Hydraulic systems might seem complicated, but they are not as bad as many people think. Regular maintenance practices can get you familiar with the components so that you are able to diagnose potential issues before they graduate into serious problems. Hydraulic system components work closely together and one damaged component can therefore lead to damages in others.
The systems usually have hoses, lines, motors, cylinders and pumps as well as filters and valves among others. The larger components like the pumps and cylinders and motors are interconnected by fittings, line and hoses. Learning simple maintenance practices can go a long way in keeping your system in top shape.
Prevention of issues is the best approach with any system. Start by ensuring that contaminants are kept out of the system to keep failures and common problems at bay. In case you suspect contamination, then you can take other measures.
· Clean out the area on dip sticks and fill hydraulic filters and plugs before removing to check or change the fluid. Pour hydraulic fluid directly into your system and keep all fluid containers sealed tightly when storing.
· Consider changing the filter and fluid after first 50 hours of use to get rid of any contaminant particles. You can check your manual for manufacturer recommendations.
· Always check the oil before every use to verify good condition and to get adequate fluid levels. Milky or foamy oil could indicate a leak which can slow hydraulics operations. Seal the leak immediately.
· Check the hydraulic fluid temperature regularly during operation. Hot or smelly fluid could be an indication that the cooling system is not working as it should. Any debris or dirt should be removed from the oil cooler or the reservoir.
Inspect the pump for external damage and wear on a regular basis and have any issues taken care off as soon as possible. Apart from this you should remain keen on cavitation every 50 hours and here is how you can do this.
· Listen to your pump when operating hydraulic. Any sounds or rattles could mean cavitation is occurring and you need to shut the system down immediately.
· Check filter and fluid level for any restricted or limited flow. You should also check for any component alterations on the pump, inlet lines and reservoir that could affect the inlet flow of the pump.
· Check the inlet lines for any pinching, bends or leaks and other discontinuities that could interfere with the flow.
· Keep the filter and fluid clean to keep piston, vanes, valves and gear damages minimal.
Other helpful tips
· Inspect all fittings, couplers, lines and hoses for damages. Collapsed or crimped hoses could restrict flow and so will cracked, dented or cut lines.
· Ensure all hose fittings remains snug and tighten them where necessary without over-tightening that could result in damages.
· Let your couplings remain clean because they easily lead to contamination. Caps should remain in place when replacements are being done.
· Check the flex points of the hoses for any stretching and kinking. The hose routing should also be checked for any irregularities that could bring interference with how they function.