Recommend getting the pads relatively wet for good connection. I happened to have a spray bottle of electrolyte solution for another tens unit I have which specifically was for use on pads. I guess you can use water, but since I have the solution I figured I'd use it. Will compare with plain water later.
It stops working if pads don't have enough water. Haven't worn it enough to see if more water will help. Hot in the summer heat.
Thank you for your review! Yes in order for the belt to work, the pads need to be soaking wet and in full contact with your skin.