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Why Is Distilled Water Used in CPAP Machines?

By Donna Wallace ; Updated July 27, 2017

According to The Children’s Hospital in Denver, Colorado, continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines should only be filled with distilled water. The distillation process removes contaminants and pollutants from the water, protecting the patient and equipment.

Process

Distilled water is created by heating the liquid until it evaporates, which only affects the water molecules, so residue is left behind. The purified water is cooled until it becomes a liquid and is packaged as distilled water.

Patient

Sleep apnea patients breathe the water vapor when using a CPAP machine. Distilled water is used to protect the patient from breathing pollutants, minerals and other bacteria.

Equipment

Because distilled water contains no contaminants or pollutants it does not harm the CPAP equipment, as minerals, lime and other bacteria can leave residue on the inside of the water chamber and corrode metal in the chamber.

Regulation

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulates distilled water under the category of “bottled water.” The regulations ensure that the water is safely prepared and packaged and meets the federal government’s safety standards.

Maintenance

The CPAP machine’s water chamber should be cleaned and emptied each day, and fresh distilled water should be added each evening.

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