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CPAP Distilled Water

Good morning.
May I ask two questions?
1). Where have you found distilled water in Barcelona to purchase for CPAP machine?

2). Will we need to pack an extension cord w/converter due to likelihood of distant plug locations in RS Best of Spain tour hotel bedrooms?
We appreciate your CPAP travel experience. Thank you for any and all help.

Posted by
15717 posts

Are you sure you need a converter? Many of today's devices are dual voltage. If yor device says something like 110-240v all you will need is a plug adapter.

A coverter changes voltage. An adapter changes the plug to use in Europe.

Posted by
6673 posts

It's better to buy an extension cord in Spain instead of packing one. That way you avoid running 230 V through a cable for 110 V.

Posted by
2765 posts

So we bought distilled water for my friend on a recent trip. We had to buy at a pharmacy and it was incredibly expensive (like €18 for a tiny container.)

Posted by
7026 posts

You do NOT need distilled water for your CPAP when traveling. Seriously. Ask your doctor if you don't believe me. I never use distilled water when traveling. I use bottled water or water from the tap. All distilled water does is keep minerals from accumulating in the reservoir. But for the period of time that most people travel, it is not needed. Every few days just wipe out the reservoir with a clean towel or washcloth, and that removes any mineral deposits.

There is no need to spend time and money looking for distilled water.

Posted by
237 posts

Agree with Badger; just get an extension cord in Barcelona. I have had good luck getting distilled water in supermarkets, in their laundry or cleaning aisle since distilled water is commonly used in irons. It was not expensive. However, as others have said, using bottled water for a short period of time will not affect the machine, just wipe your water reservoir out every once in a while as needed.

Posted by
10363 posts

The only problem with the distilled water in the laundry section is that the bottle says “not for use in breathing devices.” But we don’t know why it says this. However, looking closely at one bottle, I saw something had been added and it wasn’t 100% pure water. So read the label carefully when buying water from the laundry or auto repair aisles.

Posted by
32269 posts


A few comments.....

  1. I'd try supermarkets or drugstores (Farmacia). People in Spain also use CPAP machines so obviously there has to be a ready supply of distilled water. I believe this is the Catalan translation - aigua destil · lada, or in Spanish agua destilada. I might try to fit a small bottle in my checked luggage to last for a day or so, but if necessary I would use the machine without water.

  2. First of all, you need to check the power supply on your CPAP machine, looking specifically for the words "Input Voltage". If this states "100-240 VAC", then you won't need a voltage converter. You will of course need Plug Adapters specific to the area you'll be visiting. The two pin adapters should be fine for Spain.

2a. Extension cord - I've found that many of the hotels used by RS tours these days are quite modern and well equipped, and it's likely that there will be outlets close to the bed. However, you won't know that until you check in. The hotel may be able to loan you an extension cord.

One final note. Just as a precaution, I don't leave anything connected to power when I'm out of the hotel touring.

Posted by
7571 posts

I can't speak to Barcelona specifically, but I've found distilled water in big-box (imitation of Target, I mean) in rural France and urban France. In Belgium, I've found distilled water in the "Household" aisle of medium-sized urban supermarkets. But you have to be sure not to buy Lavender-Scented Ironing Water from the same shelf! I didn't have to look for the "Baby" section, but that would be the next place to try in a supermarket.

It's remotely possible that it's next to the mass of drinking water choices, as well.

I don't use CPAP, but others have suggested here that ten days of bottled drinking water does not ruin the machine. I do think it would be wise to be sure that you don't buy a drinking water that is deliberately high in "tasty" minerals. (In Europe, this is a marketing point, so minerals are listed on the label.) I do use a small water boiler to sterilize water for my nasal rinse, but minerals aren't really a factor there. In China I started with drinking water, and boiled it three times.

Posted by
7724 posts

If you have a short, compact extension cord that works for you at home, then that will be fine to take to Europe. What matters is the Wattage and the Amps going through the cord. The Wattage you draw will be the same as in the US, that is a function of the machine, but the Amps will actually be less (about 1/2). Either way, you will need an adapter, providing your machine is 120/240V.

Posted by
32269 posts

This article covers the topic of which type of water to use in CPAP machines.....

The manufacturer and the firm which supplied my CPAP machine recommend only using distilled water, and I've always done that. The company which supplies my bottled drinking water told me that the reverse osmosis water they provide is almost as pure as distilled, and I'd be willing to try that if necessary. Distilled is so easily available here, I've never had to use anything else.

Posted by
6673 posts

What matters is the Wattage and the Amps going through the cord.

What really matters is not the cord, but the plugs. North American plugs are to be honest not a great design.

Posted by
8656 posts

I worked in a lab in college where part of my daily job was to produce of gallons of distilled water. I can confirm from experience it tastes bad, primarily because the minerals that give water taste have been removed. So when a bottler makes drinking water, they add some minerals back in for taste, which kind of defeats the purpose for use for CPAP. But it's all about the maintenance. The water is for adding humidity for comfort, not for therapeutic value.