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Best Distilled Water for CPAP Humidifiers

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Robt +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster

I'm a new CPAP user and use the ResMed AirSense 11 AutoSet machine and the Resmed AirFit P10 mask. I'm trying to decide on the water to use in the humidifier. I know that distilled water is recommended and I thought that it would be easy to get....but when I started looking, I realized that there are many types/brands of distilled water . For example on Amazon, prices range from about $0.01 per ounce in grocery stores to over $0.20 per ounce at Amazon and elsewhere. I'd be interested in knowing what other CPAP users use for water in their CPAP humidifiers, e.g. specific brands, specifications etc., (links would be great). Any and all comments/suggestions would be appreciated. Tx.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

I buy reverse osmosis purified water available at hardware stores like Canadian Tire or grocery stores. You bring your own jug and fill 5 gallons for $3. At home I use the large container to fill one gallon containers which I reuse. No consumption of endless plastic water containers. I think the brand name of the machine is UltraPure.

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Robt +0 points · 8 months ago Original Poster

Most of the distilled water I see in pharmacies and grocery stores is "ozonated" distilled water. I wonder then if that is what most people are using for CPAP humidifiers. I thought I reads somewhere that ozonated water should not be used in CPAP machines but I'm not sure about the validity of that. This is why I'm trying to get a feel about what other CPAP users are doing. Do you use distilled water? If so, is it ozonated or non-ozonated? Any particular brands that you are using or have used? Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Tx

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

You should be aware that the humidifier in your CPAP acts as a distillation unit. Essentially only pure water evaporates and increases the humidity of the air you get. I don't think it would make any difference if you used ozonated or non ozonated distilled or demineralized water. When we travel to places like Mexico it is difficult to get demineralized water, so we just use plain bottled water. It does mean that one has to clean the humidifier more often to remove the minerals. Vinegar works best for cleaning where there is a mineral residue.

When you use a CPAP it takes a lot of water. I find it wasteful and not friendly to our environment to keep buying more and more plastic containers of water. That I why I use reverse osmosis bulk water in reusable containers.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

Here is a link to some information on the Reverse Osmosis self service water jug refill service. This is not the specific brand of equipment at our local store, but is essentially the same. This one appears to be available widely including at Walmart's in the US. I have not seen it in Canada, but have not looked at Walmart either as my local store is closer.

https://primowater.ca/self-service-refill-water/

These are intended to fill the glass or plastic water jugs used for home drinking water dispensers. But, I find the 5 gallon blue plastic jugs made for camping to be more convenient with their spout and carrying handle. I use the large 5 gallon container to refill 1 gallon jugs which are more convenient to fill the humidifier with.

This system does not use ozone and instead uses UV treatment which leaves no residual in the water. Ozone would not be a problem either as it is highly reactive and would be long gone as free ozone by the time you use the water. It would be just dissolved oxygen in the water which would be harmless to you and the CPAP machine.

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Sierra +0 points · 8 months ago Sleep Patron

I tried the Primo Water dispenser today at our Walmart. The service basically works, but is a little less convenient than the closer Canadian Tire that I have been using. The price is basically the same at $2.97 for 5 gallons. Your have to pay for it in advance which is a bit more awkward. This Walmart only has one machine and I fill two 5 gallon containers each trip that I make, so I have to do one after another. At Canadian Tire they have at least 3 machines so I can usually fill the two jugs at the same time. All in all, it is an option, but I will continue to go to the Canadian Tire as it is more convenient for me.

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Robt +0 points · 7 months ago Original Poster

Thank you for your valuable comments Sierra. It all makes sense. However, I am somewhat puzzled because all the professionals I spoke to (doctors, CPAP vendors, fitters etc.) regarding my CPAP treatment recommend that distilled water be used. The humidifier on my ResMed AirSense11 AutoSet machine has "Use Distilled Water Only" printed on it. It sounds like you are using something different and I don't doubt that it's working for you. I'm a new CPAP user and want to use what is being recommended to me, i.e., distilled water. I'd be interested in knowing what other posters in this forum are using e.g. distilled, reverse osmosis, boiled water, bottled water, tap water etc. If you're using distilled water, do you use ozonated or non-ozonated water? Brands? As a new user, it would be interesting and helpful to know what others are using. Tx

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

I think that terms get used loosely at times. Perhaps this may help some:

  • Demineralized water - Water that has the minerals removed
  • Distilled water - Water that has had the minerals removed by boiling it and condensing the water to leave the minerals behind. Volatile organic compounds, (VOC's) tend to carry over however, so it is not the purest of waters.
  • Deionized water - Ion exchange resin is used to remove the ionized portion of the water. It is usually preceded by carbon filtration
  • Reverse osmosis (RO) water - Water that has been "squeezed" through a plastic membrane to remove minerals and VOCs. It also is typically preceded by a carbon filter.
  • Ultra Pure Water - Water typically used by the semiconductor and IC manufacturing companies. It is typically produced by putting the water through a reverse osmosis unit followed by ion exchange resin and a degasifier. This would be about the purest water available.

All of these types of water are just fine in a CPAP. I suspect the large majority of people just buy what is convenient and least expensive in the grocery store or drug store. No brand has any advantage over another, but if you really wanted to be super paranoid about it you could buy a water conductivity meter at Amazon. You would want one that measures down to 1 micromhos/microsiemens. Then you could buy a gallon of each brand and type of water to test to see which is the best. Lower is better.

But before you do that, you may want to speak to your doctor about the possibility of having OCD. The reality is that in a pinch even tap water works. It just takes a little more vinegar to clean out the reservoir.

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Robt +0 points · 7 months ago Original Poster

Only one of those listed is "Distilled" water and that is the one that is overwhelmingly recommended by healthcare professionals for CPAP use (try a google search). Do you have information that suggests that anything other than distilled water should be used in a CPAP humidifier? You mentioned that "the large majority of people just buy what is convenient and least expensive in the grocery store or drug store". That may be correct but my guess is that what they are buying is distilled water for use in CPAP machines. Those are my thoughts based on the little time I spent reviewing this. I will use distilled water as long as that is what the "experts" recommend. I don't know any better......

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Sierra +0 points · 7 months ago Sleep Patron

Just use distilled water then. It is all the same.

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