Wouldn’t it be great if there was a specific time limit on your hydraulic hose assembly? There would be no guess work, just mark a date on your calendar and forget about it. Unfortunately, it’s not that easy. The good news is knowing when to change out the hose assembly isn’t just a wild stab in the dark either. Use these tips and tricks to help you know when it’s time to make a change.
Check the Date
Manufacturers put a manufactured-on date on the hose assembly. (This is so you don’t make the mistake of using an old one and risk a major failure.)
Hose assemblies that have been sitting around for a while are prone to drying and cracking, which can lead to breaks, costly downtime, damage to the equipment and worse. Instead of using an old one off the shelf, it’s cheaper and safer in the long run just to buy a new one.
Create A Schedule
If you don’t already have a preventative maintenance schedule, make one.
One of the best things you can do for all of your equipment components is to inspect them at least every one to two months. It’s also a good idea to keep a log of your inspections and parts replacements.
When replacing an assembly, make sure to log the reason for the replacement. This can help you better understand the average life of your hydraulic hose assemblies and provide indicators if there is a problem causing early failures.
What to Look For During A Regular Inspection
• Crushed hose
• Leaking oil around fitting
• Leaking oil along hose
• Exposed wire within the hose
• Abrasions and cuts along the outer hose cover
• Kinking of hose
• Twisted hose
• Corrosion or cracks on or around fittings
How to Prevent Unnecessary Failures
Route hoses correctly
When a hose is bent beyond its bend radius, it can cause kinking in the hose (or worse). Use clamps and protective sleeves as well as make sure the hose is routed in the best possible configuration.
Monitor the temperature
Hose assemblies are designed to function best within a range of temperature. Extreme temperatures outside of this range can lead to premature hose failure. Be sure to operate within this range and not at or outside the range limit.
Monitor the pressure
Just as hose assemblies are rated for temperature ranges, they are also rated for pressure ranges. Operating at or above the rated pressure can cause failure as well as pressure surges. If your system experiences pressure surges, make sure your assembly is rated to handle pressures that are greater than your system surges.
Hose assemblies come in a range of different materials to ensure it is compatible with your system. When the chemical structure of your medium is not compatible with the materials of the hose assembly, it can lead to early failure of the hose and even damage to your equipment.
It’s always a good idea to check for fluid contamination. When small particles become introduced to your system, it can cause abrasions on the inside of the hoses as well as cause unnecessary wear and tear to other components of your system.
WARNING: When inspecting your hydraulic hose assemblies, make sure to never touch a pressurized hose with your hand. Even gloved, searching for a leak in the hose can lead to severe injury. It is safer to use a piece of wood or cardboard and hold it over the hose to look for small leaks.
It’s never an easy determination when trying to figure out when to replace your hydraulic hose assembly and what caused the failure in the first place.
As long as the system is running well and there are no external factors, you shouldn’t be replacing your hoses more than every year or two. Keeping a log and doing routine inspections will go a long way in helping you determine what is normal for your system and quickly identify when something is wrong.