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Noisy Machine Troubleshooting

The motor on most new PAP machines is almost silent when turned on. If you find that your machine's noise is bothersome or too loud, there are several things to check that might be causing your machine to be making excessive noise. It might not even be the machine itself that’s causing the noise. Follow these steps to troubleshoot your noisy machine at home.

Check the Humidifier Tub

If the tub is not inserted properly, the interior silicone seal is damaged, or humidifier is more that 6 months old it may cause additional noise while the machine is running.

  1. Remove the tub from the machine and check to make sure there are no cracks or other signs of physical damage. Check the silicone seal for water build-up, black mold or discoloration. Dry the tub and then fill it with water. Watch for any leakage.
  2. If there is no visible damage, reinsert the tub making sure to insert it completely into the device, turn on the device and see if the noise has resolved. If the noise continues, try inserting a new tub and test again.
  3. If there is a crack, other signs of damage, issue with the silicone seal or water leakage, or the tub is older than 6 months, replace the tub (Water Tubs)

Check other Accessories

If the accessories and/or device parts are not functioning properly, they can cause the machine to make excessive noise.

  • Check the Air Filter. Make sure it is not clogged and replace it if dirty. Always be sure to change the machine filter regularly according to the device manufacturer’s replacement frequency guidelines. (Filters)
  • Check the Tubing connection. Is the Tubing inserted properly? If using a Heated Tube with a chip ensure the chip is inserted in the back of the machine properly and that the tube has been “clicked” into place; if using a standard, non-heated Tube, make sure that the air outlet of the PAP device is being completely covered.
  • Has the Tubing been stretched or is there a hole? The ends of the tubing are rubber and will stretch over time. As any source of air loss can cause noise. If your tubing is coming off your mask or machine easily, it needs to be replaced.
  • Does your tube have a hole? Even a tiny pin prick size hole can cause excessive noise. Inspect the tube carefully and replace the tube if needed. (Tubes)

How old are the Accessories?

Machine parts are not designed to last much more than 6 months with normal use. Over time, the machine accessories may start to work less effectively, leading to unwanted noise. Always refer to the manufacturer’s replacement frequency guidelines and consider replacing the accessories when needed.

Mask Leak

If your mask is not fitting well or positioned properly it will leak air while in use. The sound of this leak could be a possible source of the noise. 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.

How old is your mask?

Masks are not designed to last more than 6 months with regular use. Over time due to wear and tear, a PAP mask will loose it’s seal and start to work less effectively. Always refer to the manufacturer’s replacement frequency guidelines and consider replacing your mask or cushion.

Other things that could be causing excessive noise

EPR feature of your machine: An EPR or “Expiratory Pressure Relief” is an advanced comfort feature that will reduce the pressure from your CPAP when you exhale, making it easier to breathe and helping your therapy feel as natural as possible. When this feature is turned on, the fan in the PAP machine will spin up and down with each breath which may cause the machine to sound noisier.

Try turning the EPR setting down or completely off on the machine. Doing so will decrease the noise of the fan. ***Keep in mind that with this setting change, you may find it harder to tolerate the pressure while sleeping.

Machine Vibration or noise on the nightstand: If your PAP machine sits directly on your bedside table it can cause excessive vibration noise against the table’s surface.

You can fix it by placing a towel or a silicone mat under your PAP machine to help absorb the vibration. This will also help to protect your nightstand from any water leak that may accidentally occur from the humidifier.

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