Troubleshooting Oil Problems in Custom Built Hydraulic Systems San Diego CA

Learn some of the common symptoms of oil problems in custom built hydraulic systems San Diego CA


As in any hydraulic system, maintaining proper oil temperature, viscosity, and cleanliness in your custom built hydraulic systems San Diego CA is vital. In fact, it may be even more important to pay close attention to oil conditions in custom built hydraulic systems San Diego CA, because of the time delays that are often involved in getting new custom built components made and delivered to you in the event of an equipment failure. Here are some common oil problems and their probable causes.

Oil looks dark, feels thin, or smells burnt. If your hydraulic unit is running too hot, the oil quality will suffer, leading to higher rates of wear and tear on your machine. If your hydraulic unit it not equipped with a thermometer, you can get a ballpark idea of the oil’s temperature by trying to rest your hand against the reservoir housing after the machine has been running at least an hour. If you can’t rest your palm comfortably against the surface, the oil temperature is likely above the maximum recommended temperature of 130 degrees F. Reasons your system might be overheating include leaks, improper air circulation, clogged heat exchangers, and excessive ambient temperatures.

Oil is dirty or contaminated. Oil can pick up dirt or contaminants in several ways. The most common way is through a dirty or compromised filter. If cleaning or replacing the filter doesn’t solve the problem, you may need a different filter with better screening capacity. Another potential cause of dirty oil is an improperly sealed tank. Also, when replacing oil or servicing parts that oil flows through, you must take care to completely seal off the system so that no dirt sneaks in.

Oil is foamy. Foamy or overly aerated oil can be caused by problems with your tank line, broken pipes, or a leak in your pump. If you can’t find the cause of the foam, you might consider using an anti-foaming additive.

Oil has water in it. Oil can get water or moisture in it for several reasons. You might have used a wet can to refill the reservoir, or temperature differentials might be causing condensation inside the tank. One other possible cause for moisture in your oil is the lack of a drain in the lowest point of the tank for the purpose of removing condensate.

Because you’re dealing with a custom built hydraulic systems San Diego CA, there’s not necessarily a simple answer to any problematic oil condition. But armed with this knowledge, you can do your own troubleshooting to find the cause of the problem.

Posted on April 15, 2013
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