Practical Tips to Troubleshoot a CPAP That Stops Working Suddenly

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We all value our precious sleep! Yes, some consider sleep to be one of the most important events of their day! But, just picture this: You are dealing with sleep apnea and must use CPAP therapy.

Yet, suddenly, in the deep of the night, the CPAP machine stops working! What will you do? You bought this valuable machine for $800; now, it has turned into junk in a few seconds! You are annoyed, frustrated, and sleep-deprived. This is the worst nightmare users of the CPAP machine often have to deal with.

How can you solve this? You might be trying to repair your CPAP machine for the first time. You don't have to visit the service center. Just follow our guide in this post and, voila! The problem will soon be solved; yes, you can continue enjoying a peaceful sleep at night.

The Steps to Troubleshoot a CPAP Machine That Has Stopped Working

Try to Bypass the Humidifier

Veteran CPAP users know that the humidifier is the most delicate part of your CPAP machine. Try this tip: Detach the humidifier from your CPAP machine. Next, try attaching the tube directly to the machine. Is the machine now running?

If it’s running, it means the problem is identified- you simply need to replace the humidifier. It costs between $200 and $ 400. But how does this compare to buying a new machine from the shop? To assist you, always have your prescription readily available- it will help you replace the humidifier-if this becomes necessary. If you try this and the machine is still not working, it means there are other reasons for the problem.

Check the Air Passage if Your CPAP Machine Beeps Constantly

You know the familiar sound- beep beep! Well, if the smoke detector doesn't produce this disturbing noise, the next culprit must be obvious- it's your CPAP machine! What could be wrong?

There might be issues in the air passageway. Check whether the connection between the machine and the hose is okay; ensure it’s airtight.

The problem could also be a power malfunction. Try unplugging the machine from the power supply. Let it alone for 3 minutes, then plug it in. Now, turn the machine on; if this tactic works- fantastic. If it doesn’t, there’s a problem inside the machine. You need to contact the manufacturer or a licensed repair service to check the machine.

How to Troubleshoot A CPAP Machine That Won’t Power on

Of course, you know it- your machine needs electricity to work. So, what if you plug it in and it refuses to start? Check if there's any problem with your power cord. Are there faults and cracks? Find out.

If that’s the case, it means you need a new power cord. Happily, you don’t require a prescription to purchase a new power cord.

How to Fix a Machine that’s Not Blowing Air

Try Using New Filters and Tubes

What if the CPAP machine isn’t blowing out the pressure? You can fix this by replacing the tubes and filters. This will also extend the longevity of the machine. Many manufacturers advise that you change the filters once a month if you’re using the CPAP overnight.

Moreover, it's advisable to change the tube after every 1- 3 months. You'll get plenty of benefits. If the filter is dirty, your CPAP won't generate the normal pressure since it's blowing through a filter that's clogged.

Lastly, it's imperative to ensure the CPAP tubes are cleaned from time to time. You can clean the tubes using water and soap; you can also use a specialized CPAP sanitizer machine.

Here are a Few Benefits You’ll Get:

  • Hygiene – You’ll get rid of the warm, moist air that causes mold and bacteria.
  • Performance – Your flexible tube will gradually develop small holes, cracks, and tears. These reduce the CPAP machine's effectiveness because the pressure reaching your mask is reduced by escaping air.

How to Fix High Leakage Issues

If you detect high leakage, check your water tub, the tub seal, or side cover. It's possible the water chamber isn't properly inserted. Remove the chamber and reinsert it. Check the seal on the water chamber. Maybe it's not inserted correctly. Open the water chamber to verify whether the seal is correctly inserted.

Try connecting the tubing- it may not be properly connected. Verify if the tubing is correctly connected at both ends. Lastly, is the mask well-fitted? You can use the mask fit feature to check its fitness and seal.

What to Do if the Heated Tubing Fails to Warm

If you discover that the hot plate located under the water chamber isn’t warming, it means you have a problem to solve. As the air passes over the water, some evaporation will occur. If the heating element is dysfunctional, this will often happen at a lower rate.

You can get more evidence that there's a dysfunction if the air produced is unusually cool. If the water is condensing inside the heated tubing, this may suggest that the humidity setting needs a reset- it's too high. Alternatively, the tubing may not be properly connected, or it's simply not working.

What it Means If the Water Doesn’t Go Down (Humidifier Malfunction)

If you don’t have to refill the heated humidifier tank more than once every 2-3 days, this could suggest that the humidity settings and the temperature should be adjusted. In fact, if the water never goes down, it means the humidifier isn’t working at all.

What to Do if the Water Runs Out Before Morning

In some cases, you’ll discover that the water in the water chamber often runs out before morning. Check whether the chamber was not full when the session started.  Also, find out if the mask leaks excessively-the ambient conditions may be dry and cool.

Check if the water chamber reaches the maximum line at the start of the therapy session (check the marker). Is your cpap mask fitted properly? Check and confirm whether the machine, the humidifier, and its seals and tube are correctly fitted. Readjust the humidification mode and set it to “Adaptive Humidification.” Alternatively, just lower your humidifier settings.

How to Fix a CPAP That is Too Noisy

If the CPAP machine is too noisy, it will disturb you and your partner- you may not sleep well.  Since most modern machines are virtually silent, you shouldn’t have a problem unless you’re oversensitive to noise. In this case, you can try using earplugs.

Overall, this is how to fix a machine that’s too noisy: Ensure any defective parts are changed monthly. To ensure its running smoothly, the parts should be changed whenever they’re discolored. If you use a Bi-Level machine, you’ll often hear a slight noise. This happens when the pressure is transitioning between exhalation and inhalation settings.

Moreover, you’ll hear a slight noise if you’re using the AutoCPAP. This also happens when it’s changing pressure. If the machine continues to be noisy, it means there’s a different problem. Take the machine to the CPAP supplier for evaluation and checkup.

Always Have Your CPAP Prescription Ready

Many people are unaware that you need a prescription to replace the CPAP machine. It’s fantastic if you kept your prescription safely. If you misplaced or lost it, make arrangements to have it. You can visit your doctor and tell him about the situation. In most cases, you will get a new prescription.

However, it might be a bit problematic if the doctor is retired or moved away to another city. If this is the situation, you can get a prescription online from a licensed physician. Use this prescription to replace your CPAP machine.

Check Your Insurance Policy’s Validity on the CPAP Replacement

Most insurance providers allow for the replacement of a CPAP machine once after every 5 years. You automatically qualify (under this policy) to get a CPAP replacement if you have been using your machine for 5 years.

You merely have to prove your CPAP machine is actually broken. You may need to be a little patient because the insurance authorities must follow specific protocols before delivering a new CPAP machine. This can time some time.

Final Thoughts

Clearly, a CPAP machine is crucial in dealing with sleep apnea. You can’t have it breaking down suddenly in the middle of the night. Learn a few tips to troubleshoot your machine before rushing to obtain a new one-the problem may be in the accessories rather than the machine itself.

Check the humidifier settings, filters, power cord, and tubing. Ensure they're connected properly. Finally, check the warranty details to know whether you qualify to get a new machine- if at all you must.

Yes, get a good night’s sleep with your CPAP machine.

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