Hose Maintenance and Length:

Addressing leakage in hydraulic systems is crucial. Regular inspection and replacement of worn or damaged hoses are key to minimizing leaks and avoiding downtime. It’s important to monitor hoses for signs of wear, such as outer jacket damage or leaks at hose ends. “Blisters” on hoses indicate inner lining failure, allowing oil to escape. 

To prevent premature hose failure, keep hose lengths between 4-6 feet to minimize rubbing against other components, which can cause damage. Hoses should be flexible enough to absorb pressure spikes, ensuring they’re neither too short nor too long.

Proper Hose Routing and Clamping:

Efficient hose routing is essential to prevent rubbing and premature wear. Utilize protective sleeves or commercially available options to shield hoses from abrasion. Secure hoses with plastic cable ties to prevent movement and rubbing at contact points. Ensure proper clamping with hydraulic pipe clamps, avoiding conduit clamps due to their inability to withstand hydraulic system vibrations and pressure spikes.

Breather Cap Maintenance:

Breather caps are often overlooked but play a vital role as filters in hydraulic systems. Choose breather filters with suitable micron ratings to prevent contamination. Some filters include desiccant materials to remove moisture, indicating saturation when the color changes. Regular replacement of breather filters is a cost-effective preventive measure.

Monitoring Drive Motor Current Draw and Temperature:

Track the drive motor current draw to detect pump wear, indicated by decreased flow and power requirements. Increased internal clearances in worn components lead to heat generation, detected using infrared cameras. Regular temperature checks on heat exchangers help assess efficiency and detect bypassing. 

Sound and Pressure Checks:

Conduct routine sound checks, especially for Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic pumps, to identify cavitation or aeration issues. Cavitation produces a high-pitched whining sound and can result from a plugged suction strainer or low fluid levels. Aeration causes erratic sounds and may stem from air leaks or bad shaft seals. Regular pressure checks provide insight into system component condition, helping detect abnormalities such as pressure drops that may indicate underlying problems. Establishing baseline pressure readings during normal system operation aids in identifying deviations.

In my twenty years within the hydraulics industry, I’ve had the opportunity to observe and learn from the common oversights made by users in equipment maintenance. Based on this extensive experience, I’ve identified seven prevalent mistakes often encountered by hydraulic equipment users—mistakes you can steer clear of.

Mistake No. 1 – Premature Oil Changes:

Changing Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic oil should be dictated by two conditions: degradation of the base oil or depletion of additives. Relying solely on service hours for oil changes is akin to guesswork due to the multitude of variables affecting oil condition. Dumping oil unnecessarily is costly, yet operating with degraded oil compromises system longevity. Oil analysis is the key to determining when a change is warranted.

Mistake No. 2 – Inaccurate Filter Changes:

Similarly, scheduled filter changes often occur either prematurely or belatedly. Early changes waste money, while late changes jeopardize component longevity due to increased particle contamination. Optimal filter replacement necessitates monitoring dirt-holding capacity, avoiding premature bypass valve activation. Continuous pressure drop monitoring offers superior filtration management.

Mistake No. 3 – Overheating:

Unlike overheated engines, overheating Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic systems are often neglected. However, high temperatures accelerate component deterioration and oil degradation. Safe operating temperatures are contingent upon oil viscosity and component types. Excessive heat compromises lubrication and accelerates wear, even below widely recognized damaging temperatures.

Mistake No. 4 – Incorrect Oil Selection:

Car Lift Repair Orlando Hydraulic oil serves dual roles as a lubricant and power transfer medium, making viscosity paramount. Using oil with inadequate viscosity compromises lubrication and power transmission efficiency. Additionally, within acceptable viscosity ranges, selecting the optimal viscosity minimizes power loss and maximizes component longevity. Blindly following manufacturer recommendations may not yield the appropriate viscosity, necessitating informed selection processes.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you can ensure the longevity and efficiency of your hydraulic equipment.

Mistake No. 5 – Inappropriate Filter Placement:

The belief that any filter suffices is misguided, especially when it comes to two specific filter placements that can actually harm the components they’re meant to safeguard. These problematic locations are the pump inlet and drain lines from piston pump and motor housings.

Traditionally, it’s thought that installing a strainer on the pump inlet is essential for protecting it from debris. However, Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic pumps draw oil from dedicated reservoirs, not garbage bins. If the notion of debris entering the hydraulic tank is considered normal or acceptable, then it’s worth reevaluating basic system design principles.

For optimal pump longevity, it’s crucial for oil to effortlessly fill pumping chambers during each intake, prioritizing this over shielding the pump from minor debris. Contrary to popular belief, nuts, bolts, or spanners pose minimal risk in well-designed reservoirs with pump inlet penetrations at least 2 inches above the bottom.

Research indicates that a restricted intake can drastically reduce gear pump service life by 56%. Vane and piston pumps are even more vulnerable to vacuum-induced forces from a restricted intake. Car Lift Repair Orlando Hydraulic pumps are not intended to “suck”.

Filters placed on drain lines of piston pumps and motors present similar issues to suction strainers, potentially diminishing service life and leading to catastrophic failures in these costly components.

Mistake No. 6 – Misunderstanding Component Priming and Lubrication:

Just as you wouldn’t start an engine without oil in the crankcase, hydraulic components require proper attention during initial start-up to avoid serious damage. Neglecting crucial steps during start-up may lead to seemingly functional operation initially, but ultimately result in premature failure.

Success in this area involves both knowing and remembering the necessary procedures. Failing to follow through on established protocols, despite being aware of them, can have devastating consequences. For instance, neglecting to open the intake isolation valve before starting the engine, despite having filled the pump housing with clean oil, can prove detrimental.

Mistake No. 7 – Neglecting Hydraulic Education:

This article underscores the importance of staying informed about the latest maintenance practices in Car Lift Repair Orlando hydraulic equipment. Whether you own, operate, repair, or maintain hydraulic equipment, being unaware of current best practices can result in significant financial losses.