It seems every day we receive calls from CPAP users that have a malfunctioning CPAP or BiPAP machine that needs to be repaired or serviced. It sounds to me that some of the home health care companies are dropping the ball when it comes to explaining how CPAP warranty and repair should be handled if their patient ever finds themselves in this predicament. Know your rights as the user and consumer of these CPAP products.
Service and Repair
Finding a CPAP repair shop can be as difficult as locating a watery oasis in the desert. These devices are such a specialty that most people don’t know where to turn to. The average life span of a CPAP or BiPAP machine will vary from usually 5-7 years. We do hear of stories of machines lasting 12-13 years but come on, Unicorns are real too, huh? For repair or service, you should contact the place or company that set you up with the equipment. From there, if it’s not covered under warranty, they will send it to the CPAP manufacturer for a repair estimate. Once a repair cost estimate has been established, it is then up to you to decide if you wish to have it repaired or purchase a new one. From what we have seen, it can be a better cost savings to you to purchase new then to have a defective unit repaired for hundreds of dollars.
If you choose the process to have it repaired you need to ask your home healthcare equipment provider if they will be willing to let you use a “loaner” in the interim. It varies from manufacturer to manufacturer as to the time frame of a CPAP repair.
Did you know your CPAP and/or BiPAP machine comes with a manufacturer warranty. For most manufacturers like ResMed and Philips Respironics, the CPAP machine warranty is valid for 2 years; with Fisher and Paykel it’s 2.5 years. With these CPAP warranties, the machine is typically replaced, not repaired, so you get a new one! How about the humidifier? Sometime the machine works fine but you get that error code message on the CPAP machine that states something is wrong with the humidifier. Good news; the CPAP humidifier is covered under that warranty too!
The next obvious question is “What do I do next?”. You need to contact the provider that originally gave or sold you the CPAP equipment. That company carries the warranty through the manufacturer and should be responsible for the exchange. They will send the device back to the manufacturer and issue you a new one from their stock.
The Cost of Repair Versus Replacement
Be sure to weigh your options as to the cost of the repair versus the purchase of a new CPAP machine. You may be in a situation that you have had the device for so long that future problems may persist even after the repair. There may be newer technology out that gives you better comfort features and user reports that you old CPAP machine does not offer. Using your healthcare insurance may cover the cost of a new one (remember, most will pay for a new machine every 3-5 years or as needed) however you need to figure out what your co-pay and deductible is. Self pay for your CPAP device may save you hundreds or maybe thousands of dollars. Contact a CPAP expert at REPAP.com for more details and information about purchasing a Refurbished CPAP and benefit from the cost savings.