Replace Dexcom Xmiter but Not Sensor?

Not that anyone would actually do this nor would it ever be recommended. But has anyone tried replacing their transmitter while in the middle of a sensor session? Basically stopping the sensors session, removing the transmitter, replacing it with the new transmitter and then going through all the normal steps, as though you had just put in a new sensor. Again not like any sane person would do this.

Yes, I’ve done it multiple times with no issues at all. For example : G5 transmitter died after it’s 3 months, have a sensor in that isn’t that old and is giving excellent numbers, popped off transmitter and put new one on (make sure you click the legs in) and started the warm up. All good.


Been there, done that! I’ve only done it when I suspected water incursion in between the transmitter and its sensor mount black donuts. It allowed me to thoroughly dry the sensor mount and calm down some erratic readings.

I didn’t stop and start sensor sessions but I don’t see any reason this could not be accomplished. Changing transmitter requires a session stop/start since you need to input the transmitter serial number to enable the radio communication.

I think there is a hazard of disturbing the sensor probe tip environment since it requires seating the transmitter with significant force to engage the two plastic holding arms.

I’m one of those guys that the TV lawyers worry about when they say “don’t try this at home.”

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I concur with @mikep: there is nothing wrong with replacing the transmitter while keeping the same sensor. The system will treat the sensor as new, and will go through its usual settle-in and calibration process.

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I guess you’re going to have to start calling me insane (if you weren’t already :wink:) because I have done this. You may ask “Why?” Because I love saving a buck (and so does my daughter, who is the diabetic in the family). A buck saved is a buck extra that can be used towards paying off your taxes or mortgage, or even more important, buying more shoes. So my daughter uses each Dexcom sensor for as long as it keeps providing accurate information, which can be up to 3+ weeks. Even after it starts going wonky, and against my advice, she will restart it one more time “just in case”. We also push each transmitter until it completely and thoroughly dies. Unfortunately, sensors and transmitters rarely die at the same time (what are the odds?) When my daughter’s first G5 transmitter “bought the farm”, her sensor was only 2 days old. There was no way we were going to put a sensor which was only in its infancy out to pasture prematurely. So I carefully pried apart the two little plastic thingies on the sensor that hold the transmitter in place, and carefully popped in the new one, went through all the rigamarole with inputting the numbers on the new sensor, restarted, and voila–good to go.

One caveat: if you’re not pretty darned careful about popping out the dead transmitter and putting in the new one, you can end up dislodging or bending the sensor wire. If that happens, you’ll know in short order because you either will not get any readings or the readings you get will continue to be wonky past the first 10 hours or so when a new sensor can be more “off” than usual. If my daughter’s sensor is anywhere close to 2 weeks old when it’s time to change the transmitter, I’ll just pull the old sensor and put in a new one. My frugality has its limits.


Same as Mike. Transmitter died, sensor still good. Off with the old and on with the new. A little harder to get it snapped in but it worked.


Count me crazy too.


I can’t do it myself because I tape the whole shebang over with Opsite once I’ve made it through warm-up. And I mean everything


I’ll add myself to the choir of the insane. Had a transmitter battery die mid-session on a sensor that was both comfortable and working well - so I changed the transmitter with the sensor in place. Worked fine.

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The tricky thing is getting the old transmitter off one-handed when it’s located on the back of your arm without disturbing the sensor or driving yourself a little nuts. That’s the “insane” part. I succeeded the first time I tried, but when the next battery died, like a week ago, I finally lost patience and pulled the sensor.


Have you got shares in Smith & Nephew - that’s a lot of Opsite in your photo? I thought the SOP was to cut a hole in the Flexfix the same size as the sensor bed. If you tape over the transmitter you run the risk of water getting trapped. That used to happen to my Sof-Sensors where I used to tape over the transmitter.

In response to the original enquiry. Yes, I self-fund and have done this on a couple of occasions where the transmitter has failed on a relatively new sensor.


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If G-d had meant for you to tape over the entire shebang, s/he wouldn’t have invented scrapbooking hole punches! :wink:


I thought the transmitter site had to “breathe”.

It does. Look more carefully at that picture… there’s a tiny mouth, inhaling and exhaling.



Have you tried using this do-hickey?


Yes, I have done this as well with success.

Just before I tape it, I give it fair warning:

“Take a big breath now, it’s got to last at least two weeks.”

If I get shower water on my transmitter, it drives it crazy. My sweat, however, is the best sweat, and it makes my transmitter say:


Which translates to:

“You have the best sweat!”


For about half an hour or so, yeah. Just couldn’t seem to get the right angle on it. Finally decided the trade off in aggravation wasn’t worth it–I was in my 2nd week on the sensor anyway.

You have more patience than I do. I found that practicing with this device with a sensor pad that’s just been removed with its piggy-back sensor still seated while placing it on a table. I’ve also had some success with using a good mirror and more light. My eyes are not as good as they used to be and these situations underline that fact. If I lived with someone I would ask for their help, but I don’t live with that luxury.

I’m honestly not sure I could repeat the feat I did last time I tried. Sensor was in an awkward position for me, and I had to use only my uncoordinated right hand (I’m a lefty!), but somehow managed to get the transmitter to jump out of the sensor without falling into unknown parts of the room (something that’s far too easy to do in any room in my house!)!