Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breast Pump

October 11, 2012

We know how much moms rely on their pumps to provide breast milk 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 breast pump. 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 breast shields 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 breast pump 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 breast milk 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 breast shield 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 breast milk 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.

1,297 thoughts on “Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breast Pump

  1. My pump seems to have no suction. I’ve disassembled and reassembled, checked everything and tried adjusting the level, no luck. It turns on fine, and sounds like it should be working but there is just no suction behind it. It’s the same for double and single and doesn’t matter which one is used.

    • Hi, Megan. We’re sorry to hear your suction doesn’t seem to be working. Please call our Customer Service teams so we can help you troubleshoot your problem directly: 877-633-3522.

  2. Hi. There seems to be trouble with my machine. Breast milk goes drippong into the tubigs instead of into the bottle. What to do.

    • Hi, Carla. Milk can build up in tubing for a number of reasons, including heavy let-down, leaning forward or lying down while pumping, improper cleaning of valve and membrane, damaged membrane, and overfilling bottles while pumping. If you see milk in your pump tubing, be sure to wash it and hang to dry before storing. If you have any questions, please reach out to our Customer Service team at 877-633-3522.

  3. Tahera Rouf says:


    I have a double pump and I also have no suction in one of the pumps, I have taken it all apart and reassembled it and it still doesn’t work. Can you help.

    Tahera (London, UK)

    • Hi, Tahera. We’re sorry that you’re having this problem with your breast pump. Our Customer Service team will be able to help walk you through some more in-depth troubleshooting over the phone. Please reach out to them at +44 (0)161 776 0400.

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