Causes of Hydraulic System Failure

Causes of Hydraulic System Failure

Maintaining hydraulic systems is extremely important. The machinery that runs your business, or your place of employment, is your livelihood. When that machine breaks down everything grinds to a halt. Quickly and accurately identifying any issue so you can make the necessary repairs or adjustments with minimal downtime is essential. These are the top three issues that any hydraulic system will encounter.


Hydraulic systems operate primarily through pressure. If pressure is lost to the system a number of issues can occur. The main issues caused by leakage are slow response time, incomplete tasks, and loud hissing noises. A common issue caused by leaking seals is cylinder drift. Thankfully, leaks are not only the most common but also among the most easily repaired issues in a hydraulic system. Simply replace the faulty hydraulic seals and associated issues may be immediately corrected.


If you can’t find a leak in your system another potential issue is malfunction. Defective or broken parts typically cause malfunction. Pressure or temperature regulators, as well as moving parts, are especially prone to breaking down. These malfunctions have a number of indicators. If your hydraulic system is electronically controlled, the program running your machine may also malfunction. Unfortunately, these issues are typically more severe, many requiring a trained technician to safely repair.


Human error can also cause a severe system failure. Ensure that you, or your employees, are following proper procedure when using hydraulic machinery, often this should be the first step in the troubleshooting process. Be especially aware of overclocking, overheating, and abuse of the machinery. You can also check manually adjusted pressure gauges and job-specific settings. Proper training for employees is one of the best ways to prevent these issues, but even the best training is not infallible.

Hydraulic systems are a complicated but valuable part of your business. Following this quick troubleshooting guide can help get you back up and running in no time.

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