Irrespective of how complex or small your hydraulic system is, preventive maintenance ensures it lives up to its intended performance capability. All components in a hydraulic system work together. Therefore, damage to a single component may break down the whole system. Most hydraulic gear pump manufacturers will advise on how often your hydraulic system should be inspected, and the necessary maintenance repairs.
In this post, we discuss a few maintenance tips that will keep your hydraulic system working optimally.
1. Replace the oil filters regularly
Oil contamination is the most common cause of hydraulic system malfunction or failure. Changing oil filters regularly will minimize the chances of contamination. Most hydraulic gear pump manufacturers provide filter indicators alongside hydraulic systems. Filter indicators display the level of contamination in the filters and alert you once they are due for replacement.
2. Check the fluid levels and condition before each use
Before starting your hydraulic system, ensure that the fluid is not contaminated and that the fluid levels are correct. If the fluid appears milky or foamy, you may have an air leakage which results in slow or jerky operations. Locate and seal the air leak before starting operations to avoid damaging the system.
3. Check the temperatures of the hydraulic fluid
Does the fluid in your hydraulic system smell burnt? This could be a sign that your hydraulic system has pressure-related issues. Temperatures that are too high have a huge effect on the fluid’s viscosity. In the end, the fluid may lose its ability to lubricate the system’s components. Use a temperature gun to measure the temperature of the fluid in the working lines.
4. Carry out regular inspections
Inspections should be carried out on the entire system. Check the cylinder seals for signs of wear and tear. Check for leakages especially at the points where the cylinder rod comes into contact with the cylinder. The cylinder rods should be free of dents or other damages which may impact the fluid’s pressure.
5. Keep your hydraulic equipment clean
Although some dust and grime on the surface of your hydraulic system are harmless, they may find their way into your system. For instance, once you have disconnected your system for maintenance, dirt on its surface may contaminate your system through accessories such as couplings and caps.
Most hydraulic systems are left to run until the operator complains of a drop-in performance. By then, it’s too late to prevent downtimes due to major repairs. Apart from the regular maintenance provided by hydraulic gear pump manufacturers, following these basic preventive maintenance tips will keep your hydraulic system running efficiently.