The Ins and Outs of Hydraulic Leaks

When first invented, hydraulic systems were known for the leaks and maintenance regimens required to keep them in working order. With the improvements in hydraulic seals and innovated design, leaks have become less severe and less frequent. However, when a leak does happen, it can still cause the problems and havoc that it would have back in the day. Leak-free fittings have become a way to stop the leaks that would be likely to occur when connections between fixtures are made. Therefore, the primary areas of leaks are generally found in the seals within the system.  Because of this concern, the seals need to be replaced as soon as they show signs of wear and kept constantly lubricated.

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Causes of Leaks

Excessive leaking usually occurs when a system is left in operation despite a leak being present. The slow leak isn’t enough to completely disable the system, but over time, the leak continues to worsen as the machine remains partially functional. Additionally, seals that have not been kept lubricated will break down more quickly and start to leak. It won’t be enough to just maintain the lubricant regimen. Accurate and manufacturing-specified instructions should guide the installation of the seals, and if this done correctly, then the supporting lubrication should improve the life of the seals. Over-tightening the seals during maintenance can also make the leak worse or create one since the tightening can crack the fitting and damage the seal.

Having contaminated hydraulic fluid can also cause a leak in your system. There are four things that often contaminate the fluid: water, air, solid particles, and another chemical. These elements create excessive wear on the system, which will hasten the development of leaks.

Taking care of maintenance issues when they are first noticed is the best way to avoid downtime and excessive repair on the system. Establish a routine to make sure you are consistently evaluation the vital elements of the hydraulic operation.