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John’s Troubleshooting Tip of the Month: Food Pump Series- Part 1

PHS understands how stressful it can be when a piece of equipment isn’t working properly, and we want to help resolve any issues as soon as possible for you. So, once a month, PHS Respiratory Therapist, John Sheahan will post a tip on how to troubleshoot a common error with a piece of equipment.

food pump

Today’s post is the first in a series that will focus on food pumps. We frequently receive calls from families for troubleshooting the food pump. In this first segment we will focus on blending the formula and priming your feeding bag.


If you have a powdered formula it is best to mix it well in a blender.   This is to make sure all of the powdered formula granules, that can cause alarms, are well dissolved. Watch a video from PHS Dietitian Gwen, on how to properly mix your formula to avoid granules here.

At PHS we recommend mixing powdered formula with cold water unless the formula manufacturer instructions recommend using a different temperature.

After blending, formula may be frothy, so let it sit for 15 minutes.

remove air and replace cap

Pour breast milk or formula into feeding bag and remove air from filled feeding bag by gently pushing down until fluid rises into neck of bag, as pictured above. Replace cap before lifting bag. Note: some feeding bags may different than the one pictured.

Priming feeding bag and tubing

If you are using an EnteraLite Infinity food pump (orange or teal) you will have to prime the feeding bag tubing manually or by completing the following steps. 

Open food pump

Push in latch and open Food Pump door.

stretch loop

Hook U-shaped tubing around pump wheel. Gently stretch plastic unit away from pump wheel and press down into place.

close food pump

Push in latch and close Food Pump door completely

turn pump on

Hold down ON/OFF keypad button until Food Pump beeps and turns ON. Food Pump then does a self-check.

example display window

The word RATE and a number will show in display window when Food Pump finishes self-check.

remover cover from the adapter

Remove cover from Feeding Bag Adapter at end of Feeding Bag Tubing. Place Feeding Bag Adapter into clean container.

one hand holding feeding bag

Hold Feeding Bag upside down. At the same time, hold down PRIME keypad button until Formula or Breast Milk comes out of Feeding Bag Adapter. NOTE! PRIME button MUST be held down during the entire priming process.

put cover on the adapter

Replace cover on end of Feeding Bag Adapter.

John Sheahan, RRT-NPS, LRTJohn Sheahan, RRT-NPS, LRT is a Licensed Respiratory Therapist at PHS and would love to hear from you if you have a tip that you’ve found helps when working with your equipment, or have an idea for a Troubleshooting Tip post. Share your tip or idea through a comment here or an email to John at

Originally published: October 4, 2011