Tandem T:Slim not even a little waterproof?

When I first got my Tandem T:Slim G4 in March 2016, one one of my main concerns was how waterproof the device was, but I was told that it could get wet as long as it wasn’t underwater for extended periods of time.

I have a swimming pool and I love to go to the beach. All through the summers of 2016 & 2017 I would be in and out of the pool 3-4 times a day and I would go swimming at a beach a couple weekends a month. I would always wear my pump in and out of the water and it was never a problem. Once or twice I got a humidity warning and I would have to let the pump dry out, but it always functioned fine.

On October of 2017 the top button of my T:Slim stopped working and I had to get it replaced. I did not go swimming with the pump until March of 2018. Within hours of going into the pool for the first time with that particular pump failed and I had to get it replaced. The customer service rep told me that no, you can’t get the pump wet. I was shocked because I had worn my old one into the pool literally hundreds of times and now this one died after one dip.

Yesterday I went to a friend’s pool for the first swim of the season. I went swimming with the pump on and it died last night and I am now waiting for another replacement, ruining another vacation. This last pump only lasted about 2 months.

Clearly these things are not even a little bit waterproof anymore. Did Tandem change the manufacturing process? How could I wear my first pump swimming hundreds of times with no problem but now the next 2 pumps both fail with a single submersion? Isn’t this the kind of change that someone at Tandem should have told me about?

More importantly, what can I do now? who makes a pump that is truly waterproof? My old Animus Ping pump was SUPER waterproof and it lasted for almost 4 years. Now I have to be worried about getting caught in the rain with the T:Slim! Is there any kind of waterproof case or anything I can do so that I can wear my pump in the water?

I have an AquaPac case that I used with my Medtronic pumps. The only risk with them is that the tubing might get crimped enough to prevent insulin flow for insulin users with low basal rates. Because I have started to do water aerobics for low-impact exercise, I pulled my AquaPac case out of the drawer and plan to give it a try with my Tandem X2.

My AquaPac case was called a Microphone case. Amazon has one called an insulin pump case but it is not available. But check out the microphone cases. They are definitely waterproof.

Although I did not love my Animas pumps, I do miss the waterproofness of them.

This is similar to the case I have. Technically it says that it is not for submersion but in reality people are using it that way. Read the customer questions and comments.

I will test mine in the pool this week and try to remember to give you feedback.

This case works well for me for occasional water use but I don’t know that I would want to use it all day every day.

I also wonder if this case would work: https://smile.amazon.com/Minimed-Sportguard-Protective-Water-Activities/dp/B003WQG7UQ/ref=pd_sim_121_5?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B003WQG7UQ&pd_rd_r=X7G486JCQVMGSJSH4FDZ&pd_rd_w=V07ac&pd_rd_wg=TXspe&psc=1&refRID=X7G486JCQVMGSJSH4FDZ#feature-bullets-btf

Another idea is to start using the untethered regimen where you use a long-insulin for a certain percentage of your basal so that you can have active time not wearing your pump. I do this for beach vacations and I know that some people do it all of the time.

I was told not to swim or bath with it on, so I never have. Why did you think it was ok? They said it’s ok to get it a bit wet but not to submerge etc. I rarely swim anymore becasue it is too much of hassle but if I do it is only briefly at the beach and I remove it. Then I have to worry about heat or some wacko stealing it etc. In rain etc I have never had problems but mine is in a softy case and I have a shirt and or raincoat over it. I once wore my pump and dexcom into a pool for 3 minutes, dex was ruined but the pump was ok. Later it was replaced for some other reason a few months later and I think I’ve had 3 failures and replacements with a brand new pump. One refirb replacement for top button failure failed immediately too. Last time my pump’s memory failed and they sent me a brand new one. This one is ok knock on wood.

I had the exact issue you describe. Customer service told me that they were not even water resistant and they would not replace the pump again if it was due to water damage. They used to be really good about their cheap clips and when they would break they would send me another one. The other day the new style broke and when I called they said they dont cover the clips anymore because of the new stronger design. It would be $25 for a new one. No thanks. I’ve also had my x2 fail twice for no reason at all and both times I had to have a replacement. I bvb haven’t even had it a year. Overall I couldn’t be more unhappy with Tandem and this will definitely be my last pump from them. Looks like Medtronic again…

The Tandem t:slim X2 pump is certified to be watertight to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes.

I have discussed this with Tandem Customer Support and they have assured me that the pump will be replaced under warranty for any water related damage.

For all practical purposes we consider the pump to be waterproof. When we do boating activities we take zero additional precautions with the pump.

@Tim35 That is exactly what I was told when I switched several years ago…until I had a water related issue. Then the whole story changed. They replaced the pump but told me they would not in the future. The first time my x2 got wet it stopped delivering but luckily it allowed me to reload a cartridge and resume. I keep it away from water now.

When we go boating our X2 gets a good soaking.

At the beach we disconnect. Nothing to do with fear of the water. Simply for comfort. Every two hours we re-connect and bolus for two hours worth of basal. X2 is slow to bolus so wait it out then disconnect again.

We do not give water a second thought in terms of the X2.

BTW - The X2 being watertight to a depth of 3 feet for 30 minutes is not simply something verbally said on the phone. This is the specification for the pump per the manual:

IPX7: Watertight to a depth of 3 feet for up to 30 minutes

My experience has been similar to @Tim35. My x2 gets wet all the time, but only briefly, without trouble.

Per page 24 of the user manual"

The t:slim System is watertight to a

depth of 3 feet for up to 30 minutes

(IPX7 rating). If your t:slim System has

been submerged, check your pump

for any signs of fluid entry. If there are

signs of fluid entry, disconnect the set

from your body, and contact Tandem

Diabetes Care Customer Technical

Support at 1-877-801-6901

So long as you’re not voiding the warranty by opening the pump up, or using it in a contraindicated way, water damage should be unlikely and covered.

I wonder if there was just a bad batch or something. The rate of manufacturing errors increases with small runs, as opposed to something that’s mass produced. Regardless, Tandem should stand by their products.

I was given a replacement just a few months into using it, because I called about what I thought was a glitch in the bolus calculator that apparently nobody else has ever complained about… Since it confounded all the customer service people. It wasn’t until the pump was exchanged and still had the same “glitch” that I started getting upper-level calls, and found out it’s strangely intentional. (When it greys out IOB and correction values, and defaults to the full bolus, despite having insulin on board, which I think is an absurd formula for a hypo.)

I’ve never had mechanical issues with either pump, though. Water or not.

Threads like this really disturb me as a prospective Tandem user. Being waterproof is a huge consideration to me. I don’t like the sounds of Tandem going back and forth on this issue. Either it is waterproof or it’s not. By the sounds of this thread and the information in their manual, the pump is water-resistant for rain or splashes or getting dunked, but not waterproof for sustained immersion in water. This is one major reason that I have not decided on Tandem for sure and will be examining all pumps before finalizing my decision.

I’ve been using a t:slim for almost 4 years and have never gotten it wet. I was drilled about keeping my pump dry when using MiniMed/Medtronic for 23 years. I could never get it wet. I was told my pump is water resistant but I have never pushed it. When showering, swimming or at the beach, I just disconnect. The only one I think that is water proof is the Omnipod. Maybe one day they can figure this out.

All I can say is we do not shrink from water one bit with our X2.

Everybody has to go with what their comfort level is.

Do you swim with it?

I think not shrinking from rain or getting splashed or even dunked for a short time is different from extended, continuous exposure to water, and many devices are designed to survive the former but not the latter. I am interested in using my pump in the latter types of situations.

The OP said T:Slim, but did not say the X2.
Does the OP have the newer X2 pump?

No. Certainly that could be a difference.

IMHO our reason for not swimming with it is comfort as it also is taken off for running. If wanting to swim and/or run with a pump then I would think an Omnipod might be more comfortable. Although I am sure there are a number of ways to securely fasten the X2 so it doesn’t bounce or jiggle while swimming or running.

We do the two-hours off then re-attach, bolus for the missed basal and then detach again. Also at the beach (off, 2-hours, bolus the basal, off) even if not in the water. Bike riding and kayaking it gets kept on.

The IPX 7 is highly water resistant. It means the pump is protected from water up to temporary immersion. In order for the pump to be considered water proof it would have to carry a rating of IPX 8.

I wouldn’t swim in the pump (which was a major drawback for me when I switched but the omnipod is not an option nor is the Animas Ping anymore) . Glad to hear that others get good results out of the mic bags and I’m going to try that on the next canoeing trip we take.

The Tandem t:sport is being described by Tandem as “Water Resistant (IPX8)”.

I hate bumping an old thread, but I had the exact same issues. I got the slim when it first came out, as it was touted as the next best thing. Touch screen, rechargable, and water resistant for active lifestyles. After getting a replacement before the end of warranty, I immediately had issues with it in water, having put the original through its paces with swimming, boating, ect. simple things like hopping in the pool for a few minutes resulted in needing to call tslim for a new pump

I got the x2 recently, and had the exact same experience. on vacation, and was trying to read a book while sitting in a floating pool lounge chair. Guess who was happy they brought a backup pump?

If you are active, you can’t use a tslim. Get a different brand. It’s a great pump (if you don’t mind all the beeping), but it’s not as robust as the animas. Hell, it makes me miss the minimed waterproof bricks. At least minimed is/was kind enough to make water activity attachments for us!

1 Like

Just so everyone knows, the Omnipod pod that you wear is completely waterproof. I go snorkeling with it all the time.

I’m surprised to see some of the comments here as I’ve used a tslim for 5 years and have never had issues with water with the pump, rain, in a pool, lake or ocean. Granted I’m not spending over a few seconds in deep water, but even when it’s in water the majority of time I’ve spent in water, never had issues, even if in water an extended time.

It’s interesting to hear others experience though and learn about the issues you’ve had. I’ll definitely keep in mind next time I swim with it : )
Also in regards to the beeping, my tslim only beeps when it’s empty. Unless there’s an occlusion (maybe once per year) or failure (twice in 5 years).

I recently tried the OmniPod dash (due to TSA issues) and overall like the t:slim much better due to the basal IQ/Dexcom and profiles. I had a high failure rate with OmniPod though and am going to wait for the tsport! But you do get through TSA faster with OmniPod!