Pumping Insights: blog

Advanced AODD Pump Troubleshooting Tips for 3 Common Problems

Posted by Ed Kupp on Nov 1, 2021 10:30:00 AM

AODD pump graphic with question markAir-operated double-diaphragm (AODD) pumps are known to be some of the most reliable pieces of equipment on the plant floor. But like any other piece of machinery, they’re not immune to problems or breakdowns.

If you’ve ever experienced a malfunction with an AODD pump at your facility, you’ve probably walked through basic AODD pump troubleshooting tips and common AODD pump maintenance questions and answers. For example, you may already know that a leak from the exhaust side of your pump is most likely caused by a failed diaphragm. You also probably know that it’s typically easy to identify an AODD pump problem, fix it, and get your operation rolling again quickly.

Occasionally, you may find yourself with an issue that you can’t fix with the typical troubleshooting advice. If that’s the case, it may be time for you to refer to the following list of advanced AODD pump troubleshooting tips for three common problems you may encounter.

The problems are:

Remember: When servicing an AODD pump, start by referring to the pump’s data sheet and service and operating manual. It’s also important to always read and follow the pump manufacturer’s safety guidelines.

Below are three common AODD pump problems and their advanced troubleshooting tips that should help you minimize downtime at your plant. We also made an explanatory video.

Problem 1: Your AODD pump only cycles once and then stops.

If your pump only cycles once before stopping, you may be experiencing one of the following problems.

Potential cause Potential solution

The air valve gasket may be installed incorrectly.

Verify the gasket is installed correctly with the holes lined up in the proper location. It’s possible for the gasket to be installed backward, which creates a pumping problem.

The small orifices on the pilot valve are clogged with dirt or debris.

 Top of an AODD pump pilot valve

Bottom of an AODD pump pilot valve

Inspect the pilot valve and clean or remove dirt/debris if needed.


If you’re listening to your pump and there is no air exhausting or there is continuous air exhausted without cycling, you could be experiencing one of these potential issues.

Potential cause Potential solution

You have fluid in the air side.

Disassemble the pump, then inspect the diaphragm for rupture and replace if necessary. Also check the torque of the diaphragm plate assembly.

The air exhaust is clogged or frozen.

Inspect the muffler element. Clean or de-ice it and reinstall it. Also consider adding a dryer to your airline, using a fluid such as Kilfrost to mitigate moisture, or extending the exhaust with approximately one foot of PVC pipe to prevent icing in the future.

The pump has been over-lubricated.

SANDPIPER AODD pumps are designed to run without lubrication. In general, lubrication is not recommended. In the few cases where it is recommended (such as nitrogen-powered pumps or pumps using laboratory-grade air), use one drop of 10-weight non-detergent oil for every 20 SCFM per your pump manual’s section on airline moisture and lubrication.


If your pump runs but it’s running poorly or stalling, it’s possible you have an insufficient airflow problem.

Potential cause Potential solution

There is insufficient air supply.

First, refer to the pump’s performance curve to ensure your compressor size is well-suited for the application, meaning the air pressure (PSI) and air volume (SCFM) are enough to run the pump. Ensure each pump runs off its own airline. Don’t run multiple pumps off of one line.

If you’re still stumped or you’re encountering a different AODD pump problem, you can always reach out to SANDPIPER. Our experts can help answer your maintenance questions, solve your pump problems, or help you select the parts and accessories you need for your application. Contact us today or get in touch with a local distributor.

Watch: 2 Advanced AODD PUMp Troubleshooting Tips for a Common Problem


Topics: AODD Pumps, AODD Pump Troubleshooting

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