Hydraulic systems power heavy machinery and other pieces of equipment that manufacturers rely on each day. When the hydraulic cylinder on one of these machines sustains damage, immediate repair is needed to keep the hydraulic system performing efficiently.
Hydraulic cylinder repairs can seem like a straightforward task, but there are some critical steps that must be followed if you want to maximize the quality of any cylinder repairs you complete in the future.
1. Clean All Surfaces
Hydraulic repairs should always start with a thorough cleaning of all surfaces that will be involved in the repair process. Contaminants that find their way into a machine's hydraulic fluid can cause premature wear and potential failure in the future.
Take the time to wipe down all surfaces in your work area before you start the repair process. Clean all tools that will be used for the duration of the repair, and make sure that the machine itself has been cleansed of any dirt or debris.
Only when all surfaces are clean should you begin taking a hydraulic cylinder apart.
2. Disconnect All Hoses and Fittings
Many hoses and fittings connect a hydraulic cylinder with a machine's hydraulic system. Each of these hoses and fittings must be disconnected before repair work can begin.
Be sure that you are using tools designed specifically for use with hydraulic equipment to avoid damaging hoses and fittings during the disconnection process.
If you fail to disconnect the cylinder from the rest of the hydraulic system properly, you could cause more damage when removing the hydraulic cylinder from the machine it's housed in.
3. Drain the Hydraulic Fluid
After you have successfully disconnected the hydraulic cylinder from the rest of the hydraulic system, you must carefully drain all of the fluid from the cylinder.
Hydraulic fluid circulates throughout the cylinder while a machine is in use. Some of this fluid remains inside the cylinder after the machine is powered down. Draining this fluid from the cylinder before you begin repairs allows you to reuse the hydraulic fluid once repairs are complete.
If you don't drain the fluid before repairs begin, you risk contaminating the hydraulic fluid, and you will not be able to circulate the fluid back through your hydraulic system once the cylinder repairs are complete.
The hydraulic cylinders on heavy machinery often need repairs to keep them in working condition. Preparing for the repair process correctly will help you extend the life of your cylinders well into the future.