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I am a biomedical engineer and a user of the medtronic paradigm 522 insulin pump. I have recently ran into the dreaded button error that many people have with this specific pump. I have devised a work-around to make the pump usable again (until a replacement is sent.)

If you peel back the adhesive cover for the buttons, you will see the circuit and metallic part for the buttons..

The button error is caused by moisture getting in between the silver metal and gold contact. Use a blow dryer to drive out any moisture and test out the pump by turning it on

Hopes this helps somebody out there...

If you have no insurance and your pump has done this, let me know and I'll help you out.

Shame on you Medtronic for not being able to repair such a simple problem..

Tags: 522, 712, around, broken, button, error, fix, insulin, medtronic, paradigm, More…pump, work

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Hi -
My medtronic pump had a 'button error' about a week ago. It is not under warranty but they sent me a COT pump while I figure out financing (no insurance). After the first night w/out my pump I put the battery back in and it worked, although the ACT button was a bit slow. I got another button error the next day and transferred to the COT pump. I have read your post and I am going to give it a try. Medtronic asked me to mail back my old pump but why would I send it back just so they can refurbish it and use it, unless they want to give me a discount on a new one.
Have you had any experience with Animas pumps? I thought maybe because they are water proof it might be better?
thanks, Erica.
Hey Erica,

I haven't dealt with Animas pumps at all so I wouldn't know. But we are basically in the same boat, I too have no insurance and medtronic wouldn't help at all. The trick to get the adhesive off the front panel is to get an exacto. Knife and pry gently under the plastic from the top right area where the light button is. Once you get the panel off, you will see a gold contact and if you press it, you will see how it works. I would recommend blow drying that area first, test the buttons.. if it still does it, get a Q-Tip and some isopropyl alcohol and gently clean the gold contacts, then blow dry again for a minute. Also buy some compressed air in a can and gently blow on it (not full blast, just small puffs of air)

Let me know if it works. If you need help with it you can send me the broken pump and I will try my best. Im doing research at louisiana tech right now till august so I have access to some special tools if needed. Either way let me know.

thanks Kris! I will give it a try tonight. I don't plan on sending them my pump back even I can't get it working- ridiculous that they can use it again and I can't. - Erica

i HAVE AN EXACT O KNIFE, i HVE HELP WITH A dye AND TOOL MAKER. Should I spray any adhesive remover over plastic? Do I glue it back on after drying out buttons. I might have to send to you for help

What is a "COT' pump?
'Continuation of Therapy' basically just a loaner while I get financing etc together for a new one...but hopefully the fix will work!
They may have a trade in value on it. So it can help in the cost of a new one. I am switching to Animas and they are giving me 700 break on the cost of it for the trade in.

He's quite right.
I've found that a slightly less invasive solution (very short term) is to sit the pump in a bag of rice, and if you can stick it in your pocket and go about your day.

I've had three pumps do this now. I work in a fast paced kitchen environment and I guess I'm just getting it too sweaty in my pocket. tmi.

The rice bag works every time, and I've also noticed that showering with the pump in the same room also kicks my button error pump into this mode very easily. once it's moist, the buttons stick and it literally has to be dried out to function again.

Crappy design minimed.

So yeah, body heat combined with giving the moisture a better place to go to (the rice) helps. It's an old cell phone trick.

My 722 blew up last summer after a 14ish mile run in 87 degree heat and monstrous humidity. Really sweaty, right about the finish line it bleeped the "BUTTON ERROR" message. It was also the Saturday of the 3 day 4th of July weekend so I knew before I called that it was likely Tuesday/ Wednesday to get a replacement. I got home and figured I'd take the battery out and dry it off as it was a bit sweaty so I left it in the sun, had some NPH and took a shower and did some cooking (carnitas!). Then, I tried the battery and it was still bleeping so I put it in the freezer so I wouldn't have to hear it and then went about my business. The next morning, it appeared to be fine! I'd already gotten it replaced and wasn't sure I'd trust it over a holiday weekend but it seemed fix to me?

Seems like ever since they retracted the rule that they were water resistant (that first generation even claimed you could go swimming with them), they've been far from even close to being so.

I say if humidity can find a way in and do this at all, then it's likely not exactly a 'fix', but more a go to when it happens.
For this particular pump, it happened after a long swimming pool party for my kids, and the humidity was, well like a swimming pool, so while I'd never known what caused the button error before, I knew this time. It was obvious.

I can even feel my act button sticking when it gets mushy in there. The rice trick fixes it within hours.
In fact I just spent a couple of hours at target with a ziplock bag of rice in my pocket with my pump slowly resuming it's normal functions. Now the button sticking 'tick noise' has gone again and it appears to be dried out once more.
..Much to the embarrassment of my eldest son who thought I looked utterly ridiculous tending to and testing my insulin pump buttons through the side of a bag of uncooked rice in public. :D
Seems I've given up caring what others think.

Anyway, it works! I'd imagine actually getting in there somehow as the original poster mentioned to clean the connections would be a lot longer lasting, but I'm going to reserve this for when it's truly beyond reproach and I'm looking like I'll be without a pump for an extended period of time.


Thanks krispykris and breanndrink for the solutions. I had heard of the rice solutionh for cellphones, but did not think you could do it with the pump.
I have had 2 MM pumps to "go down" with the "dreaded button error" signal on hot days. I had to send them back for a replacement.I got a suggestion to put the pump in a cushy baby sock when I am wearing it close to my skin ( yes we women put it in "tighter" spaces than men, for fashion discreetness in dresses, lol)

I found that ther sock absorbs moisture on hot days; and I have not had the button error issue in over 3 years. I am due for a pump upgrade and I am debating whether I want to stay with MM pump models. I would prefer one that is waterproof as well as integrated with a CGM.

God Blss,

I had the same trouble with my Animas Pump and they refused to fix it even though it was ! 1 MONTH out of warrantee. I even offered to pay for it.
I think they Know we have to buy new ones when something goes wrong.
Both companies seem to use the same trick in the case of buttons sticking. I used alchahol swabs to dry out mine and it worked again for several days.

Anyone who is handy with a soldering iron could replace them I am sure.




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