How To Replace A Hydraulic Hose?
Every hydraulic system has mechanisms that require hydraulic hoses to make them functional, however over time these hoses begin to deteriorate, leak and stop working. Replacing these hoses before this happens is the best way to ensure your hydraulic system continues working efficiently.
How to determine whether your hydraulic hose needs replacing?
It is best practice to replace your hydraulic hose 5 years after the printed manufacture date. Even if you do not use your hydraulic system regularly or at all for 10 years, the hydraulic hose will need to be replaced before using again as rubber degrades regardless of use.
Whilst these are general timescales for replacing your hydraulic hose, it is always advised to frequently check on the health of your hydraulic system hoses. Stress, heat, sunlight and general wear and tear can all cause the rubber to degrade. When checking the health of your hose look out for signs of:
- Outer worn rubber with visible support wires,
- Crushed or pinched tubes.
If you see any of the above signs you will need to replace your hydraulic hose before using again.
The last thing to do, if none of the above have been found, is to check whether the hydraulic hose is leaking. To do this wipe away any fluid already on the hydraulic hose, then after a pause rub a piece of cardboard along the hose. If a wet spot appears on the cardboard then your hydraulic hose is leaking and requires changing.
How to remove a damaged hydraulic hose?
Before working on any hydraulic system it is important to protect yourself from the toxins within hydraulic fluid. To protect yourself from getting hydraulic fluid:
- Put goggles and gloves on,
- Wear long sleeves and long trousers,
- Wear a mask if not in a well-ventilated room.
You will also need to release all the pressure within the hydraulic system, to do this will vary depending on the hydraulic system you have. Consult the manual that came with your system for the exact procedure. For most hydraulic systems there is a lever that releases the pressure. Pull this lever first, then shut off all the power to the system. Work the hydraulic lever back and forth a few times to push excess pressure out before beginning work on the hydraulic hose.
To protect the area you are working in, lay a cloth or place a bucket underneath the area of the hydraulic system you will be working on. These items will catch any leaked hydraulic fluid, preventing it from spreading across the work area.
Once you are able to see the hydraulic hose, by removing any coverings or hoods that protect it, wash off the connectors on both sides of the hose. This needs to be done to prevent the dirt and dust from entering the hydraulic system itself. Once clean use two wrenches to unscrew the fittings that secure the hose in place. You will need two wrenches as hydraulic hoses are secured by an attachment that has two fittings that spin in opposite directions to ensure a secure fit. When removing these fittings, use one wrench to hold the closed fitting secure whilst turning the other counterclockwise until the hose detaches. Repeat on the other side of the hydraulic hose.
What to do to instal a new hose?
First things first you will need a new hydraulic hose that matches the exact same specifications as the one you are replacing. If you are unsure which hydraulic hose will be the right fit for your hydraulic system please contact the Flowfit team by email today!
If the new hydraulic hose is in a position where it will likely rub against other components then place an abrasion sleeve over the hose to protect it. Then clean the hose fittings and connectors before installing the new hydraulic hose. Once clean, insert the end of the hose into the hose fitting and rotate clockwise until the hose stops spinning, it is fully tightened at this point. To connect the other side of the hose insert it into the fitting, holding it in place with a wrench, then use a second wrench to screw the connector attached to the machine. As before, stop tightening once the connector doesn’t spin anymore.
When satisfied with the new hydraulic hose’s fitting, replace any coverings or hoods that were removed, making sure all pieces have been placed back where they should be. All that is left to do now is test the hydraulic system by circulating the hydraulic fluid at a low pressure through the new hose. Once it has been on for a short while, recheck the hose for leaks before returning it to everyday use.