How to Troubleshoot Saniflo

Written by ross glyn
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How to Troubleshoot Saniflo
There are steps you can take to troubleshoot a Saniflo system. (kitchen sink image by jedphoto from

The Saniflo system allows you to install a toilet, shower or sink in almost any place in a residence. The Saniflo pump hooks into the existing drainage system so the flow of water does not have to be broken. This compact unit is portable and sturdy, but wear and tear can occur. Before calling in a service repairman, there are a few basic troubleshooting steps you can run through on your own.

Skill level:

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  1. 1

    Check the air inlet filter for any debris or dirt if the pump does not run or runs slowly. Clean or replace the filter as necessary. Look for obstructions inside the pump. Refer to the instruction manual for information on how to disassemble the pump.

  2. 2

    Allow the pump speed to slow if the pump operates but there is very little or no liquid flowing. This will let thicker material flow into the liquid chambers.

  3. 3

    Check for a ruptured diaphragm if there are air bubbles in the pump discharge. Inspect the tightness of all fasteners and seals. Make sure that all the pipe connections are secure.

  4. 4

    Check for any worn seals in the air valve and main shaft if there is air leakage in the unit.

  5. 5

    Check to see whether the inner piston is broken if the air spool valve is unable to shift.

  6. 6

    Check for moisture in the compressed air system if the pump air valve freezes. Install a dryer for compressed air if this is the case, or use a filter to remove water from compressed air.

Tips and warnings

  • The pump should have an air line at the desired location that is large enough to supply enough air for the desired pumping rate.
  • Close the shut-off valve if a power outage occurs.
  • The pump discharge rate can be controlled by restricting the air pressure to the pump.
  • Disconnect the compressed air line to the pump and bleed the air out before performing any maintenance or repair.
  • The pump is pre-lubricated and does not require further lubrication.
  • Do not blow air into the exhaust port as the pump will not function.
  • Use protective eyewear when maintaining or servicing the pump in case the diaphragm ruptures and material is ejected from the air exhaust.
  • Blow any debris out of the air line to clear it before attaching it to the pump.
  • Although the Saniflo pumps are capable of passing solids, a strainer should be used at the pump intake so that pump capacity is not exceeded.
  • Close the shut-off valve to stop the pump during an emergency

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