Views: 8 Author: Site Editor Publish Time: 2018-12-29 Origin: Site
6 Things not to do when your hydraulic fitting leaks
Hydraulic fitting leaks are a regular problem with hydraulic systems, and hydraulic fittings are a common source of these leaks. Repairing hydraulic fitting leaks is not as simple as just replacing a fitting, however. There are some important safety precautions to be taken, cleanliness issues, and basic guidelines for dealing with suspected fitting leaks that are important to follow.
Don’t use your hand to check for leaks.
Hydraulic fluid reaches temperatures of 300˚F or higher, which can quickly result in a serious burn. In addition, taking a pinhole leak of high velocity fluid to your hand can have devastating outcomes. These leaks can be in excess of 600 feet per second velocity and have been known to inject fluid through the skin, including that which is covered with thick leather gloves. Penetration of the skin has been recorded with distances of up to four inches between the fluid source and the skin, and occur with pressures as low as 100 psi. Injuries such as these result in the need for immediate medical attention, possible amputation, and industry safety violations.
Avoid Fire When Repairing Hydraulic Fitting Leaks
What starts out as a tiny pin-hole leak can turn into a flammable, mist-like cloud of vapor. Something as small as the flame from a cigarette lighter can cause a dangerous explosion. For this reason, avoid open flames and sparks near a suspected leak. That includes welding equipment, lit cigarettes, and cutting torches. Use a flashlight around hydraulic systems when you need to see more clearly, never a lighter.
Don’t leave the system pressurized.
Always depressurize a hydraulic system before inspection. This applies even if you only see a slow fluid drip on the ground. Depressurization minimizes the chances of hydraulic fluid erupting from a machine component during inspection. Note: be aware that trapped fluid and back pressure can still be present after the system is turned off.
Never Ignore a Hydraulic Leak
No matter how small and insignificant a leak may seem, it should never be ignored. Small leaks are warning signs of a larger problem and can unexpectedly lead to much bigger failures and longer down times. Also keep in mind that if fluid can leak out, contaminants can make their way in. Contamination is one of the most common causes of hydraulic system failure and should never be treated lightly. For this reason, repairing hydraulic fitting leaks in a timely manner is extremely important.
Don’t replace with a different fitting type to save time/money.
Make sure you replace a fitting with the exact same fitting type even if it takes longer to acquire. Grabbing a similar fitting and trying to make it work simply because it’s available is a recipe for failure. The downtime you experience while waiting for the correct part is well worth the time and money you save long term.
Verify the Fitting Is the Source of the Problem
Keep in mind that drips will occur at the lowest point of gravity. Just because you see fluid dripping from a fitting does not mean the problem is with that fitting – it could be coming from somewhere higher up. If you do assume it’s the fitting and replace it without checking the assembly for potential problems, you have not fixed the problem at all. You may well experience the need for even more extensive repairs and longer down times. Make sure that the fitting in question is the source of the problem before assuming that a replacement will fix the leak.
Standards Rubber can not only repair your hydraulic fittings but perform troubleshooting and routine maintenance on your hydraulic systems. We supply rubber hoses, industrial hoses, hydraulic hoses, etc. We have a team of highly trained, experienced technicians that will work with you to minimize your equipment’s downtime and maximize its productivity. Our staff can develop a maintenance program customized to your equipment and your needs. Contact us today to find out what Standards Rubber can do for you!