4 Steps to Determine Low System Pressure

4 Steps to Determine Low System Pressure

A comprehensive understanding of the distinction between pressure and flow in hydraulic systems is essential for troubleshooting and failure analysis. By following these steps, one can effectively diagnose and resolve issues:

  1. Gather Information: Obtaining the system schematic is critical to understanding flow patterns and potential problem-causing components. An accurate assessment of symptoms, such as sudden pressure loss, unusual noises, or temperature changes, aids in pinpointing the source of the problem.

  2. Isolate the Power Supply: Isolating the power supply from the rest of the system through manual valves or line plugs helps identify the specific section where the issue lies. This step streamlines the troubleshooting process.

  3. Make the Easiest Checks First: After tracking the flow on the schematic and identifying potential problem components, proceed with checks in order of ease. For instance, if pressure remains unchanged after isolating the power supply, focus on the power supply components like the suction strainer, pump, and relief valve. Common problems may include cavitating pumps due to blocked strainers or malfunctioning relief valves.

  4. Check the Relief Valve: If no whining sound is present, check the relief valve. Attempt adjusting it with the system deadheaded to see if it is stuck open. Inspect for debris, damaged springs, or orifices that may hinder proper seating. Cleaning or replacing faulty relief valves can restore normal pressure.

  5. Monitor the Pump: The pump can be assessed using a flow meter installed in the relief valve tank line or the pressure line. Monitoring pump performance through the relief valve ensures accurate diagnosis.

  6. Make Informed Decisions: Avoid haphazard part replacements by utilizing a logical progression of troubleshooting. Changing parts without proper analysis can be costly, wasteful, and potentially lead to additional problems in the system.

A systematic approach, coupled with careful observation and analysis, is the most effective way to troubleshoot hydraulic systems, saving time, resources, and minimizing downtime.