When it comes to the maintenance and using various hydraulic equipment, in the process of maintenance and repair of the system, some mistakes occur more often than others. It can be you are using the wrong type of fluid or regularly changing the filters. Errors can happen to your industrial equipment and lead to problems such as increased repair costs, maintenance costs, system downtime, and even equipment failure. Below are some common mistakes and omissions most hydraulic users make during the maintenance of the hydraulic equipment.
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Changing hydraulic oil at the wrong time
To effectively change the hydraulic oil. Two conditions can mandate this, depletion of the additive package or degradation of the base oil. Many variables determine the additives used up and the rate at which oil degrades. Therefore, changing the oil with no reference to the actual condition of the oil is a mistake. Plus, to save on the cost of oil, the last thing you want to do is dump oil that did not require changing. On the other hand, you should not operate your equipment with additives depleted or base oil degraded to avoid compromising the service life of other components in the hydraulic system. So, always do an oil analysis to know the right time to change the oil.
Using the wrong oil
Among all the components of any hydraulic system, oil is the most important. The oil acts as a lubricant and transfers power throughout the hydraulic system. The viscosity of the oil, due to this dual role, affects both the machine’s service life and performance. Also, the oil’s viscosity determines the minimum and maximum oil temperatures that the hydraulic system can safely operate. Therefore, you need to choose the right oil to get the oil’s viscosity right for the prevailing climate. Plus, having the wrong oil viscosity results in premature failure of the components and lubrication damage. And it increases power consumption, either electricity or diesel.
Most hydraulic users change hydraulic filters according to schedule, but the change may be too late or early. Changing early is a waste of money, for they have not used up all the dirt holding capacity. While late change, the increase of particles in the oil reduces the hydraulic components’ service life, costing a lot more in the long run. So, change your filters after using up all the dirt holding capacity. But, before the valves of the bypass open. The best mechanism to check this is continuous monitoring of pressure drop across the filter.
Wrong filter locations
Not any filter is a good filter. The drain lines and pump inlet, are the two filter locations that can do more harm and destroy the components installed to protect. Getting maximum pump life should be your primary concern. So, it is vital the oil freely fills the pumping chambers in every intake. In comparison to protecting the pump from bolts and nuts and combination spanners. Another set of problems arise from filters installed on the drain lines of motors and piston pumps. Not only does it reduce the service life, but cause catastrophic failures. Study further on the pros and cons of filter location to address better the issue of wrong filter location.
Believing hydraulic components are self-lubricating and self-priming
Always follow the steps during the initial start-up to prevent damaging hydraulic components. If you do not, harm incurred at the start-up end in premature failure. To get this right, know what you should do and remember to do it. It is a mistake to know the steps and forget to do it. If you fill the pump housing with fresh oil and start the engine before opening the intake isolation valve, you cannot pat yourself in the back.
To sum up, avoid the above mistakes and omissions as you use your hydraulic system. You need to have the proper knowledge of using the hydraulic system, repairing it, and maintaining it. It is a mistake to use hydraulic systems with no idea how to use them. Therefore, if you own or operate any hydraulic equipment, seek the knowledge to learn the latest maintenance practices to avoid a lot of money slipping through your fingers.
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