How long has that hose been in use? In one of my more organized moments (pretty rare, I must admit) I set up a replacement schedule for my PAP accessories for both myself and my better half. I track when each item was put into service and when, according to the manufacturers’ replacement schedule, it should be removed from service.
That might help, if the cause is age. Plastic may be eternal in the ocean, but in day to day use it can break down in inconvenient and unanticipated ways.
If it’s not a vintage hose, consider what you are using to clean it. Perhaps the cleaning solution is not plastic-friendly. I assume you are not using anything involving O3 or UV light, because they can cause plastic deterioration and loss of machine and accessory warranties.
Of course, it just could simply be a defective hose and that problem sounds as though it could be a short, in which case your instinct not to tamper with or touch it was, of course, spot on.
Another thought: Is your local electrical service subject to outages and electrical surges associated with the restoration of power? My area is, and I had SO many appliances fried, that I eventually installed a whole house surge protector in addition to surge protectors on key (or expensive) appliances. Then, of course, you need to keep an eye on your surge protectors, because they, too, can require replacement. The surges can also fry them. They have only so many lives to give for the cause.
Another possibility: Have you recently tried to use it in an unconventional setting? I once managed to fry a humidifier unit by using it during a long intercontinental flight and failing to unplug it prior to the plane switching over to land power. The switchover power surge fried the humidifier, which went unrecognized at the time— and that was a tough problem to diagnose after the fact. The whole machine would not work when attached to the humidifier. “But this was long ago, in another country, and besides the wench (machine) is dead” (It was a RESMED Gen 7.)
The only problem I’ve had with the heated hose is related to the connection to the mask, which isn’t tight enough and sometimes the hose and the mask become disconnected, which is a problem. But the heated hose has gone a long way to eliminating that very annoying rainout, which was a significant issue for me because I prefer a pretty cool sleeping environment— kind of like a meat locker. (My better half, of course, has the metabolism of a lizard.)
According to SleepyHead, which I believe is accurate, my first use of the machine was April 4, 2018, and this is the original hose. All I use to clean it is vinegar, Dawn dish detergent, and water. No UV or ozone. I do have a whole house surge protector, but in general our power system is pretty reliable. About the only out of the usual use it sees is when we use our trailer without AC power. In that case I use a ResMed 12 to 24 volt, DC to DC converter. I don't really recall when I first saw it, but perhaps about a year ago I noticed the yellowed discolored area on the connector. My suspicious is a bad electrical connection under the plastic.
On your issue with the loose connection, I have had that issue too, and it seemed to get worse and worse. I wrap several layers of Scotch Magic tape to the male mask part. And, interestingly when I got the new hose yesterday and connected the mask to it, the connection was very tight. I had to remove the Magic tape. My conclusion is that while the plastic aged/overheated, it also lost strength and stretched. Will have to see how long the new hose stays tight.
It DOES sound like a bad electrical connection combined, perhaps, with age.
Did you happen to check the manufacturer’s recommended replacement schedule? I doubt that it is nearly as long as a year…..probably more like six months, but that should be checked.
However, it sounds as though, at more than three years of age, yours was probably well overdue for retirement.
I try to be vigilant wrt replacement schedules, because as plastics age, they can breakdown and emit volatile organic compounds, and other toxic or carcinogenic substances. I don’t want to be breathing those long term.
And our PAP peripherals and accessories are mostly plastic and get daily eight hour use in an environment of heat and humidity. Hence, the recommended replacement schedules. Of course, there is also the possibility of the buildup of biofilms or other infection control issues.
So, although the hose or mask may LOOK like new long after the recommended time for replacement, it may be a better idea to try to stick more closely to the recommended replacement cycles.
I’m going to try taping the mask/hose connection.
I would have thought that they could have used a more durable material that can take some temperature. Probably a Teflon or Viton material would work better. But, it may very well be that the manufacture is more interested in selling replacement hoses than in making a durable product. It would also be good if the product was safe to use. I recall another contributor here, BigUglyGremlin, had some issues with getting zapped by his heated hose.
I've tried very hard to forget about that Sierra.
Thanks ever so much for the untimely reminder! :(
Dear Sierra and BUG: I am about to start work on a Patient’s Bill of Rights WRT Medical Devices.
Please weigh in with any ideas and thoughts you may have.
Some time ago I read an article, likely in CBC online news, about the risks and dangers of medical devices. There was a database that you could look up specific machines and types of machines and the actually statistics of problems. My memory was that the most dangerous medical devices are insulin pumps. If they fail and pump too much insulin that can kill you. No recollection now what the details where on this website where you could look up devices was.
This was all I could find in a hurry.
This may be the database I was thinking about. I did a search for incidents with the "CPAP" term and got 175 incidents. A search for "Insulin pump" returned over 17,000 incidents.