Travel with CPAP in South Africa - electrical requirements

by Vicki
(Montreal, Canada)

Plugs and Sockets from South Africa

Plugs and Sockets from South Africa

Plugs and Sockets from South Africa Plugs and Sockets from South Africa

Again I am turning to you for advice on travelling with my CPAP machine (Resmed S9 Autoset with H51). Is there any advice you can offer regarding electrical currency adaptors or water type requirements for travel to South Africa?
Thank you for being my best resource!


You really need a grounded adapter plug US to South Africa to use the CPAP machine. The plugs from South Africa are type M, or D (which are almost identical); however, the plugs from USA or Canada (type A or B) doesn't match with those from South Africa.

The voltage is also different: in Canada you have 110-120 Volts, but in South Africa the voltage is 220-240 Volts. need a converter or transformer that will lower the voltage from 220-240 Volts to the Canadian 110-120 Volts.

If your CPAP machine is compatible with multiple voltages, then the adapter is all you need.

But how do you know whether or not your CPAP is compatible with 220-240 volts? You have to check the electrical input specifications which usually appear on a label on the CPAP, or on its charger or AC adapter if it uses one, near where the brand name and model number appear. It should look like this:

  • Input: ~100-240V 50/60Hz 65W - if you see something like this on your CPAP, the your device is compatible with multiple voltages. In this case, you will only need the grounded adapter plug.

  • Input: 115/230V 50/60Hz 200W - it means that your CPAP device can be switched between 110-120 volts in Canada, and 220-240 volts in South Africa.

  • If you have Input: 120V 60Hz 2.8A - it means that your CPAP device is only compatible with a single voltage, in this case, 120 volts. In this case, if you use the CPAP in South Africa without the voltage converter or transformer, you will fry it.

Fortunately, I found on ResMed website that all ResMed CPAP systems have a power supply that automatically adjusts to the various power supplies in different parts of the world. So you will only need the correct plug adapter.

I don't know how easy it is to find distilled water in South Africa, so you should already be prepared with the required quantity of distilled water.

Note: Always carry your CPAP with you on board as carry on lugage. Don't check it unless you want the ground crew to use it as football. The CPAP is a medical device and it should be treated as such.

I hope it helps. Don't be afraid to comment back.

Remy Thierry
Founder of Sleep Apnea Guide

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Dec 27, 2011
bottled water?
by: Vicki

Thank you so much for your prompt and helpful reply. Knowing that I can depend on you is a great source of comfort.
Now I would like to ask about the water supply for the humidifier chamber. Because we will be travelling in South Africa
for about 3 weeks, it will not always convenient to supply my own water and must depend on the services of the 7 hotels we will be staying at.
Do you think I will be okay using bottled water? How might I thoroughly clean the chamber with just bottled water?
I really hope that these problems are surmountable because we intend to do a lot more travelling in the future.

Once again, thank you very, very much for your helpful information.

Dec 28, 2011
regarding bottled water and cleaning the CPAP humidifier tank
by: Remy

you don't have to worry too much about the water for CPAP when traveling.

It should be perfect to use distilled water, but I doubt that you'll find it so easily.

The best alternative for distilled water is to use bottled water in your humidifier, as long as you clean the humidifier every morning.

The problem with bottled water or tap water is mineral build up on the water chamber, and your tank may not last as long.

So, you can reduce the problem by filling the tank every night and dumping the water every morning, cleaning the tank properly.

In the end, the trick is to know how to clean the tank effectively every morning:

just use solution of one part vinegar to 3 parts of water (others say 1 to 10, or even fifty-fifty).
this lady explains how to clean the humidifier:

So, if you clean your humidifier everyday when you use bottled water every night, you won't have problems when you travel.

If you have the ResMed H5i Heated Humidifier, you can open it like this:

For more information:

I hope it helps.

Jan 07, 2012
Distilled water
by: Anonymous


Just saw your comment and as a South African thought I would assist. Unless you are going to be going to extremely rural areas you will easily find distilled water in any pharmacy and there are many pharmacies available. Bottled water is also freely available.

Hope you have a great stay in South Africa.

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