Omnipod batteries

I am on Day 5 of my new Omnipod and the battery is already 50% spent. Am I doing something wrong or am I looking at it too much? Do I have something set too high?

Thanks! And, so far, I love this podding thing!

Perhaps the batteries were old? I seem to get much longer than that, at least a month I’d say. I doubt very much it’s a setting thing, unless maybe your screen timeout is set to the max 60 and the backlight timeout is also max of 60. That Kat make a difference, not sure.

Perhaps because it’s your first week, you’re using the pdm all the time as well. I know I did in the beginning.

I wouldn’t worry about it too much, but make sure you have spare batteries nearby, and keep an eye on it.They should last longer than that. I use Duracell alkaline in mine.

These were the batteries that came with the PDM, so maybe they were old. I also bought a batch of new Duracells from Costco that I will use next.

50 percent on the screen does not mean 50 %. I noted that going very low, just a line, and it can last a good 2 weeks. Omnipod does not have a precise indicator like tandem etc. Just wait and see. Always have spare batteries with you, just in case.
On average, I change mine once a month.

Good to know! I was hoping there was a place that told me how much is left! Maybe the next PDM...

I think it is just because you used the batteries that came with the new PDM. If I remember correctly, my first set ran out fairly quick too.

It seems like I change mine about once every four weeks or so. I'm going to try to pay more attention now that you've asked though!

I use my PDM a lot and have the screen stay on as long as possible.

I use an old Freestyle strip container to hold my two AAA batteries. They just fit and sometimes I have to tap them out, but this has worked well for me. On the cap I have a "B" for battery, so I know before I open it, it doesn't have my strips, LOL. I have one spare set in my purse and one in the bag I use when I go out of town that has extra everything in it.

Remember, "The PDM uses a pair of AAA alkaline batteries. Do NOT use lithium batteries with the PDM. On average, a pair of AAA alkaline batteries powers the PDM for three (3) weeks.":

Tapestry - using the strip container is a great idea! I'm stealing it from you...

I was hoping you'd like the idea!

I went thru lots of batteries in my early Omnipod days because I used to set the PDM to remind me to check my blood sugar and then not hear it or silence it for quite awhile. ::eye roll:: I’ve since learned to trust my Dexcom CGM.

I used my batteries up in the early stage, then I realized that after I told my PDM to administer my insulin I could turn it off. Duh!

I am thinking that the batteries that came with the PDM maybe drained a bit. my battery signifier is on low right now and has been for about a week, I don't change till it tells me to, and I always keep spare batteries.

I admit, I am checking the PDM a bit obsessively! And for what reason? It's pretty much "set it and forget it" - it's the Dex that I look at mostly and, thankfully, just a regular charge on the AC.

I used to check my daughter's PDM obsessively for quite a while after she first started pumping. I was fascinated (and still am, to a good extent) by all of the cool information available on the PDM: stuff like TDD by day, %basal v. %bolus, average BG over different periods of time, etc. When my daughter's Dexcom wakes me up at night and I can't get back to sleep after treating a low or correcting a high, I "entertain" myself by scrolling through the info. on her PDM. We probably go through batteries every 2 to 2-1/2 weeks, if not more often...

Just a note since you are new to Omni Pod and you are talking about batteries. Make sure that the PDM is not doing any thing with the pod when you change them out. IE not in the middle of a bolus. I goofed once and had to reset as a result hence I make sure the PDM is not active and I shut it off manually before a battery change. This routine has worked for years. Good luck and happy podding. Michael

IRC (I'll explain why I say that below) there are three blobs on the PDM battery display.

Alkaline batteries go to 2 blobs almost immediately, that's a feature; it doesn't mean they are 50% spent, it just means they are alkaline.

At one blob with those batteries there might be a problem in the near future. I always carry the next pair with the PDM and just do the replacement when the PDM actually starts to whine, or turns off.

Meanwhile I've swapped to lithium metal batteries. These last much longer then simply whack out; there is no advance warning from the PDM, it just stops working. That's fine because I have a spare set (currently alkaline; I haven't got round to buying a pack of Li metal replacements).

Note that, if Dave is out there listening, I can't guarantee that Lithium metal batteries are safe, it's just that this is what I do.

John Bowler

Thanks, J

So far no warning and it's been just three weeks now. Any minute!

Please allow me to give you folks some tips on saving $$ on batteries for your PDM.

You can go on eBay and purchase the Sanyo eneloop XX re-chargeable AAA batteries ~$15 (black colored ones last the longest) and also buy a charger also ~$15. These batteries are the best, and will last a lot longer than any regular alkaline batteries.Over time alkaline batteries will cost you more money in the long run, and you will also be saving the environment by using rechargeable batteries. If you don't want to use ebay to buy these batteries & charger then I'm sure camera stores should sell the Sanyo eneloop XX re-chargeables, but they are usually cheaper on eBay. Be sure to order a 4-Pack of AAA re-chargeables and after the first two are depleted then use the next pair and charge-up your first set in the Sanyo battery charger which takes less than an hour to do. This way you always have a fresh set ready to go and they last for over 500 charges. This is what I did as soon as we got the OmniPod system for my wife.

Jimbo, Great Idea, I have them also but I do not use them for the Omnipod, for two reasons, 1 st is if they know you are using rechargeable's then they will not honour the warranty. 2nd reason you do not know when they are out of juice as the battery icon does not work.

I bought these batteries for the same reason till I was told and read that it voids the warranty so I use it for my keyboard, mouse, trackpad etc...

dishers, Yes you are correct, but I have to respectfully disagree with both Insulet/Omnipod and you regarding only using Alkaline batteries versus re-chargeable batteries. Just to let you know, I own an electric car a - Chevy Volt, and how do you think I recharge the battery that powers the car's generator? Well I plug it in and it recharges from a 110 or 220 volt power supply and these batteries are safe, or they wouldn't have the cars on the road.

Do you use a cell phone? How do you recharge it? You plug it into a charger don't you? Then please tell me why a Alkaline battery is so superior to a rechargeable battery? Do you know that alkaline batteries can leak toxic battery fluid when they start to die out? Well they do,and then who do I complain to when it ruins my electronic device from leakage? Let me ask you this, will Insulet/Omnipod warrant our PDM when the alkaline battery discharges this toxic fluid into the battery compartment? I don't think so! You can believe what ever you want.

I also disagree with you regarding showing the battery icon's remaining battery level on the PDM's screen using a rechargeable battery. My wife's PDM's remaining battery level icon works fine with the eneloop AAA rechargeable batteries,and we have used these batteries for four years now in the PDM with absolutely no problems what so ever.

Soon the so called LIMITED Warranty on the PDM from Insulet will be expiring, and then will Insulet honor the PDM after it becomes defective after this year? I don't think so? Because they will tell you, sorry it is beyond its useful life of 4 years and you need to purchase a new PDM. Remember nothing lasts forever, not even rechargeable batteries that also have X number of charges in their useful life.

For sure Insulet say do not use anything other than regular AAA alkalines; hence when I was talking about my own use of Lithium metal AAAs I wasn't recommending it.

However I suspect they would honour the warranty unless the battery obviously caused the fault, and that's really only possible with Lithium batteries (like the ones Jimbo uses in his car) which are highly flammable; the PDM would be destroyed if one caught fire.

The final word on alkaline batteries is probably at the end of this link:

That's ridiculously geeky, and candlepowerforums is more about flashlights than low current devices like the PDM, but I think the results in terms of capacity would probably show similar differences with the PDM. That page shows that there is a 2:1 capacity difference between the best and the worst tested samples.

It's somewhere down that page, but Lithium metal AAA's from Energizer (the ones I'm using) had three times the capacity of the Energizer alkaline AAA; about 1.5Ah vs 0.5Ah.

Rechargeable AAA batteries are normally (these days) Nickel-metal Hydride (NiMH) cells; rechargeable alkaline batteries were available a while back but I haven't seen them recently, and they didn't last long in practice. Notice that these *are not* the same as the cells in rechargeable cars, like the Volt; those are Lithium-Ion cells and they have too high a voltage for the PDM.

The issue with NiMH cells is that the voltage is low compared to the starting voltage of alkaline cells. The PDM looks at the voltage to judge the battery life, and this only works with alkaline AAAs. NiMH rechargeables work because the voltage doesn't go down over time much and, while the voltage is much lower, it's enough for the PDM to work. The Lithium metal batteries actually potentially have a higher voltage than alkalines but the voltage doesn't seem to go down much over the life of the battery either.

So NiMH gives a no-battery-left readout on the PDM then just fails and Lithium Metal gives a 'life is good' readout on the PDM and then just fails. I see the sudden failure as the main problem for me.

There is a secondary problem with Li metal; you can't pack these things (loose) in checked baggage when flying. That's not a problem for me, I carry the spares in hand baggage, but it's something to be aware of it you are tempted to use them.

John Bowler

To Mr. Bowler and others:

The initial voltage level of a battery provides no indication of how long the battery will last or how much power it can deliver. Alkaline battery cells rapidly drop below 1.5V soon after they are put into use and the voltage continues to steadily decline over time.

Since alkaline cells are non-rechargeable, they must be discarded and then replaced. SANYO’s eneloop batteries deliver best-in-class Ni-MH high capacity power and are rechargeable up to 1800 times. Devices like cameras flash units and wireless game controllers can easily draw more than 1000mA of current; thus rapidly depleting alkaline batteries.

eneloop batteries maintain a consistently high voltage level keeping your devices operating for a longer period of time. When you use eneloop Ni-MH rechargeable batteries, you will realize that “1.2V” can indeed be better than “1.5V”.
Why are alkaline batteries 1.5v?

Regular disposable AA and AAA batteries are considered Primary Cells, and are most widely recognized as conventional “alkaline” batteries. There are two electrodes inside each cell; one is made of Zinc, known as the anode (the negative terminal) and the other is made of Manganese Dioxide, known as the cathode (the positive terminal). The electrodes are surrounded by an alkaline electrolyte, the chemical from which alkaline batteries get their name.

Battery chemistry of an alkaline battery generates 1.5V. As the chemical reaction fades, so does the power of the alkaline battery cell. This is why the voltage from alkaline batteries drops off shortly after the battery is put into use and the power continues to fade over time.
NI-MH rechargeable battery

Ni-MH rechargeable batteries have two electrodes inside the cell: Nickel and Mercury Hydride. Battery chemistry of an Ni-MH rechargeable battery generates 1.2V. While alkaline batteries experience rapid drops in voltage Ni-MH rechargeable batteries maintain the same voltage throughout most of the entire charge.

The chemical makeup of Ni-MH batteries eliminates the “memory effect”, which means the cells can be recharged at any time without having to be fully discharged.

eneloop batteries have continued to raise the performance bar in Ni-MH rechargeable technology. eneloop has increased “low self discharge” performance on Ni- MH rechargeable batteries which allows eneloop cells to store power for longer periods of time.
What makes eneloop the best rechargeable battery?

The new SANYO eneloop battery incorporates a highly-durable super-lattice alloy which lessens the deterioration of this important alloy material. This super-lattice alloy increases the electrical capacity of the battery chemistry through lower internal resistance and delivers a long lasting, stable voltage output.

A new strong, thin outer case has also been added to the eneloop battery design in order to improve the internal cell space efficiency. The new case optimizes the balance of the components and when combined with other improvements have led to an increase in the number of times that eneloop batteries can be recharged.

Wireless game controllers incorporate power-hungry features such as built-in speakers, gyroscopes and motion sensors. Consider the hidden cost of ownership in operating two wireless game controllers.
Let's make the following assumptions:

You play video games one hour per day or 365 hours per year, using two remote/wireless controllers.
A pair of batteries (either alkaline or eneloop) will provide you with roughly 20 hours of game-play usage time.
In the first year, you will need 18.25 pairs of batteries per controller (either new alkaline or recharged eneloops).
You will consume 73 alkaline battery cells in one year (for two controllers) compared to only 4 eneloop cells which can be recharged 1800 times ($0.04 per cell).
Four AA Alkaline batteries will cost roughly $5.49 MSRP.
Four AA eneloop batteries with an AC charger will cost ~$21.99 MSRP.

Now let’s look at the annual cost of ownership in only the first few years and then extend it out to ten years (at that point, you probably won’t be playing on the same game system). It is quite obvious that eneloop more than pays for itself in just the first year of ownership!
Year 10 year Total
eneloop 1500 cycle
$24.75 Includes Charger
10 year cost $51.03

10 year Total Cost for
Akaline Batteries

eneloop batteries are dependable for many electronic devices

eneloop batteries deliver dependable power allowing you to maximize your music, gaming, computer, photography and other experiences. eneloop batteries can be used to power these and many more devices. i.e PDM's!

The new 1800 cycle eneloop delivers four important new features

500 extra charging cycles - The new eneloop is rechargeable up to 1800 times
33% improved low self-discharge - The new 1800 cycle battery maintains 75% of its charge for up to 3 years when not in use. The original version maintained 75% of its charge for up to 2 years when not in use.
Improved low temperature performance - The new 1800 cycle battery can be used in environments down to -4 degrees F. The original eneloop can be used in temperatures as low as 14 degrees F.
Each battery cell is pre-charged using solar energy when it leaves the factory in Japan.

Energizer Batteries are made in China.

Lastly, since we have used Sanyo eneloop batteries over the past four years now in the PDM we have not had a no-battery read-out, nor has it failed. So judge for yourself that's all I can say.