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.

90 thoughts on “Tips for Troubleshooting Your Medela Breastpump

  1. Please don’t post my previous comment. I’d like to edit!!! Now that I’ve called during business hours and have become less emotional over pump not working when I needed it, I have realized 2 important things:
    1. Everyone needs to buy a manual hand pump. They are inexpensive and effective for short term or emergency use. It is so important to have a back up.
    And most importantly:
    2. Medela’s customer service is superb. Once I called at a time when I could get a live person, it was by far the best customer service experience I’ve ever had. The rep was incredibly helpful and quick in helping me. I am so relieved!!
    Thank you Medela!!!

    • Hi Dacia,

      I’m so happy to hear that our team was able to help you out. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with any additional questions or concerns, we’re here for you! Thanks for taking the time to share. Hope you’re having a nice day.


      • Thank you!!
        The new pump came this morning – 24 hrs after calling customer service. Unbelievable how fast I was back up and pumping!!

  2. I have only been using my pump for 12 days and the suction is already starting to wear out. I pump twice a day at work for 20 minutes each time, and the pump barely has any suction. I’ve done all the trouble shooting tips, and it still wont work correctly. After only 6 hours of total usage the suction is wearing out?!? Come on! I even rcorded what it sounds like, when I turn the pump past like 1/3 it sounds like the motor is going to stop as if it cant keep up. This really sucks. I dont want to have to supplement with formula, and a manual pump is too time consuming to use at work. I’m really wishing I had gone with the Ameda pump now. This Medela is terrible.

    • Hi Stacia,

      I’m very sorry to hear that you’re having trouble with your pump. Please reach out to our Customer Service team, they can help you troubleshoot over the phone: 1-800-435-8316.

      Thank you,

  3. After 4 weeks, my pump is not working as well. I have checked all the trouble shooting tips and the motor doesn’t seem to be working well anymore. I just went back to work and cannot provide for my preemie newborn!

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