Transmitters - New Dexcom G5 Use

I have read posts that indicate transmitters ship in quantities of two.

I have been concerned that my initial purchase of the G5 only came with 1 transmitter especially since I have also read that transmitters can fail well before the 3 month expiration date or they could also be defective causing improper readings and/or down time.
Another concern is that the G5 transmitter is backlogged and as a result I might not get a new transmitter in time to keep the CGM running without interruption.

How would you suggest I deal with having only one transmitter with no spare. I hear they can be very expensive and would like to avoid buying a spare. And quickly, I saw that you can buy used transmitters on Amazon and Ebay but almost all say “defective battery”. Isn’t that why they are replaced every three month?


There are folks with the skills and tools, that can open the transmitter, and replace batteries. They often will accept dead transmitters, and send back one with replaced battery. Or they may be buying the dead ones off eBay, then reselling once they replace batteries.

Search youtube if interested in seeing how it is done.

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Any technology can fail.

We keep syringes (and Lantus) on hand in case our pump fails.

We keep meters and strips on hand in case our Dexcom fails.

If we encounter any problems of an urgent nature, we call Tech Support immediately on their 24x7 number. While waiting for a replacement to be “next day Fed Ex’d”, we would use our backup method.

Certainly each person has to decide what approach and backup plans they are most comfortable with.

The G5 transmitter is programmed to last a maximum of 112 days. Insurance considers a single transmitter to be 90 days and (in my experience) will allow a reorder 5 days in advance. Some people get one transmitter per order, some people get two transmitters per order.

That may be driven by insurance or seller. I still use G4, but my last order they accidentally shipped 2 G5s. I was able to return them for 1 G4.

Doesn’t Dexcom sell the transmitters individually outside the US? The reman transmitters won’t work with the Dexcom receiver, so you would need to use Xdrip or Spike

I will call Dexcom this week as it is 90 days, to get a new transmitter. Not sure how easy that will be as I have read several times they are currently backlogged. In any event I feel I need a spare.

Not sure what Xdrip and Spike are. Also reading that you can improve the accuracy of the G5 reader but I think it is an app on the phone. I use the reader only.


Xdrip is an android based open-source project that works with Dexcom equipment and does not have the Dexcom software limitations imposed on g5/g6 transmitters. Some users find the algorithms superior to Dexcom’s. Spike is a similar Apple based app.