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[CPAP] Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
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George4557 Offline

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Location: Vermont, USA

Post: #1
Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
I have being using a ResMed37211 Bilevel auto aircurve 10 since early 2015 (other machines before that).

My partner noticed black grease or soot marks from the hose on my pillow case. I also felt the machine was making weird noises. Taking my machine to the distributor they immediately said I could not use the machine anymore because it was full of black soot like material. The filter was entirely glossy black.

I had received new supplies just two weeks prior to this with a new hose, water tank, mask, and filters. I noticed the filter I removed was quite dirty but nothing like the one removed yesterday which was pitch black.

They asked if I burned wood, which I don't, and about my furnace which has been off for two months and is hot water not forced air. I have no air conditioners. Also nothing else in my bedroom, bed covers, bureaus, etc., had any sign of this black soot.

I feel the material had to come from my machine and I have been putting it down my lungs for awhile.

ResMed was contacted and they had no idea but the machine was being returned to them. I did receive a new machine a no cost.

Has anyone had a similar experience? Is there lubrication within the machine that might cause this? A person suggested mold but I had just replaced all the parts.
07-21-2016 08:28 AM
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KSMatthew Offline

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Location: Kansas, United States

Post: #2
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
The contamination was on the filter?

That indicates the machine is pulling something into it. You could add an ultra-fine pre-filter to catch it, but by now whatever it is is inside the machine.

The filter being dirty is the clue - everything passes through that filter, but the normal filter is not fine enough to catch a lot of smaller particles.

Check for anything that might be a cause: smoke from anything that's burning while the machine is on, candles? cigarettes? Do you have an open window nearby when you sleep? That could let in dust, pollen, and other stuff. Do you dry the filter after you clean it? If it stays damp for a while, could it be mildew? If so, that might end up being pulled into the machine.

When you get your new machine, use the ultra-fine filter to keep the new CPAP from getting contaminated. Until you figure out where it came from, you might end up with the new machine having the same problem.
(This post was last modified: 07-21-2016 08:37 AM by KSMatthew.)
07-21-2016 08:36 AM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
Hi George4557,
I would keep close tabs on your new machine. There is something in the air that is being pulled into machine. Check your air filter every couple days to see if it is clean. If not, then you have a problem with the air quality in your house or surroundings. My mind tends to lean toward mold.

OpalRose
07-21-2016 09:08 AM
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George4557 Offline

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Location: Vermont, USA

Post: #4
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
(07-21-2016 08:36 AM)KSMatthew Wrote:  The contamination was on the filter?

That indicates the machine is pulling something into it. You could add an ultra-fine pre-filter to catch it, but by now whatever it is is inside the machine.

The filter being dirty is the clue - everything passes through that filter, but the normal filter is not fine enough to catch a lot of smaller particles.

Check for anything that might be a cause: smoke from anything that's burning while the machine is on, candles? cigarettes? Do you have an open window nearby when you sleep? That could let in dust, pollen, and other stuff. Do you dry the filter after you clean it? If it stays damp for a while, could it be mildew? If so, that might end up being pulled into the machine.

When you get your new machine, use the ultra-fine filter to keep the new CPAP from getting contaminated. Until you figure out where it came from, you might end up with the new machine having the same problem.

I do not smoke or allow it my house. Sometimes candles are lite but never while the machine is running. I rarely open my windows. Just cannot see it coming from an outside source because as I said there is nothing else in the bedroom showing any sign of the black material. I am using a new type of filter. After first night in use (last night) it was lily white.
07-21-2016 10:51 AM
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KSMatthew Offline

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Location: Kansas, United States

Post: #5
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
>>
Taking my machine to the distributor they immediately said I could not use the machine anymore because it was full of black soot like material. The filter was entirely glossy black.
<<

How old was this filter? When was the last time it was cleaned? Could it have been mold/mildew?

>>
I had received new supplies just two weeks prior to this with a new hose, water tank, mask, and filters. I noticed the filter I removed was quite dirty but nothing like the one removed yesterday which was pitch black.
<<

A new filter, one night, "quite dirty"?


And now:

New machine, new filter, one night, no problem?

--

Is the new machine the same as previous? Is the air intake in a different position and maybe drawing cleaner air?

I'm still trying to get a clear picture in my head:
First filter, "pitch black".
New filter, one night, "quite dirty".
New machine, new filter, one night "lily white".

Previous machine was about 1.5 yrs old? Could there have been some outside contamination from the humidifier or seals that might have been getting sucked into the filter?

I hope that ResMed can figure it out.
07-21-2016 11:08 AM
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chill Online

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Post: #6
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
I think it was
- replaced quite dirty filter with new filter two weeks ago
- two weeks later filter was pitch black, machine full of soot
- new filter in new machine lily white after one night

What is near the air intake? It sounds like something released a lot of spores which got sucked into the machine. But I think you would notice mushrooms or something rotting next to your bed. SHa_biggrin5

Does this machine have an external power brick, or does it plug directly into the wall. Was it operating normally in other respects?
(This post was last modified: 07-21-2016 11:34 AM by chill.)
07-21-2016 11:32 AM
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KSMatthew Offline

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Location: Kansas, United States

Post: #7
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
The manual for that model says this about the filter:

>>
Check the air filter and replace it at least every six months. Replace it more often if there are any holes or blockages by dirt or dust.
<<

>>
The air filter is not washable or reusable.
<<
07-21-2016 01:15 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
Use of BBQ indoors?
Discharge of firearms in the house?

The bearings for the blower motor are sealed ball bearings.

It sucked the dark soot-like material into the intake; source unknown.

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07-21-2016 01:40 PM
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George4557 Offline

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Location: Vermont, USA

Post: #9
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
(07-21-2016 11:32 AM)chill Wrote:  I think it was
- replaced quite dirty filter with new filter two weeks ago
- two weeks later filter was pitch black, machine full of soot
- new filter in new machine lily white after one night

What is near the air intake? It sounds like something released a lot of spores which got sucked into the machine. But I think you would notice mushrooms or something rotting next to your bed. SHa_biggrin5

Does this machine have an external power brick, or does it plug directly into the wall. Was it operating normally in other respects?

Thanks everyone for comments. The sequence of events is correct as noted above.

There is nothing near the air intake. My bedroom is quite sparsely decorated-no plants or living things in the room at all.

Yes, the machine has an external power brick which then plugs into the wall. Besides the stains of black on the pillow case (which would not totally disappear in the wash) the machine was making some strange noises which was another reason I brought it back to the distributor.
07-21-2016 03:24 PM
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KSMatthew Offline

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Posts: 179
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Machine: PR DreamStation Auto
Mask Type: Nasal pillows
Mask Make & Model: ResMed Swift FX
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Sex: Male
Location: Kansas, United States

Post: #10
RE: Contamination of air stream by CPAP machine
How about this:

Filter 1 dirty. Dirt transfer from filter to door cover when removing filter.
Filter 2 goes in and sucks loose dirt from inside surface of filter door.
Filter 2 dirty after 2 weeks and stuff has gotten past or through the filter causing problems with blower.
Filter 3 goes in, and inner surface of filter door is clean so filter stays clean.

--

Filter #2: You didn't get some kind of "activated charcoal" filter, did you?

Do you have pets?
07-21-2016 03:48 PM
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