Hydraulic hoses are a key component of any hydraulic system, and when they fail, everything can come to a grinding halt. Hydraulic hose preventative maintenance is vitally important and involves regular inspection intervals in order to spot problems before they start. This can include inspecting hose covers and fittings as well as looking for leaks and other signs of impending hose failure. The more rigorous the hose inspection process is, the more reliable your equipment will be.
The Benefits of Preventative Maintenance
Preventative maintenance is always better than reactive maintenance for hydraulic hoses and equipment in general. One reason is that it keeps your equipment working efficiently and productively by addressing problems before they fail and have a significant negative impact on the system.
Contrary to what many believe, preventative maintenance means less downtime due to unexpected part and system failures. Attention to maintenance also increases the life expectancy of the equipment and maximizes its economic value while minimizing safety hazards for personnel.
Finally, preventative maintenance reduces repair costs and unnecessary equipment purchases. Not attending to regular preventative maintenance can be an expensive decision.
When to Inspect Hydraulic Hoses
Part of a solid hydraulic hose preventative maintenance program includes the regular inspection of hydraulic hoses. Stationary equipment should be inspected about every three months. In the case of mobile equipment, hose inspections should take place every three months or every 400 to 600 hours of use, whichever occurs first.
There are, however, other factors that may come into play. Hoses involved with critical equipment or extreme operating temperatures, for example, should be inspected more frequently.
Early Warning Signs of Hydraulic Hose Failure
An experienced technician is aware of early warning signs of impending failure and knows how to address the issue. Fortunately, there are quite a few warning signs for hydraulic hose failure. Technicians inspect hose covers and connectors, check for signs of leakage, and check hose routing as part of a solid inspection routine.
Hydraulic Hose Preventative Maintenance for Hose Covers
During a hose inspection, the first thing a technician looks for is damaged hose covers. That could mean that the hose cover is cracked, cut, abraded, or split. Damage might also take the form of blisters, color changes, or hard spots. In all of these cases, a hose assembly replacement is needed immediately.
It is also important to look for what could be causing the damage, such as a hose being run too close to a heat source or rubbing against a hard metal object during service. This might involve re-routing the hoses or use of a protective shield to prevent the same issue from arising again.
Hydraulic Hose Preventative Maintenance for Hose Connectors
Hose connectors are also inspected carefully during preventative maintenance. Cracks, corrosion, and other damage to the connectors will inevitably lead to leaks, and the longer these issues are neglected, the more intensive the damage and repairs become. When hoses have been stretched too tight, they may burst at the fitting, but a careful inspection can catch that problem before it happens.
Hydraulic Hose Preventative Maintenance for Hose Leaks
A good hose inspection will always involve checking for leaks in the hose itself as well as at connectors and couplings. Leaks can often be identified by looking for puddles, dirty areas on the hoses or equipment, and low fluid levels. Professionals will check for leaks under pressure using a piece of cardboard instead of their hand for safety. If the leak is a simple drip leak, a rag is used to clean the immediate area of the leak to better locate its actual source.
Note that leaks can also show up as bubbles containing fluid that appear on the cover of the hose, which will require immediate replacement. Finally, leaks can lead to hoses bursting. Many of these leaks involve issues that go deeper than merely replacing a hose, such as the use of a hose material that is not compatible with the fluid or not correctly rated for the system pressure. A skilled technician can track down the exact cause and perform repairs and replacements to minimize the chances of it happening again.
Maintenance for Hose Routing
When inspecting hoses, technicians will also check hose routing for potential problems, which may include:
- Twisted hoses
- Tight bends
- Hoses rubbing against metal parts or against each other
- Not enough slack in the hoses
- Hoses routed too close to high-temperature areas
These can potentially lead to catastrophic system failure and need to be rerouted and replaced immediately.
Dependable Hydraulic Equipment Maintenance & Repair Facility in Delaware County
MAC Hydraulics is the leader in preventative maintenance for hydraulic systems, with our highly skilled technicians, mobile on-site maintenance and repairs, and our rigorous inspection plans that are customized to the needs of your equipment. Hydraulic hose preventative maintenance is part of the many services we provide our clients.
Our experienced technicians work on hydraulic systems day in and day out, and they can spot potential problems before they ever happen. Our state-of-the-art mobile service trucks are fully stocked with everything needed to replace hoses, fittings, and connectors so that your system downtime will be kept to an absolute minimum. We service hydraulic equipment from many industries, including Marine, Manufacturing, Pulp & Paper and Construction to name a few. Check out our full list of services.
MAC Hydraulics can inspect your hydraulic hoses and assist in troubleshooting recurring problems, selecting hoses that are compatible with the fluids and pressures involved, re-routing hoses to reduce problems, and performing necessary replacements and repairs. Contact MAC Hydraulics today to find out more about how our hydraulic hose preventative maintenance program can benefit your business!