When should you repair or replace your cylinder?

Often when a cylinder is not performing as it should, the question comes down to, should you repair or replace it?  However, replacing a cylinder is a costly exercise, and sometimes repairing it may be the better option.

What can cause cylinder failure?

Power Team SA notes that there are a few parts in a cylinder that can cause the failure. Parts such as the barrel, piston rod, the piston, the cylinder head, the cylinder cap and the seals and bearings can all be responsible. Some explanations of failure can be:

  • Contaminated fluid can accelerate the wear and tear that damages the seals and can cause a sudden failure.
  • The barrel can be dented which can affect performance and potential safety.
  • The piston rod can be bent which can lead to serious problems and exposure to corrosive chemicals damaging the steel and the seals.

What to do before replacing or repairing

Sometimes a cylinder will fail simply due to the wearing out of a bearing or a seal and the replacement of those components is enough to get your machinery up and running. However, if this is not the case, before any repairs are done, Power Team SA suggests that the cause of the failure needs to be determined. If this is not done, then once the cylinder is replaced, the same damage and failure will continue to occur. 

When should a cylinder be replaced?

A cylinder should be replaced when the following occurs:

  • The hydraulic cylinder no longer works or functions properly
  • Hydraulic fluid is leaking from the cylinder
  • Hydraulic cylinder seals are worn or broken

With the correct preventative maintenance in place, a hydraulic cylinder will last longer. Wear and tear do occur, even with a maintenance schedule  in place, however at a later time should there be no underlying causes. Components such as hydraulic seals are not always easy to see, and the only way to detect a torn seal is to disassemble and reassemble the cylinder.

Why should you repair over replace?

Often when a cylinder fails it is a component that fails rather than the entire system. If the failure is found soon, only the damaged part needs to be replaced as is common with bearings and seals.

What you need to consider before replacing or repairing your cylinder

Before a decision is made to replace or repair a cylinder, the following needs to be taken into account:

  • The cost of the downtime
  • The cost and availability of a new cylinder
  • Critical applications
  • Component serviceability
  • Maintenance department competence
  • Cost and time to repair the cylinder.

These factors will play a part in your decision as to when and how to sort out a cylinder failure. For expert advice Power Team SA are on hand to help with all hydraulic needs, and through years of experience will be able to provide a solution suitable to your needs.