Best Practices for Hydraulic Hoses
Keep your hose operating correctly
Follow these maintenance tips to ensure optimal performance and reduce risks, labor costs, and downtime
Pre-Use Inspection — To be completed before each use
- Check hydraulic hoses for signs of deterioration — Look for indications of wear, such as cracking, blisters, bubbles and don't ignore leakage. Catching signals early helps avoid hose failures causing downtime later on.
- When installing a hose, always install with new seals on fittings and adapters – seals wear down, harden and age with regular use.
- Time frame for replacement varies — There is no set time to replace hydraulic hoses. Rate of deterioration depends on a variety of factors including usage, pressure, and the type of hydraulic fluid.
- Semi-annual maintenance checks — At a minimum, hydraulic hoses should be thoroughly inspected by a certified technician every six months.
Storage and Safety Tips
- Keep fittings clean — Avoid getting sand, dirt or other substances on your fittings, and clean before each connection
- Use caps and plugs when not in use — Use of caps or plugs on your hydraulic hoses keeps them clean and saves time later when you have to re-attach them
- Store in the shade — Keep hoses stored out of direct sunlight, the sun accelerates deterioration.
- Detach and connect carefully — A pressure relief tool is the best implement to remove a pressure-locked hose. High pressures can result when the oil expands in the hose, making connection more difficult. Do not hit hoses on the floor to release pressure.
- Always wear safety goggles when working with hydraulic hoses
What if a hose fails?
Usually hoses fail due to misapplication, abrasion/poor routing, deterioration or improper maintenance. If the hose fails, be extremely careful.
- Shut down the machine immediately to avoid additional damage
- Allow machine to release pressure — Pressure is not released immediately, and machines need time to release pressure to a level suitable for a proper inspection
- Do not search for the leak using your hands — Hydraulic fluids can penetrate the skin and pose a significant risk to your health. Also, exposed wire reinforcement braiding can cut your skin.
- Carefully replace the hose and test for proper operation