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How important is filtered or distilled water.
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Maggie Offline

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Post: #31
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
[quote='PaulaO2' pid='41710' dateline='1375312352']

"My previous tank was over a year old and was just starting to get a feel-able white layer to the bottom that was no longer coming off."

[yuck!!]

"I used distilled water for nearly two years and got really tired of it and the mess I made each night".

[I often buy three or four jugs of distilled water when they are on sale - $0.99 instead of $1.50 say (although even at full price no-one could pretend it's expensive) and when I get to the bottom of one jug, I empty HALF of a full jug into it - in the kitchen in daylight - so that I am never pouring out of a full jug - hence, no mess - ever!! and I'm an occasionally shaky 75 and increasingly liable to spill things]

"Tossing out the water in the morning bothered me, too"

[Once the user has established how much water is likely to be needed for a normal night, it's easy, using the marker lines on the tank lid, to put in only enough water that there is rarely more than a few tablespoons of waste in the morning - North Americans waste far more than that every day of their lives in other ways. I don't think I've tossed more than a few cups of distilled water in the three years I've been using my machine ]

Sorry, Paula, you are fortunate to get your water from a spring but most of us live in towns and cities so advising people to use tap water could be irresponsible and dangerous. There was an incident in 2000 where 2300 people in a small town were made very sick and 7 died because the men whose job it was to monitor the town's water supply failed properly to do so. They continues to insist the water was fine even as more people became ill, after ecoli seeped into the town well. They eventually, although far too late, admitted to falsifying reports and drinking on the job. Since then, smart people use in-home filtering systems and wouldn't dream of drinking town/city water straight from the tap. Are any of us so familiar with all of the staff of the towns we inhabit that we can be absolutely sure it couldn't happen in our town?

I can't think it's a good idea to be breathing in any part of what you describe as "a feel-able white layer". That nearly made my hair stand on end!

I've had my machine for three years and the four parts of the tank, including it's support frame and its lids, are as pristine as the day I bought them. I've never needed to use vinegar or scrape any part of any of them as they, and the short tube and nose buds, are all swooshed around vigorously in warm, soapy water and rinsed in cold, running water as soon as I get up each morning (which takes all of a minute!) so that all parts are air-dried by bedtime leaving as little residue of the city water as I can manage.

My lungs and overall general health are far too important to me to take what seem like unnecessary risks so, although he certainly doesn't need my support of his advice, I am very much with DocWils on this and I think you should seriously rethink the advice you are giving regarding using tap water. I don't know what breathing ecoli would do to anyone, but I can't think it would be beneficial, can you?
12-22-2013 06:20 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #32
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
The thing is, if it's safe to drink, it's safe to use in your humidifier.

Of course, if you feel safer using cleaner water, then by all means do what makes you feel better.

The reason manufacturers and providers recommend distilled water is that it prevents a hard water residue from building up on the equipment. Unfortunately, distilled water can be hard to find and expensive in some parts of the world.

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.
12-22-2013 06:44 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #33
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
That "feelable white layer" is the mineral deposit. Nothing more. It wasn't germs. It wasn't fungus. It wasn't algae.

It was mineral deposits.

Distilled water is water that has had those minerals removed. It is not necessarily sterile. It is not necessarily germ free. It is not necessarily ecoli free. What it is, however, is free from minerals.

When I put non-distilled water in my humidifier tank, I am, essentially, distilling it. Mineral-free water (ie distilled) makes its way to my nose and the minerals are left behind in the tub. Over time, it will leave a visible film in the tank. Depending on the mineral content, and the type of minerals, that layer may be white or it could be rust colored if high in iron. Which, luckily, mine is not. If you've ever been somewhere and seen the reddish stain around the drain or down from the faucet, that's water with a high iron content.

As we continue to say throughout this thread and many, many others, if the water is safe to drink, it is safe to use in the humidifier. There's not many germs or bacteria that is small enough and light enough to travel along with the water droplets all the way up the hose and into your system then survive your body's natural defense system established to fight such a scenario (nose hairs, phlegm, etc).

Those who do happen to catch something through their nose, such as the "brain eating amoeba" thing, they get it while doing water sports at a lake where water is forced up the nose at a much, much greater force (and much nastier water, much larger water drops). There were two people who got ill (and perhaps died?) from using the Neti pot with contaminated water but again, much bigger water droplets.

If someone chooses to use distilled water in their humidifier, that's fine. If they choose to use tap water, that's fine too. Heck, some use bottled water that's not distilled. We here at ApneaBoard just want everyone to know what their options and how to determine which is best for them based on lifestyle and tolerance level. We do not use fear as a teaching method.

PaulaO2
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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.
12-22-2013 07:10 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #34
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
Maggie,

We live in a desert state. I keep all of my equipment clean. Last night while filling my water chamber, it looked like there was dust in the water chamber. I dumped it out and cleaned out the chamber and put more water in it. Today, I cleaned all of my equipment thoroughly. Even after doing that, I had to clean my chamber again because I could see dirt on the bottom of the chamber. I have no clue how dirt got in there because the chamber is never out of the humidifier except for cleaning and filling with water. I change my filter 2 times per month. You just never know.

There are a lot of factors involved in what water to use, what filters to use, what masks to use, what hose to use, whether to use a humidifier or not, etc. It is up to each of us to find out what works best for us. Reading suggestions that have worked is helpful because it helps us to know what works best for the majority of people (it doesn't mean it will work for you, for me, etc. but it has been successful for most of those that have tried it). Some use vinegar and dish soap, people clean and dry their equipment in different ways, people clean their equipment daily, some weekly, some a combination of both. That doesn't make any of them wrong if they don't do it that way. It just gives us options to try. Some weeks may be busier than others and we don't clean our cushion daily, etc. So, find what works best for you and go with it. That is the best you and the rest of us can do.
(This post was last modified: 12-22-2013 07:54 PM by me50.)
12-22-2013 07:51 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #35
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
If you're afraid to drink your tap water, then I can see why you'd be afraid to use it in your humidifier. That's fine. Just use distilled water instead.

Our drinking water is nasty, yet I have lots of friends, neighbors, and family members who drink it. The only reason I don't is because I don't like the taste. We have a whole house sediment filter, followed by a water softener. At that point the water still tastes bad, but I can use it in my humidifier because it leaves little or no residue. Plus, it's just so much more convenient to use tap water, and I can fill the tank with warm tap water just as easily as cold.

By the way, the water I drink and use for ice is further filtered using a reverse osmosis filter system. At that point it's bottled water quality. We use it for coffee and tea, and some cooking, too. I used to use it for my humidifier, but found it offers no advantage over the tap water.

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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.
12-22-2013 11:46 PM
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PsychoMike Offline

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Post: #36
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
As others have said, if it is safe to drink, it should be safe to use in the humidifier.

My work has me aware of the effects of different things through different exposure pathways (skin contact vs. ingestion vs. inhalation) so my personal preference is distilled, but that's personal preference talking.
12-23-2013 12:42 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #37
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
(12-22-2013 06:44 PM)Sleepster Wrote:  The thing is, if it's safe to drink, it's safe to use in your humidifier.

Of course, if you feel safer using cleaner water, then by all means do what makes you feel better.

The reason manufacturers and providers recommend distilled water is that it prevents a hard water residue from building up on the equipment. Unfortunately, distilled water can be hard to find and expensive in some parts of the world.

It's not quite that simple. If you put tap water in the humidifier, as the water evaporates, as it evaporates, whatever contaminants are in the tap water get concentrated as the water evaporates. Also, the chlorine tends to evaporate. Germs may be able to feed off the contaminants and multiply.

With distilled water, in theory, there is little if any chemicals in the water that germs can feed off of and multiply

That's why it's doubly important to dump the water from your tank every morning if you use tap water.

In reality, even if there is some sort of mold or bacteria growing in the water, it shouldn't be able to enter the airstream as the air evaporates, unless there's some reason the tank is generating droplets. I'd still rather not have something potentially dangerous growing in my tank.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
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12-23-2013 06:56 PM
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PaytonA Offline
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Post: #38
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
(07-31-2013 09:27 AM)FS560 Wrote:  I have just used tap water in my humidifier for six years, five years with the S8 and now seven months with the S9.

The water here seems to have a high chlorine smell now.

Have I been doing myself any harm.

I would like to clarify a point with regard to impurities in tap water as it relates to XPAP humidification. The method for creating distilled water is by vaporizing it and then condensing it into a new container leaving the mineral impurities behind. Kind of like vaporizing it from a humidifier and guess where the minerals stay. Furthermore the fact that tap water has been chlorinated keeps down bacterial growth.

Personally I use distilled water but that is just my preference.
12-27-2013 10:09 PM
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Sleepster Offline
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Post: #39
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
It really is a matter of preference. If your tap water is so hard it leaves mineral deposits behind then you may want to use distilled water to avoid the mineral deposit build up in your tank.

If you are more comfortable using distilled water for any reason, that's what you should do.

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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.
12-28-2013 01:34 AM
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lovingvirle Offline

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Post: #40
RE: How important is filtered or distilled water.
I think allot of people are forgetting that aside from inhale cholorine its a *STRONG OXIDIER* thats why then You see public utils running a temp water line above ground in plastic pipe they always have 'leaks' its to prevent the chlorine from reacting with the pipe 'too much' and also to have a flow 24/7 to take out all reacted and toxic byproducts of such a reactive chemical out of the water suppy

So with a CPAC we have the the thank, metal is made of aluminum which is know to VERY HARMFUL to brain function. Anybody that thinks wiping each day is just removing the 'protective' coating of oxide that aluminum in free are and having a strong oxider in water will keep eating small amounts and creating an aresol *LARGE AMOUNTS* if the suface is 'cleaned' of oxide every day

Then we have the plastics, which at an average of 10C in My country in the summer makes the water companies always keep freash water flowing to clear out what the strong oxider cholorine creates which is bad

Now thats at 10C, oxiders generally get more active as the tempature rises *SO* with the cheap metal and *ALL THE PLASTIC* getting warm & strong cholorine vapours (cholorine evapourates before water, and faster then water) Your putting the worst of the worst Oxidized Plastic By Products (which You need a License to dispose off almost everywhere)

So Your can be SURE that a night or even week or big city tap-water (as long as its My not home town which is just below the levels of cholorine allowed in water - hint - it DESOLVES COPPER - and people then drink the 'solute') another hint: more plumbers per capita then anywhere in 500 miles (the council keep using all these numbers to get federal funding for a reverse osmosis water supply)

But weeks after become months 'if theres no problems' then months become years. The damage to cognotive function, and additon of plastic by-products and aluminum in the brain raises and is VERY subtle but VERY measured with simple brain tests

Lets not forget floride - cousin of the most oxidative atom on earth FLORINE. It corrides gold and platinum and causes almost everything alse INCLUDING ASBESTOS to *CATCH FIRE* (RAPID oxidation = Fire, Slow oxidation = Corrision in Metal and terrible By-Products in Plastics - Think Rust)

Excuse the spelling I'm having allot of trouble with My new APAP and feel Zombie-ish


(07-31-2013 06:12 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  The discussion of tap water vs distilled water can get rather heated.

I must disagree with DocWils in that tap water is dangerous to use.

You probably inhale just as much tap water while taking a shower as you do with your CPAP at night. The idea that there's so much chlorine in your water that you can't use it in your humidifier is also, in my opinion, silly. If you can swim in it, bathe in it, cook with it, and even drink it then it is fine with your humidifier.

The main difference between the two is mineral content. This is the white spots you see on your dishes and the brown stains around the sink drain. Most tap water has some mineral content. Some water has so much that it has a smell to it and causes massive staining to sinks and tubs. True distilled water does not have any minerals.

The reason distilled water is recommended is due to this mineral content. It can build up inside the humidifier tub. Regular cleaning can keep this at bay as can doing a mild vinegar soak every few weeks or so. Some people do not like this, others could care less. Some say the mineral build up can hide bacteria and mold, some say that's bull hockey. Some say those minerals, bacteria, and mold can travel up the tube and into your lungs. And some say that's bull hockey too. Some say the mineral layer can cause the humidifier tub to heat irregularly. Some say, you guess it, bull hockey.

It comes down to personal preference. How often do you want to do a serious clean of the tub? Want low maintenance? Use distilled.

I am of the tap water camp. I've been using it for many years. I am very much alive and well. My tap water comes from a spring, not from a municipal facility. It has minerals but does not stain the sink although we do see white spots on the glasses. Once ever two months, I fill up the sink with water and vinegar and put the tank in to soak. I then use my fingernail brush to scrub the bottom and rinse well. Done. My previous tank was over a year old and was just starting to get a feel-able white layer to the bottom that was no longer coming off. I used distilled water for nearly two years and got really tired of it and the mess I made each night. Tossing out the water in the morning bothered me, too. Am I just lucky? Nope. Distilled water is difficult to find in a lot of places in Europe. Those folks use tap water and survive just fine, too.

HOWEVER, if your water smells bad (from the iron content) or really stains the sink, then distilled water is preferred just to cut down on smell and cleaning time.
01-15-2014 05:36 PM
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