Fundamental Tips in Troubleshooting Hydraulic Pumps

Fundamental Tips in Troubleshooting Hydraulic Pumps

The hydraulic system is a significant investment for industrial companies, but if any of its components experience breakdowns, it can lead to various issues and expenses in operations. To ensure the longevity of our components and promptly address problems, understanding different types of failures and employing basic troubleshooting tips is essential.

One common issue is pump cavitation, characterized by the pump's inability to draw oil in a full charge, resulting in increased noise levels and excessive heat around the shaft and front bearing. To prevent cavitation, regular cleaning of the pump suction strainer, checking for any restricted or clogged pump inlet plumbing, and using the recommended viscosity and viscosity index of oil are vital measures.

Air leaking into the system can lead to milky-looking oil and can be addressed by cycling the system without building high pressure to detect the air entry point. Ensuring the oil reserve is at the correct level, checking for worn shaft seals on gear and vane pumps, and examining plumbing and joints in the pump inlet line are crucial in preventing air leaks.

Water leaks cause similar milky appearance of oil and can occur due to shell and tube heat exchanger leaks or ambient temperature changes. Regularly tapping off a small amount of fluid from the reservoir can help resolve this issue.

Leakage around the pump can be attributed to worn shaft seals or fitting mismatches, and it's essential to address them promptly to prevent further damage.

If the pump delivers too little or no flow, it may be due to incorrect shaft direction, clogged intake, varnishing caused by excessive heat, or mechanical issues. Ensuring the correct oil viscosity and pump speed, and maintaining the oil level are important in preventing this problem.

Increased pump noise may be caused by pump inlet cavitation, air leaks, mechanical issues, excessive heat, or improper pump speed.

To extend pump life, it is crucial to avoid operating above catalog pressure ratings, using poor-quality or inappropriate oil viscosity, inadequate filtering, and failing to maintain the suction strainer cleanliness.

By following these troubleshooting tips and avoiding common pitfalls, the hydraulic system's components can be protected and their operational life maximized.