created SQL a function that checks whether the value is numeric or not.

So, when I run the query (+SELECT b from WHERE is_numeric(b) = 0 AND ROWNUM


no limitations such that..

may be you have some padded characters in the fied.

other wise check for characters which are padded.

Good explanation from billy.. agree with him. If possible change the datatype of the column

Edited by: Kiran on Apr 16, 2012 11:13 PM

Читайте также:  The remote server returned an error 500 internal server error getresponse

We have problem recently regarding one of our query that using to_number function. It worked smoothly for 4-5 years until recently our client complaints that the query is returning error ORA-01722: invalid number.

This is really funny.

You are using a string data type as a number. You convert strings to numbers. And then one day, the conversion does not happen as lo and behold, there is a string that is not a number.

How on earth can you claim that is unexpected and should not happen? What controls are there to safeguard that this string column will always and forever contain string values that can be successfully converted to numeric values?

There are none. Because if there were, this string to number conversion error would not have occurred.

So you have 3 basic choices.

Implement safeguards to ensure that only string values that can be converted successfully to numeric values, are entered into that string column.

Do the right thing — use numbers (as storage) and not strings. That would be the sensible thing to do.

Live with this flaw of storing data as one data type and use it as another data type — and deal with the consequences of it (has exception handler, can catch errors).

But please — do not act all surprised when an obviously flawed design and flawed code and flawed data bites you.


To_Number fails because Invalid Number

I have a value that unfortunately is in a free form text varchar(50) field and I am updating a table that is a NUMBER field. The data could be anything. From my research it looks like its values like 18000, or $20,000, or $23,000.00, or $28,000.00, or $35,000.0000.

I have tried the To_Number command and it failed.

I did a replace function and stripped out dollar signs, and commas and even empty spaces, and as a last resort even stripped out periods just to try to put bad data in, thinking maybe the free text field had two periods in it.

I have an IS_NUMBER function and when i run the field thru there, it says they are all numbers but when i update it fails saying it is an invalid number.

I have been a msft sql dba for years but Oracle is brand new to me.

merge into wh_cust_act_brand t

select cust_no, activ_no, ss.SETTING_VALUE

FROM GMSTG.STG_service_settings ss

WHERE ss.setting_id = ‘lifeline_qualifying_income’

and ss.setting_value is not null

and not exists (select 1

from wh_cust_act_brand c

where c.cust_no = ss.cust_no

and c.activ_no = ss.activ_no

and c.lifeline_qualifying_income = ss.setting_value

ON (t.cust_no = q.cust_no and t.activ_no = q.activ_no)

when matched then

— t.lifeline_qualifying_income = TO_NUMBER(replace(replace(replace(replace(q.setting_value, ‘$’, »), ‘,’, »), ‘-‘, »), ‘ ‘, »), ‘$9,999,999.99999999’);

— t.lifeline_qualifying_income = cast(regexp_replace(q.setting_value, ‘[^0-9.]+’, ») as number);

— t.lifeline_qualifying_income = regexp_replace(q.setting_value, ‘[^0-9]+’, »);

WHEN substr(q.setting_value, 1, 1) = ‘$’ then to_number(substr(replace(q.setting_value, ‘,’, »), 2, length(q.setting_value)-1), ‘9999999.99999999’)

WHEN substr(q.setting_value, 1, 1) <> ‘$’ then to_number(replace(q.setting_value, ‘,’, »), ‘999999.9999’)


raise_application_error(-20001,’An error was encountered — ‘||SQLCODE||’ -ERROR- ‘||SQLERRM);


to_number function and the «invalid number» error

I have searched the forum for threads relating to the ORA-01722: invalid number error, could not find the answer I am looking for.

What I was trying to do was

select * from table1 where to_number(field1) > 1000

field1 is a varchar2 data type.

I tried all sorts of things i.e using fmt, nls params as defined in the documentation, nothing worked.

Though the practical problem was solved by

select * from table1 where field1 > ‘1000’

I would still like to know why this error occurs. Can someone help ?


can u give some sample data.

run the below code
if the field has decimal values then use the below
and the fields returned by this query is causing the problem as it has characters which are not numbers.

Читайте также:  Error no such partition entering rescue mode grub rescues

Edited by: Prazy on Mar 23, 2010 2:13 PM

The statement is working

select * from dummy where to_number(field1) >1000 is fine and next what u need to do

@Prazy, I tried both your tests and got no rows back. I figured this was beacuse some row wasn’t converting properly.

I created a test database in the dev server and tried the query. When field1 contains a null it works; when it contains a space or any alphabets it gives this error. Even if the field contains valid hex numbers it does not work.

I have given up searching for the row(s) that caused the problem in the production database since field1 > ‘1000’ worked.

I do get a vague sense of uneasiness knowing this problem will return to bite me some other day, but I will cross that bridge when I get to it 😉

what do you mean by that? to_number cannot convert space or alphabets as they are not number .

Anyways, try trimming out the column before using to_number(trim(field1)) and make sure no other charters other than numbers persist in that column

what I meant is the error pops up when the field contains any non numeric value but it does not when the field is null.

BTW, using trim works if there is a string like ‘ 1’ or ‘1 ‘ but the query fails with an error if another row contains non convertible text (alpha characters).

I think the database engine should simply return the rows that successfully convert to number and meet the where condition ; let me try this in SQL Server and MySQL when I go home. I wish there was atleast some kind of function to test if a string contains a number.

Edited by: Crusoe on Mar 23, 2010 2:19 PM

Oracle does not work in that way

Just you need to add the below where clause to your source query. as this will retrieve only the number, to_number should work without any problem.

But still you have to create a subquery to escape the invalid number error.


ORA-01722 invalid number Solution

Have you gotten an “ORA-01722 invalid number” error? I’ll explain what this error is and how you can resolve it in this article.

Table of Contents

ORA-01722 Cause

The ORA-01722 error is caused by trying to convert a string into a number. It could be because of an invalid numeric character in your expression, or you’re trying to add a text value into a number column.

You’ve run an SQL query (which can be SELECT, INSERT, UPDATE, for example), and you’ve got this error:

The reason for this error is that Oracle has attempted to convert a string into a number, but could not perform the conversion.

For example, converting the value of “Hello” to a number cannot be done.

A valid number contains these characters:

  • Digits 0 to 9
  • Possibly a decimal point
  • A + or – sign
  • An E or e character

The error can appear in the following queries:

There are a few ways to resolve this error, so let’s take a look.

ORA-01722 Solution

The solution to the “invalid number” error message could be one of several things:

  • An incorrect character or typo in your query
  • Bad data in your database
  • An issue with the query logic

1 – Mismatch of Data Types in an Insert Query

Are you trying to INSERT data into a table using INSERT INTO VALUES?

If so, check that your columns are aligned to your values. I mean, make sure that the position of the columns that contain numbers match the numbers you’re trying to insert.

Читайте также:  Nexus error unable to get write permission

This query will produce an error (assuming that score is a number):

I’ve got the columns around the wrong way here. To correct the query, I need to move the score value of 95 to in between the subject name and comments.

2 – Inserting or Updating using a Subquery

Are you inserting or updating values in a table using a subquery?

This error can be harder to detect, because you’re not explicitly stating the values to be inserted.

The error occurs because one of the values found in the subquery is trying to be inserted into a numeric column, and the value is not a number.

To find the cause of the error, you can run the subquery by itself and add a WHERE condition:

Replace the “column” with the column you suspect has the bad data. The UPPER and LOWER functions will return different values from character strings, and you should be left with the rows that have string values.

If you want to dig further, or if that doesn’t work:

  1. Run the subquery by itself to see the results
  2. Look at the values in the columns you’re expecting to be numeric to identify any that look like obvious characters.
  3. If you can’t easily tell, you can perform a TO_NUMBER on the columns to find the error.
  4. If this doesn’t help, try getting a DISTINCT list of each column in the subquery, and then performing a TO_NUMBER.
  5. You can also use a WHERE clause to restrict the results of the subquery, so you’re only looking at a small data set at a time.

Once you’ve found the value that causes the issue, you can either update the bad data, or update your query to handle this data.

3 – Implicit Conversion in a Select Statement

Are you getting this “ORA-01722 invalid number” error when running a SELECT statement?

There are a few reasons for this error:

  1. Implicit conversion in WHERE clause
  2. Invalid format mask when using TO_NUMBER

In most cases, it is due to an implicit conversion in a WHERE clause. An implicit conversion is where a value is being converted by Oracle but you didn’t specify it.

To resolve this, check for a numeric column that’s being compared to a character column.

This will result in an implicit conversion of the VARCHAR column to a number, which may cause the invalid number error.

If you’re using the TO_NUMBER function in your query, make sure that the format mask includes acceptable characters.

The earlier example would cause an error.

4 – Other Possible Solutions

There are some other solutions to this error:

  • Fields that contain spaces cannot be converted, so ensure that you TRIM this data, convert it to NULL or zero.
  • The database formats for numbers are mismatched between two databases. For example, European numeric data uses 12.345,67 where US format is 12,345.67. Review your NLS_LANG settings to ensure this isn’t causing any issues.
  • A function-based index on the table could be causing the error. Review your table to see if there are any function-based indexes that could be converting data.

So, that’s how you resolve the ORA-01722 invalid number error in Oracle!

Lastly, if you enjoy the information and career advice I’ve been providing, sign up to my newsletter below to stay up-to-date on my articles. You’ll also receive a fantastic bonus. Thanks!

7 thoughts on “ORA-01722 invalid number Solution”

In my case it was a function based index. This was the only place on the web where I’ve found out this information. Congratulations! You helped me a lot sir!


Оцените статью