Hydraulic hoses allow hydraulic fluid to move between different components of your equipment, and if your hoses are damaged, you need to stop using them and repair them as soon as possible. Damaged hoses can leak dangerous fluid, and the pressurisation of their contents can cause accidents or injuries. Luckily, there are ways to avoid repairs and side step damage. Keep these tips in mind:
1. Always use compatible hoses and fittings.
There are different fittings featuring different sizes and materials, and they are all designed for use with specific hoses and in specific applications. Substituting fittings can be tempting -- especially if one is cheaper or more readily available -- but it's a dangerous practice. If the hose and fitting aren't compatible, leaks can occur at those connections.
That can create puddles on your floor and waste fluid. It also slows the movement of hydraulic fluid to parts of your equipment that need it, and that can damage your equipment, necessitating costly repairs.
2. Do not over tighten connections.
In addition to using compatible hoses and fittings, you also want to ensure you don't over tighten fittings. If a fitting isn't compatible and you attempt to compensate for that fact by tightening it, you risk creating a bigger leak by stripping the grooves in the fitting. Even if you are using compatible fittings, over tightening can distort and damage seals.
3. Make sure the hose is supported.
Hose ends and fittings are the only places where damage can occur -- you also have to pay close attention to the hose itself. If your equipment has hooks or brackets to hold the hose in place, make sure you take advantage of these elements. That keeps the hose out of the way of moving parts, and helps to prevent abrasion. Also, make sure that the hose doesn't drag on the floor or rub against anything else that could damage it.
4. Replace chafing guards.
To provide additional protection against chafing, many hydraulic hoses come with chafing guards. If yours become damaged, make sure to replace them. They provide critical protection to the outside casing of your hose.
5. Don't ignore damage to outer casing.
Hydraulic hoses typically have an outer layer of casing and an inner layer of flexible metal. It is possible to have damage to the outer casing that does not involve a leak. However, just because the hydraulic fluid isn't leaking doesn't mean that you should ignore the damage.
If the outer casing is frayed or missing, moisture can get into the hose. This can start to rust and wear down the metal components. If you want to avoid replacing your entire hose, you should repair damage to the outer casing as soon as possible to protect the interior of the hose.
For more tips on avoiding damage to your hydraulic hose, contact a hose expert or a company like Southern Hydraulic Services.