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General Discussion on any topic relating to CPAP and/or Sleep Apnea.
cpapguru38
 
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cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby cpapguru38 on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:04 pm

we always here we should stay away from electrical appliances during close thunder storms. Well, what about using your cpap? We have a huge thunderstorm here tonight. Any chance a strike could travel up the cpap machine through the mask and fry me? :oops:

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Goofproof
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby Goofproof on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:26 pm

YES! But there's more of a chance of a tree blowing over, and crashing through the roof, into your bed, forcing you through the bed springs, as hamburger. In this world we can worry about all things, but the ones that are going to get you will happen without your intervention. Mother Nature won't hunt you down, she will sneak up on you from behind. :lol: Jim

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Last edited by Goofproof on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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JeffH
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby JeffH on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:30 pm

I live in the middle of tornado alley. I've been on cpap since december of 98. Every night. Never had a problem and during that time had the house hit by lightening, and still no problems. You'll most likely be fine.

JeffH

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BleepingBeauty
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby BleepingBeauty on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:37 pm

cpapguru38 wrote:we always here we should stay away from electrical appliances during close thunder storms. Well, what about using your cpap? We have a huge thunderstorm here tonight. Any chance a strike could travel up the cpap machine through the mask and fry me? :oops:


I'd guess it's possible. If it's a worry that'll keep you up nights :wink:, it might be worthwhile to invest in a backup battery for your CPAP and use it whenever it's stormy.
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kteague
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby kteague on Fri Apr 10, 2009 9:48 pm

Well, I guess anything could happen, but I would hope as long as the machine is not sitting on the headboard that any electricity wouldn't travel the plastic hose (those coils are plastic aren't they?). I'm not real up on electricity, but I would be concerned more about the machine getting fried by a surge. Any electricity gurus here that can say with any certainty if there is any possibility of a person getting zapped in this manner?

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junie
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby junie on Fri Apr 10, 2009 10:34 pm

I live where we have Hurricanes, nor-easterns, flooding, knock on wood ok so far.

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kopoloff
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby kopoloff on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:24 am

I think the greatest risk here is if the power lines are hit by a lightning strike. It's not the risk of getting fried that you should worry about, its the risk of getting hit by pieces of exploding CPAP machine.

If there's a lightning storm nearby I'd take the mask off, unplug the machine from the wall and go read a book.

And for those of you who've lived through these things so far without incident, put it down to good luck. Next time your luck may reverse. just because it hasn't happened, doesn't mean it can't. And an exploding CPAP machine is probably a pretty poor cure for OSA

Cheers

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Fredman
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby Fredman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 12:55 am

cpapguru38 wrote:we always here we should stay away from electrical appliances during close thunder storms. Well, what about using your cpap? We have a huge thunderstorm here tonight. Any chance a strike could travel up the cpap machine through the mask and fry me? :oops:


Your mask and hose do not conduct electricity...worse case scenario, your house gets hit or there is a power surge - cpap is fried, you wont' be! :lol:

I would make sure that your cpap is connected to a power strip (bar) with surge protection. Or if you are really really worried. Install or have an electrician install a Ground Fault Interrupter GFI outlet. Chances would be if your house was to be hit by lightening probably the roof would be hit first, it is the highest part of your house and electricity generally strikes the highest point.

I think your chances are fairly slim BUT Kopoloff provides some very good advice.
Cheers!

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kopoloff
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby kopoloff on Sat Apr 11, 2009 1:35 am

in the case of a lightning strike, a domestic surge protection device will not provide protection. They rely on air gaps for isolation. Lightning type energy levels by definition will leap with consummate glee across a small air gap. And it's unlikely that the protection device will be able to respond that fast.

I used to work in the telephone industry. Telephones are near head type devices that are connected to a massive conductive grid, so they are at risk of lightning damage. Telephones all had surge protection devices built in, but these were only intended to provide protection if a mains supply of say 110 VAC somehow got itself across the telephone systems 50 VDC supply. The advice we always got was that in case of a thunderstorm, stop talking and put the phone down. That's because lightning can be squillions of volts, and can leap small buildings at a single bound, faster than a speeding locomotive. The phone would just go KAPOW and burn your hair as it explodes into a molten plasma.

Better to ring the mother in law back tomorrow

K

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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby kebsa on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:23 am

i just double checked the literature that came with the surge protector i use to protect my computer etc as it has an insurance policy and it does not protect lightning strikes, i guess when it comes to electrical appliances and lightening nothing will prevent lightening damage. i only bother with surge protection at all because we had a power surge that wrecked appliances in several homes and took a while and a lot of wrangling to sort it out with the electrical supplier. i do avoid using telephones during electrical storms but i have not worried too much about using the vpap- mainly because i guessed that if there really were any risk RESMED would have had a blurb in their manuals to protect their butts!

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kopoloff
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby kopoloff on Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:07 am

Ok kebsa, my advice, worth exactly what you are paying for it, is to heed the hint from the surge protector manufacturer. You are right, nothing except a complete faraday shield will protect an appliance that gets stuck by a ligtning surge, and if you are close to it, you'll get a bit of a fright too.

In a thunderstorm, the prudent thing to do is to disconnect the computer, stereo, TV, fridge, CPAP etc etc.

K

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Last edited by kopoloff on Sat Apr 11, 2009 5:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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bdp522
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby bdp522 on Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:25 am

My neighbors house was struck by lightning some years ago(before I was on xpap). The bolt of lightning hit right where the power goes into their house. We watched the little blue ball of power come across the power line to our house. It blew out the appliances, melted the pc board in our alarm system, fried all the alarm contacts on the windows, melted the adapters for our phone chargers, and the TV turned itself on just before it fried. Lights that were off turned on for a fraction of a second before the bulbs blew out. Surge protectors did nothing to help. The house shook so badly that I even had dishes break in the cabinets.
Now if there is a threat of an electrical storm, I unplug everything possible. I use my Everest cpap on battery power.

Brenda

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cpapsue
 
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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby cpapsue on Sat Apr 11, 2009 6:43 am

This doesn't answer your question, but here's an experience I had with lightning about 20 years ago.

I was in bed, half asleep, watching tv when there was a gigantic noise - all my phone lines lit up and the phone rang (due to business we had the old style 6 buttons across the bottom with hold). I picked up the receiver with the hand my watch is on, no one was there of course (after that, my watch - which had always run a few minutes slow - was in hyper time, gaining 15 minutes or so an hour!)

My tv blew out. Any weirdest thing of all was that both toilets began to run constantly. I got up to 'giggle' the handle of one which didn't stop it - I took off the lid and the chain had gotten looped over the arm. After I fixed the first one, I heard the other running. It had the same problem!

Even though those events seem unrelated - it all happened in a split second when the lightning must have hit the house somewhere.

Who knows what would happen to a cpap!
Last edited by cpapsue on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:22 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby Bearded_One on Sat Apr 11, 2009 7:08 am

If you are concerned about lightning strike while using your xPAP, unplug your xPAP and your backup battery charger, and run your xPAP from your battery.

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Re: cpap use during thunderstorm

Postby Fredman on Sat Apr 11, 2009 11:42 am

Bearded_One wrote:If you are concerned about lightning strike while using your xPAP, unplug your xPAP and your backup battery charger, and run your xPAP from your battery.



Good idea, we had a lightening storm here last night, first one this year. :D I guess I should look into battery backup power for emergency situations...be a good boy scout! :lol:
Cheers!

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