Troubleshooting Common Hydraulic Problems

Before you set-off troubleshooting, make sure that your own senses are firing on all cylinders…

STAY SAFE and before you approach the system make sure all loads are lowered or mechanically secure.

DO NOT rely on a hydraulic control valve to hold a load. Exhaust the pressure locked in the system and isolate power supply systems and electrical controls.

TOUCH – Heat is a real give-away, the strongest indication of a problem in the system. Feel different areas; if there’s discomfort when you touch a component then there’s a problem. The hottest component is faulty. In addition to damaging seals and reducing the service life of the hydraulic fluid, high fluid temperature can damage system components through inadequate lubrication as a result of excessive thinning of the oil film (low viscosity). A fluid temperature alarm should be installed in the system and all high temperature indications investigated and rectified immediately.

SMELL – An unpleasant, harsh or bitter smelling oil is a sign of excessive heat and indicates that the additive packages in the oil have broken down. Remove and replace the oil as soon as possible to avoid major damage to hydraulic components.

LOOK – Reduced performance, e.g. longer cycle times or slow operation, is often an early indication of problems within the hydraulic system. In a hydraulic system, flow determines actuator speed and response – a loss of speed therefore indicates a loss of flow. Inconsistent, erratically moving actuators are a strong sign of entrapped air – see our article on article on Air Contamination in Hydraulic Systems.

LISTEN – Abnormal noise, banging or knocking, in a hydraulic system is often caused by aeration or cavitation – again, see our article on Air Contamination in Hydraulic Systems. Cavitation causes metal erosion, which damages hydraulic components and contaminates the fluid. While cavitation can occur just about anywhere within a hydraulic circuit, air usually enters the hydraulic system through the pump’s inlet. It is therefore vital to make sure that the pump intake lines are in good condition and all clamps and fittings are tight.

Taking the time to proactively monitor noise levels, fluid temperature and cycle times can pay dividends – allowing you to detect changes and conditions that can cause costly component failures and unscheduled downtime of hydraulic equipment.

Testimonial: Rayne Precision Engineering

I have passed your cards onto a couple of our maintenance contractors and have given you a high recommendation to them both, so hopefully they too will be using in the future. Thanks for helping to get our repair solved so promptly.

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Testimonial: Engineering Solutions

The valve arrived about 9:00am this morning. The service from you and Steve has been first class, so thank you very much. I shall certainly use your services again and recommend you to others. Thanks again and best regards.

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Testimonial: Philippines

We would like to confirm receipt of your shipment for our initial order: PO# 07623. It was a pleasure having started working with you and we hope this is just the start of a good business relationship between our companies. Again, thank you very much and we look forward for more future business opportunities with you.

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Testimonial: The Netherlands

Thank you for your service with selecting the proper pump. Pumps have arrived this morning and they completely conform with the old pumps.

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Testimonial: Abernethy Trust

Please pass on my thanks to Steven for great customer service and his product knowledge; our gang mowers are back up and working.

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Testimonial: Virginia

Please thank your team very much in helping me solve a pump issue. I needed a pump that was manufactured by a company no longer in business, and Steven was able to locate a duplicate that was manufactured by Parker.

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Testimonial: Gwynedd

Thank you, Joanna. Mark’s quote was from a technical discussion which answered many questions that I have been trying to get without success from other suppliers. Please thank Mark for his time and expertise; it was so refreshing to have a knowledgeable person rather than a sales assistant.

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Just wanted to tell you that the pump fits and works perfectly. You were a big help, thank you.

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Testimonial: Lift Company

Hi Mark, Thanks for sorting this out for me so quickly. Absolutely brilliant service… In this day and age it is so rare to come across a company with customer service to this level. Much appreciated.

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Testimonial – Perth

Can you let the boys know that they are providing us with great service, parts and information in all our locations. Your service is prompt and reliable; you’re our “go to” guys when it comes to hydraulics.

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