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Hydraulic Maintenance hints and tips Lyndsey Nash

Useful Hints for the Maintainers of General Hydraulics

To make the best of your hydraulic systems and enjoy the longest service from them, there are some basic rules that should be followed. Read on to discover some of the extensive knowledge that most mechanics get to learn pretty fast when they are working with hydraulic systems:

  • Keeping things clean. It’s of great importance to keep hydraulic systems clean. Not only should all openings in the reservoir be sealed after cleaning but there should be no welding or grinding operations undertaken in the area where hydraulic components are being used.

Cleaning equipment should also be clean. Many mechanics actually use air hoses to clean fittings and components. It’s essential that the air supply is filtered to prevent any foreign objects from contaminating the parts.

Avoid using tape on threads. One mistake that new mechanics may make is to use Teflon tape on thread connections. This can contaminate hydraulic oil and eventually lead to the halting of a system.

  • Coupling halves need to be fully aligned and joined. When it comes to installing pumps and motors, it’s important to fully align coupling halves. They should be within 0.007 (easy number to remember) inches of each other. If you’re using flexible couplings, then follow are instructions or recommendations from the manufacturers. They will quite likely suggest that 1/32 or 1/16 inch clearance is allowed between coupling halves.

  • High quality steel pipes should be used. Seamless steel pipe is recommended as it will keep the interior free of rust. There is also unlikely to be any build-up of rust, scale or dirt.  It’s not recommended to weld the pipe and the clamps together as this can cause too much stress that will weaken the system.

  • Only bends and no cuts. Any bends should be as large as possible. Cuts should not be made if possible, as this is to allow for the oil to pass without affecting pressure.

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