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FFM Elbow kit
#1
The only piece of my CPAP/APAP equipment that seems to need regular repair/replacement is the flapper valve elbow on my FlexiFit mask. One or several of the flappers eventually stiffens or there build up on the seat, and air leaks through. This is not to be confused with misalignment of the flappers, which can be remedied by repositioning. Rinsing in warm water and pressing the flappers down generally solves the problem , but the frequency increases with time until it become a real nuisance. Of course the pillows needs occasional replacement, but good cleaning and alternate rotation of two pillows normally lasts more than a year. Insurance suppliers only like to replace the entire mask,  when only flapper valve elbow or pillow is needed.  This serves their financial model but is a waste. 

Is there guidance in maintaining the elbow flappers and having insurance replacing only the needed parts? My insurance has been United Health Care and now Medicare with UHC.

Thanks
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#2
I am not sure if the flapper valve comes out of the elbow on the Flexifit but I presume that it does. The first thing that I would do is to quit washing or sterilizing the flapper. I would clean it with Pampers baby wipes and leave it at that. I would do whatever is possible and convenient to clean any build-up off of the valve seat whenever you clean the mask.  Most flexible plastics depend on a "plasticizer" to maintain their flexibility. Not using soap or any cleaning agents on the flapper will slow down the escape of the plasticizer and hopefully keep your flapper valve flexible a lot longer. Supplier #1 does sell the elbow with the flapper by itself, if that is of any interest.

I use only the Pampers baby wipes on my cushions and they last a lot longer than they did when I was washing them with soap and water. Anyway that is my take on your situation but if you are a germophobe this might not be a procedure that you will want to use. In that case, I am not sure what to advise to help the flapper survive longer.

I agree with you on part versus assembly replacement. My DME replaces only whole assemblies like a complete mask. In fact, when my doctor sent the DME an order to repair or replace my CPAP, the DME did not even look at it. They just sent me a new CPAP.

Best Regards,

PaytonA
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#3
(01-25-2017, 11:36 AM)HenryECole81 Wrote: The only piece of my CPAP/APAP equipment that seems to need regular repair/replacement is the flapper valve elbow on my FlexiFit mask. One or several of the flappers eventually stiffens or there build up on the seat, and air leaks through. This is not to be confused with misalignment of the flappers, which can be remedied by repositioning. Rinsing in warm water and pressing the flappers down generally solves the problem , but the frequency increases with time until it become a real nuisance. Of course the pillows needs occasional replacement, but good cleaning and alternate rotation of two pillows normally lasts more than a year. Insurance suppliers only like to replace the entire mask,  when only flapper valve elbow or pillow is needed.  This serves their financial model but is a waste. 

Is there guidance in maintaining the elbow flappers and having insurance replacing only the needed parts? My insurance has been United Health Care and now Medicare with UHC.

Thanks

Thank you, PaytonA. excellent advice.
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