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Humidifier (distilled vs. tap water)
I have used nothing but tap water since early 2008. My original humidifier chamber in my old M-series auto lasted 6 years and was still going when I retired the machine. Most treated water in the U.S. is clean and free of bacteria, viruses, parasites, and has low levels of minerals. Water is required to pass rigorous testing for stringent maximum concentration limits of toxic metals and bacteria. While some supplies have excessive calcium, it can easily be removed using CLR or vinegar. I have never had a problem with deposits.

I am amazed at the perception of risk people have from the use of clean tap water in a humidifier. Compared to almost anything else you do all day it is negligible. How much water vapor do you inhale while taking a hot shower? Automotive exhaust from that highway 2-miles away is far more harmful. Anyway, have fun with your bottles of distilled water. You can have them.
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(03-03-2015, 05:21 PM)SailingAway Wrote: Formerly in the water business and I would think that as it relates to humidifiers, the issue is just a scale buildup from hardness in the water, probably 95% calcium. I don't really know how hot the water actually gets in the humidifier, but scaling would be a problem if it got hot enough. Many municipal supplies are now, or are going to chloramines which in addition to chlorine adds ammonia. Many times, certain plastics and rubber materials don't do well with ammonia. Personally, I would not use chloraminated water in the humidifier. Probably wouldn't mind regular or just chlorinated water. Chlorine is a gas and as with most gases in solution, as temp increase the water will off gas what is dissolved in it. Because you are inhaling it, if you detect any odor from the water I certainly wouldn't use it for this purpose.

My concern would be the common misconception that many/most people have is about the quality of "bottled water". Which means many different things, really just means it's in a bottled. It does NOT mean distilled, pure or contaminant free water. The water bottlers are not held to the same standards as the municipal water supplies. It is unusual to see real distilled water for sale in the bottled water section of the grocery. You will see mineral water, spring water, pure water along with a host of other things. What matters is the TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) rating you see on the bottle. True distilled will be almost zero. You will see many bottled waters that exceed the Safe Water Drinking Act standard imposed on public municipal suppliers of 500 ppm or 250 ppm if certain other contaminants are found in the water.

The Desal/RO unit we have onboard produces water from seawater, which is about 35,000 ppm to about 180 ppm TDS. I have no concern using it in the humidifier. Although, so far, I'm finding I don't need humidification onboard.

With what you are currently doing, it sounds like you are still in the water business.........at least you are in deep water a lot. Too-funny

Best Regards,

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True enough Payton. I don't know at what levels the ammonia could cause problems with some of the plastics. Most likely, you'd throw it away for other reasons before it would break down any of the plastic/rubber components. Ammonia can cause a fogging of certain plastics.

One easy thing to do is to just put it in an open container and let it off gas a couple of days prior to use. The chlorine will certainly dissipate, the ammonia not so much, but as you say the levels are very low. I know we had people complain of the odor of ammonia after a conversion to chloramines. Some people are just more sensitive than others.

As to the deep water kind. We are working hard trying to get the boat ready to get out of this marina $$$$$ ASAP and hopefully over to the Tuamotus for some more great diving. Looks like our last package should arrive next week and we should be out of here and off to Fakarava....can't wait...
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One cup of distilled water and one cup of tap water boiled dry in a microwave.

[Image: Archangle-Distilled.jpg]

[Image: Archangle-Tap.jpg]
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If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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There is a Wiki Page on this -
Disclaimer: The 'Advisory Member' title is a Forum thing that I cannot change. I am not a doctor and my comments are purely my opinion or quote my personal experience. Regardless of my experience other readers mileage may vary.
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I used distilled water (pass over) at home and while traveling in the U.S.

Distilled water is more difficult to find in Europe so sometimes I use bottled water when there. The place to find distilled water in Europe is in the ironing section of department stores and in the automotive section (for car batteries) in hardware stores (haven't tried that source though).
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We have a well and have extremely hard water. So far I've been using distilled water just because I don't want to deal with the hard water deposits if I used well water. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do when we travel though. I've ordered a spare humidifier chamber so I may just dedicate that to non-distilled water use.
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(03-07-2015, 07:07 PM)chrysogognus Wrote: We have a well and have extremely hard water. So far I've been using distilled water just because I don't want to deal with the hard water deposits if I used well water. I haven't figured out what I'm going to do when we travel though. I've ordered a spare humidifier chamber so I may just dedicate that to non-distilled water use.

Most municipal water supplies are not too awfully hard. When using hard water it is a good idea to empty your humidifier tank after each night and then refill the following night to reduce the amount of hard water mineral build up.

Best Regards,

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Short term use of municipal water won't hurt anything. As Payton says, empty the tank after use and refill. The only problem I've had with using other than distilled water is some systems are pretty heavily chlorinated and the smell is not all that great when first masking up. But, after awhile, once the chlorine gas takes over, everything seems fine and I go dark.
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SailingAway I hope you will provide some in depth reviews of your experiences with a CPAP machine on a boat. Do you maintain a sailing blog? If so where. (if posting this isn't Hoyle would you please PM the URL to me?) We eventually lost our last boat after a storm and decided not to refit. It looks like I will be in late sixties before we can cruise again.
I love the taste of watermaker (RO) water and going back to municipal water supplies on the Nature Coast or Ohio made me realize how awful is the product of most central water supplies.

A little info for those who are new to the idea of living on a sailboat -"Cruising" or boating in general.

boat is an acronym for Bring Out Another Thousand.
a boat is a hole in the water in which you throw money.
Cruising is HARD work.
Cruising is "Boat repair in exotic places"
Kids who grow up on a cruising boat are AMAZING people.
Sailing a beam reach in the trades is way better than drugs to quite one's ADHD monkey mind.
The incredible sky view from a sailboat away from land is something one must see to believe
A sundowner with a loved one and an amazing sunset makes it all worthwhile :grin:
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