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surge protector for cpap?
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Inspired Offline

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Post: #1
surge protector for cpap?
Should a cpap be connected to a surge protector? I was going to purchase one but on the box it said "not for use with medical equipment". Thanks for any feedback.

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01-31-2016 02:25 PM
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OpalRose Offline

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Post: #2
RE: surge protector for cpap?
I use one with my APAP, over a year now and no problems.

I would have to take a quess that the warning is meant to "protect" the consumer in case the electric went out or the surge protector failed. But there's no difference if your machine is plugged into the wall outlet and the electric goes out.

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(This post was last modified: 01-31-2016 02:33 PM by OpalRose.)
01-31-2016 02:32 PM
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surferdude2 Online

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Post: #3
RE: surge protector for cpap?
Generally not since the power supply provides adequate isolation & regulation. Don't let that discourage you if you are a "belt & suspenders" type though. Wink
(This post was last modified: 01-31-2016 02:39 PM by surferdude2.)
01-31-2016 02:36 PM
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PoolQ Offline

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Post: #4
RE: surge protector for cpap?
They say that to avoid liability, not because it wont work. I use a computer UPS that provides surge protection and some amount of battery life for less than $100.

I have never had damage caused by lightning but then we don't get much here. If you get a lot then it's not a bad idea. A direct hit will of course fry everything, but a close strike will fry most consumer products. Isolation and regulation are not part of the lighting protection circuit.
01-31-2016 03:24 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #5
RE: surge protector for cpap?
If you have one of the CPAP machines with an external power brick, it's probably pretty well protected. In particular, any damage is likely to be in the external power brick, which is fairly easy to replace.

However, there's little risk of harm in using another surge protector.

I use the fairly cheap, single outlet "surgecube" models on my CPAP machines.

There are more pricey ones that give more protection, but it's a case of diminishing returns.

Whatever type you use, read the directions and understand what the little indicator lights mean. Almost all surge protectors tend to quit protecting after a few surges, and, even though you'll still have power, you won't have protection any more.

The little indicator lights tell you whether the surge protection is still working. Some light up when they're protecting, some light up after the surge protector is broken.

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01-31-2016 05:25 PM
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Sleep2Snore Offline

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Post: #6
RE: surge protector for cpap?
I have never used a surge protector. Never had any problems in 20yrs.
Even been woken up by the power flickering on and off in rapid secession bur to of all things a duck flying into the power lines and being fried. Poor bird died instantly, but it caused the power to fluctuate for ten minutes before it stopped conducting the power.
This didn't touch the CPAP machine, which started working normally when the power proper came back on again.
A lightning strike will kill it in any case, power surge protector or not. The voltage and amps involved would fry anything connected to the power at the time. It is very rare that lightning does get through to the domestic supply in any case, but if you are unlucky the surge protector will make little or no difference.
Though there is no reason not to use one.
If it does say "Do not use with medical equipment" don't.
01-31-2016 08:33 PM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #7
RE: surge protector for cpap?
(01-31-2016 08:33 PM)Sleep2Snore Wrote:  I have never used a surge protector. Never had any problems in 20yrs.
Even been woken up by the power flickering on and off in rapid secession bur to of all things a duck flying into the power lines and being fried. Poor bird died instantly, but it caused the power to fluctuate for ten minutes before it stopped conducting the power.
This didn't touch the CPAP machine, which started working normally when the power proper came back on again.
A lightning strike will kill it in any case, power surge protector or not. The voltage and amps involved would fry anything connected to the power at the time. It is very rare that lightning does get through to the domestic supply in any case, but if you are unlucky the surge protector will make little or no difference.
Though there is no reason not to use one.
If it does say "Do not use with medical equipment" don't.

A surge protector is often the difference between damage and survival for equipment when lightning strikes nearby. When lightning gets into the power lines, it "spreads out" and the voltage and current spread out over many parts of the wiring network. A surge protector reduces the amount of the surge that reaches your CPAP machine.

The example of the duck hitting the power lines is not a good example of power surge. Something like a duck mostly cuts the power on and off. It doesn't usually induce much of a voltage spike on the lines.

Get the free SleepyHead software here.
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If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
02-01-2016 09:38 AM
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archangle Offline
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Post: #8
RE: surge protector for cpap?
(01-31-2016 03:24 PM)PoolQ Wrote:  I use a computer UPS that provides surge protection and some amount of battery life for less than $100.

Don't put much faith in a UPS for surge protection vs. a "normal" surge protector. Most consumer grade UPS's are standby devices. They just connect the power straight through until the voltage goes away and then start generating AC power from the internal battery. They usually have some surge protection built in as a separate circuit, but it's not necessarily better than the surge protection in a stand alone surge protector.

There are UPS's that do a more thorough job of preventing surges, but it's not a given.

And learn to check that indicator light to see if it's still surge protecting on the UPS as well as on a standalone surge protectors.

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.
02-01-2016 09:46 AM
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Homerec130 Offline

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Post: #9
RE: surge protector for cpap?
I have a basic plugged into the wall surge protector that I use on my machine. It serves its purpose and was fairly inexpensive. It goes with me when we go on the road as it also has ports for charging phones and the like.

I do have a commercial grade surge protector/battery backup on my main computer. Don't remember the brand or what I paid for it as it is buried under my desk. I can see the light that says it is working. Smile

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02-01-2016 02:04 PM
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PsychoMike Offline

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Post: #10
RE: surge protector for cpap?
As others have said, they don't hurt.

Where I live, though, I need to find one with some form of capacitance or use a UPS and hope it responds quickly. Our issue isn't over-volting surges, it's undervolting...and a surge protector doesn't help against undervolting and the "slam" back to full voltage. We've had electronics issues because of it and my work IT guy, who lives in the same area, absolutely hates it.
02-01-2016 05:22 PM
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