Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.

Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by BrianJ » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:51 pm

Hello everyone,
I'm a first timer to the site and what a neat site it is! I have a problem I thought someone on this site might be able to help me with...instead of my going back to my equipment provider, whom I'm having a "billing dispute" with. After insurance paid my equipment provider $1,500 for the CPAP unit(described in the following sentence) they are telling me that I owe them an additional $400.00, to make up what insurance did not cover!! I personally feel that's WAAY out of line! I have a REMstar Auto M-series w/ heated humidifier( about 6 months old ) and the "blue LED" on the Humidifier Control Knob keeps blinking?? I've tried everything from making sure the power cords are correct, to the seals on the water tank...still blinking. Any suggestions?? Do I HAVE TO return it to the equipment provider whom supplied me the machine ( sounds logical to do that ) or can I just find a new equipment provider? Thanks everyone...

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by tdm5032c » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:23 pm

I just got the same machine about six months ago and with the humidifier AND the mask the total cost was only $1200 dollars or so, and that was through Apria. You're DME is definitely gouging you.

About the blinking light, there are a number of post on here about this problem if you do a search for it. I searched a few and some of them were solved by just unplugging the machine and humidifer and plugging it back in. Some were solved by simply turning the dial off and then back on again. Can you tell if the water chamber or seals have been leaking? Possibly causing water to get into the base of the humidifier? That can cause problems too I have read on some of the other posts. I just searched a few. Another possibility is if you are using a surge protector or battery back-up unit. If so, try unplugging from that and directly plugging the unit in to the wall to test it.

A few ideas anyway. So far I haven't had any problems with mine, but then again I only use it in passover mode, lol. Hope this helps. LOTS of other good information on here if you use the search feature too.


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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by sleepisgood » Mon Mar 30, 2009 10:53 pm

That price is ridiculous. has the machine and humidifier for $989 list- and they say that's the lowest price they can advertise, but call or chat with them for a better deal. They sell the humidifier alone for $280.

I have the same machine and actually had the same blinking light problem just last week. My machine is 6 months old, and my DME said it was probably a humidifier warming problem. Sure enough, it wasn't using much water and the metal plate wasn't warming up. They gave me a loaner humidifier warmer and sent mine out for a warranty repair.

I thought it was totally bogus that they are billing my insurance $40 for a loaner while a repair is being done under warranty. Charging you $400 for a $280 part that should be under warranty anyway is just bogus. And check with your insurance- most places have insurance contracts that say they have to accept the insurance reimbursement and not bill you for anything above that amount.

My DME isn't perfect, but I do realize they are better than some. Can you change?

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by CorgiGirl » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:52 pm

The flashing light does indeed mean that the heater isn't working anymore. I took mine back to Apria, but they didn't want it. Just gave me a new one and told me to throw the old one away. WTH? No wonder the prices they charge are so #$%^&* high!

Mask: FlexiFit HC432 Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: PR System One 50 Series Heated Humidifier
Additional Comments: This is my current equipment set up
Previous equipment:
Machine: Respironics M series Auto with A-Flex
Humidifier: Respironics M series Heated Humidifier
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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by Gerryk » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:44 pm

Check your connections between your humidifier and machine. If it was bumped and moved enought that it isn't making proper connection it could also cause that. When all your hoses and cords are aff the machine lift the front of the cpap up and off the humidifier and reseat it making sure it is fully seated and try that again.

Good luck.


Mask: Mirage Quattro™ Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
Humidifier: PR System One 50 Series Heated Humidifier
Additional Comments: BiPap auto at 5/14


Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by BrianJ » Tue Mar 31, 2009 8:59 pm

Thanks for the help everyone! I will have the unit checked and will look for a new DME provider also! I did have a couple of questions, if you don't mind. I don't seem to get more that 5 1/2 to 6 (max.) hours of sleep...what has the average been for everybody? Did you all buy your machines from this site and were you reimbursed, through your own submittal of the receipts, from your insurance company?? Thanks!!

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by Pineapple » Wed Apr 01, 2009 8:50 am


First - register and fill in your profile so we know what you have. Yes we have figured out you have a RemStar, but which one? It will be printed in big letters right on top of the machine.

Most of us have to do the "DME fight" because of our insurance (don't get me wrong, there are good DME's, just most of us are here either because of problems with the DME or the doctor) First, call your insurance company and check your coverage (if they'll give you the billing reconciliation even better because it should state what is billable to the patient ) - the PLUS, PRO and AUTO have the same billing code and the insurance company has an agreed to price and don't allow the DME to pass the "overage" along to the patient. The find out who else you can use. Call your DME, ask to speak to a manager, and tell them what the insurance company said and threaten to change DME's. The worst they can say is "go ahead", I don't think they will, because the real money is in the monthly supplies - a least from my DME.

As for buying from, anything the insurance won't cover, that's where I go. If I can find a better price elsewhere, a simple e-mail will get me a price match. I've had no problems at all with their service.

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by oh_possum » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:56 am

You should check with your insurance to see if you are responsible for a percentage. I have to pay 20% with mine. $400, however, seems like a weird number if the total is $1500. If you are on the hook for a percentage, they are supposed to charge you a percentage of what insurance pays, not what they bill - which is almost always much higher.

I'm feeling very lucky with my new DME (which is through my Dr.) They billed me for 20% of what they billed but then told me it would be adjusted based on what the insurance pays. I already knew this but I was kind of shocked that they mentioned it.

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Helpful INFO

Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by Helpful INFO » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:14 pm


I have gone through this whole thing and at first I was furious with my DME folks, however I have since educted myself. I still am not happy but now its not with my DME company but the whole INS racket in general.
Your added costs seem very normal, not liked but normal. A few things to research and understand. DME companies DO NOT SET PRICES, they accept different INS "ALLOWABLES". BCBS may pay 1200, Medicare may pay 1800, CIGNA may pay 400 all for the same machine. Also think back to your first order when you got the machine got (1) CPAP (1) Humidifer (1) long gray tube (1) mask (1) headgear (1) filter now if your INS is only 80% like mine then they paid x mount and the rest is your responsibility, THAT SUCKS BECUSE OF TEH PREMIUMS WE PAY !! but that is not our DME companies fault but the INS.

Another point mentioned was CPAPMANCOM (LOVE IT) for broken masks that INS will only cover every 6 months they are way cheaper,, but the units on CPAPMAN are sometimes refurbished units (nothing wrong if you have no INS) and they are never able to be submitted directly to your INS so you will pay 998.00 out of your pocket versus the 400.00

Last point mentioned was post about DME not wanting the humidifer back, hince the inflated cost. Mine went out due to a error on my part but since it was still under warranty they replaced my unit free of charge, the maker (respironics) did not want the unit back shipping and repair cost more than replacing, hey it's just like the 1.27 cost of a colored shirt at wal mart for 19.99 there is a markup on everything. Cars generally cost under 12,000 but can sell for 38,000 (more or some of your big names, PS dont ever look into that you will really get mad) Anyway so the DME co, can fix it the manf dont want it so you get a new one.

Anyway, i had to pass along what I have found out, BTW my new job INS BILLER....if you only knew the rest of the story

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by elader » Wed Apr 01, 2009 1:52 pm

Which humidifier do you have? The one with the round holes in the water tank or the square ones?

Why do I ask? I have two M series units - the one Apria gave me (the plus) and one I bought and use (the Auto) - the auto came with 80 hours on the blower, but the older style of humidifier (square holes) - I am NOT using that humidifier at all and never will. If mine breaks I will get another from my DME -

so.... if you want to avoid the hassle of the DME, you can have the humidifier and tank (again, the one with the square holes) for some ridiculously low price. You MUST already have this type as it uses a different power supply. But, if you do, let me know, you can have it for the cost of a couple of pizzas and I reclaim 1 square foot of my basement.

PM me if you want it.



Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by terry5869 » Wed Sep 01, 2010 9:40 pm

Is it still ok to use the cpap machine when the light is blinking.

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by Amigo » Thu Sep 02, 2010 4:45 am

For me, the blinking blue light meant failure of the humidifier module. Fortunately it was still under warranty, and there were no hassles.

As an aside, the machine will still function if the humidifier is detached.

Apparently, the M-Series has been "notable" for its humidifier failures.

Humidifier: PR System One 50 Series Heated Humidifier
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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by letchworth » Thu Sep 02, 2010 9:48 am

Yes, the "M" series has had humidifier problems.
All of the earlier advice in this thread about re-seating the unit, turning off the humidifier (then back on), and unplugging the whole xPAP machine-- they worked for me for a while, but there came a time when I concluded that the unit itself was bad (there is a posting somewhere on here that there was a manufacturing defect in certain serial numbers- and mine fell within that group)- I finally called my DME and they responded immediately with a free loaner, and the manufacturer replaced the unit under their 2-year warranty.
I get frustrated with my DME at times---- until I read the horror stories here. Similar to the above story, the whole xPAP machine started acting flaky. I called and they came to my house to pick up the machine- left a free loaner, called me to let me know what was happening, and delivered the fixed and warranty covered machine to my door. Unfortunately I am at the end of my warranty period- so, hopefully the machine is ready for the next few years until I qualify for a new machine.
Price? No where near what you have been quoted. I would definitely search for any copies of paperwork you might have signed when you accepted the machine and talk to your insurance company about the billing problems. If your insurance company is anything like mine, they gave you an approved list of DMEs to contact- that means they had an agreement for billing with these companies-- The DME would NOT want to lose that status---- let the insurance company intercede for you.
The answer to your question about purchasing from and reimbursement from your insurance company lies in your contract with your insurance company. Call them and they can tell you immediately what they will pay for and what they will not cover-- they have no reason not to be straight with you.
Good luck

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by imsleepynomore » Thu Sep 02, 2010 7:52 pm

Apria sent me a letter stating a blinking blue light on my humidifier was an indication of a recall and they would replace without any problem even though I had moved out of the state. Lucky for me mine is not blinking and I have over 500 hours on it Call your DME

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Re: Blinking blue light on M-series heated humidifier??

Post by ruthven78 » Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:35 am

terry5869 wrote:Is it still ok to use the cpap machine when the light is blinking.
To answer your question, no, do not use the humidifier with the light blinking. This may cause the humidifier to overheat and actual catch something on fire! That is why some units have been recalled (yours might have depending on the series/model numbers).

You can turn the humidifier off and it will act as a passover humidifier (ie not heated) which is not as efficient as a heated humidifier. Call respironics or your DME to see if it is under warranty or falls into the recall list.

regarding the original post and follow posts about thinking the price was outrageous....$1400 is an acceptable price for a CPAP unit. Our company charges $1370 for just the CPAP unit. What people dont understand is that prices will vary by location and will NEVER match online sellers. Online sellers make you pay that price in full and leave it up to you to submit it to your insurance, and with some insurances they require an initial rental period (like Medicare) and purchasing the unit outright may void your ability to submit it as a claim. A DME has more overhead than an online retailer including administrative costs as well as the cost of the therapist to set up the machine, so rightfully the DME will charge more. BUT a DME will do all the leg work required by the insurance to submit the claim, and your out-of-pocket is actually equal to, or more often it is less than, the online retailers.

So when complaining you have an out-of-pocket cost of $400 versus $600 with an online retailer, you are actually being rather petty. Also that person should have agreed to the cost of the machine at the time the unit was first set up. I know when I do installs I go over the cost of each piece of equipment that is being sold and what the patient portion is estimated to be. Estimated because insurance always says "this is not a guarantee of benefits" when we pre-authorize the units. A DME wont know what the final coverage is until the claim is actually paid. It isnt the DME's fault if insurance doesnt cover what the insurance company originally quoted, that is on the insurance company. When we check insurances the company will tell us if the patient is elligible, if any additional paperwork is needed for pre-authorization, what the coverage is (usually as a form of a percentage), if the machine can be purchased the first month or if a rental period is required, if there is any deductibles that may still apply and if so, how much of that deductible has been met, and if they have a maximum out of pocket and what of that has been met.

Mask: Ultra Mirage™ Full Face CPAP Mask with Headgear
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