Hydraulic Dilemma: Should You Repair or Replace Your Hydraulic Hoses?

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High-pressure liquids, tight schedules and tough job-site conditions are all associated with hydraulic hoses in the field. These workhorses in rubber form allow huge machines to move and produce items with efficiency every day. One failed hose, however, will halt any project. Injuries can even result from failed hoses.

A common question arises: should you repair or replace those hoses? Read on to get a better idea of your options.

1. Cracked Fittings

Opt for a hose repair kit when you notice a cracked fitting. These damages are normally isolated to the fitting; the hose itself is entirely intact. A fitting can be replaced by an experienced hand, which gets the machinery back into operation with little downtime.

The only time a hose replacement is even necessary is in a time crunch. Typically, a fitting will take more time to replace than simply swapping out the entire hose assembly. Keep in mind that you’re trading less time lost for a more expensive solution.

2. Worn Hoses

If you could compare a brand-new water hose to another length in the field, you’d see a stark difference over time. A few features might be visible on the aging hose, such as:

  • Rubber discoloration
  • Frayed appearances
  • Stretched sections

As your crew inspects the hoses each day, pay careful attention to the worn sections. It’s a hydraulic fact that these hoses take on the most strain throughout the system. Because of the high pressures moving through the stainless steel fittings and rubber lengths, it’s a safe idea to replace the entire hose before the wear turns into an outright break.

3. Old Age

Choose hose replacement when you’re dealing with an older section. The hose’s manufacturer may have a suggested lifespan for its products, especially when volatile conditions are part of the system.

An old hose may look robust, but it can have significant decline on the interior sections. This decline may not be obvious until there’s a serious break in the line. Avoiding this scenario is possible by swapping out the hydraulic hose as it reaches its maximum lifespan. Stretching out its usefulness can lead to more losses than gains.

4. Environmental Stresses

Sunlight, chemicals and vibrations all contribute to the environmental stresses placed on each hose every working day. Don’t be tempted to repair hose in this state. Simply swap out individual lengths when strain is obvious. This attention to detail will prolong your hydraulic system’s lifespan.

5. Improper Cleaning Techniques

A hose can wear out in an accelerated manner if it hasn’t been properly cleaned prior to installation. This situation calls for hose replacement because the level of damage throughout the length can be widespread.

In fact, you may need to flush all of the fluid and clean out the entire system. Between contaminants within the system and environmental influences, hoses in particular can break down at an amazing rate, states Hydraulics & Pneumatics. It’s always better to err on the side of caution with a new, hydraulic hose.

6. Section Replacements

There are some instances where splicing in a section of repair hose is possible, reports Machinery Lubrication. As long as the replacement section meets the same standards as the original hose, a repair is possible.

Keep in mind that the repair crew must be familiar with hydraulic systems in particular. Splicing, sealing and testing the hose section is crucial to job-site success. If there are no experienced repair personnel on standby, your best bet is to replace the entire hose for safety’s sake.

Keeping your projects safe and efficient is our goal. Hoses, fittings and key accessories can flow from our inventory to your job site. Reach out to our team today to get answers to any of your questions!