How Should You Inspect a Hydraulic Hose for Leaks?

Inspections of hydraulic systems are not one-time events. Inspection should be ongoing as part of a larger maintenance plan. However, this is not always the case. Unfortunately, there are plenty of operations out there without maintenance plans that simply fix things when they break. The problem with this method is that once something breaks, it has already affected other components, and damage can be irreversible. Catching possible issues ahead of time will result in greater efficiency and more up time. Knowing how often to check your hydraulic system and knowing what to check for can be greatly beneficial. 

While there are many different types of hydraulic hose, from spiral to braided to stainless steel Teflon to thermoplastic, suction, flexible metal and performance, there is not much difference in how they are inspected. These hoses all have different constructions, but their purpose is singular in conveying hydraulic fluid, so the inspection protocol is the same for all. If there is an issue with a hose, it will react similarly regardless of its type. 

Hydraulic Hose Leak Inspecting Process 

According to a report by the International Organization for Standardization, you should examine several areas when inspecting hydraulic hoses and assemblies. If you see any of these issues listed out below, you need to evaluate whether to replace that component or the rest of the hose assembly.

  • The most common place for leaks to occur is at the connection. If you are working with heavy machinery like an excavator or harvester, as the hose flexes at the connection points,, a lot of wear and tear often takes place on or near the flange. 
  • If a cover is worn away it’s more susceptible to failure. While hydraulic hoses should never rub against anything, sometimes that is unavoidable in certain scenarios. When this situation occurs we recommend hose protection or hose guards to protect your hydraulic hoses in vulnerable places.
  • Twisted, kinked, or flattened hoses are often the result of a routing issue. All hoses are given a specific bend radius and when going over it, it can cause a serious problem for the wires in the hose. 
  • Sometimes the liquid passing through the hose is excessively hot and over time can decrease the flexibility or lifespan of the hose. You should look for cracking, stiff, or charred hoses. 
  • To locate the leak, pass a piece of cardboard or mirror over the area where you suspect the leak is. It is never a good idea to use your hand to check for a leak as hydraulic fluid can be under a lot of pressure and has the ability to penetrate the skin. 

Sometimes the liquid passing through the hose is excessively hot and over time can decrease the flexibility or lifespan of the hose. If you’re in need of a hydraulic system repair or maintenance, Kings Diesel can be your ally.