Tips for Dealing with Your CPAP Water Tank

Your CPAP water tank is a critical part of your CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, but it can have a few problems and issues that you may need to address at some point. Here are some tips for dealing with your CPAP water tank, how to care for your water tank, and how to address potential problems.

CPAP water tank tips

Always use distilled water

You need to use distilled water for your water tank. Don’t use tap water or you might ruin the components inside your machine. It can be easy to forget, but always use the proper water for your unit.

If you happen to use tap water 1 night, you probably won’t have an issue, but discontinue the use of tap water the next night. Talk to your sleep provider if you happen to notice anything wrong with the unit or if tap water was used by mistake with your machine.

By providing your email address, you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

Wash the tank periodically

Make sure you wash the water tank periodically with soap and water. Watch for any scum or residue on the tank. If you go without washing the tank for a long time, some algae may build up on the surface of the tank which you don’t want.

Clean the tank as often as you would your main hose which is once per week for best results. Wipe down the surface of the tank with a clean cloth. You may also want to clean around the tank opening on your machine as debris can build up there over time.

Watch for cracks

Most CPAP tanks are made with light plastic. This plastic tends to wear down over time and a small crack or a broken seal may occur. This happened to me recently and I needed a complete tank replacement.

A seal leak may occur slowly over time and then fail completely. When refilling your tank make sure there’s no water leaking out of the tank.

Run your finger along the seam as it should feel dry which indicates a sealed tank. If you notice any leaks, it’s probably time to contact your sleep provider for a new tank.

Protect yourself from water tank leaks

Most tanks will fail eventually and this may take you by surprise. You don’t want water on your nightstand, so there are a few things you can do.

Your first option is to place a plastic sheet over the furniture as this will keep any water off of your furniture. Another option is to use a plastic tray that will catch the water before it seeps onto the furniture and contain the spill within the tray.

What to do if you knock your CPAP off the table

The long CPAP hose can be a pain. At night, you may pull it by mistake and knock the CPAP on the floor. A tray can prevent this from happening, but it may still occur.

If you knock the machine over, you may get water in the main hose or the unit itself. You’ll need to dry the hose and get the water out before you use it again. A gurgling sound from the hose indicates there’s some water present.

If a lot of water gets into the machine it may need servicing. Talk to your sleep provider if you notice a malfunction with the unit after a fall off the table.


These tips should keep you up and running with your CPAP machine. Take care of your water tank and you shouldn’t have any issues. Speak to your sleep provider if you run into any major issues with the tank.

What CPAP water tank tips do you have? Please share a comment below.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Join the conversation

Please read our rules before commenting.