FUDiabetes

Repeated Dexcom G6 failures


#1

Guys, we have now been through four!!! G6 sensors in the last 10 days and I’m wondering if this is the new normal?
Has anyone else switched to the G6 and what has their experience been? I’m wondering whether this is a manufacturing issue and we just got a bad lot – except this last sensor failure came from a totally different box, shipped to a totally different person, who basically lent us these out of the kindness of their heart.
We’ve been doing the same things all the time and I don’t know what’s going on. Dexcom just keeps shipping us replacements but honestly that’s getting really disheartening. We can’t deal with failures two or three times a week while he’s at preschool.

Any ideas what could cause it? I’m wondering if a bad transmitter could cause this issue – even though it’s new? Also wondering if there could be some way that somehow openAPS is exhausting the transmitter in a way? Seems so unlikely but I’m wracking my brains and can’t figure out what to try next. We do all the things: wiping transmitter with alcohol, making sure it’s inserted, applying adhesive around the edges, etc.

Also, we were experiencing long wait times and this last time I called I got someone from a call center in India. They were much less helpful and experienced, but the wait time was much lower. So I’m guessing they’re experiencing enough high call volumes to have to rapidly ramp up their customer service operation.


After 3+ months on G6, going back to the G5
#2

Not good hearing about all of these problems. I hope it smooths out for you.


#3

Sorry I don’t have any answers for you Tia, but I hope you guys get this figured out soon. I know it has to be stressful as hell.


#4

Is going back to the G5 an option? This sounds like it’s unacceptable. Is there an advocate at Dexcom that could work through it with you and find a resolution?

I’ve asked for callbacks from higher level support before and I’ve gotten much better support that way. I’d suggest you try that on your next call.


#5

Is going back to the G5 an option?

Well, we have about 14 G5 sensors that we haven’t used and we got an unused G5 transmitter from someone very generous. I also know you can send the dead transmitters away for battery replacements. So we are planning to do that once we run out of the G6s, which is apparently not going to be very long if things keep up as they have been. :roll_eyes:

Anyways, going to the G5 is definitely our backup plan if this continues but once you start that transmitter the clock is ticking. So we really only want to do that if we’re sure we’re not going bak to the G6 anytime soon.


#6

This is terrible! We have been using the G6 for about a month and have not had any issues like this.


#7

How frustrating! The G6 is the first I’ve used, but I’ve been using it since April-ish without much issue. I hope you are able to get this resolved soon :frowning:


#8

well, it’s good to know that I’m the only one, LOL. I’ve seen a few scattered reports of repeated failures in other groups so I know it’s happening – just not sure it’s any more frequent than it was with the G5, as I’m obviously just anecdata. This time I tried applying it without any Skintac around the edges to see if that helps maybe?


#9

Haha, I almost didn’t reply at all because I didn’t want to make you feel like you were the only one having trouble! Lol. Just thought it would be worth throwing another perspective out there I guess.

I haven’t been using skintac and they almost last me the 10 days…the adhesive is usually on its last leg by then but they usually get me by. (I tried extending one past 10 days once and the accuracy was so bad I gave up and just stick with the 10 days now)

I’ve had a couple sensors fail during warmup, but haven’t had any that have gone totally goofy once they’re up and running. One of the ones that failed during warmup I think I may have accidentally inserted through skintac, but who knows if that had anything to do with it. All in all I’ve been pretty fortunate to have good luck with them… knock on wood!


#10

We just started G6 2 weeks ago. Used G5 prior to that. Yes we are getting sensor error message also. Usually on the seventh day. Last week it crapped out completely and had a message that said replace sensor now. Called Dexcom and an hour later talked to someone who sent out a replacement. Today on the 7th day it stopped working while our daughter was in school. I had school turn the phone off wait a few minutes and turn back on. Sometimes worked with g5. We got a number for a little while, then she snagged it with her shorts when using the bathroom and pulled it out. Ugh! This time I just pressed 1 for them to call me back. But I’m not seeing the 10 day wear period working as promised.


#11

The G5 transmitter can be restarted; the 90-day limit turns out not to be a real limitation.

It is true that the G5 transmitter battery is running down from the time the transmitter is manufactured, unlike the G4 that had a magnetic switch to keep it turned off until the transmitter was removed from the box.


#12

is that true without Xdrip+? We use an iPhone with Share/Follow for his receiver and so, while we could switch if needed, it’s a little bit of a hassle.


#13

I built the resetTransmitter app on a mac, installed it onto the iPhone, and reset my G5 transmitter after it reached its time limit and refused to start a new sensor. After 10 minutes running, the app restored the transmitter to working condition. It is still working, 5 months after it was first started, and I’m using the official Dexcom iPhone app and Dexcom clarity reports with no apparent issues.

See option 3 in http://seemycgm.com/2018/06/11/restarting-g6-sensors-and-transmitter/ for the description and links that I followed to do it.

I think maybe the spike app can also restart the transmitter, but I’ve never tried that.


#14

I recently switched from a G4 share to the G6 (and summarized my experience here) and had no big problems. I’m on my third sensor now and switched to Xdrip+ after the first one. The first two sensors were fine, but the current one had a major startup problem. The readings when I started it were crazy- around 30ish when my meter (two fingersticks in a row) said I was around 90 and I felt fine. Calibrations wouldn’t fix it- Xdrip+ gave me a calibration failure and no readings that night (again, through Xdrip+). But I’ve heard that the first day can be wonky so I just let it go overnight and restarted the sensor in the morning and it has been fine ever since. This sensor just autorestarted this morning and is still doing great after the initial 10 day cycle.

I’m with you on the G6 adhesive sucking. I don’t use skintac but stick on a simpatch over it (usually around day 7) when the edges of the sensor start to pull up and that has lasted my around as long as the sensor will (~15ish days in total so far).


#15

So if you get 2 G5 transmitters every 6 months, is the 2nd one always partially run down when starting it? And then 2nd one gets fewer days? Is there minimal loss of power prior to transmitter start?
Or does everyone order one at a time?

I am still using G4 transmitter. Last order they sent 2 G5s, but I sent them back and got G4 transmitter. 1 G4 usually lasts a year, and costs same as 2 G5s, so trying to compare total days.


#16

I thought the magnetic switch was ingenious.
I have always wondered at the decision process to remove that.
Really couldn’t come up with any good reasons.


#17

We get two transmitters with each order. If either of the transmitters does not last 90 days (of actual service) then it is covered under warranty. Our most recently used G5 transmitter lasted 81 days. I felt a little silly but called Tech Support anyway. They sent a replacement unit. Half was simply to see if they really would when it was so close to reaching the 90 days but “not quite”. It still felt silly. But I did get my question answered. 90 days is 90 days.

Note that the built-in timer (which as stated above can be hacked and reset) will actually run for 112 days.

The precise wording of the warranty is different in different regions (countries) so you would have to check. Sometimes the wording actually makes a difference in particular when it comes to how long it was sitting on the shelf. The Dexcom G5 transmitter warranty wording for the US is: [clipped from the manual]

Dexcom G5 Transmitter Limited Warranty
What’s Covered and for How Long?
Dexcom, Inc. (“Dexcom”) provides a limited warranty to the original purchaser that the Dexcom G5 Transmitter is free from defects in material and workmanship under normal use for the period commencing on the date of first use by the original purchaser (the “Date of First Use”) and expiring three (3) months thereafter; provided, that, the Date of First use occurs within five (5) months of the date of shipment (or disbursement) of the transmitter to the original purchaser.
NOTE: If you received this Transmitter as a replacement for an in-warranty Transmitter, the Limited Warranty for the original Transmitter shall continue for the Warranty Period on the original Transmitter, but the replacement is not subject to any other warranty.


#18

Although the second transmitter is already partly run down, that kind of doesn’t matter. The second one should still have plenty of battery life, and with restarting I expect that you’d come out far ahead of the supposed 3 months each.

As one example of starting an old transmitter, I had a G5 transmitter manufactured 6/1/16, sell-by 1/29/17, started 1/7/18, and it lasted 72 days before the battery failed. So after sitting on the shelf for 19 months, it still had enough battery life to run for most of the rated 90-112 days. (It sat on the shelf that long because my G5 receiver had failed, I didn’t have a mobile phone back then, and it was cheapest to just buy a G4 transmitter to use with my old G4 receiver. After the G4 ran out of battery I had a phone so started using the old G5 transmitter.)

I fully expect to get a year or more out of a pair of G5 transmitters, but we’ll see — I’m only on my first G5 transmitter that was started fresh (manufactured 11/28/17, started 3/26/18, restarted 7/11/18, and still running fine.) One caveat: I’m just using a phone. If the transmitter were paired with both a phone and a receiver (or pump) it’s possible that it would use up more battery on radio transmissions.


#19

Dexcom Tech Support said this is the case.

Doesn’t mean it is true. I tend to take everything with a grain of salt. But in event …


#20

That’s basically what I was asking, so thanks !!

For now, I’m sticking with G4, as I have typically gotten just over 1 year on each one.