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Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
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Sleeprider Online
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Post: #11
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
(08-12-2016 10:13 AM)Crimson Nape Wrote:  OK, I don't expect to change anyone's beliefs but thought I'd offer my two cents worth:
  1. Hot water from a water heater can have additional minerals from the anode rod. For this reason I'd use the cool tap water.
  2. Any mineral deposits in the humidifier tank can be cleaned with white vinegar or commercially available products.
  3. I'm don't think the humidity in the normal air we breathe has been boiled or distilled.
  4. Thinking about how the humidifier works, you are distilling it. You place a liquid in a vessel, where it turns to a vapor as the air (filtered) passes over it and then condenses in your lungs (or mask/hose. . .rainout).


The "distilled water" requirement seems to be more of an indemnity issue so some ambulance chaser can't try to make that an issue against the manufacturer.

I'm with you on this until you get to the part about the vapor condensing in the hose or lungs. It should not condense in your lungs as the temperature is higher, however it should reduce the drying effect the air would otherwise have. I totally agree the importance of distilled water is completely overblown and not supported by any kind of medical study evidence.

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08-12-2016 11:13 AM
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Perchas Offline

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Post: #12
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
(08-12-2016 10:13 AM)Crimson Nape Wrote:  OK, I don't expect to change anyone's beliefs but thought I'd offer my two cents worth:
  1. Hot water from a water heater can have additional minerals from the anode rod. For this reason I'd use the cool tap water.
  2. Any mineral deposits in the humidifier tank can be cleaned with white vinegar or commercially available products.
  3. I'm don't think the humidity in the normal air we breathe has been boiled or distilled.
  4. Thinking about how the humidifier works, you are distilling it. You place a liquid in a vessel, where it turns to a vapor as the air (filtered) passes over it and then condenses in your lungs (or mask/hose. . .rainout).


The "distilled water" requirement seems to be more of an indemnity issue so some ambulance chaser can't try to make that an issue against the manufacturer.

Google translate, sorry gramatical errors

either distilled water or tap both generate a serious problem, create algae and microscopic amoeba. inaccessible nooks having humidifiers deposits are impossible to adequately clean.

Many dental clinics with very calcareous tap water, faucet capiladres clog equipment and instruments use a tank of distilled water, if you could see inside these deposits if they forget to clean or change the water would be aghast.

I use a small toothbrush ultrasonic clean every day with soap, change the water, add a drop of chlorine, I leave an hour without cover the humidifier for the chlorine to evaporate when not smell of chlorine it introduce in a bag plastic and freezer.

At night breathing fresh mountain air with a temperature and humidity magnifies without starting the humidifier.

Ice remains nearly six hours without heating and evaporation of 40 ml, enough to help my turbinates to do their good work occurs
08-12-2016 12:32 PM
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eseedhouse Offline

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Post: #13
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
(08-12-2016 10:13 AM)Crimson Nape Wrote:  OK, I don't expect to change anyone's beliefs but thought I'd offer my two cents worth:

[*]I'm don't think the humidity in the normal air we breathe has been boiled or distilled.

This is wrong. Water can't take any minerals along with it when it becomes vapour. Air born water vapour is absolutely pure water.

Ed Seedhouse
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I am neither a Doctor, nor any other kind of medical professional.

Actually you know, it is what it isn't.
08-12-2016 06:18 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
Is your water drinkable?
Do you take a shower in it?
Does your sink or tub have brown streaks from the iron content in the water?
Do you have access to vinegar where you live?

If you answered yes, the go for it. The main difference between distilled and tap water is the mineral content. That's it. Distilled water doesn't have any, most tap water does.

You probably breathe in more water during a shower than you do all night with the humidifier on.

I've been using tap water for years now. Never a problem. And when I did get (allegedly) sick from crap in a hose? It was distilled water.

Remove the water each day (you should be anyway).
When you start to see white deposits in the humidifier, clean it out with a vinegar/water solution. It does not take much vinegar. just let it soak.
If it ever gets to where it cannot be cleaned, just get another. They aren't expensive. I get a new one every 6 mos just because I can't clean mine as good as I would like.
The only time I do not use tap water is if I am traveling. I'm used to rural spring water so sometimes "city" water smells too much like bleach too me. So I use bottled water if I don't like the smell of it.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
08-12-2016 07:32 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
(putting on Moderator's hat)

As always, please be civil in a "tap vs distilled water" discussion. Say what you want about the opinion, leave the person out of it.

"The data you gave is wrong." = good
"You're stupid if you believe that data." = not good

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
08-12-2016 07:36 PM
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Ghost1958 Offline

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Post: #16
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
Ill stay with distilled or in a pinch Crystal Gyser spring water.

You see we get a report of our water quality from our water company. There is a catagory for "acceptable amounts of human feces".
Ehhh to me there is no acceptable amount of human feces in my water lol.
There are acceptable amounts of other chemicals that as a former haz mat tech I realize might ride water vapor from an unboiling source. Like a humidifier.

The Crystal Gyser is spring water and the only one pure enough to be accepted as a temp replacement for distilled in nasal rinses after surgery.

This is all just my own thoughts on it. From a guy who definitely isnt an everyday cleaner or dumper of anything cpap.
08-12-2016 08:20 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #17
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
I've been using tap water in mine for about 4 years. I rinse out the tub each day and let it air dry. I never get mineral deposits because before the municipal water enters my house it passes through a sediment filter followed by a water softener. If I wanted more pure water I could get it out of my RO filter, but it's not needed. The bathroom faucet is a couple steps away from my bedside table, so it's a matter of convenience for me. When I travel I just use bottled drinking water.

Of course, if I had hard tap water I would not be so fortunate and would either use distilled water or a vinegar cleaning regime.

The issue of boiling the water to kill microscopic nasties is an extreme measure because of the low likelihood of harm. You can read the about the details in the Wiki article.

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
08-12-2016 10:15 PM
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Post: #18
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
For anyone that is interested, there is a difference between distilled water and the water vapor that comes from your humidifier. Most distilled water is steam distilled which means that the water is going to the condenser as steam. Do you see steam in your hose? Since with steam distillation the water is boiled it can take larger things with it as well as the boiling being able to actually throw some things out of the water to get taken up by the steam.

In the humidifier, no boiling is going on and it is dependent on the partial pressure of the water at the temperature at which it is maintained to get water molecules to go into solution in the air passing by. Humidity is water molecules in solution in the air. It is similar in appearance to when you dissolve a little salt in water. You can not see the dissolved salt. Since it is one water molecule at a time going into the air the size of anything that can go with it is much smaller than with distillation of water. For this reason "algae or microscopic amoeba" will not be carried over from the tank although they can grow in the tank. There are some organic chemicals that have a high enough partial pressure at humidifier temperatures to go with the water vapor.

Best Regards,

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08-12-2016 11:13 PM
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Post: #19
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
The word from my sleep doctor is use distilled to reduce your work - no accumulation of solids which can affect your humidity as it builds up. You can remove it by soaking with a water/vinegar solution. I was unable to get distilled at one point and it was easy peasy to get that cleared out.

If you use city tap water, you don't have to do anything special. If you use well water or you are unsure of the water source, boil the water first. While the chances of you getting anything from the well water is quite small, they certainly do see some cases where this prevention would have avoided illness.

Resmed lists their water bins as having a 2 - 2.5 year lifetime and I know plenty of people have never bought another one and their machines are 5-8 years old. I do think the mineralization will have some effect eventually on the seals, so it's good to keep that back.
08-12-2016 11:35 PM
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Post: #20
RE: Can I use tap water in the humidifier?
And just to throw a wrinkle in the whole 'bottled v tap' perspective...

Here in Australia water bottling companies have been caught out numerous times claiming their water is either spring or filtered water, when in reality they have just been filling the bottles with ordinary mains water in their bottling plants.

Subsequently many of the companies reworded the labeling to claim "filtered" water to justify the $2 charge for a 600 ml bottle of tap water.

If it really worries you, just buy a filter jug and filter your own tap water, you end up with the same product... or possibly even better, given that you will be more diligent about replacing your jug filters than the big profit making corporations will.

Personally I will just use straight tap water, and if I get a mineral build up I will do the water/white vinegar mix the same as we do for our electric kettle every few months [which reminds me, I must do it again this weekend]

The only time I would go looking for bottled water is in a small country town with an old water filtration plant.
08-13-2016 06:45 AM
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