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[Equipment] Slime in the CPAP machine!
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Allen Offline

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Post: #11
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
I have used tap water in my tub for the past 2 months, I open the tub every morning and empty it out and then leave it to dry out all day. Once a week I soak it along with my hose in Citris II and I haven't had any slime problems.

I'm sure your problem is caused by topping up and not emptying and allowing the tub to dry on a daily basis, as my dog's inside water bowl has the same problem if I top it up daily, after about a week I have to give it a good clean to get rid of the slimey feeling around the sides of it.
12-31-2012 04:46 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
(12-31-2012 02:50 PM)Shastzi Wrote:  Legionnaires' disease, and Pontiac fever (caused by the same bacterium)
35 to 46 °C (95 to 115 °F): = Ideal growth range

I think the risk of that is low. For those bacteria to grow in the tank, they'd have to get in there in the first place. And they'd have to have some sort of food to feed on in the water.

However, I do recommend distilled water and fairly frequent cleaning. I clean mine about once a week.

If you don't have distilled water, I do recommend dumping the water nightly.

Note it's "distilled water," not "spring" water, "purified" water, "deionized" water, "reverse osmosis" water, etc.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
12-31-2012 05:24 PM
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Shastzi Offline

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Post: #13
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
That's right archangle.
The bugs need food.
Distilled water has almost nothing to offer but tap water is a different matter...
Legionella is always present in the air and just needs some stagnant water of the right temperature
with some of the right nutrients to get started.
***
It is rare that someone gets it from a CPAP or humidifier but it does happen...but then why make it easier for those nasties?
Wink
12-31-2012 05:39 PM
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TheWerkz Offline

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Post: #14
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
(12-31-2012 02:25 PM)Sleepster Wrote:  
(12-31-2012 01:32 AM)TheWerkz Wrote:  Are you dumping the water every day and letting the humidifier tank dry completely?

No. Is that my mistake? It stays wet all the time. I top it off when necessary, but dump it out at least once a week.

I used to clean it about once a week, but stopped doing that a few weeks ago when I switched to distilled water and a new tank.

I've been following the instructions from my RT and then I read it in the manual, always use distilled water and dump it out in the morning and let the tank air dry.

If your tank is always wet, it's a potential breeding ground for mold, I also remove and hang the hose to dry it out every day.

I've had more than my fair share of sinus problems and I don't want to be the potential cause of another one so I've been doing this since day one, 4 1/2 years ago.

Ren
12-31-2012 08:01 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #15
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
(12-31-2012 08:01 PM)TheWerkz Wrote:  I've been following the instructions from my RT and then I read it in the manual, always use distilled water and dump it out in the morning and let the tank air dry.

I think this is the practice I need to follow. Not sure I need the distilled water, though.

Quote:If your tank is always wet, it's a potential breeding ground for mold, I also remove and hang the hose to dry it out every day.

I'm guessing the slime is a mold, and that's the source of the odor.

I have a long history of sinus issues, but I think that what I once thought were sinus headaches were actually muscle tension headaches caused by a lack of sleep.

I suffered from headaches for 25 years, and since I started CPAP therapy a little over a year ago the headaches have been gradually fading away. For the first time in 25 years I actually have headache-free days. It's a miracle!

Sleepster
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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.
12-31-2012 10:21 PM
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Shastzi Offline

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Machine: ResMed S9 Autoset
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Post: #16
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
Usually the slime is bacteria growth. (perhaps several varieties) There is almost no place on Earth that some species of bacteria will *not* grow. ie: it's everywhere. It lives in jet fuel tanks, it lives off sulfer/heat in deep ocean volcanic vents, it lives underneath the icepacks of Antarctica.
Mold is a type of fungus and is much more advanced kind of plant life. It is more picky about where it will grow but...
that's all academic.
The main thing: THERE'S CRAP GROWING IN THE MACHINE!
We dont want the kind growing in there that will make us sick so we kill it all!
So...
Have a Happy New Year!
=^.^=
01-01-2013 08:44 AM
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jdireton Offline

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Post: #17
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
Okay, this is a long standing debate with many opinions. I'll just state mine and get on.

Tap water is dramatically different from place to place. If you live in an area that gets its water from a surface source, the disinfecting process produces chloramines (chlorine bound with ammonia compounds). Several people have commented that they get an ammonia smell if they let the humidifier go dry. This is where that smell is coming from. If your water source is undergound, it usually has a much lower organic content and chloramines are not generally an issue.

Tap water (hard or soft) has dissolved minerals (rocks) in it. If you only top off your humidifier tank, these minerals will continue to build up. At some point, they exceed the solubility point (water can't hold them dissolved anymore). That's when you get scale. If you have hard water, this can happen very quickly. Scale will not re-dissolve in water readily, but dilute vinegar will clean it.

Tap water is generally sanitized with various chlorine compounds in the US. There are residual amounts of these (if done correctly) and they will come off as gas over time. This is why it is sometimes recommended to let water sit a few hours before using it to water houseplants. This is at an incredibly low level and won't hurt anything or anyone.

Air is full of bacteria and spores. The filter on your CPAP is no where near fine enough to remove these. Bacteria will start growing in your humidifier almost immediately. If you rinse daily (or something like that), it will never reach a level you'll notice. Any slime or red discoloration is likely bacterial. If you use any kind of disinfectant during cleaning, it doesn't hurt the plastic or aluminum, and you don't have an unpleasant odor, you're fine.

Bacteria, molds, spores, etc. will aerosolize, meaning they can jump from the water into the air stream (then into you). If your humidified water is nasty, you are breathing it too.

Never let your tank run dry! It makes any of the bad things above much worse. When all the water is gone, all that is left is contaminants.

Wet, warm corrugated tubing is a great place for anything to grow. Bacteria will love it! Then you will breath it in.

So, for me:
1. Use distilled water, no minerals, chlorine, spores. Note, it is not sterile.
2. Dump the tank every day. No build up of minerals or nasties.
3. Wash the tank and hose about every week or two. I got the Resmed tank that opens up and it takes about 30 second to completely clean. I also use a brush on my tubing and make sure it hangs, both ends down, to dry every day.

If you've used tap water, topping it off, for years with no problem, please post that I'm full of it. We're here to have a discussion.

If you are having these problems (odor, sinus infections, tank scale, tank slime, tank discoloration) try some of this out.
01-01-2013 10:19 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
The debate on distilled vs tap water has been done here many times. It can get quite heated.

Most germs, bacteria, etc, are too big to travel up the tube on the water droplets. If the bad guy is bigger than the water droplet, it ain't happening.

I use tap water. I live in a rural area and have a spring. The only contaminant we have is probably crawdad pee. (I try to not think about it but, yep, just did)

It is my opinion (and it is a strong one), that as long as your water is drinkable, it is usable in your humidifier. The problem isn't the water itself, but what happens inside and to your humidifier tub. Clean it well, clean it often, and there's not an issue. The scales from the minerals can be problematic and the user has to decide if the extra cleaning is worth it. A high mineral water system that has a smell and stains the sink probably is more trouble than it is worth to the CPAP user.

For me, a vinegar soak 2-3 times a year is easy to deal with. Buying water just makes me twitch.

PaulaO2
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Breathe deeply and count to zen.

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.
01-01-2013 12:01 PM
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Ugly Offline

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Post: #19
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
(01-01-2013 12:01 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  The debate on distilled vs tap water has been done here many times. It can get quite heated.

I use tap water. I live in a rural area and have a spring. The only contaminant we have is probably crawdad pee. (I try to not think about it but, yep, just did)

It is my opinion (and it is a strong one), that as long as your water is drinkable, it is usable in your humidifier. The problem isn't the water itself, but what happens inside and to your humidifier tub. Clean it well, clean it often, and there's not an issue. The scales from the minerals can be problematic and the user has to decide if the extra cleaning is worth it. A high mineral water system that has a smell and stains the sink probably is more trouble than it is worth to the CPAP user.

For me, a vinegar soak 2-3 times a year is easy to deal with. Buying water just makes me twitch.

You will know soon enough. I said it before that when I had a room humidifier and I used tap water, I had a white paste all over everything in the morning. After that it was only distilled for me. Even more so when I got my CPAP.
01-01-2013 12:14 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #20
RE: Slime in the CPAP machine!
Since I've been doing this for over 6 yrs, I think it would have shown up by now. I think I used distilled for the first four months, if that long.

And in the thread where you mentioned this before, didn't we decide it was because your room humidifier used the non-heated method? In that case, yes, minerals would be dispersed since the water droplets are larger.

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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.
01-01-2013 01:05 PM
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