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Hydraulic System Maintenance

August 2014

Hydraulic Filter ChangeThe sophistication of hydraulic systems and components has increased over time. Higher system pressures and faster cycle times place greater stress and wear on those components, which can generate high levels of harmful contaminants that lead to system failure, and repairs can be costly. In an effort to keep costs down over time, it is critical that a strict hydraulic system maintenance schedule be followed.

The hydraulic filter is an important part of the hydraulic system. It is designed to remove harmful contaminants from the fluid before they reach sensitive system components. It is important to use the correct hydraulic filter (designed for that specific system) and maintain regular hydraulic filter change intervals.

Steps that may be taken to help you maintain a clean hydraulic system are…

    Flush all systems before the initial start-up.
    On new equipment, change the hydraulic filter and fluid after the recommended break-in period or sooner.
    Do not leave the hydraulic system open or exposed to a dirty environment.
    Keep the fluid level up in the hydraulic reservoir.
    Make sure that hydraulic fluid containers, funnels and the area around the reservoir is clean.
    Ensure that the fluid being added is compatible with any fluid that may still be in the system.
    Follow fluid manufacturer temperature guidelines for storage.
    Make sure open-ended hydraulic hoses are plugged when replacing or repairing.
    Repair leaks.
    Have a fluid analysis performed at least every two years or when you suspect a contamination problem.
    Replace the fluid as recommended by the manufacturer or if a system failure has occurred.
    If gum and lacquer deposits appear on or within the filter, this points to the need for more frequent fluid and filter
       changes.
    Drain and flush the system as recommended by the manufacturer.

The hydraulic filter plays a key role in protecting your hydraulic system components from damage. Changing the filter regularly can help save you from expensive repair costs down the road.