PDM Failure Due To Batteries

My daughter experienced a strange (at least to us) failure of her PDM yesterday. She put on a new podd late yesterday afternoon. At dinner, she gave herself her bolus and during the bolus the PDM started to make a whining noise. She found out that the PDM and podd had lost communication. She called Insulet and they said the problem was probably with the batteries in the PDM.

The batteries in the PDM were fresh Duracells which had been put into the PDM the day before. The Insulet rep told her that the PDM would have to be reset. After finishing the reset, she was instructed to put new batteries in the PDM. The PDM seems to be fine now. One problem was that all of the history for yesterday was lost - older history was not impacted. This was problematic since the failure occurred in mid bolus and we were uncertain how much had been delivered. The rep was surprised that the current day's history had been lost and was not aware that this could happen.

I was not aware that batteries could cause this type of failure. A couple of things that I learned was that whenever you change batteries, you should make sure that you are on the home page. I would think we were on the home page when we changed the batteries the day before but I can not be certain of that. The other new discovery was to make add a paper clip to our diabetic supply travel list since a paper clip or toothpick is needed to reset the PDM.

Curious to see if others have experienced this type of failure.


Larry(and others)

Battery failures and changes while in"mid pod" have left me with lost communication several times. When support was called and registered a complaint, a replacement pod was added to the next re-order(has happened twice in the last 4 months). That still doesn’t account for the lost insulin or, the unsettling erratic behavior when these power and communication issues occur.

I’ve decided to change batteries only when changing a pod to prevent this, so far no issues, need to plan ahead, a bit however. I use rechargeable batteries, without obvious issue, (they last for at least three weeks). There definitely is an engineering issue here.

Conclusion: carry paperclip, batteries and a cellphone to call support, hope this helps.

Larry -
Hppens to me about twice a year, I have been a “podster” since 2005. I find after the pod is deactivated in mid bolus, usually before you can prime the new one the pdm will give you a message that so much of your last bolus was dieliverd and you just need to do the math to figure out hom much more needs to be delivered as soon as the new one is on. It’s a pain in the ■■■, yes, but like you say, I just always make sure I have plenty of batteries laying in my supply closet along with plenty of paperclips! PEACE!

I had a similar thing happen day before yesterday. I could not figure out why my PDM keeps eating batteries. At most they last 3 days. Then…while I was eating my lunch my PDM, which was laying on the table, turned itself on and then turned itself off again a total of at least 6 times. I left the PDM on the table and watched it…all afternoon it kept turning itself on and off with absolutely no outside help.

Called Insulet and the service rep is going to send me a new PDM (my 4th one of the 2nd generation variety) tomorrow. This PDM that is having battery trouble is only two weeks old. The PDM before this one used to stop ‘mid bolus’ so I never knew if the bolus was complete or not??

Right now, I am not a happy “podder”.

Sorry to hear about the PDM reset issue :-/

I have never changed the batteries with the PDM “on” so to speak. I always hold the power button or let it time out (let the screen go black) until it is “off”, then change the batteries. And I never do it while the pod is in the middle of bolusing.

Like you said, as a safety precaution I’d keep a paper clip on hand just in case.

I never have battery issues, so I guess I would ask others who do experience them, what might be different between our PDMs? I keep a skin on my PDM 24/7, except to change the batteries out every 9-10 wks or so. Do others that have battery issues use skins as well? Or is your battery door “exposed” most of the time? By that I mean maybe there’s an issue w/ the battery door that allows the batteries to wriggle too much or something. Just trying to find what a culprit for all of the troubles you seem to be having so we can get some resolution for you :slight_smile:

In my daughter’s case, the only time she takes her case off is upload information into the Co-Pilot Health Management System.

I am amazed you get 9-10 weeks, she usually gets about 10 days on a set of batteries

I use lithiums. And I keep the PDM “on” as little time as possible.

So when I get ready to eat, if I test w/ the PDM I do the test, and if I don’t know how many carbs, etc, I immediately turn it off (rather than letting it time out).
I also make it turn off immediately after hearing the confirmation beeps of it beginning to deliver a bolus (again, rather than letting it time out).
Also I have several other meters that I use (laying around house, w/ bike and run stuff for working out, etc) so even though I’m testing 8-12 times a day, I’m not using the PDM every time (which saves battery life). (I’m kinda OCD about it…but it works for me :slight_smile:

So that’s how I get 10 wks out of a set of batteries. They cost more but I use less of them and don’t have to worry about always having a fresh set on me to change out as frequently as rechargeables or alkalines.

Wow, didn’t know how lucky I was. I use Duracel Procell alkaline batteries. I have been on the POD since March 12. In these 4 months, I have used a total of 16 batteries. I have had my backlight and auto-off both set for 60 seconds and never turn off manually, I just let it turn off by itself. So even with all that usage, I’m getting 2 weeks out of a set of batteries. I have never had any issues with PDM failure so I just might have one of those golden ticket PDM’s.
I have now reset my auto-off and backlights to 10 seconds so will see how much more life I can get out of the batteries. Oh, and the batteries I got from Amazon in a 24 pack for about 10 bucks. The best part was the packaging, individual cardboard boxes for each 4 batteries. It keeps it easy to keep the batteries with me.
Thanks for the tip about the paperclip. It’s now in my to-go bag.


I usually get 6 weeks out of my Rayovac batteries. I usually test 6-8 times a day.

The official word (from the support rep I spoke to) is not to use lithium or rechargeable batteries in the PDM. Until I got that news, I (like Bradford) was happily using lithiums. With lithiums I got virtually no notice that they were almost dead. Now I use Duracell alkalines and get about 1 month out of them. I do not take extra care to prolong battery life.

I have only changed batteries with the PDM turned off and not in mid bolus. Also like Bradford, I keep the skin on all the time, except to upload to CoPilot or to change the batteries. Fortunately I have never had a pod fail mid bolus. Also, knock on wood, I have never had to reset my PDM.


I am curious as to how you make it turn off (rather than letting it time out)? I thought I read the manual but apparently I missed this part.

I’m lucky if I get 3 days out of a pair of Duracell alkaline batteries. But my PDM was defective and it is being replaced by Insulet today. Hoping my batteries last longer with the new PDM.

You just have to press and hold the “home” button (you can see the little icon next to the home button is also the “power button”. It’s the one you use to turn the unit on…and can also be used to turn it off.

I forgot to add that I also turn it off once it’s done priming (when the screen tells me to “apply the pod”, the exact wording I’m forgetting right now). Then once I have the pod on where I want it I can turn it back on (just press the home power/home button again) and hit the “next” button to continue the canula insertion process, etc.

We have had a couple of “lost communication” pod failures - neither time seemed to be after a battery change (though I cahnged the batteries after both times as a precaution) I got a weird message about the time being reset and that I could not use the pod to calculate a bolus for 3 hours after the communication error(could still deliver bolus manually). I also lost the history for that day. We were also unsure whether the bolus was delivered - one of the notifications was 20 min after we thought it was delivered but the pdm did not register that bolus. PDM has been working well since the last one about 3-4 months ago. Strange hope it doesn’t happen again.

We use Duracell batteries and get about 10 days - 2 weeks out of them.

a little off topic perhaps but my pdm kept on re-booting (not resetting) here and there for a few days. the previous pdm (same new model) i had suffered some data/program loss during forced reboots during PC link, which i didn’t want to go thru’ with again… figure it must be a loose battery connection this time, i pried the negative terminal out a bit and voila, no more reboot! :slight_smile:

I had several of these types of issues, batteries not lasting long, the PDM turning off & on while I was using it, particularly when I would put it down and pick it up. Sometimes this would require reset and sometimes I would just waste a test strip as I typically put it down while waiting for the test result.

My husband figured out that the battery compartment must be a little too big, or loose and that the batteries have too much room to move. He put a folded piece of paper inside the back cover, just on top of the batteries about 6 weeks ago to take up the space and make the batteries fit tighter and I haven’t had a problem since. And, these batteries have been in for about a month with just 1/2 of the status bar gone. Not saying this is a fix for all, but it worked for me.