Hydraulic hose assemblies are used extensively throughout the industrial manufacturing industry for everything from car brakes to pumping stations. While they're durable and reliable, they do have a natural life span. Over time, even a well-maintained hose will deteriorate and wear out, requiring repair or replacement.
The life expectancy of a hydraulic hose varies widely depending on a number of factors, including environmental conditions. Here are a few signs that it's time to repair or replace your hydraulic hose.
Repeated oil leaks are a common sign that you need to have your hydraulic hose replaced. However, it's not the only reason, so check to make sure it's not a repairable problem. For example, a damaged O-ring allows oil to escape from the hose. In this case you'll need to replace the Oring instead of the entire hose assembly.
Improper connection is another cause of oil leaks. This can occur if the connection is overtightened. Check your hose assembly. If everything looks fine and you're still experiencing oil leaks, it's likely time to replace your hydraulic hose assembly.
Outer Cover Damage
Small scuffs and scrapes on a hydraulic hoses are normal and to be expected. However, if you notice damage to the outer cover during regular checks, it's best not to ignore it. External damage to the hose cover can cause your hose to fail due to reinforcement deterioration. Replace your hose when you find extensive outer cover damage.
Hydraulic hoses are composed of an internal layer of braided wiring designed to provide added flexibility and support. After a while under daily use, the external layer will naturally wear away and you'll start to see the internal wiring. When this happens, it's a telltale sign that your hose has reached the end of its life span and it's time to replace it.
Kinks and Twists
A hose that is twisted or has kinks can pose a safety hazard due to the pressure that may build up. The liquid going through a hydraulic hose needs to flow freely. When kinks prevent this from happening, you run the risk of the hose bursting. In fact, kinks, twists, abrasions and crushing are responsible for many cases of blown hoses.
Kinks and twists in hydraulic hoses also increase the risk of oil leaks. It's best to go ahead and replace your hose if you notice kinks and twists.
Hydraulic Hose Maintenance
A preventative maintenance plan should be a part of any hydraulic hose system operation. It's important not to cut corners since a leak or other malfunction can be more costly than replacing your hose assembly.
Always ensure that the hose assembly is fitted properly. An improperly fitted assembly can cause the hose to whip around with a lot of force and injure workers. Regularly check your cooling system and pressure regulators to ensure that they're working properly. Hydraulic fluid can get very hot, so it's important to the life span of your hose to regulate the temperature.
Clean spills immediately based on Environmental Protection Agency, local and state regulations. Even a small leak can make the floors slippery and increase the risk of slip and fall injuries.
In addition, don't neglect other hydraulic components, such as pumps and motors. One failing component can affect the entire system.
Conducting a monthly visual inspection and replacing your hose assembly every two or three years or when you notice that it's worn down is an effective way to keep things running smoothly. Keep in mind that some hoses last longer, while others need replacing each year. When you need to repair or replace your hydraulic hose assembly, contact KIMS International for service and supplies.