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Common CPAP Problems

If you recently purchased a new PAP machine you shouldn’t be experiencing any major issues with how the device performs. However, as machines age, and with continual use, problems may begin to occur. The following is a list of common problems and possible solutions to help you troubleshoot the most common PAP problems at home.

Machine is not turning on

Problem: Suddenly your machine won’t turn on

The Fix: Try to reset the machine. Most machines sit in standby mode when not in use, so simply turning the machine off completely and back on may fix the issue.

  1. Unplug and re-plugging the power adapter into your machine. Be sure the power cord is fully inserted into the back of the unit.
  2. Check the power cord for damage and ensure the power adapter is properly plugged into the wall outlet and the back of the machine.
  3. Replace your power cord if there are any signs of damage; replace the power brick if the small light located on the top of it is no longer on (Power Cords)
  4. Try plugging the power cord and machine into a different electrical outlet in your home to test if the original outlet is working properly.

Humidifier problems

Problem: Your machine has a heated humidifier but the water remains cool or the water level never goes down while the machine is in use. These are the signs that the humidifier may not be working properly.

The Fix: Check your machine’s sleep report. Some PAP devices will indicate on the machine screen whether the Humidifier system is working properly or not.

  • If the machine indicates the humidifier is not functioning correctly, review CPAPmart’s Return and Warranty Replacement policies HERE as it may need to be repaired or replaced under warranty.
  • If the machine indicates the humidifier is working properly, test the device further by running the ‘Warm-Up’ feature if available on your device. After running the warm-up feature, the bottom of the humidifier tub should be warm to the touch. If it’s not, the device is not working properly and needs to be repaired or replaced. Review CPAPmart’s Return and Warranty Replacement policies HERE.

The Humidifier should be quiet when it’s running. If you find that it’s getting noisy consider the following:

  1. Ensure that the Water tub is inserted correctly into the machine.
  2. Check the Water tub for cracks or other visible damage. If there is any damage, replace the tub (Water Tubs)
  3. If the noise continues, review CPAPmart’s Return and Warranty Replacement policies HERE as your machine may need to be repaired or replaced.

Excessive water in Tube

Problem: Condensation or ‘Rainout’ can occur if you are using your PAP machine with the heated humidifier. As air travels through your tubing, its temperature decreases rapidly. As the air cools, the moisture from the air turns into droplets inside the tubing. There are several solutions that can help prevent rainout from occurring.

The Fix: if you are using a standard (non-heated) tube, consider using a heated tube instead (Tubes), as this will help keep the airflow temperature consistent. Alternatively, try using a tube wrap found HERE to help insulate your tube better.

If you are already using heated tube, adjust the temperature settings of the heated hose or consider adjusting the temperature in the room where you sleep. If there is a large difference in temperature between your sleeping environment and the heated hose temperature, rainout will occur.

Experiencing Dry Mouth

Problem: PAP therapy itself will not lead to dry mouth however, if you sleep with your mouth open during the night while using your PAP machine you will likely wake up feeling parched, congested and even have a sore mouth. Chronic dry mouth can also lead to a number of other health problems such as dry lips, bad breath, tooth decay, gum disease and mouth soreness.

The Fix: Determine if there are any mask leaks during your sleep by checking your therapy data. In most cases leak of greater than 24 L/min is considered too high.

  • If you are using a Nasal or Nasal Pillows mask, consider switching your mask to a Full Face mask Alternatively, use a Chin Strap with your Nasal Pillows or Nasal mask to help keep your mouth closed while asleep
  • Consider using Mask Liners or Aeromate cream found HERE to help improve the seal of your mask cushion.
  • Ensure that you are using the correct cushion size for your mask. A cushion that is too big or too small will not seal properly and will cause a high leak. At the bottom of each of our mask pages you will find the sizing guide for that particular mask (for the AirFit N20 mask, for example, you can find it HERE )
  • Consider switching to a different mask that fits your face structure better than your current one. This may provide a more comfortable and secure seal.
  • Use the “Run Mask Fit” feature on your unit (if available) to test the fit of your mask before you lay down to sleep.

Ensure that you use the built-in Heated Humidifier. Most PAP machine models come with a built-in Heated Humidifier to provide extra comfort while using the machine. The humidifier allows you to adjust the level of humidity the machine provides.

  • Check that the humidifier tub is in good condition by inspecting it for any visible cracks or damage, water build-up, black mold, or discoloration. If any damage is present, replace the tub (Water Tubs)
  • Adjust the humidity level based on your comfort – increase it to add humidity if you are feeling dry and decrease it if you are feeling overwhelmed with moisture.
  • Consider using a Heated Tube. Using a heated tube (Tubes) will help keep the airflow temperature consistent and will work in conjunction with the machine’s heated humidifier to provide optimal comfort levels.

Need more help? Try booking a video consult with one of our Clinical Support Specialists for further assistance.

Download a copy of this information HERE