Time for a new Tandem?

The calls and texts have started. My Tandem pump is going out of warranty at the end of the year. Time flies when you are enjoying the joys of full nights of sleep and some much less thinking about my diabetes.

That being said, one of the reasons I made the switch from Medtronic was that new upgrades could be done through downloads from a computer. Yes, the first two were done for free and I understood moving forward that upgrades would probably have a copay, as they need to make money because I wouldn’t be buying a new pump because I could upgrade. I have had four pumps in the 32 years pumping. Early on Minimed/Medtronic just didn’t have any real big time upgrades so why get a new one?! I figured as long as the battery held out, I would just run this on into the ground like I did with my Minimed/Medtronic pumps.

But with all the calls and texts, I thought I heard someone say if my pump is out of warranty I couldn’t get any new upgrades it something came out. What?! I don’t understand! My pump is working fine. There is no problem with it, why would I want to get rid of something that works. I know many of us are coming up on warranty running out. What is everyone doing? I mean, yes my deductible is obviously meet and that means very low copay, but unless there is something coming down the pipeline, I feel like I should let it ride. But man, I am very upset about not being able to get upgrades if pump is out of warranty, even if willing to pay.

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I get it, why throw out a working pump, if it still fits your needs. If you can’t get upgrades is that a problem if your current pump’s software version is working well for you. Using an out of date, out of warranty pump seem like a reasonable thing to do, if it is still working fine for you.

But there is an advantage that comes with a new pump. It is more than the new car feel, it is the peace of mind that comes with a new warranty. I have had two pumps, and both failed within their warranty period. In each instance my pump was replaced within two days. It was reassuring knowing that my pump’s warranty took care of me.


Sounds like speculation.

Have you asked Tandem?

My Tandem warranty is up next year in mid 2023, so will likely get new pump. But tempted to check out O5 first or latest Tandem Mobi or X3 when available.

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My pump is now like 1.5 years out of warranty. I’ve been trying to hold out until the Mobi is released to buy the next one. They don’t appear to be offering free upgrades from recent X2 purchases to Mobi, like many have speculated, as they announced their $999 upgrade program right after filing the Mobi with the FDA. They might sweeten the pot if renewals slow down too much while waiting, though, since it looks really bad to investors. But I’m not making any move until the Mobi is released or they put “free upgrade” in print. I hate the Omnipods (or rather they hate me??), but I’ll go back to DIY Looping with them in the meantime if my pump has a catastrophic failure in the meantime. I just don’t want another 4 years with the X2. It feels like old hardware to me, and the micro-USB plug infuriates me. After all these years, I still can’t plug it in in the dark because the charging port is so finicky.

You actually don’t lose this benefit being out-of-warranty with Tandem. I finally got someone from the renewals team to tell me that I didn’t NEED to renew yet if I didn’t want to, because I would still be shipped an overnight replacement for my out-of-warranty pump, with one giant caveat… I had to start the renewal process at that time. They’d only give me that courtesy so long as I planned to stay in the Tandem ecosystem. So literally nothing to risk by not renewing the warranty and buying the new pump.

Tandem is actually moving away from this model. They considered paid upgrades, but have decided (at least for the time being) that software updates have the most value by persuading people to renew their warranties… Because only in-warranty customers are eligible. It was a major driving factor for the recent mobile bolus upgrade, because renewals were stalled in anticipation of the Mobi, so a whole bunch of people bought a new X2 just for the mobile bolus.

The kicker is, though… They actually made the mobile bolus update available to ALL X2s, even the out-of-warranty ones. I suspect the FDA made them do so, because the update notices came with a security issue warning letter. My thinking is they lumped security fixes in the software update, along with the mobile bolus feature, to sorta strongarm the speedy approval… And it bit them in the butt because the FDA made them push the update to everyone.

I’ve personally chosen not to do that update, though, even though I was eligible. Even did the training and got my code. I was reading about a lot of critical pump malfunctions after the update, that needed replaced, and I didn’t want to jeopardize my pump forcing me into a decision that I’m not ready to make yet. (And also because the AAPS developer working on T:slim integration doesn’t think it’s necessary, and heightened security might be a bad thing!)

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They also made in warranty pumps get a new Rx for this “feature” update. If it’s such a security and/or safety oriented update, why would the FDA lump it together with a Feature update. I have 2 pumps, one in warranty and one out of warranty. The out of warranty was updated with no Rx needed. The in warranty pump needed a new Rx -it is not updated. They were both running the same software version. Guess I have a better chance of living if I use my out of warranty pump according to the FDA and Tandem.

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I have mixed feelings about this for four reasons.

I’m an engineer who understands the tech of the equipment I use better than the maker’s tech support does. I’m reluctant to discard any piece of working equipment, knowing that it is unlikely to be recycled. I’m not impressed by f.e.a.t.u.r.e.s ., but performance. I understand mean time between failures.

My car is a 2008 Honda I bought used in 2015. It runs like new and is easy to maintain. I’ve no reason to replace it, even if gasoline cost $10/gallon, unless a critical part becomes unavailable as new or salvage.

I spent 25 years working in IT fixing other people’s computer problems. I used the same “previously owned” Windows XP computer 8 hours a day for 10 years and still use the same glass CRT monitor. In 2017 when I was retired and could no longer get AV software to run on it, I replaced it with a Chromebook whose support updates ended last June. I reimaged it with the Lacros browser that continues to get security updates and prepped it as a machine for a casual user. I bought a manufacturer-refurnished Chromebook with a slightly larger screen easier for me to read that should outlast its Google update period of 7 years.

I also look at cost of ownership, utility and reliability.

Because I know how to use a computer more effectively than most people, few new f.e.a.t.u.r.e.s of OSs are worth the hinderance of learning a new user interface that doesn’t make my work easier than an older one. I don’t own computers to be amused by their changing personalities and interfaces. I use them as tools to do work, not play games.

My nearly free Windows PC cost me much, much more in my support time at minimum wage than it initially cost. Switching to Chromebooks required less time than mastering a new version of Windows and apps equivalent to what I had been using were free. I’ve spent less than an hour per year to periodically powerwash them; most of the the apps get reloaded automatically.

My "total cost of ownership"of Chromeboks has been well under $1/week-including software. I’ve spent more on replacing printers that wore out and their supplies. I wear out mechanical keyboards, mice and batteries, not computers with solid state storage.

Objectively, today I probably don’t “need” an insulin pump. I know the statistics. I did better with MDI than 90% of PWT1D do with any diabetes tech. I started using a CGM and pump this past year because I knew my ability to maintain that level of management was starting to deteriorate and wanted to gradually become accustomed to delegating some of that attention and management while I still have a choice.

Unless physically abused, a Tandem insulin pump has only a few things likely to mechanically wear out in less than 10 years: the rechargeable battery, the charging connector and the pump motor. The electronics are less complex than a cellphone, with only the internal storage subject to write cycle wear. My bet is that it could last longer than my indestructable Canon digital cameras.

To me an insulin pump has similar economics as an inkjet printer. The supplies cost much more than the device over its life. Someone pays for it. Itos the mechanucal paryts that might wear out. If I were paying out of pocket and I was younger, I’d keep it past the warranty (prepaid service contract) expiration and wait for it to wear out.

But I pay for a pump and CGM entirely through insurance that costs the same whether I have new equipment or not. So I’ll keep probably it until insurance will pay for a replacement unless there’s a compelling reason like non-invasive glucose monitors paired with vastly superior AID firmware that my t:slim X2 hasn’t the ability to support.
I’d never “upgrade” if it requiresd a new phone to support old abilities. Needing other new hardware is one reason I stopped upgrading Windows.

From what I’ve read, NO pump close to reaching general market release, including the X3 the short tube Tandem model or any “pod” provides a compelling insulin management reason for me to switch. They all require nearly the same amount of physical support to replace supplies.

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The FDA wouldn’t do that. They only approve or disapprove the product Tandem submits.

It’s been standard practice with all the previous updates to do a little tweaking and bug fixes along with the feature aspect. I’m guessing the FDA just called them out on one or more point and said every existing pump serial number had to be offered the security upgrade and accounted for… Hence why those email blasts had a confirmation button to acknowledge receipt.

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In the US no new Rx is needed for the software update. You only need Rxs to upgrade from the basic “dumb” T:slim X2 to Basal-IQ software or from Basal-IQ to Control-IQ.

You just need to go through a 1 hour online feature tutorial with a 4 question quiz. That’s only needed because they combined the mandated update with the phone bolus feature that isn’t available for 95% of the phone models in use (and that feature is automatically disabled.)

Actually not so @pstud123 . My in warranty pump required a new Rx because of the fancy new “feature set” that they were forcing along with all the "hey update now or you could die in your sleep "safety update.

Either didn’t read what I wrote carefully or you’re mistaken.

If you’re in the United State a prescription is only needed to make a purchase of a controlled item or to satisfy an insurance company .

An “authorized purchase” is involved to get a pump with a software version installed on it. For the t:slim pump those 3 versions are Basic, Basal IQ and Control IQ. A prescription is required to change version, to “upgrade”.

Updates within the warranty coverage of the Tandem pump are included in the purchase price. The software update is not an upgrade. Neither is the set of FDA mandated bug fixes.

This update is no different from the updates that are offered for Windows or Chromebook except that you aren’t nagged or forced to accept them.by the software.

There is only one feature, not particularly fancy, involved in this update. It is only available with certain models of smartphone. It allows you to do one function you can already do on the pump through the smartphone.

The tutorial only illustrates that the FDAd lawyers believe that everyone is a technology idiot . I hope that they’re wrong because all the tutorial does is remind a user what those steps for initiating a food bolus are and that the phone must be in Bluetooth communication with the pump for it to work.

I went through the updated manual and compared it to the content of the earlier manual. There’s a minor cosmetic change to the base display on the pump. It adds a bright blue indicator dot for each bolus along the bottom of the graph. That might be useful if you get distracted, forget you recently bolused, or can’t interpret the IOB number at the bottom of the screen.

I can say that this is unequivocally true because I just went through this update process 8 days ago. My doctor was not involved in any way. .

If you do the update online through the portal with the Tandem updater, you have to sign in and it goes through all of the check steps to make sure that you are authorized to have the software version that you’re attempting to update.

One of these steps is to verify that you had a prescription for the version. If you do, it automatically goes on to the next step which is to prompt you to take the tutorial.

I waited this long because I don’t have a phone that can use the remote bolus, did not have a compatible computer, didn’t want to travel to meet with the Tandem representative for them to do it for me, and I experienced a software glitch two weeks ago that I felt required a software reload.

Since a “factory reset” isn’t an option, the only ways to do this were the update or a pump exchange. So I ordered a cheap Windows 11 micro PC from Amazon and connected it to my TV. Start to finish, including setting up the PC, taking the tutorial, and doing a cartridge change the update took me 2 hours.

Btw, If you have Control IQ it may interest you to know that in the week since I loaded the update, without making any changes to how I use the pump, my time in range improved from 95 to 100. This must be due to an unannounced improvement in the CIQ algorithm because my carb estimating skills aren’t good enough to handle a potluck Thanksgiving dinner without corrections.

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I feel like I did a long time ago. Why get a new pump, if the changes were not that big of a deal. I think I made new Minimed/Medtronic pumps for the wonderful bolus wizard and then when they came out with a CGM sensor. Otherwise, the pump changes were never anything that were that important to me.

I think with Tandem, it would be if I could change set in stone settings or maybe a new and improved infusion set. Again, but this issues are not a deal breaker for me, so I can just ride it until it dies.

I mean, I had 3 Medtronic pumps over a 20 year span. I just feel if it’s working, why get a new one. And when I got the Tandem, I think it took 3 days. So if something went wrong, I feel like getting a new pump would be easy and quick. Every new pump I have gotten has been a very easy process.

So I guess I will stick with this one, as it is working fine. I had always thought the battery would be the thing that does it in because I thought I could do upgrades if I wanted them. But I didn’t do the mobile app upgrade, as it wasn’t a must have and trying to do the test online was nightmarish, so I gave up and am still happy with the way the pump works.

I am going to call them to see about the line I heard from one of them, that if out of warranty, no upgrades. And for the deductible issue, we usually have meet it within the first month or two. So it really isn’t a big selling point.

I will keep you posted on my calls. Thanks for all the insights.

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Haven’t used it yet, but Medtronics will send a loaner pump in the event of pump failure even if the pump is out of warranty. So I would use a loaner while waiting on new pump. Don’t know if Tandem or Tandem suppliers will do the same.

The problem I had with the out of warranty pump was the “salesman” pestering me, trying to pressure me into getting a new pump. My physical pump is only a year or so old, courtesy of a recall replacement (replacement didn’t extend the warranty). “Salesman” isn’t needed, as the VA handles ordering, training and distribution. He just wouldn’t take the hint, so I finally blocked his phone number. lol

So my cost is $500. My husband and I have decided to wait until after the first of the year. It only takes a couple months to meet our deductible. Insulin and Victoza is $300 and I will need both next month. Along with pump and dexcom supplies. It’s done. So waiting until next year, we also have a new FSA.
So since the pump is working and I have no problem with it. I will just let it ride until next year. I mean if anything happens and I need a new pump, the paperwork is ready, so it shouldn’t be a problem.and who knows, I might not do anything. But nice to have the numbers. I was told pump was about $5,000. Sad thing was last time we did this, the insurance company was charged $13,000. Insurance is such a messed up system!


That’s really weird, Tandem pumps are listed under 5 thousand and were 4 thousand when introduced.

That means they defrauded your insurance company. If they charged the insurance company 13 thousand .
My insurance like most insurance companies charge a deductible for insulin pumps . Mine is 20% so my $4000 pump cost me 800 dollars but even if they covered 100% they can’t charge more than the list price .

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Keep in mind these companies negotiate the prices they charge insurance companies and the insurance approves them. It is also possible the price they “charged” them is just the price before they “discount” it. Not sure in you case. So if the insurance agreed to pay them 13k for a 5k device that is on them.

I will wholeheartedly agree that the insurance based system is a train wreck.

Personally I have zero reason to get a new pump (warranty isn’t out anyways), and not even a reason to update software. As was stated in a post above the X2 feels very much like old hardware at this point. By time my warranty runs out it will have been out for around 8 years I believe. Software updates are great and all, but they don’t make up for aging hardware design. Especially that stupid charge port. Heck I might even get another X2 if they’d switch it to USBc lolol.

As for the software: They only real improvement would be some bug fixes that don’t apply to me. That combined with the fact they still don’t have a cross platform updater app, which makes it a horrible pain in the butt for those of us who don’t use Mac or Windows, is enough for me not to care. The models of phones that can use the bolus feature is far too slim, and of course my phone is not compatible. It is silly that a Pixel, which runs stock Android therefore making it as basic and consistent as you can get, is not approved already. If I can’t even use the big feature of the update it is pretty pointless to go through the trouble.

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This discussion is very interesting. I’m new around here and especially interested in reasons to upgrade and which direction to go. So, Sally you are referring to upgrading your Tandem? Is that right? Will you upgrade Dexcom too? This is my dilemma……670G to what? Lots to consider.

My warranty is still going I’m only at 2 years, but if I needed a new pump I would wait if I could. Esp if you are waiting for a new tandem because we will have the options of the mobi x2 and x3. There will be pod type disposable pumps from tandem down the line but that seems way off. Who knows Medtronic might come up with a new one by then too

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My Medtronic pump is out of warranty and because of changes in the way my insurance now covers pumps/CGMs, Medtronic is no longer a bargain like it used to be. I am considering switching to Tandem/Dexcom. I’ve seen mentions on the X3 coming out and I’m wondering if I should wait for that. From the video someone posted above it seems like it’s new hardware and not just a software upgrade to the current pump. Does Tandem have a program like Medtronic where you can upgrade to the newest pump for a fee, of even free if your pump is still very new?

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When the first release date for the mobi was announced I had just purchased mt new x2. That was 2 years ago, then Covid happened and delay delay delay. But when I bought my x2, I was told I can get a mobi for $1500 and trade in the x2 still under warranty. The tandem only costs4,200 at least 2 years ago it did so that’s almost a third of that price. When I asked again a few months ago when the mobi was announced again, the person on the phone said she was not aware of that deal. So now it looks like I’ll ride out the 2 more years. It might be good timing because we will have some data about the mobi and x3 by then.no matter when you buy, something better will be out before your warranty expires, so I think you can go ahead and buy it. If your old pump is still working, then you can wait and see


I also bought tandem in late Dec 2021. So my warranty is till end of Dec 2025. I applied for limited launch on mobi. As far as I remember it’ll cost us 999$ to swap current with a new mobi until end of original warranty period. And I’ll do that for sure. People who got their pump after second half this year can get mobi for 150$

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