Battery liffe for pdm

Hi! My 15 yr. old daughter (dx 3/09) just started on the Omnipod, so we're gleaning as much info. as we can. I have a question re: battery life of the pdm. Our nurse/trainer told us never to let the batteries get past 1/2 way because there has been some trouble with the pdm communicating with the pod if they get too low. I was told the battery life was 3 weeks, so I thought that would mean that at 1/2 way we'd be changing them every week and 1/2--not great, but okay. But actually, her pdm gets to half-way well before that, sometimes in just a few days. That could get pretty expensive to replace batteries every 3 days. What have your experiences been? Do you change at 1/2way? How often are you replacing batteries?

Thanks so much!


I don’t change mine until the PDM flashes “low battery” at me. Takes 4 weeks at least. I’ve never noticed any issues with the PDM communicating with low batteries.

I do keep an extra set of batteries in the case with the PDM so I can switch 'em out whenever needed.

I let my battery go down to the last indicator before empty warnings start and have never experienced a problem. I have had the pod for almost 2 months and only changed the batteries twice…good luck

I use Lithiums (energizers) and can push it for a long time…but I aggressively turn my screen off after it has communicated w/ the pod to push a bolus or change a basal rate…
The lithiums are not ‘read’ the same way because the PDM was made for alkalines (I think…don’t quote me on that though :wink: So what that means is that it reads ‘full battery’ pretty much until about 2 days before it dies. As soon as my battery indicator no longer says completely full, I need to change it almost immediately. Which means I keep batteries laying around (at work, at home, etc) but I have to change them less often…which works for me. I’ve had a set of batteries make it 10 weeks using that gameplan. However, that method may not be the best method for you and your daughter b/c you have to be a little more vigilant about noticing the battery icon changing.
Here’s another battery discussion related to omnipod stuff that might be helpful: “Which AAA batteries last the longest?”

I just keep an extra set with us. Our meter reads low batteries some times in only a few hours after they are replaced. It seems to be a deficiency with the PDM software’s ability to accurately indicate remaining power. I tell them about it every time I speak with CS. Best, Scott

Hi Melissa,
My 15 year old daughter’s been on the OP for almost 2 years now. Batteries in the old PDM lasted A LOT longer, usually 3 weeks to a month. If we get 2-3 weeks out of batteries now, I’m happy. We always carry extra batteries with us (along with all the other stuff we carry!), and let the indicator go to low before replacing. OP customer service actually told me to call if we were consistently getting less than 2 weeks out of alkaline batteries. We’ve already had her new PDM replaced once due to power issues. And, a couple of people mentioned using lithium batteries, but Insulet specifically told me that we could only use alkaline batteries.

I called Insulet yesterday about batteries not lasting. I was told the batteries would last 3-4 weeks after we became familiar with the PDM. One day I was in my car driving somewhere and my daughter went to check her blood sugar and the PDM would not come on. I had put new batteries in the PDM in the midddle of the night (same day and no power on PDM). Thank goodness I had a backup and I had a Wallgreens in sight. The batteries have lasted from 12 hours, 1 day, 2 days, and one time for 4 days. Insulet is sending a new PDM that will arrive today. They said that the battery problem would only get worse and they need to replace the PDM. Thank you Insulet!

Spooky and others, The Insulet nurse, the Insulet sales person and everyone I have talked to with Insulet says never use lithium batteries. They say the PDM backup system runs on lithium and it will mess up the PDM to not use alkaline batteries. Right or wrong I don’t know, but just wanted to share what they have said to me.

Hi Melissa…Welcome and good luck to your daughter. I know I am repeating what others have said, but in case the info helps, I use Alkaline and have never gone less than a month. I too, keep back ups in my go bag. I have the old PDM, a year old.

My PDM shows me the 1/2 way after about 3 days of the new batteries, but goes much longer. I think I was told not to go til the battery was all the way out, as that could cause problems, but I go past 1/2 way. I switch when it flashes low battery at me as well. I think it was 4 weeks last time.

Thank you, everyone, for your input. I so appreciate it! I’m thinking we’ll let the batteries go this time till we get the “low battery” and just be prepared with extras on hand. Anything’s better than changing every 3 days! It’s hard to find a use for all those half-used AAA batteries!
Thanks, again!

The set that came with my PDM lasted 3-4 weeks. Then I put in lithiums. Two sets of lithiums have lasted me about 4 months. Insulet support told me not to use lithium or rechargable batteries. I think they said that the PDM cannot sense when lithiums or rechargables are going to die.

I remember when the first set of lithiums died, the battery indicator was at 1/2 the day before, and then they died the next morning before I could test for breakfast. I didn’t notice the battery indicator this time, but the batteries just died all of a sudden.

Right now I have alkalines, Eveready Golds. It will be interesting to see how long they last.


Bradford turned me on to the Energizer Lithiums. I’m going about 2.5 months per battery change. Incredibly, my last battery change was on December 8. (I’m a dork and keep track of this stuff). No matter what type of battery you use, always keep a spare set nearby.

Like Bradley Ringer, I have noticed that the lithium batteries die quickly. With the regular batteries, the battery indicator would give me a grace period of a day or so before a battery change. With the Energizer Lithiums, it’s more like a couple of hours.

OK everybody. My Eveready Gold Alkalines lasted about a month. I waited until I got the warning message on the PDM before I changed them.

I was told by my CDE that if you use lithium or rechargeable batteries in your PDM it voids your warranty, so don’t use them! My regular AAAs will last about a month. I find that the indicator will go down fairly quickly at first, but that last bar will remain for a couple weeks. Also I’ve not noticed communication problems on a lower battery. I think changing halfway through the battery just sounds silly.

I am using lithiums and I am very happy with them. I don’t expect that using lithiums will void my warranty. Only giving a wrong answer when being asked will void my warranty.

Hello everyone,
I use Enegizer batteries. These are the type Insulet told me to use. I am a die hard Duracell guy and it pains me to use energizers. They seem to last a little longer than the duracells. I get about 2 weeks life. I change them when the indicator shows one bar left.

A comment about your PDM not powering up. Insulet replaced a PDM for me because of that issue. The tech told me that some times the battery contacts may compress and not make good contact with the battery. Now if that happens I will bend a small paperclip and pull the contact out a bit so it makes good contact with the battery. Have not had to do that as of yet.

Had my first PDM - batteries lasted 6 days. changed the batteries - Duracell. Now I am having power on issues. When I try to power on - it does not come on - in frustration I shook the PDM - then it came on. When I try to turn it off it would not turn off. Other times it turned on all by itself. Other times when I turned it on the green No strings attached Omnipod screens came on. Called Insulet and they are overnighting me a new PDM.

OK everybody. The Duracell Coppertops that I put in on March 17 just died today, April 26. Again, I waited until I got the warning message on the PDM before I changed them. I found these at my local supermarket (Shoprite) on a promotion: 20 for $6.99.