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Today we look at another area that will come up occasionally for any hydraulics system operator – leakage. As we always recommend, with any maintenance and repair issues the maintenance department and management should work together on issues such as leakage.
Leakage can be split into two types – internal and external. In this article we are looking at external leakage only.
Fortunately, it’s fairly easy to monitor external leakage and this can assist with being able to stop it. However, keeping it stopped and preventing recurrence can be something a little more challenging.
Here are our tips to deal with your hydraulic fluid leakage troubleshooting:
Clean the exterior of the system. Now determine where the leak is appearing and trace its source. Is it coming from just one unit or more? If it’s just from one, then you may need to replace or repair that unit. If you can trace it to an area but not a specific unit, it may be the pipework that is faulty. If your system has a water cooler installed, then the leak could be coming out of this.
If you cannot trace the leak, you will need to work through the entire system, isolating parts in order to track down where it is coming from.
The most likely culprit with any hydraulic system external leakage can be attributed to the taper pipe threads. Although several methods are used by manufacturers to limit this as a leakage path, including the use of sealant tapes and other materials, these methods are not always successful. The most effective solution is to use leak-free thread connections as opposed to NPT threads.
Most professional and technical organisations have been advising that NPT pipework needs to be upgraded to more modern solutions, many manufactures continue to use this outdated method.
Other issues that cause leakage that should be checked include:
· Vibration causing a loose connection
· Fittings not being tight enough
· Damaged or old and worn seals
Keep in mind these points when buying new hydraulic systems also.
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