Getting a pump-- need waterproof-- Vibe or a Ping- your thoughts

Considering a pump, need/want waterproof so its pretty much a Animas, but never having a pump before am having a hard time deciding. I guess i’m looking for those that have a Ping and those that have a Vibe to share there thoughts on what they like and dislike. Thanks for your info–Cheers :slight_smile:

The Ping and Vibe are basically the same pump.

The Vibe offers Dexcom G4 connectivity (i.e. it acts as a receiver for the Dexcom G4 CGM sensor). It also has a slightly updated bolus menu system that offers fewer button presses. However there is no connectivity with a remote control.

The Ping can be operated using a remote control but does not communicate with the Dexcom…

I use the Vibe because of the Dexcom connectivity (and in any event the Ping is not available in Europe). The only reason to chose a Ping would be if you wear your pump concealed (e.g. women wearing business clothing) and need to bolus without taking the pump out.


If you’re looking for a pump that’s truly waterproof, the OmniPod is the way to go.


But the OmniPod controller isn’t waterproof, right? Thus it’s not possible to change any pump settings or bolus while swimming or otherwise wet.

I have a Ping and have worn it swimming many times without issues. My pump is no longer under warranty, though, so I’m now nervous of having it submerged in water because if it breaks there will be no replacement It’s gotten wet in the rain and had no issues, and I have no reason to believe it’s no longer waterproof, just me being paranoid.

I personally like the Vibe much better than the Ping. Although I still consider Animas menus clumsy compared to other pumps, there were a few crucial improvements made in the Vibe over the Ping.

The most important change is that you can push the Up button to populate and adjust the recommended bolus after you have entered in carb and BG info. With the Ping, you have to scroll up from zero every time. I used the Ping for 2-1/2 years and although I got very good at scrolling, I mostly hated it the whole time.

I really disliked the Ping remote meter. It was very slow communicating with the pump and I Found the endless scrolling on it more difficult than the pump. It also used the old One Touch blue strips that require a ton of blood compared to other meters. Other people love the remote:-)

Although I use the Dexcom CGM, I don’t use the Vibe as the receiver for many reasons. A year and a half ago, I wrote a series of three blogposts evaluating the Vibe. I will give a link to the third post that gives my impression of the Vibe as a stand-alone pump. This post has links to the first two posts, one evaluating the Vibe as a CGM system.

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I hav a few thoughts about the Ping versus the Vibe. Like @jjm335 notes, the Ping connects with a remote BG meter that can also be used to dose. The Vibe integrates a Dexcom G4 CGM. The problem with buying a Vibe for its Dexcom integration is that you may not upgrade to the G5 or any other future upgrades. I’d rather update my CGM tech as frequently as it is available instead of having to wait for a pump replacement.

I use a Ping and do not use the remote. I found the remote scrolling speeds when dialing up an insulin dose to be frustrating. Every dose is scroll-up, overshoot, scroll down, undershoot and this can go on longer than you might think. I’m using my second Ping pump over the last eight years. It’s dependable, survives whacking drops to the floor and still keeps working.

It is susceptible to to over torquing the battery compartment cap. When this happens the pump body cracks and water-proofing is lost. I use a magnifying glass and good lighting when changing the battery. The O-ring that seals the battery compartment is yellow. You need to look at the battery cap from the side and watch as the cap is turned on. You want to bury the the yellow o-ring but stop when it disappears. Another 1/4 turn would be too much.

Animas does a good job with customer service. They replaced the pump that I cracked the body by over-torquing the battery cap. Another good thing about Animas is that the infusion sets and insulin reservoirs are all standard luer-lock. You will have lots of choices. I have had to change infusion set styles over the years due to losing good absorption at the site. I appreciated a wide array of choices to try.

Another thing to note. The Animas pump that I bought in 2008 is still marginally usable. The screen is faded and hard to read. I hope their screens are better now but I don’t know.

I find @Laddie’s solution to be the most desirable providing your insurance payer does not care that you are buying a pump with a CGM and then also buying a separate CGM system that duplicates a function already on the pump. Decoupling the CGM from the pump enables more frequent updating of the CGM.

Having two CGM systems available provides some nice back-up. I find Dexcom CGM hardware to be rugged and dependable. Barring dropping the Dex receiver in the water I don’t see much risk exposure. Losing it is the other major risk.

My daughter simply gets out of the water for a moment, dries her hands on a towel, pushes a few buttons, and is back in the water in under 30 seconds…

I wrote a blogpost sharing why for the most part I did not like the Dexcom integration into the Vibe. My Vibe was a $99 upgrade from the Ping and insurance does not know that I have it. I will be purchasing a new pump in December, but my insurer will not be covering me starting in January because they are exiting the individual market. Therefore I don’t think that they will care. I don’t know if the Vibe cost more than the Ping. I will be choosing between the Vibe and Tandem.

Many Thanks for your input :slight_smile: So would I really miss having my meter remotely give a bolus vs a slightly better organized pump. Keep in mind that I may opt out of using the CGM anyway as I don’t think my Ins company would pay for it.

I have had the Ping for just shy of 3 years. I am on my second one because the first one leaked so badly it killed the pump. Caused quite a stir as it was a Saturday morning and, while Animas helpline could order a replacement asap, shipping was headed home and would not be back until Monday morning to ship it for Tuesday am delivery. Insulin was the next problem. I had plenty of Novolog for bonus but needed Lantus to cover the missing basal. Being Saturday I reached the on-call Endo to request a Lantus RX and some needles. The Endo was great. She was in New Orleans (Oschner) and I was in Florida. I gave her the number for the nearby Walgreens; she called in the RX. But wait! They had no Lantus. It is now about 7:00 and Walgreen pharmacies are near closing time. Long story short - that Walgreens’ pharmacist called other Walgreens and found one with Lantus and needles, gave me the address and GPS got us there before closing. Phew, that was close.
Fast forward to this last Sunday when I changed the battery: water had entered the compartment again but fortunately not damaged anything except some corrosion on the Lithium battery.
The water in both cases came from our pool. After each morning run here in Florida I am a hot, sweaty mess so i do my cool down exercises in the pool. Did I tighten the battery cap too much, too little last battery change? Don’t know. But if being waterproof is that sensitive to the snugness of the battery cap, I do not consider the Ping waterproof.

Over-tightenig the Ping battery compartment is easy to do. I did it once, cracked the pump body and I learned how to avoid that in the future. I consider it a Ping design flaw. The pump design should be able to defend against this kind of thing.

Here’s what I do when I change a battery. I use a nickel or quarter to loosen the battery cap and remove the old battery. I put in a new battery and clean the yellow o-ring on the bottom of the battery cap. Then I use a bright light and a magnifying glass to allow my old eyes to see the detail of the bottom edge of the cap with the o-ring. I watch from the side of the cap as I tighten it.

What you want to do is make the yellow o-ring just disappear so you no longer see any color. Just give it a fraction of a turn more until the cap contacts the pump body. Once I did this I realized there was a reason why the o-ring was yellow. It’s so you can easily see how far to rotate the cap into the pump body. You want to fully seat the o-ring without over-tightening.

Medtronic pumps have this problem, too.

Here’s the directions from the Ping User Guide, Page 16:

And now it seems the Medtronic 630 is joining the ranks of waterproof pumps! I’m not that concerned about waterproof myself and will probably stick with my 530 but it’s out there…:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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I might have considered Medtronics, had the 630 been available last year, when I had to change pumps, but have been happy with with Animas Vibe. Of course, I also like/use the Dexcom G4, and would worry (if I had the Medtronics pump) that UHC would try and force me to change CGMs, too, so maybe it’s for the best, anyway. That said, Medtronics has (I believe) somewhat more granular settings than Animas, so some of the mental adjustments I make nearly every bolus and corrections might not have been necessary. (It’s part of Animas’ program to keep PWD mentally sharp, right? :wink:).

I don’t know if you’re still debating your choices, but thought I’d weigh in. When I’m wearing a dress or skirt, I often hide my Ping in a way that makes it very difficult if not impossible to bolus in public without the remote. That’s the main reason I prefer the Ping over the Vibe. But the menu issues others have mentioned are a bit of a pain. I really wish I had the one button bolus input that the Vibe has.

We love hubby’s Omni pod pump. You can change settings when you are in the locker room, etc. without having to take the pump off. It goes just about anywhere except the sauna which is too hot for the insulin. I’m not sure what you have decided but the Omnipod is fabulous!

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I’ve honestly never had this issue in the 4 years I’ve had an Omnipod. If you’re swimming, just get out of the pool for a minute. It’s not hard.

If you’re really worried about having it get wet or having it even near a pool, just put it in a clear waterproof bag. I’ve done that while on a 3-4 hour trip tubing down a river without issues.

For me personally, I don’t like leaving expensive stuff on a pool deck. But that’s mostly because I’m legally blind so I can’t glance over to make sure it’s still there. So I like being able to have my pump with me when I swim. I also was just asking out of a point of clarification. I’ve never used an OmniPod so was unsure if the receiver was waterproof, though I thought I’d read that it wasn’t.

The other week my pump cracked while tightening the battery cap. It’s out of warranty, and I’m trying to hold out until one of the semi-automated pumps comes out, so I’ll be keeping it far from water from now on. I’m glad to hear other companies like Medtronic are making waterproof pumps. It’s a feature I use, so when it comes time to upgrade I’ll have more choice (not that we have a whole lot of choice in Canada, it’s pretty much Animas, OmniPod, or Medtronic as there aren’t any other pumps approved here that I’m aware of).

Sorry to read this, Jen. I know you like to swim. Are you still eligible for that one lifetime pump that BC’s health system will finance for you?