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AirFit P10 vent blocked?
TyroneShoes and Sleeprider -

I see and agree with your points - however myself and others on this thread do have the exhaling issues. I now have an old "blocked vent" mask and a new one that are very different.

I would take your points and go the next step in that Resmed HAS engineered a great mask - but they also are a business that SELLS pieces that are meant to be replaced and therefore business 101 says to maintain a need within your market.

Sure a very few may be defective by mass manufacturing (its going to happen), while others last longer due to how people are caring for them but in the end these masks are meant to be replaced and are engineered to fail after a time to ensure consumer demand. In my case it started to fail coincidentally the same time frame Resmed says to replace - so technically my mask is perfect.
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This thread refused to get settled one way or the other. I was initially in the first camp which asserts that the vents are blocked. But after some research and experiments, I have moved to the other camp which assert that there is nothing wrong with the mask.

Seems that most people who suspect something wrong with the P10 are running Resmed machines. Since Resmed doesn't show 'Intentional leak rate', it's hard to convince them that the mask is venting properly.

There are multiple ways to see if the mask is working.
1) On Respironics machines, just look at the 'Total Leak Rate' graph on sleepyhead. You may have to switch it ON on the leak rate graph by right clicking on that graph. If that number is more than 18Lpm, you have nothing to worry about. For example, my P10 vents 21Lpm at a pressure of 8 with Aflex 3. This is less than the designed rate according to P10 user manual but it's adequate. And it hasn't budged with any intervention like using soap, toothbrush and other such interventions.

2) if you are on plain vanilla type OSA therapy (no mixed or central apnea issues at clinical level), then: if you start rebreathing co2, your tidal volume and minute ventilation will rise to compensate, and pretty soon you will be hyperventilating. And your body will wake you up within a few minutes of masking up. Since that is not happening here, we can safely conclude that you are not rebreathing co2 and the mask is venting enough.
PRS1 Auto & Dreamstation Auto w/ P10 and straight pressure of 7cm. 
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I know how the mask performed when I first got it, and for some months after - it was great. The diffuser worked well, I could breathe, I could just feel the exhaust, but I could feel it.

Then it blocked. I could not breath out. I finally understood people who said they felt a mask was smothering them as I had not experienced that before. I could feel nothing from the vents etc. It blocked up. It was not like this to begin with. It is substantially altered in its performance.

I have been experimenting with cleaning - Not yet progressed to mechanical attacks on it, and I have one side cleared and working, but not both. When I give it another wash this clearing can revert and stop. I know the weave is effectively one way - you cannot breathe in through it and perhaps that is what wads the fibres down so they lock up. i.e. trying it without the machine and the constant outflow of air could be the issue. At this stage I do not know. It is currently drying out from a vinegar soak so I shall see if both sides have come back.

Saying I am dreaming an issue is not helpful, nor accurate. I really liked this mask and want to figure out how to get it working again without doing it violence.

My next step will be to boil it in baking soda I think
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I'm open to the idea the diffuser gets blocked for some people. I know that mine is difficult to exhale against with the tube blocked, but the leak rate has not moved since new. I'll get a new one in a week or two and compare.

Please don't boil your mask in baking soda! Calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate is a nice mild reactant to odor causing things like ammonia, sulfur and chlorine which readily form salts and can be removed by CaCO3 or 2NaCO3. It is essentially chalk, and not what you want to use for opening up vents. Trust me on this. Boiling silicone and plastics is not a good thing to prolong useful life. In fact if you had never done anything at all, you'd probably have no problem now.
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My mask currently does not have a useful life to prolong. I am trying to restore some period of usefulness to it.

Frankly, I have tried mild detergent to remove oils, dirt and mucous (several times), I have tried vinegar to remove salts.
It is time for the stronger oil cutting compounds such as baking soda (Sodium bicarbonate to be precise - I do know my chemistry and what it does)
to be put to use. I am toying with caustic soda but will probably give sugar soap a run first if this fails - As others are going with mechanical interventions I thought I would run with the chemical approach. Silicone should have no problems with this treatment. Honestly if I cannot free it up it is rubbish anyway as I cannot use it as it is, so I might as well give it a go.

Silocone is rated up to 400 degrees so boiling should never hurt it, and I am using this compatability list
[direct link to commercial website removed. Instead, do a google search for "coleparmer techinfo compatability list"] for the chemicals I plan to use.

I do know from my other masks it can absorb the skin oils that take a lot of removing.

BTW, I don't get new ones - I have to buy new ones and this mask retails in Australia for $275 (which is why I buy online)

The alternative is to write it off now and just bin it. But if I do that I will not be gambling good money that a new one will work.

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"If you put your fingers close to the vent you will feel the air coming out, and you will feel it coming out warmer as you exhale, cooler when you inhale. That right there is an indication that it is venting C02."

But that's just the point. I cannot feel ANY air. I can no longer tell that my machine is running by feeling for the air. I have to take it OFF to feel if air is flowing. I *could* feel slight air flow when it was new. It felt very slight, and I could see why people loved the mask; a bed companion would no longer be "blown away".

But I cannot feel any exhaust, even with my hand in front of the mask.

At least, I couldn't, until I unclogged one side. Now one side is back to normal, and the other is like a solid plastic sheet. But that's not quite enough for breathing through.

And by the way -- examining your mask carefully, and coming to your conclusions -- just means that YOUR mask hasn't clogged up yet. I'm glad for you! But it doesn't mean that MY mask is fine.
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Those who maintain that the P10 vent diffuser does not clog and does not build up with material that clog it are not remembering the good photographic evidence submitted showing a solid coating on the vent diffuser material of a "plugged" P10 vent.

Just for clarifications sake, the vents do not vent CO2, they vent air which at times has higher than normal CO2 content.

Best Regards,


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PaytonA passed away in September 2017
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~ Rest in Peace ~
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(07-26-2015, 10:57 PM)PaytonA Wrote: Those who maintain that the P10 vent diffuser does not clog and does not build up with material that clog it are not remembering the good photographic evidence submitted showing a solid coating on the vent diffuser material of a "plugged" P10 vent.

Just for clarifications sake, the vents do not vent CO2, they vent air which at times has higher than normal CO2 content.

Best Regards,


Please re-read this thread. The photograph that was posted was not good evidence of a solid coating at all. Both of my own frames look exactly like the posted photograph and yet do not actually have solid coatings - it just looks like they do. And they both work perfectly.

However, I am sure that something is causing P10 blockages because I have personally experienced one. When it happened to me, examination of the vents with a 14x loupe magnifier showed that the appearance of a solid coating was an illusion, and the real culprit was water trapped in the micromesh. If you look back far enough in this thread you will find a detailed report of the incident.

There are two likely sources of water that gets trapped in the P10 vents: 1. condensation, and 2. attempts to clean the frame and vents. Personally, I have completely stopped washing my frame and vents, and done everything I can think of to prevent condensation forming in or near the vents or flowing towards the vents through the supply tubing. My P10 now works perfectly every night, without fail.

For those of you still having difficulties with the P10, here are some tips for keeping moisture out of the vents:

1. Preheat the reservoir and large tubing and allow the heated air to flow for a few minutes before connecting the tubing to the P10.

2. Arrange the large tubing so that it slopes upwards from your CPAP machine to your bed. This will cause any water that condenses in the sloping part of the large tubing to flow back towards the CPAP machine.

3. If you sleep in a cool bedroom, as I do, which may encourage water to condense in the large tubing, look for ways to insulate the part of the tubing that runs horizontally on top of your bed. Personally I sleep on two real down pillows, with the large tubing arranged in an S shape under the bottom pillow and emerging at the head of the bed, close to the top of my head. The down pillows are thick enough that I cannot feel the tubing underneath them, and they do a great job of protecting the tubing from cool night air.

4. Never wash your frame and vents unless you absolutely have to. If you do wash them, allow plenty of time for water trapped in the micromesh to gradually evaporate. Air movement from a fan, and slight warming of the vents may help. However, attempting to blow air through the vents will accomplish nothing because the vents will remain totally blocked until the water evaporates. If you have difficulty visualizing that, it's rather like drying a sponge, except you can at least squeeze a sponge to remove some of the trapped water. With the vents, there is no other method available than the frustratingly slow process of evaporation.

I hope these suggestions help at least some of you to achieve more successful results.
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Has anyone here taken AshSF's advice on checking Total Leak Rate to be sure your mask is venting properly? I check that first as I am a P10 user and have never had a blocked vent problem, and want to make sure I am not rebreathing same air!

Some of you do seem to have this issue of a blocked vent. I appreciate OpineCone's original post and the images he showed us, but simply do not agree with advice to never wash the frame! This may be what has got some of you a blocked vent to begin with.

Please do not take this as a criticism, because don't mean it that way, but alby_c......accumulated oils I understand, but mucus and dirt???

Would love to see pics/images from alby_c and BadGoodDeb. Not because I don't believe, but to compare with OpineCone's images.

Like I said, I've not had this problem, but then again, I wash my mask/frame once a week. The longest was two weeks.

One last thing, this mask is not meant to be used long term. Consider following your insurance replacement program. If you don't have coverage, then budget for a replacement mask, or try a different mask. It seems we spend dollars on things we want not necessarily need!

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I purchased the P10 and first put it into use in early January. Comparing base leak rate from January to July shows no change for me. If someone with a clogged P10 could do a similar comparison then we'd have a a better quantitative ideal of the problem.

Very good posts by OpineCone and OpalRose.
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