Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breastpump

October 11, 2012
Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breastpump

We know how much moms rely on their pumps to provide breastmilk and we can’t imagine the frustration a mom must feel when her pump isn’t working properly. We never want you to feel helpless if you encounter problems late at night or when you’re unable to reach out to Customer Service.

So if you’re ever in a pinch, please use these Medela troubleshooting tips to help. Here are some frequently asked questions about troubleshooting your breastpump. Please share any additional questions you have in a reply/comment at the bottom of this post.

My pump is losing suction.
If you are experiencing low suction, first check the valves and membranes:

  1. Separate the membranes from the valves
  2. Inspect the valves and membranes for damage, including cracks, chips, holes or tears.
  3. If a part is damaged, discontinue use and purchase or order a replacement.
  4. Wash the valve and membrane using warm, soapy water. Allow parts to dry completely before reassembling.
  5. Reassemble your pump, ensuring that each piece fits snugly and lies flat.

Then, check the breastshields and connectors to make sure there are no cracks. Also, make sure they attach securely.

Clean the tubing and faceplate if there is any sign of condensation and/or milk. (Faceplate instructions only apply to Pump In Style Advanced models).

  1. Begin by turning off your breastpump and removing it from the power source.
  2. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle.
  3. Rinse tubing in cool water to remove any breastmilk residue.
  4. Wash tubing in warm soapy water, rinse in cool water and hang to dry thoroughly.
  5. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes.
  6. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry completely.
  7. Wipe diaphragm with a clean damp cloth (no soap).
  8. Then, locate the 3 connection points on the reverse side of the faceplate and reconnect the faceplate back to the pump.

Finally, inspect these connection points to ensure they’re attached securely:

  1. Tubing adapter to breastshield connector
  2. Tubing end to faceplate port
  3. Faceplate to backplate

Once you’ve completed these steps, turn on your pump and check the suction.

There’s condensation in my tubing.
If you notice moisture in your tubing, leave your tubing attached with the pump still running while you store your breastmilk after you’re finished pumping.

This will allow any condensation that has formed from the natural results of humidity to dry in the tubing.

Milk in tubing.
If milk accidentally gets in tubing, turn off the pump and remove it from the power source (Faceplate instructions only apply to Pump In Style Advanced models.)

  1. Remove tubing without wiggling or pulling at an angle.
  2. Wash tubing in warm soapy water and hang to dry thoroughly
  3. Snap off the faceplate using the thumb tab and soak in warm, soapy water for 5 minutes.
  4. Clean with a soft brush or dish cloth and allow it to dry fully
  5. Wipe diaphragm clean with a damp cloth (no soap).

If you still experience problems, please reach out to Medela Customer Service. They’re happy to help and will do their best to come up with the best solution possible. Also, refer to your instruction manual for more details.

274 thoughts on “Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breastpump

  1. I was traveling and using my pump on the airplane and all of a sudden my pump stopped working. I tried it at the airport in a regular outlet but it still doesn’t work. Is there a way to troubleshoot my pump? I am 10 months into pumping and really want to continue for another 2 months without having to purchase a new pump.


    • Hi Nicole,

      So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your pump. Customer Service would be happy to help you troubleshoot, please call 1-800-435-8316 for assistance.


  2. I have the Swing model and recently I’ve been having an issue with the connector not releasing milk into the valve and then into the bottle; it’s clogging up and inevitably milk is ending up in the tubing. I’ve checked all the connections are clean, dry and tightly done up. I’ve replaced both the valve and membrane and yet it still seems like I can’t get the milk to flow through like it should. There is a normal amount of suction so not sure what’s happening ????

    • Hi Andi,

      Sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with milk getting into the tubing of your Swing breast pump. Our Customer Service team can help you troubleshoot and find a solution, please call 1-800-435-82316. Thank you!

    • Hi Andy,
      I am experiencing the exact same problem, please let me know how you resolved this when you get feedback from customer care? I have been struggling to contact the South African Medela branch.

  3. Bought a new face plate that said would make suction better with my second baby. We put it on but don’t notice a difference. We have new tubing and flanges and such. Should the face plate be going up and down with each suction? Would like to get this resolved before baby gets here next week. Would appreciate any help! Thanks.

    • Hi Brandi,

      So sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your faceplate. Our Customer Service team would be happy to help troubleshoot and find a solution, please call 1-800-435-8316. Thanks and congrats on your growing family!

  4. Hi Melanie,

    I’m very sorry to hear about the trouble you’re having with your breastpump. Our Customer Service team is here for you – please give a call at 1-800-435-8316. Our electric pump motors are guaranteed under a one-year warranty.

    Thank you,

  5. I had my first pump for 6 yrs and used it at work daily for both my kids with no issues and had to supplement for my first but never used formula for my 2nd baby i had enough milk for her. I am used in 2nd pump over 9mos and starting to have issues but i still using only my pump breast mill and no formula. I am have low suction on my 2nd pump. :(

  6. Melanie, as a BF mom, I found your post very discouraging. I’ve been able to pump for seven months with plenty extra to keep on hand in the freezer. Breast pumps are machines and machines inevitably will break, you just have to get it serviced and/or replaced. To breastfeeding moms reading this – please keep at it, and don’t EVER believe the effort is wasted.

  7. Melanie – what a rough thing to say “don’t even bother”. Its an irresponsible attitude to say other moms who are trying to feed their baby the best thing for them – breastmilk. “Inevitably you are giving formula anyway” is a misinformed and to be frank STUPID thing to say. So to new and heck experienced moms outs there – YOU DO NOT HAVE TO EVER USE FORMULA if you don’t want to. And you can pump with great success. It may take some patience and a little effort but it can be done very simply. I hope no one allows this ignorant post to discourage them from breastfeeding and pumping while at work or wherever.

    As for Medla pumps – they’re wonderful. :)

    I think Medela should simply remove Melanie’s comment.

  8. My pump just stopped working today. I’m so frustrated now!!! It has been less than a year! I would like to contact the customer service and get my warrantee!!! This really sucks!!! Without any sign…it just stopped working. UNbelievable!!!!!

  9. Hi Rita,

    Our Customer Service team can help you get your pump back to performing at its best. Please call 1-800-435-8316 for assistance.


  10. Omg i started using the pump 5 weeks ago and today it just stopped working. I have to travel for a few weeks and i was hoping to use it during that time too!
    Im feeling extremely frustrated right now

  11. Hi Ashley,

    Our Customer Service team would be happy to speak with you directly. Please feel free to call 1-800-435-8316 for assistance.


  12. In response to Tamra’s comment. Please be sensitive and careful with comments relating to feeding a baby formula. Breastfeeding may be easy for some but not everyone. In my case I would have loved to breast feed exclusively but supplement with formula under advice from professionals. There should be no guilt around doing what is best for baby in the given circumstances…if it means supplementing with formula versus a miserable hungry baby and a stressed out mother then it’s justified. Strong statements that you make about not ever having to feed a baby formula ever are not true and insensitive. Everyone’s breast feeding journey is different and not always easy.

  13. Hi medela,

    I’ve been using the pump for the past 8 months and now it is loosing its suction power. I live in the UAE middleeast. Pls let me know what i can do and how to get the pump replaced. Thanks

  14. Thank you for your comment! We are out there! We are trying its so disheartening to read we just don’t want to enough…some moms have medical issues that make it so difficult!

  15. Hi Ayesha,

    Please call Medela Customer Service at 1-800-435-8316, they’d be happy to help you troubleshoot and find a solution.

    Thank you,

  16. I have a Medela swing that lost power after 4months of using once every few days, the service centre in the UAE had it checked and found nothing, I’m not crazy, it suddenly changed; my friend also says that she never had problems with the one she used 5 years ago but this year she had hers replaced twice in 6 months; I think quality is really low for such an expensive product, what am I supposed to do now when they say there’s no probem but there is??? very disappointed as I’m returning to work soon and will have to buy a different brand:(

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