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Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
#1
Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
When I first got my new Dreamstation Auto, I bought the package with the Humidifier and Heated hose.

I typically keep the humidity in the house low, so the humidifier is kind of mission critical to keeping the nasal cavity happy.  I do not however like particularly warm air while sleeping, so I try to keep the humidifier temp on the low side, and the heated tube off.

When I got the new unit, while I was a little disappointed in the tiny water containers, with the heat set at one, I could easily last 8 to 10 hours.  Even when I was sick with covid, and slept 12 hours one time, there was still a little water left. But no matter what, I always had to fill the tank before each night or I would run out, and get that horrible styrene smell many report.

That all said, during the last month or so, with the humidifier heat still being set on #1, I've been increasingly running out of the full tank of water after only 6 hours. I've been getting awoke by the smell, get up and fill the tank, and try to go back to sleep. Not good.  Tried changing from adaptive to fixed, made sure there were no machine seal leaks, etc, and nothing helps. Then I shut the machine off quickly and removed the tank and found the plate was running at ~150 degrees at setting #1. Seems extremely hot.  I used my old Remstart Auto and on heat setting #1 found the plate temp was at a more reasonable ~100 degrees, so something is definitely wrong.  

I'm getting ready to pack mine up to send it back, but I thought I'd share in the event anyone else is noticing high water usage. If so, you might want to check that plate temp.  Due to the frequency of reports of that plasticy empty tank smell, Imho, that plate should never get hot enough to cause that. Philips wants the entire machine back to check it out.
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#2
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
High water usage is usually related to large leaks and high pressure. How are your OSCAR charts looking ?
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#3
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
Thanks for the reply.  Yes, the mask fit has consistently been at 100%. I use a collar, so there is zero mouth leakage at all.  My Ave pressure is around 15-16 cm.  My AHI ave is around 2.5.  I have definitely spent a great deal of time double-checking all of the obvious possibilities, internal seal leaks as well, but that plate temp was a smoking gun.  ~150 degrees for setting #1 is way too high.
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#4
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
Well if you return the machine get a Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. You don't have a high leak rate and nothing seems unusual that would cause excessive water use, and the humidity setting is low. I'm stumped.
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#5
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
After the glowing reviews here, I sure would like to try a Resmed Airsense 10 Autoset. However, my very first Cpap was a Respironics Remstar Auto that I ran for almost 20 years and 40 thousand some odd hours with zero issues, so I was pretty pleased. It does seem that post Philips, things might have changed, but we will see.  Again, I know most of the staff here really likes the Resmed, but most of the benefits I hear is more related to the better or preferred flex modes. I never have used Flex, and still don't, so for traditional Auto mode, with the bottom limit of 10-12 cm, I wonder how much difference there really is with the therapy?

Either way, I don't think they are going to give my money back on a purchase over 6 months ago, so I'm stuck for a while here, unless I stumble on a killer deal on a Resmed.
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#6
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
I had a dreamstation bicpap and before that a dreamstation cpap.  I never got good results from either.  I finally gave up and tried to get a ResMed from insurance but was told that although I had owned it for 5 years I could not get a new machine unless mine had stopped working.  They said even then I could only get another dreamstation unless i had a new sleep study done.  I could not because of COVID, no sleep studies.  So I went to Supplier #2 (the shopping cart at the top of the site.) and bought one used.  It only had 250 hours on it.  Instead of 3,000 the DME wanted mine was 800.  I will post the difference between the 2 machines.  I have had 0 AHI now for 8 straight days.  First one is the dreamstation and 2nd Resmed.  A good machine makes a BIG DIFFERENCE.


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Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed 
Cervical Collar     Dealing w DME     Chart Organizing
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#7
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
Thank you for the reply. Those reports are really enlightening.

As a follow up, my struggles continue.  I ended up sending my DS back for warranty repair and after waiting, the provider ended up just replacing it.  However, I'm still running out of water after 6 or so hours, even with the heat set at #1, hose off, and adaptive on.  I have been trying to keep close tabs on my leakage that I try to get below 40-50, but it takes a head strap and a chin cushion to accomplish, but then my AHI from all this jumps from ~2.5 ish to high 4's and 5's with higher OA's.  Even then, the water tank is still empty in the morning?  This is driving me nuts.

However, if I turn the heat off, barely no water is used, and I'm all dried up and miserable the next day.  The only hack I've been able to do is take a sheet of paper and cut a small square that fits over the hot plate and below the water tank, and then I can get just to 8 hours.  Totally ridiculous.  How that plate gets to 150 degrees on #1 is beyond me, but this is a second brand new unit that's doing this.  I see zero large leaks but clearly this P10 is just giving up too much volume I guess?

I do know that I have a mouth breathing tenancy that is challenging the situation.  With just the chin cushion, I can sleep pretty comfortably but I do catch myself with my mount open when I turn to the side, causing the leak to creep up to 70-80 for short periods until I catch myself. I love my P10, but I've been resisting going to to a minimal full face mask due to facial hair. I've tried FF over the years and could never get them to seal, so I fear I won't solve anything.  I am thinking of trying the Dreamware or Amara but again, I think I'm going to run into the same thing and end up back at square one.

When my first DS was gone, I did use my old Remstar Auto until the new one came, and naturally with that large tank, I had plenty at the end of the night. Actually only used around half the tank and felt great.  However, I don't have a PC anymore that accepts that old card reader so I have no idea what the stats looked like. I wish I could just figure out this water issue!  Come Jan 1st, I will be ordering a Resmed machine and hopefully things will get better.  2020 has not been a good year in the CPAP dept either!

Thanks!
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#8
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
Just for information - I have my ResMed humidifier set at 8 and still have water in it in the morning...
Apnea (80-100%) 10 seconds, Hypopnea (50-80%) 10 seconds, Flow Limits (0-50%) not timed 
Cervical Collar     Dealing w DME     Chart Organizing
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#9
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
LOL, rub it in...    Crying-into-tissue
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#10
RE: Dreamstation Humidifier Issues
(08-14-2020, 02:25 PM)mrmagloo Wrote: I'm still running out of water after 6 or so hours, even with the heat set at #1, hose off, and adaptive on. 

However, if I turn the heat off, barely no water is used, and I'm all dried up and miserable the next day.  

I do know that I have a mouth breathing tenancy that is challenging the situation. 

I love my P10, but I've been resisting going to to a minimal full face mask due to facial hair. I've tried FF over the years and could never get them to seal, so I fear I won't solve anything.  I am thinking of trying the Dreamware or Amara but again, I think I'm going to run into the same thing and end up back at square one.
I don't think of myself as a problem solver, as much as I do an idea giver.  But hopefully one of my ideas based on my experience can help you.  I'll address the things you mentioned above (which I've edited so you might know what I'm addressing or responding to).
I am a DreamStation user.  I also live in a dry climate.  Depending on my mask, and how long I sleep, I've woken up to the smell of burned popcorn many times. (For me, I think the smell is the hard water minerals getting overheated after all of the water has evaporated.) I *really wish* the DS had a larger capacity tank.
I think the things that contribute to the excessive water loss are:
- Dry climate  (because when I go to more humid climates, I don't experience this at all.  Thus... perhaps you could run a humidifier in your room, to make the room more humid and thus the CPAP wouldn't use as much from its tank?
- Length of sleep time.  But hello, 6 hours is not reasonable for it to be empty. (So it must be one of the other reasons.)
- Mask.  I don't know if some masks demand or use more humidity than others.  But I do know that different masks have given me different experiences with how much water is used up.
- Leaks.  If my mouth is open and thus leaking out the air (because I am not using a FFM), I use up the water more quickly. 
Let me please speak to your P10 love and your mouth breathing problem. I very much *love* the P10.  It's the perfect mask for me.  Absolute perfection.  BUT after a bit if time with it, I couldn't keep my mouth sealed.  For the longest time I thought *I* was the problem.  But then a thread came along that made me realize 1) I'm not alone (there are others who can't help but mouth breathe with the P10), and 2) it's not me, it's the mask.  Apparently the whole reason it's so super quiet and doesn't blast a stream of vented air is because - for some people - the P10 does not adequately vent the exhaled air, and thus they are rebreathing their exhaled air.  Some people have a lower tolerance for rebreathing their exhaled air, and thus their mouth opens as a sort of primitive instinct to get clean air.  Sure enough, I switched to *any other nasal mask*, and I could keep my mouth shut all night!  
So, perhaps you might benefit from trying a different nasal mask.
With regard to finding an elusive FFM that will seal, of course that will be different for everyone.  For me personally, I can't keep silicone FFMs sealed on the curvature of my face.  But the F20 with memory foam stays sealed on me!  (I will warn you that it currently comes with a "quiet elbow" which doesn't diffuse very well, and I have problematic experience with it like I do with the P10.  The rebreathing causes my apnea symptoms to return.)
So perhaps keep trying, and you might find a FFM that stays sealed on you.  
I am planning to try Dreamwear next --the FFM version.  The journey of finding the perfect mask can be a tough one.  Best of luck.
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