You may have heard the terms open pump system & closed pump system, but what does it all mean?
Simply put, an open system does not have a barrier of any kind between the flange (milk collection) and motor. This will be an open end from flange to inlet of motor. Whereas a closed system will require a barrier between the flange (milk collection) and motor. This barrier is called a backflow protector. BFP’s can come in many forms, I think it’s fair to say the one most of us are familiar with is the UFO looking BFP which comes with the Spectra and Motif pumps.
Which pumps are open system? The one and only open system pump I am familiar with is the (original) Pump In Style Advanced. Keep in mind the new Pump In Style with Flow Max which was released more recently is a closed system… I wonder why 😉
Let’s keep in mind MOST pumps are intended for a single-user, especially an open system pump which requires no separation between milk and motor has a more likely chance of accumulating hidden bacteria and condensation within the front panel of the PISA motor. Hypothetically, if this particular pump was used between multiple users there is no real protection between user to user if the motor was contaminated.
⚠️ disassembling the PISA and removing the faceplate is the only way to sterilize the pump, which is recommended to be done regularly, especially if receiving a secondhand open system pump.
Are closed systems pumps intended for multi-users? Not necessarily, but closed system pumps have multiple advantages. The first being the most beneficial to a single user, keeping the moisture out of the tubes, in turn keeping any moisture out of the pump. Closed system pumps are not designed to be disassembled and maintained. The second advantage of using a closed system pump is the simplicity of replacing parts; had your received a used pump or find your own parts have become contaminated in any way, replacements are inexpensive. If you’re gifted or purchase a used closed system pump, it would be recommend to replace all tubing and backflow protectors. The pieces you are able to sterilize would include the flanges and collection bottles.