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Cpap and a U.S. Extension Power Cord

Hi there,
My friend and I will be traveling to France with her Cpap machine. She's used it before in Europe without a problem so we know it works without a converter. Her issue is more about outlet location. Not all hotels have a outlet next to or near the bed. To solve this problem we were thinking of bringing a extension cord with us. Would she have any problems with the Cpap machine if she plugged it into a US extension cord with an adapter?
Thank you!!
Shari

Posted by
6543 posts

If hers is a dual voltage unit, it'll work with a U.S. extension cord and a outlet adapter.
I just use mine with a converter.

Posted by
1029 posts

My friend uses a cpap machine with a US extension cord. Works great. Now we're both able to get a good nights sleep. The only issue we've had was at a hotel in Mt. St Michelle in France. The machine kept tripping the power breaker. Other than that no issues.

Posted by
30970 posts

Shari,

One caveat to mention. A plain extension cord should be fine but do not use a Power Bar which has Surge / RFI or other filtering devices inside it. It will in all probability go up in a puff of smoke as soon as it's connected in Europe, and will possibly trip the breakers in the hotel. I've seen this happen and hotel staff are NOT impressed!

Posted by
2 posts

Since a US extension cord is rated for 120V and Europe uses 240V, you might be pushing your luck a bit (it depends how well made the power strip is, you might be fine).

I would recommend taking a US extension cord or power strip (for backup), but try to purchase a power strip locally. That way you have one rated for 240V, and you also have the capacity to plug in other devices (with plug adapters of course) into the same power strip (it seems many European hotels don't have a lot of power outlets in their rooms).

Mike

Posted by
3263 posts

My husband has used his CPAP in Belgium, the Netherlands, Italy, Istanbul and Greece. He bought a European extension cord/power strip in Belgium for the exact reason stated in the question. We bought it at the supermarket we used to supply our apartment. The cord is long enough to plug into an outlet near, but not right next to, the bed. He uses a plug adapter for the CPAP and for his phone and iPad which he usually plugs into the outlets in the power strip. So far there have been no problems.

The European cord was more expensive than a typical US extension cord, but the cost is peanuts compared to the cost of any trip. Or to the potential of destroying any of the devices he plugs in, not to mention the potential of electrical damage at the places you are staying.

There is plenty of room in his CPAP carrying case for the cord, his meds and all the CPAP equipment. He's carried that case on every flight we've taken since he got it. It doesn't count as carry-on, i.e. you can have a carry-on, a personal item and the CPAP case as cabin baggage. He would never check the CPAP.

Posted by
4690 posts

You might double check that every single gadget you bring (I mean like phone chargers and tablet computers) has a power supply marked "100-240 V", or something like that. You might, absent mindedly, plug them into the "matching" CPAP extension cord when she's not sleeping, without remembering that it is actually delivering 220 volts while you're in Europe. You "forget", because it looks like a familiar, Americano cord.

I ruined a toothbrush charger this way, once.

Posted by
4822 posts

In regards to the type of extension cord and ratings, per the voltage comment earlier, the concern will be the amount of power that the CPAP draws, which is a product of both voltage and current. The power will be the same whether you are on 120 or 240, since at 120V the unit draws more amps, at 240V, fewer Amps. Generally the more power something draws the heavier (larger the conducting wires) the cord you need. If you are using a recommended cord at home, take that, do not try to save weight by buying a much lighter cord unless you have someone verify that it will work. An under rated cord will overheat and be a fire hazard.

Posted by
741 posts

I used my CPAP in London and Paris. In our Paris hotel room, I was able to plug the machine's power supply (one of those big, heavy "brick" transformers) into a nearby outlet, using only an adapter. In London, however, I had to use the extension cord I always carry with the machine. It's just a regular U.S. cord, which I used with a U.K. adapter. I had no issues in either location.