“Hot-swapping” Dexcom G6 Transmitter

I’m using a Dexcom G6 and I applied a new sensor yesterday while in a rush and forgot that I needed to pair a new transmitter. I went to start the sensor and got a “pair new transmitter” instead of “new sensor” alert. I had already inserted the dead transmitter into the sensor cradle. Whoops.
I’ve heard of the idea of swapping a transmitter without having to replace the sensor as well. Is this possible? Any tips? I’m not sure how to do it and I’d hate to waste a perfectly good sensor.
Thank you

I think I’ve done that successfully, and keyed the new transmitter number after the fact. But if it doesn’t work call Dexcom and ask for a replacement.

Lise @6yGodsGr it definitely IS POSSIBLE. Last Saturday I had a “Signal Loss” error on both my t-Slim x2 pump [my principal receiver] and on my Dexcom phone app that I also use. After an hour of signal loss, after doing restarts on both devices, I figured that the Transmitter failed during its 72nd day of use, so I swapped it out and replaced it with a new transmitter while keeping in the sensor. I expect that this good sensor will give me a full 16 days service.

I used on of the tools of my Swiss Army Knife to pop out the failed transmitter, cleaned the new transmitter with alcohol and inserted, entered the new serial number, paired, entered sensor code and everything is working fine. One caution, you must wait more than 20 minutes - so I’ve been told - after removing the old transmitter. That 20 minutes may not apply if the old transmitter has failed.

Interesting, I opened your post while talking with Dexcom; a replacement transmitter and new sensor are being shipped.

hi @6yGodsGr just like @Dennis said - the transmitter can be popped out, you need to carefully use a thin tool at the spot where the transmitter is held in place. Most people use a test strip.
I’m attaching a picture of where the tabs are

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There are YouTube videos out there that show you the steps to remove the older transmitter / replace

Great, thank you so much!

Forget the slim tools and the fixes. Call Tandem and they will fix you right up. We all make mistakes! They have helped me many times.

Getting one “free” from Dexcom is ok if you don’t mind inserting a new sensor, throwing away a good one AND the insertion appliance, ordering a replacement with their webform, wait g a day for their two email acknowledgement agreement to replace, a shipping confirmation the next business day, then waiting a week for the replacement to arrive. I’d only do that if the site was bad.

When the site/sensor isn’t bad, I use an unused stainless steel feeler gage to pop out the transmitter. It’s from a set I bought years ago for adjusting car engines . Like this one; Robot or human? There are less expensive versions.

It works perfectly. It’s a great time saver if I take a shower and want to verify that no humidity condensed between the sensor and transmitter, or I need to change transmitters for any reason.

I use it every time I change sensor sites, because I install the new one before removing the old. (I do peel off the old overpatch first.) Doing it that way makes it easier to systematically move to the nearest adjacent site without getting too close.

Good to have the instructions - thanks to those who shares them.
I know you can order replacements online - I tried it once but prefer doing it by phone. I’ve found that to be quick.

I know I’m late in answering, but yes, you can change the transmitter without putting in a new sensor. Dexcom Customer Care talked me thru how to do it the first time. You can just break the “seal” on the sensor base, like you normally do when removing the transmitter from an expired sensor. Pull the old transmitter out and slide the new one into place. The base will click back into place with the new transmitter. The transmitter is actually held in farther up the base. You can tape down the area where you bent the base, if needed, but I have not found this to be necessary.

Pam K.
T1D 57.11 years and counting!

Thanks so much for all the responses!
I botched the first try (I accidentally broke the sensor) but I know what I did wrong and the instructions have been extremely helpful!
This morning I made the mistake of not stopping the sensor session before inserting a new sensor. I waited 30 min before starting the new session and I guess the transmitter thought I had just disconnected or something. I looked at my cell phone and I was already getting readings and it said the sensor was set to expire in 2 hours (the time the old sensor was going to expire).
I successfully popped out the transmitter using a test strip, stopped the session, slipped the transmitter back in, and started a new sensor session while leaving the new sensor on. So far so good.
But then it rejected the new sensor. Ugh. I think I’m going to have to insert a new new sensor because I can’t get it to restart without my phone blaring “sensors can not be restarted. Insert a new sensor”.
How the transmitter wouldn’t recognize a new sensor but would recognize an old one is beyond my comprehension.
I’m sad that I’m going to end up wasting another perfectly good sensor. Good lesson- always pay attention to what you’re doing and stop your sensor session before applying a new sensor!! And don’t be in a hurry when dealing with diabetes tech. It’ll only give you a big headache.

Dexcom will usually replace a sensor if it doesn’t last it’s full 10 days: adhesive failed, you bumped into something and dislodged it, sensor errors (for those, call them before you start a new one - they may ask you to wait to see if it recovers) - thru should replace it. I wouldn’t tell them about your adventures trying to extend one, but if you tell them you forgot to stop the first one and then the next would not connect, that should suffice. It’s always good to try to get a replacement.

So the way to do it is exactly how you did it but you have to start the sensor after 15-20 minutes. Don’t swap the transmitter for 15 minutes in other words, the transmitter should sit disconnected for this time. Swap the transmitter and start the sensor (some people start it with no code to be sure it will work). Should be fine. Lots of people restart a used sensor this way.