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Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
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quip Offline

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Machine: IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP Machine with SmartFlex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: IntelliPAP Integrated Heated Humidifier- Level 4
CPAP Pressure: 6-16
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Diagnosed on 8-15-15 and started CPAP therapy on 9-14-15

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Location: USA

Post: #21
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-18-2015 09:31 AM)mbkjad Wrote:  Quip,

Lots of good information.....Will add the following..

Every TSA station is different. It's just how it is. These guys aren't paid that much and quite frankly they are ineffective on their best day. As such you get a little different treatment depending on the airport (in the last two months I have been through four different ones on multiple occasions and each time it has been a slightly different experience).

Mike, I most certainly agree with you that each TSA Security Check Point is different from each other. Like in my best airport that I fly out of constantly the TSA Officers are pleasant to me. In my home airport (which is huge), the TSA Officers are can be tackless and rude to passengers. In the TSA Pre-Check lane the Officers are nicer to you there. Like you said, different TSA station - different airport - different experience.

Quote:What has not been different:

1. Do not ever check your CPAP!

I most certainly don't want to check my CPAP because it could get broken or lost! I'm going to treat my CPAP like my laptop computer. Protect it at all cost. Like on the Super Shuttle van that I often take to my hotels and the driver wants to take my CPAP bag away from me . . . I won't let the driver separate me from my CPAP bag whatsoever!! Going back to airports and airplanes: for the high percentage of the time my CPAP is under the seat not in the overhead bin.

Quote:2. When going through the checkpoint it is very clearly marked that the bag that your CPAP is in must be opened up. Sometimes they will make a big deal about it if you don't and sometimes they won't. The last time the guy in front me had his in clear bags in his carry-on and they went Swat on his ass. Complete bag search and then lectured him. Carry it in the bag it came in and zip it open and send it through. No big deal. They are used to seeing them.

So, that means that I have to take my CPAP out of the carrying bag to put it through the X-Ray machine, then? If that's the case, it is truly like my laptop. Every time I carry my MacBookPro into the airport, I have to take it out of my bag and put it on separate bin to be scanned. That the exact same way that TSA handles CPAPs? Hmmm. I'm sure glad that TSA is use to seeing the CPAP machines in their security stations.

Quote:3. The whole script thing. Each to his own. Been all over the world since 2009 with mine and have never had a copy of mine with me. The machine is enough.

Enjoy your trip! This is just another thing. Nothing to concern yourself with.

Mike

I understand. For most people if they see you have a CPAP machine with you, then you most have been prescribed it by some sleep doc. For me, I don't think I will carry a script because my own CPAP prescription is on file with Supplier #1. If I ever break or lose my CPAP, then I can contact Supplier #1 to get a loaner CPAP, until I figure out what to do.

Mike, I want to thank you for all of your great additional information you have given me and for your assurances. I shall enjoy my trip.

Quip
(10-19-2015 04:08 PM)Homerec130 Wrote:  Quip,

The reason I don't seal the bag all the way is stop condensation. I will close it most of the way, but still allow air to escape.More than once or twice I have seen condensation in a bag especially when traveling to and from an area with high humidity. I flew for Uncle Sam for over 20 years plus as a contractor and always used that method. The only time I would have a sealed bag was when it was vacuum sealed.


Homer, thanks for explaining it me. I didn't understand that condensation could build up in the ziplock bags while flying in high humidity environments. Some of the airports that I fly out of in the USA are very humid and hot. It like putting a snuggle on my PAP hose to help prevent rainout when I leave my ziplock bags open.

Quote:Bottled water should work when you are on the road. One of the arguments for distilled is there are less impurities in the water which can cake around the base plate of a heated humidifier. Short periods of time using bottled water (or even most hotel tap water) won't do any damage. If you do get a buildup you can either use a little bit of vinegar when you clean the tank or if your insurance provides one, replace the tank.

Homer

Bottled water is still not exactly the same thing, as distilled water, is it? Ok. I will use bottled water in a pinch while traveling. Homer, how do you know that you have water plaque build up inside your humidifier? Wouldn't it be a wise thing to immediately after my business trip . . . put vinegar in my humidifier tank to prevent the water plaque build up in the first place? That way it's preventative maintenance of my humidifier tank. What do you think?

Quip

(10-19-2015 04:52 PM)49er Wrote:  Hi Quip,

I don't want my machine in the overhead bin because I understand it can get jostled around and even if the risk is small, why take it if I can simply place the machine in the bag underneath the seat in front of me. As long it fits under the seat which mine definitely did, there shouldn't be a problem.

49er, your rationale certainly does make sense now that I think about it because as I was relating to someone in this thread, I am going to treat my CPAP like my MacBookPro laptop computer and iPad. My computer equipment goes every where I go. It doesn't get checked because it's very fragile - my CPAP is fragile too. My CPAP won't go in the overhead bin because I agree with your reasoning. Luggage in the overhead bins tend to shift while in flight, especially during turbulence and I don't want my friendly CPAP to get injured or broken beyond repair. I need my CPAP! 49er, thank you for enlightening me with your wisdom on overhead bins.

Quip

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(This post was last modified: 10-20-2015 03:17 AM by quip.)
10-20-2015 03:15 AM
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quip Offline

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Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2015

Machine: IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP Machine with SmartFlex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: IntelliPAP Integrated Heated Humidifier- Level 4
CPAP Pressure: 6-16
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Diagnosed on 8-15-15 and started CPAP therapy on 9-14-15

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: USA

Post: #22
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-19-2015 05:58 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  Remember, for the CPAP bag to count as a medical bag and be exempt from any bag limit an airline has, the only thing that can be in it is medical supplies. It can be other than CPAP stuff, but it has to just be medical supplies.

Paula, I will only put medical supplies in my CPAP bag. However, I just bought a combination CPAP/computer bag from the [url=http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-CPAP-Supplier-List]Supplier #1[/url] web site (trying to delete at least one bag - my backpack). That's really interesting. Well, I will put my computer in some place else and just pack medical supplies in my CPAP brief case. That way it truly will qualify as a medical bag and will be exempt from the bag limit.

Quote:You say you do not have the prescription? Well, get it. Not just for this, but for your own records. While you are at it, get a copy of your sleep study, too.

The only prescription I have is a letter of medical necessicity from my sleep doc to [url=http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-CPAP-Supplier-List]Supplier #1[/url] that I used to purchase my new CPAP today. The prescription worked because my brand new CPAP will be at my house tomorrow. (I post a new thread to tell everyone more about my new CPAP.). I shall email my sleep doc tomorrow to see if she can provide my with a PDF of my actual prescription and sleep study.

Quote:As for how often mine has be wiped down, it used to get it every time but they've gotten relaxed over the years. Now it seems to really depend on the airport. Charlotte is super paranoid and constantly looking for easter eggs. They even use a mirror under my wheelchair! And it has just inches of clearance! Portland OR just wanted the case opened as far as possible. Didn't want it out. Philadelphia, well, they're so weird. And rough on gear. The last time I flew out of there, they didn't wipe it.

It's interesting for me to find out what different airports do with CPAPs, Paula. A mirror under your wheelchair? That's pretty paranoid, I'd say. I've never heard of that one from a TSA Check Point. I guess when you travel with your CPAP in airports . . . you will experience something different at each and every TSA Security Check Point you enter. Like going into to Charlotte . . . that's a super paranoid airport for some reason and they will probably think the CPAP is a big easter egg. Some of my airports are on the west coast of the USA. My least favorite to fly in/out of is Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Some times TSA Officers in LAX can be overly cautious. I wonder what my first experience will be like going through TSA at LAX with my CPAP? Very interesting indeed. I shall be open to whatever experiences come my way with open arms because of all the great information on traveling in airports with CPAPs that everyone in this thread departed to me!!

Quip
(10-19-2015 06:57 PM)cant_sleep_in_nj Wrote:  I travel weekly for biz as well. been checking my cpap machine in my bag for the last 4 years with absolutely no issue. its way easier to check it than to carry it with my laptop bag. I pack a few extra parts in case i break something but havent yet.

Cant_sleep_in_nj, I don't see how your CPAP machine has been protected all of these years in checked baggage. How do you prepare your CPAP before you check it through to your destination? Do you wrap you CPAP equipment in bubble wrap to protect in from injury or getting permanently damaged? I was just wondering.

Quote:never needed my script but i keep a copy in dropbox and the doctor is only a call away if i need a copy faxed for some reason.

I love dropbox and I have a business account with the University I work for. That's an excellent idea. I shall transfer my letter of medical necessicity from my sleep doc to [url=http://www.apneaboard.com/forums/Thread-CPAP-Supplier-List]Supplier #1[/url] (that in PDF format) and put it in my personal folder in the University dropbox. Thanks for departing your wisdom about the dropbox to me, Cant_sleep_in_nj!

Quip

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(This post was last modified: 10-20-2015 03:21 AM by quip.)
10-20-2015 03:19 AM
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quip Offline

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Posts: 29
Joined: Sep 2015

Machine: IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP Machine with SmartFlex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: IntelliPAP Integrated Heated Humidifier- Level 4
CPAP Pressure: 6-16
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Diagnosed on 8-15-15 and started CPAP therapy on 9-14-15

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: USA

Post: #23
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-19-2015 08:52 PM)Elizabeth25 Wrote:  I'll second the advice to pack an extension cord in your cpap bag. I've had one in my bag but hadn't used it in numerous hotels over the last year. And then 2 weeks ago in San Diego I had a choice of either plugging in the cpap machine or the lamp. Or I guess I could have crawled under the bed just as I was about to drift off, to change the plug. I was glad to have the extension cord.

E25, I also think that is a great idea to carry an extension cord with me for my CPAP machine. I already carry a surge strip with me that has about 5 extra plugs on it. But, I mainly use that for computer equipment. Another idea I had that I should bring along with me (also other PAPers, as well) is a device where you can plug your three pronged CPAP plug into and it will convert into to a two pronged plug for you. Sometimes, you have to do that. I stayed at a very old fashioned hotel that didn't have any three pronged outlets for my surge protector. I didn't have to 3 prong to 2 prong converter plug with me . . . Can you imagine what would happen if that happens when we need to use our PAP machines to sleep with and we didn't have a converter device?

Quote:When going through TSA line I've stopped opening everything up and putting blower on top. Now I just leave it all packed up and no one has asked me to unpack. As others have said, I think TSA and airline people are very familiar with these machines.
Have a good trip.
E25

E25, that is very nice to know that you are now leaving your CPAP packed with your blower up top. My new CPAP bag puts my blower and humidifier side-by-side, along with my other CPAP equipment. I plan on just sending it through like if it's my iPad and see what happens on the other end of the X-Ray machine. I shall wait the TSA response and do whatever they direct me to do. If nothing happens. I will be most pleased. Thanks for wishing me a good trip. I appreciate it

Quip
(10-19-2015 10:05 PM)kaiasgram Wrote:  quip -- Another tip: On many (if not most) airlines you can pre-board with your CPAP machine because you're carrying fragile medical equipment. Pre-boarding also affords you the opportunity to find a good spot to stow your machine. I always put my machine in the overhead bin and then put my carry-on luggage right next to it to secure it in place.

Kaiasgram, I wasn't aware that you could pre-board the airplane with a CPAP machine. You are most certainly right that the CPAP equipment is fragile and if I understand the air rules that govern CPAP machines - they have priority storage space on the airplane. I shall be pre-boarding with my PAP machine while telling the gate agent I have a CPAP machine, so that they are aware of it. Thank you so much for that suggestion. I deeply appreciate it.

Quote:Now, just don't do what I did a few trips back -- when your CPAP machine is rolling through the x-ray tunnel, be sure to be right there when it exits the tunnel -- I got too far ahead of mine on this trip, and turned around just in time to see the open flap of the ResMed bag catch on the edge of the tunnel, the machine made a sharp right and rolled right off the belt and hit the floor. By some miracle the machine was fine, the padding in the ResMed bag broke its fall and was apparently enough to protect it. Oh-jeez

I'm very thankful that your ResMed CPAP was not injured or broken beyond repair, Kaiasgram! That too is a very good thing to look out for. When I get done with the full body scan that the TSA Officers do on me, I am always looking for my luggage on the collection area of the X-Ray machine. The CPAP bag could easily get caught on anything inside of the X-Ray tunnel and fall of the moving belt (like your PAP did to you). I really appreciate your response to me, Kaiasgram.

Quip

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(This post was last modified: 10-20-2015 03:24 AM by quip.)
10-20-2015 03:22 AM
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Homerec130 Offline

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Post: #24
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
My CPAP bag is an overgrown laptop bag with wheels. Got it free from AAA when we booked our Disney trip several years ago. The interior is padded and I wrap my unit in a towel for added protection. The power supply fits nicely at the humidifier end of the bag and I put my surge protector on top of it. Hose fits nicely on the top of the machine and serves to protect the connection for it. Mask has its own bag and sits over the power stuff. My wife's stimulator battery and charger fits next to the hose and we put our meds on top. Extension cord fits in one of the end pockets. It is an odd color (magenta) so it stands out. It usually goes in the overhead bin at either end as my backpack bag will go under the seat in front of me (gives me better legroom). We usually get priority boarding as my wife has some mobility issues.

Homer
10-20-2015 12:58 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #25
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
As for the water issue, it takes a lot of time for the mineral deposits to build up on your tank. A lot of time. And if you use bottled water, you will be fine. The mineral deposits are white-ish areas, usually covering the entire surface wherever the water sits. If allowed to build up further, you can feel the bumps of the minerals. If the humidifier does not run dry (the water evaporates, leaving the minerals behind, which then get "baked" on), and you rinse it well and let it air dry, you'll be just fine. But should you be concerned when you get home, yes, a mild vinegar solution will work. 1:10 vinegar to water mix. It really does not take much. I let mine soak in the sink then take an old tooth brush to it. I change mine out every 6 months because I'd rather do that than be hooked on a jug of water.

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.
10-20-2015 07:00 PM
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eseedhouse Offline

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Post: #26
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-20-2015 07:00 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  As for the water issue, it takes a lot of time for the mineral deposits to build up on your tank. A lot of time. And if you use bottled water, you will be fine.

Most bottled water is no better than, and often not as good as, your local city's water supply.

Ed Seedhouse
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10-20-2015 11:00 PM
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quip Offline

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Machine: IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP Machine with SmartFlex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: IntelliPAP Integrated Heated Humidifier- Level 4
CPAP Pressure: 6-16
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Diagnosed on 8-15-15 and started CPAP therapy on 9-14-15

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: USA

Post: #27
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-20-2015 12:58 PM)Homerec130 Wrote:  My CPAP bag is an overgrown laptop bag with wheels. Got it free from AAA when we booked our Disney trip several years ago. The interior is padded and I wrap my unit in a towel for added protection. The power supply fits nicely at the humidifier end of the bag and I put my surge protector on top of it. Hose fits nicely on the top of the machine and serves to protect the connection for it. Mask has its own bag and sits over the power stuff. My wife's stimulator battery and charger fits next to the hose and we put our meds on top. Extension cord fits in one of the end pockets. It is an odd color (magenta) so it stands out. It usually goes in the overhead bin at either end as my backpack bag will go under the seat in front of me (gives me better legroom). We usually get priority boarding as my wife has some mobility issues.

Homer

Homer, your CPAP bag sound wonderful with wheels on it! The fact that the interior of it is also padded is a huge plus in my book. I like the idea of wrapping a towel around the CPAP machine for extra protection! I will definitely do that for my CPAP for now on while traveling. My Amara View mask has it's own protective bag, as well. So, it will be very easy to pack that in my CPAP brief case. I need to get an additional surge protector and extension cord that is solely for use with my CPAP equipment. I plan on to starting to ask Southwest Airlines for a Pre-Board card because I'm am now traveling with fragile medical equipment which is my CPAP.

Quip
(10-20-2015 07:00 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  As for the water issue, it takes a lot of time for the mineral deposits to build up on your tank. A lot of time. And if you use bottled water, you will be fine. The mineral deposits are white-ish areas, usually covering the entire surface wherever the water sits. If allowed to build up further, you can feel the bumps of the minerals. If the humidifier does not run dry (the water evaporates, leaving the minerals behind, which then get "baked" on), and you rinse it well and let it air dry, you'll be just fine. But should you be concerned when you get home, yes, a mild vinegar solution will work. 1:10 vinegar to water mix. It really does not take much. I let mine soak in the sink then take an old tooth brush to it. I change mine out every 6 months because I'd rather do that than be hooked on a jug of water.

Paula, thanks for answering my questions about water and the CPAP machine. It's very nice to know what a mineral deposit looks like in a humidifier tank - white-ish area that is probably scaly. I don't know the formula for 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water, Paula. Is that like 1 cup of vinegar to every 10 cups of water? or is something like 1 Table Spoon of vinegar to 10 Table Spoons of water? In essence, I'm basically asking how much fluid is in a "1 part", so I can make the vinegar solution to clean my humidifier tank?

Quip
(10-20-2015 07:00 PM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  As for the water issue, it takes a lot of time for the mineral deposits to build up on your tank. A lot of time. And if you use bottled water, you will be fine.


(10-20-2015 11:00 PM)eseedhouse Wrote:  Most bottled water is no better than, and often not as good as, your local city's water supply.

Ed, why is most bottled water no better than tap water? I would think that that bottled water would be a bit better than tap water because it's been processed to become more pure in a water plant.

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(This post was last modified: 10-21-2015 01:18 AM by quip.)
10-21-2015 01:16 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Other Comments: Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility Type; chronic sarcasm

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Location: western NC, USA

Post: #28
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
The ratio of 1:10 is 1 whatever to 10 of the whatevers of the same size. Like, a gallon, that's 128 ounces. But let's round that off to 120. If you put in 120 ounces of water, you'll need 12 ounces of vinegar. If all you are doing is the tank, then it probably holds not much more than a cup or two which would be just a little over an ounce of vinegar. But it doesn't have to be that precise. You want the vinegar to do it's job, if it is needed. But you don't want to pickle your tank either.

Some people take distilled water with them. Some people buy it when they get there. Some people don't care. The reason for the distilled is simply because of the mineral content. If the tap water is low in minerals, it is okay to use in the humidifier. But it will still require cleaning as water naturally contains minerals. The water to avoid at all costs is water you cannot safely drink and water that has left brown stains in the sinks. When traveling, I tend to use bottled water as I cannot stand the "bleach" smell of city water. If I am doing a lot of "hotel hopping", I don't use the humidifier at all unless I am feeling stuffy. One less thing to set up and take down.

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.
10-21-2015 03:19 AM
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quip Offline

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Posts: 29
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Machine: IntelliPAP AutoAdjust Travel CPAP Machine with SmartFlex
Mask Type: Full face mask
Mask Make & Model: Amara View
Humidifier: IntelliPAP Integrated Heated Humidifier- Level 4
CPAP Pressure: 6-16
CPAP Software: Other Software

Other Comments: Diagnosed on 8-15-15 and started CPAP therapy on 9-14-15

Sex: Undisclosed
Location: USA

Post: #29
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-21-2015 03:19 AM)PaulaO2 Wrote:  The ratio of 1:10 is 1 whatever to 10 of the whatevers of the same size. Like, a gallon, that's 128 ounces. But let's round that off to 120. If you put in 120 ounces of water, you'll need 12 ounces of vinegar. If all you are doing is the tank, then it probably holds not much more than a cup or two which would be just a little over an ounce of vinegar. But it doesn't have to be that precise. You want the vinegar to do it's job, if it is needed. But you don't want to pickle your tank either.

Paula, I really appreciate you explaining the 1:10 ratio can be different sizes depending on my needs. So, if I do my humidifier tank, I could do two cups of water with 1 ounce of white vinegar. How long to I let the humidifier tank soak for with the vinegar solution in it or do I just wash it with the vinegar solution? I like your sense of humor . . I most certainly don't want to use too much vinegar either and pickle my tank.

Quote:Some people take distilled water with them. Some people buy it when they get there. Some people don't care. The reason for the distilled is simply because of the mineral content. If the tap water is low in minerals, it is okay to use in the humidifier. But it will still require cleaning as water naturally contains minerals. The water to avoid at all costs is water you cannot safely drink and water that has left brown stains in the sinks. When traveling, I tend to use bottled water as I cannot stand the "bleach" smell of city water. If I am doing a lot of "hotel hopping", I don't use the humidifier at all unless I am feeling stuffy. One less thing to set up and take down.

Now that I have a new PAP machine with a heated humidifier (I will change my PAP equipment profile soon) that has its own cord with a power brink, I am more inclined to detach my humidifier system and leave at home, unless like you said "I'm feeling stuffy". Bottled water work for me, as I do frequent "hotel hopping" during my various business trips. The water that you avoid at all cost sounds like water in Mexico, other places that don't very good sanitation of water and water that you could find in the wilderness. Stuff like that. I agree that by not bringing the humidifier on trips there is one less thing to set up and take down.

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10-22-2015 08:12 PM
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novatom Offline

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Post: #30
RE: Newbie traveling with CPAP in airport for 1st time
(10-18-2015 02:00 AM)player Wrote:  Don't hide your weed in the humidifier.

Best answer yet!
10-27-2015 10:43 AM
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