CPAP Equipment: Power Solutions
Battery backups in CPAP therapy are used to travel or to run your machine in case of power outages. There are two main options for batteries: integrated battery backs and stand alone batteries. Integrated battery packs attached to your machine, power it for more than 8 hours and travel very well. Stand alone battery packs vary in size depending on the life of the battery. Many are travel friendly. Some machines require unique or custom power configurations. Check with us first!
Power Solutions FAQs
- What type of power does my CPAP need?
- Most CPAP and BiLevel machines today are designed to operate on both AC and DC voltage. In the United States, the AC current from a wall outlet is 110 volts. Overseas, the AC current is usually 220 or 240 volt. Most batteries produce 12 volt DC current.
We include information about the power needs and capacities on the CPAP.com pages our products. Please see the "Power" tab on any machine product page for this information. You can also see a summary of the voltage range and whether it is DC capable on our Compare Charts.
Here is a video explaining differences in power cords and power supplies of various CPAP machines:
- Will my CPAP operate on DC / battery power?
- All CPAPs will operate on DC power with the use of an inverter to change the current from DC to AC before it reaches the machine. However, many will operate on DC power without the need for an inverter, just a power cord that plugs into the CPAP and ends in a cigarette lighter plug.
Inverters do require a lot of power. If you need to use an inverter to run your machine on battery power, the inverter will probably take about half the life off the battery.
To determine if your CPAP will operate without an inverter, look for a DC outlet on the machine, either at the back or on the side, with a single opening directly in the center. It should be labeled "DC Power" or similar term. You can also review our Compare Charts to see if your machine has a optional DC cable option.
Here is a video describing different DC cable and battery options for various machines:
- What type of battery should I use?
- For longer battery use, we suggest using a deep-cycle marine battery to power the machine. A deep-cycle marine battery is heavier than the oridinary battery, but it has many advantages. The battery is easily found at auto shops and it provides power to the machine for an extended period of time. For example, a CPAP machine set at 10 cm H20 and charged on a deep-cycle marine battery will usually last three nights before it needs to be recharged.
Charging the machine from a car battery is another option. When charged from a car battery, the machine will last nearly eight hours before needing to be recharged. Please Note: It is possible that the car battery will not be able to start the next morning due to the draw of energy consumed by the machine.
There are small, portable battery packs that will operate a CPAP set at 10cm for at least one night, or about eight hours. CPAP.com sells full battery kits that come with everything needed to run your machine off battery power including the correct cables needed for your machine and a battery. You can find the battery kit for your machine here. On each battery kit page, you can input your machine and pressure setting to see an estimate battery life for your machine.
- How do I use a battery to operate my CPAP?
- All machines can connect to DC power. Some machines are configured to operate on DC Power and have a DC power outlet. Other machines require AC power and will need an inverter that turns DC power to AC power.
Having the proper equipment is the biggest key to successfully operating the machine from a battery. For example, if your machine does have a DC outlet and you want to run your machine from a marine battery, be sure to get the correct DC cable for the machine, as well as an adapter cable with alligator clips that fits over the cigarette lighter plug.
CPAP.com sells complete battery kits with everything you need for many machines including the correct cables for those machines and batteries. You can see if there is a battery kit available for your machine here. If you have questions about the specific power needs of your machine, review the 'Power' tab found on the machine's product page, or give us a call at 1-800-356-5221.
- Is there a CPAP that runs on batteries? How long do they last?
- Many CPAPs operate on 12 volt DC power. If your CPAP has a DC outlet, a round, single hole in the back or side of the unit, then you should be able to operate it from a 12 volt DC power source. The appropriate DC power cord is needed but inverter is not necessary. Typically, the DC power cords plugs into the CPAP and end in a cigarette lighter plug. To connect a CPAP directly to a battery, you would need a DC adapter cable that fits over the cigarette lighter plug on the DC power cord and ends in alligator clips.
For the longest usage time, we suggest you use a deep-cycle marine type battery. It will operate most CPAPs at most pressures for about three nights before needing to be recharged. We sell a smaller, portable, rechargeable Battery Pack on our site that will operate most CPAPs and most pressures for one night. We also have battery kits that come with everything needed to run your machine off battery power including the right cables needed for your machine and a battery.
The Transcend Travel CPAP Machine by Somnetics can be set up to have a fail-over, back up battery by using their Transcend Multi-Night Battery. If the power goes out, the machine will automatically switch over to battery power without an interruption to your CPAP therapy. Read about that on the "Power" tab of the Transcend Machine page.
- How do I prepare for power outages with CPAP?
- There are a lot of back up battery choices out there that can give you peace of mind in case of a power outage. The Transcend Travel CPAP Machine has Battery Options available that can set up as a fail-over, back up battery. Review the 'Power' Tab on the machine page.
CPAP.com sells battery packs to accompany your machine if an integrated battery is not available. Visit CPAPtalk for more advice specific to your needs, or view this past thread on the topic here.
- Will my CPAP operate overseas?
- An adapter may be required to plug a US power cord into a wall outlet in a foreign country. CPAP.com sells an assortment pack of World Traveler Power Adapter Plugs, which allow CPAP machines to plug into different types of wall sockets found in different countries.
All the models CPAP.com sell contain power converters that enable the machine to operate on any AC current from 100 to 240 volts without any adjustment.
- How do I prepare for international travel with CPAP?
- To prepare for your international travel, be sure to:
- Check the voltage of your destination. You may need a plug adapter for your machine.
- It is recommended to pack spare parts for your equipment. CPAP.com can ship to most destinations around the world, but you may not want the additional wait and cost.
- Review the general Travel Tip found in this section.
- What travel tips should I know?
- CPAP therapy should be used every night. Your CPAP or BiPAP machine and equipment should go with you on trips. There are some tips to help with your travel:
- Remove Water From The Humidifier. If you are going to take your CPAP humidifier with you, remove ALL water from the humidifier chamber. Water left in the humidifier chamber can be tipped into your machine and cause damage.
- Accompany Your CPAP Through Security. Stay with your CPAP machine. When going through security, security agents will usually need to inspect the CPAP separately. Ask to stay with the CPAP. This way you can watch them handle the CPAP machine, and you can make sure all of your parts (cords, masks, chambers, filters) get back into the bag.
- Plan Your Power Needs. Know what type of power your CPAP requires. If you are going to use a battery, make sure you have all the parts needed to safely run the CPAP on battery power. If you are traveling abroad make sure you have an international adapter plug. Check out the Power Solutions section of the FAQ for more information.
- Identify Your CPAP as Medical Equipment. To help move through security easier, put a Medical Equipment tag on your CPAP bag. We offer a Medical Equipment Luggage Tag.
- Carry a Medical Alert Card. When traveling or handling daily tasks, it is good to carry a Medical Alert card in your wallet. The card will inform emergency personnel that you have obstructive sleep apnea. We offer a Medical Alert card.
- Pack Your Power Cord. Just like people commonly leave cell phone chargers at home or in the hotel, we frequently get calls from travelers who have left their CPAP power cord behind. Check to make sure your cord is packed with your machine before you leave home and when heading back home.
- Bring Spare Parts and Back Up Mask. Like the power cord, items get left behind or misplaced while on the road. Having spare parts and a back up mask will ensure you are not caught without equipment.
- Call Us If You Leave Something. CPAP.com delivers all over the US and to most international destinations. This includes to hotels and resorts. We also have expedited shipping options. If you are in a bind, give us a call 800.356.5221.
- Can I use my Heated Humidifier with my machine if I am running on Battery Power?
- Using a heated humidifier on a 12volt battery power source will significantly reduce the length of time the machine will run. In most cases, usage is reduced to less than half the estimated operational time. CPAPs or BiPAPs requiring inverters reduce the power time even more.
Please note that some heated humidifiers are not capable of being operated on 12volt battery power sources. The later M Series heated humidifiers with the 6'' 'pigtail' connectors are capable of running on 12volt DC power sources. Earlier model M Series heated humidifiers without the pigtail are not 12Volt capable.
For optimum performance of your battery, plan to use your CPAP without the heated humidifier. You may also have the humidifier connected and filled with water, but without the power turned on. This changes a typical heated humidifier into a passive humidifier.
We suggest testing the battery setup you are planning to use with your machine in advance. To determine the actual amount of power time you will receive and whether or not heated humidification is required for your comfort, test the battery at home before traveling.
- How do I dispose of an old or damaged battery?
Lithium-ion (Li-Ion) and small sealed lead-acid (SSLA/Pb) batteries should be recycled and/or disposed of in accordance with local regulations. These batteries should not enter the solid waste system since they may have a negative impact on the environment and waste management process.
Please contact organizations committed to responsible recycling of batteries. Lead-acid batteries may also be taken to a location where automotive starter batteries are accepted.
Lead-acid batteries include:
- Respironics Lead Acid Battery
Lithium-ion batteries include:
- ResMed Power Station II Battery
- Transcend Multi-Night Battery
- Z1 Battery
- How can I get help from a CPAP expert?
- By Live Chat: Click on the Chat now field in the lower right hand corner of the CPAP.com page. If after hours, click Leave a message to enter your question and we will get back in touch with you.
- By Phone: 800.356.5221 (8 AM - 10 PM CST Mon-Fri; 8 AM - 6 PM CST Sat)
- Email Us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ask A Question: Question Submission Form
- By Fax: 866.353.2727
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Did You Know, Power Solutions
- Portable CPAP batteries can power a machine for about eight hours before it must be recharged.
- If your machine does not have the ability to directly hook up to a battery or dc power source, you can use an inverter or converter depending on your machine.
- A typical rechargeable CPAP battery can power a CPAP machine for eight hours on average.
- If your battery isn't holding the charge it should, it may be time to change the cell.
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