Valuable Guidance for Mounting Hydraulic Pumps to Optimize Longevity

Ensuring the optimal performance and prolonged service life of a Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida hydraulic pump hinges on the unrestricted and complete filling of its pumping chambers during intake. If extending the pump’s lifespan is a priority (as it should be), then any factor hindering the effortless and thorough filling of the pump’s chambers must be avoided.

Commonly, suction strainers and various forms of inlet filtration impede this process. With rare exceptions, a suction strainer has no place within a well-designed and properly maintained hydraulic system.

Despite dissenting opinions, I frequently encounter individuals advocating for the necessity of suction strainers in their hydraulic systems, citing uniqueness or necessity. However, I opt not to engage in debates with those firmly convinced of the benefits of suction strainers or those substituting them for proper design. Instead, I direct them to the recommendations of pump manufacturers. 

Remarkably, this advice from a reputable hydraulic pump manufacturer remains widely disregarded in the industry today. Yet, suction strainers are not the sole impediment to the free and complete filling of the pump. Another hurdle arises from mounting the pump above the tank or, more precisely, above the minimum oil level, necessitating the pump to lift the oil into its intake.

Distinction Between Approved and Optimal Life

While many manufacturers deem mounting the pump above minimum oil level as an approved position for various pump designs, approval does not equate to maximizing pump service life. In fact, requiring the pump to lift oil diminishes its longevity, especially for piston and vane pumps, ill-equipped to handle vacuum-induced forces.

Pump inlet conditions impact noise and heat generation. Mineral hydraulic oil, under atmospheric pressure at room temperature, contains 6 to 12 percent dissolved air by volume. If oil pressure decreases due to intake restriction or lift requirement, this air expands, increasing its volume percentage.

These expanded gas bubbles at the pump inlet collapse under system pressure, resulting in heat and noise. Larger air bubbles intensify noise and heat levels. If absolute pressure at the pump intake drops further (higher vacuum), the oil may transition from liquid to gas, termed vaporous cavitation.

Ideally, the pump inlet condition should be 100 percent boost, supercharging the inlet under all operating conditions. While impractical in most scenarios, maintaining a flooded inlet poses virtually no obstacle. A flooded inlet entails a head of oil above the pump, with the intake positioned below minimum oil level.

In industrial power units, mounting the Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida pump atop the tank or inside it, with the electric motor vertically mounted, undermines maintenance and is discouraged. Unfortunately, mounting the pump inside the tank has become commonplace for electric power units due to its cost-effectiveness, despite the associated maintenance challenges.

When facing the need to replace your hydraulic pump, whether it’s a gear, vane, or piston pump, understanding the root cause of the failure is crucial. If your equipment isn’t functioning properly and you’ve pinpointed the issue to a faulty hydraulic pump, here’s what you should consider:

**Identifying the Cause of Failure:** 

The Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida pump may have simply reached the end of its lifespan, as hydraulic pumps are wearable items within a hydraulic system. Although pinpointing an average lifespan is challenging due to variations in pump types and operating hours, generally, you can anticipate many years of reliable operation from a hydraulic pump in most truck-mounted hydraulic systems. However, the actual life span of a hydraulic pump might exceed your current experience. Here are some inquiries to guide you:

– Has the equipment been operating satisfactorily with this pump for an extended period, with performance decline occurring gradually over time? If so, it’s possible that the pump has reached the end of its expected life cycle. In such cases, ensure to note the Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida pump’s make and model number to facilitate the selection of a suitable replacement—either an exact match or an alternative with similar operating specifications.

– When replacing a failed hydraulic pump, it’s advisable to seize the opportunity to change the hydraulic fluid as well, or at the very least, employ a filter cart to filter the oil. During the failure process, the pump may have introduced contaminants into the Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida hydraulic system, necessitating their removal to prevent damage to the new pump or other hydraulic components. Additionally, replace the filter element(s) upon installing the new pump, and again after a break-in period.

**Identifying Pump Failure Causes:**

By examining the internal components of the pump, you can often trace the root causes of failure. Here are some common scenarios:

– **Mechanical Failure to the Input Shaft:** This could result from the input shaft being twisted or broken due to an extreme shock load to the pump. Such occurrences typically arise when a relief valve is absent, malfunctioning, set at an excessively high pressure, or insufficient for the system flow. Additionally, shaft fretting corrosion may occur under load, particularly with direct-mount pump splines. Solutions include employing a wet spline arrangement, using a greaseable PTO shaft, or opting for larger Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida  pump and PTO shafts.

– **Cavitation: The Pump Has Been Starved of Oil:** Ensure an adequate oil level in the reservoir, not only during system rest but also when all cylinders are extended or when all components are running. Verify that shut-off valves are open, appropriate, and enabling unrestricted flow. Check the inlet hose to the pump for correct type, size, and condition. Ensure the pump receives a good flow of oil from the reservoir, as pumps rely on gravity and atmospheric pressure to feed oil, not suction. Use a vacuum gauge at the pump inlet to confirm adequate oil reception.

– **Over Pressurization:** If pressure relief settings exceed the pump’s design, failure may occur gradually or catastrophically. During new Car Lift Repair Tampa Florida pump installation, adjust relief settings gradually, monitoring pressure gauge readings. Adjust settings until a cylinder or motor moves, then increase gradually until reaching the maximum system pressure, ensuring it aligns with the pressure rating of the system’s lowest-rated component. Beware that a larger replacement pump may overwhelm the relief valve, causing pressure spikes and component damage.