Troubleshooting Excessive Vibration in Hydraulic Systems

Keep excessive vibration from hurting your hydraulic equipment’s performance with these tips

If your hydraulic equipment produces excessive vibrations during normal operation, you may be in for some unpleasant surprises down the line, such as decreased performance or even system failure. If nothing else, you’ll be dealing with increased, irritating, and potentially dangerous noise levels. Fortunately, there are ways to detect and correct the causes of excessive vibration to keep your hydraulic equipment in top working condition.
Hydrualic Repair

Check the Pump

Hydraulic pumps are the number one culprit for excessive vibration in hydraulic systems. Pumps create fluid pulses as they operate, and these pulses can cause hydraulic lines to vibrate, increasing friction damage to hoses and causing wear and tear on connections. An improperly or insecurely mounted pump can also cause vibrations which travel throughout the structure of your hydraulic equipment. If your hydraulic equipment is vibrating too much, checking the pump for proper operation and proper mounting is a good first step.

Install an Accumulator

In many hydraulic systems, relief, vent, or compensator valves are supposed to compensate for a cylinder bottoming out. If these valves don’t respond quickly enough, you end up with hydraulic shocks. These shock waves can create pressure spikes, unwanted noise, and vibration, and occasionally they may even excite natural harmonies in the system, causing hydraulic parts to resonate at a frequency that damages them. No matter where the shock waves are coming from, installing an accumulator will help dampen them and reduce vibration.

Check All Mountings

It’s important to remember that hydraulic equipment can suffer from both fluid-borne and structure-borne vibrations. Structure-borne vibrations are rare when equipment is new, but they often occur after work has been done on the system. This is because the design of many factory-made hydraulic systems makes it very difficult to access vital parts like the motor and the pump for service or replacement. It is very important to remember to check all mountings after any work has been performed to ensure that all parts are secure and in their proper alignment. If your equipment suddenly has a vibration issue after work has been done, checking the mountings can often provide a quick and effective fix.

Get a Professional Opinion

If you need help troubleshooting your hydraulic equipment, turn to the pros at Bernell Hydraulics. Our expert hydraulic technicians can draw upon years of experience to identify the cause of your vibrations or other problems and recommend a solution. Because we thoroughly test all equipment after work is complete, you can rest assured that we won’t introduce vibration problems when trying to fix other issues.