A hydraulic system can lift heavy machinery and equipment. These powerful machines can move heavy loads and are responsible for many of the most important business tasks. Proper hydraulic system maintenance is essential for all they do. You risk damaging components, losing efficiency, and injuring workers by creating safety risks. It is important to have a checklist of maintenance tasks handy. Therefore, we have created a maintenance checklist to help you keep your hydraulic system clean and healthy.
Table of Contents
- How to Maintain a Hydraulic System
- Hydraulic System Maintenance Tip
How to maintain a hydraulic system
You may need to bring your system’s literature along with you before you start this checklist. That will allow you to verify manufacturer specifications such as oil specs, filter schedules, and average temperatures. Here are our hydraulic system maintenance tips:
It would be best if you kept a regular schedule to check the hydraulic fluid’s condition. It would be best if you kept it clean and free from contaminants. To reduce the chance of contamination, keep the area around the entry points (such as dipsticks or fuel plugs) clean and free of debris and dust. It is important to check filters and maintain fluid levels. To find out the recommended fluid change frequency and other aspects of hydraulic fluid care, refer to the manufacturer’s specifications.
Change Filters Frequently
The filters and hydraulic fluid won’t always be visible, so visual inspection is not a good way to detect all pollutants. These particles are removed by filters, which must be changed according to the schedule. Make sure you clean the filter bowl if it is applicable.
Inspect the rod for signs of wear, such as corrosion or pitting. These issues can lead to moisture in the fluid, which can compound and cause problems for your hydraulic systems, like increased wear or inadequate lubrication.
Excessive friction can cause rod corrosion, leading to damage to the seal. Fluid contaminants and excess pressure are other dangers to seals. Leakage is a sign that the seal has been worn. You should contact your equipment manufacturer if you notice signs that the seal has been damaged.
Regular Hydraulic Lines Inspection
Fluctuations in pressure and line thickness can cause problems. Ballooned lines can be caused by excessive pressure from the cylinder. That can cause high-pressure fluids to flow and wear out seals. Check the condition of your lines regularly to ensure they aren’t ballooning.
Inspect Fluid Levels
You must monitor your fluid levels and add to them when necessary. Pumps can be damaged if they have too little hydraulic fluid. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and not mix oils.
Check out Breather Caps, Fill Screens, and Breather Filters
Clean your breather regularly to avoid contaminating the hydraulic system. Periodically clean the breather and ensure it is free from tears or holes. There may be additional requirements for different types of pauses. For example, spring types may need to be changed annually to prevent a loss of tension that allows contaminants to enter. Some indicators can tell you when to change filters or caps. You should be aware of any additional steps.
Inspect Filter Indicators
Many filters have pop-out buttons which activate when the filter is clogged. You should check for these indicators and replace filters as necessary.
Visually inspect all pipes, pipe connections, and system hoses.
Pressure leaks can occur when hoses become pinched, kinked, or frayed. These problems are most obvious from the outside. However, you should also be aware of any internal wear that may cause a clog in a hose. Also, check pipes, fittings, and couplers. Check for corrosion or dents on pipes. Fittings should be tight but not too tight to prevent contamination. Couplers must also be kept clean. Leaks can cause overheating, severe safety and environmental dangers, and excessive oil consumption. These can be dangerous and difficult to fix, so look for signs that will help you prevent them from happening.
Check the System Temperature
Your cooler or relief valve could be causing excessive heat if your system temperature rises. Low fluid levels can also cause heat. To check temperatures, use infrared or built-in thermometers. Avoid touching components you think may be too hot. That can cause severe burns.
Visually inspect the Reservoir.
Overheating in the Reservoir can wear seals and other system components. That happens when there are low fluid levels, low fluid temperature, air leaks, or bad seals that allow air bubbles to enter the oil stream. Aeration is indicated by foaming and loud gurgling sounds at the suction filter.
Pay attention to the Pumps.
Listening to the pumps lets, you get an idea of the potential cavitation. Cavitation is similar to aeration, but it’s caused by gas bubbles that experience rapid pressure changes. They explode and produce small shock waves. On top of that, they cause wear and stress to the metal surfaces. That can lead to damage. Similar causes are aeration and cavitation. A cavitating pump will emit a high-pitched whining sound.
Take a look at a sample of hydraulic fluid
Take a small amount of fluid and check it for quality. You can inspect the fluid visually for any color anomalies or visible contaminants. Also, you might want to check for unusual odors. A contamination test can provide a better overview of the fluid’s properties. This test provides detailed information about contamination, such as water contamination, particle contamination, viscosity, acidity, and signs of overheating.
Hydraulic Valve Maintenance
Scan electrically-controlled Servo valves using an infrared thermometer and check the temperature of these valves. You may have a problem. Contaminated fluid can cause slow or irregular operation of the valve points.
The Electric Drive Motor is Here
Keep your infrared thermometer handy to detect high heat areas and attach it to the electric drive motor. These areas may be located on the housing or rotor bearings. They need to be serviced to prevent further damage.
Maintenance Tips for Hydraulic Systems
It is important to approach maintenance tasks in the right way. These tips will make troubleshooting hydraulic systems easier for you and your employees.
- Pay attention to pressure readings and access points: Place commonly used components like gauges and filters in easily accessible places when setting up your system.
- Label your reservoirs. To ensure fluid changes are accurate, label the reservoirs. To make the process faster and easier, you can mark the normal fluid levels on your reservoir sight glass.
- Install automatic drain valves to reduce maintenance.
- Ensure Safety first. Always remember the hydraulic system’s power. To avoid injury or damage, only allow trained technicians to maintain them.