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How to maintain your hydraulic cylinder

Looking after your hydraulic components ensures that the system works perfectly at all times. Just as with all equipment, regular and correct maintenance allows for machinery to run for longer without unnecessary downtime. Hydraulic cylinders are no exception.

To keep your hydraulic cylinders in good working condition, the following needs to be applied:

  • Most hydraulic failures come from contaminated oil. It is important to keep your oil clean. Dirt particles enter the oil from wear and tear, broken seals etc., and move back and forth within the cylinder. This can damage the cylinder and clog up the filters should the oil not be drained in time.
  • Cylinders need to be inspected regularly for corrosion, pitting and uneven wear. Corrosion could mean excess moisture either in the fluid or in the air. If excessive moisture is found in the fluid this will affect your entire hydraulic system and cause seal wear and excessive friction. Pitting can also be caused by corrosion or from physical damage which will affect the seals. Uneven wear of the rod can be due to misalignment which is when the side load causes the rod to rub on one side of the bearing, which will wear out the bearing, seals and the rod. The rod may need to be replaced if it cannot be replaced.
  • Keeping a spare set of cylinders for rotation can keep the cylinders in good working condition. Once the cylinder is rotated with another one, it can be disassembled, inspected and repaired if required. This is a great opportunity to replace all the seals; inspect the internals of the cylinder which can give you clues to the condition of the rest of your hydraulic system. When inspecting the piston and cap, you will be able to see if particles have been trapped in the cylinder.
  • All cylinder accessories should be serviced. When these are worn the system cannot work correctly and, in some cases, can cause misalignment which will lead to rapid wear and damage.

All hydraulic components need to be inspected and maintained on a regular basis. Power Team SA urges that you should not wait until something goes wrong to undertake maintenance on the equipment, this will only lead to extended down time and loss of income. Power Team SA is available to help with all hydraulic maintenance and can supply any hydraulic components and accessories that may be required. With years of experience, Power Team SA offers expert advice and solutions.