With the cooler temperatures of fall – and dare we say it, winter – rolling into town, the rising temperature of the oil running in your hydraulic systems might be the last thing on your mind. If that’s the case, you may want to consider this; for every 18 degrees above the standard 140 degrees for oil, the life of the oil in your hydraulic system decrease by half. Now when you consider that means changing your oil TWICE as often, it might seem a bit more significant, right?
Before you decide to pass on changing your oil more often due to high temperatures, it is important to consider the impact that these will have on your hydraulic system. If you have a hydraulic system operating at a high temperature, your oil will quickly become sludgy and almost varnish-like, which can cause valves to stick. Motors and pumps also bypass more oil when it is at a higher temperature and this causes your equipment to operate at a decreased speed. Your O-rings can also harden at these higher temperatures, which will lead to more leaks down the road. These high oil temperatures can also cause you to waste electrical energy, therefore driving up your electric bill because they make the pump drive motor draw more electrical current to operate properly.
Many aspects can cause your oil temperatures to rise and simply put, every hydraulic system generates heat. Whenever the hydraulic oil is brought back to the reservoir and there is no useful work done, there will be heat generated. There are also tolerances inside valves and pumps that actually permit trace amounts of oil to bypass internal components, which increases the fluid temperature as resistance is encountered. Pressure drops will also increase oil temperatures, as heat is generated and absorbed when the oil goes from a higher pressure to a lower pressure.
From relief valves and pressure-compensating pumps to heat exchangers, there are various ways to ensure that the oil temperature is kept within the recommended levels. If you are experiencing a sludgy substance when changing the oil or find yourself changing the oil much more often than usual, then it’s possible that you have high oil temperatures. If you are experiencing higher than normal oil temperatures in your hydraulic system, then it’s time to call Bernell Hydraulics!
Bernell Hydraulics has been in the hydraulic equipment industry for over 42 years. We have the experience necessary to get to the root of the problem and the skills necessary to solve the issue for you. We have four convenient locations and technicians on-call 24/7 so that no matter when your system breaks down, we will have someone available to help. If you think your hydraulic system oil temperatures are running too hot, call us today at 909-899-1751.