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10 Ways to Check Hydraulic Systems with Thermal Imaging 08## August 2019

Is your hydraulic system in optimal condition? Here are 10 ways you can use thermal imaging to diagnose common hydraulic problems.

1. Heat exchanger: An unusually hot outlet (one that isn't cooler than the inlet) could signify improper cooling or contamination.
2. Accumulator shell: If the bottom of the accumulator is not warmer than the top, it may indicate dry nitrogen leakage, bladder rupture, or improper settings.
3. Reservoir: Check the oil reservoir temperature regularly to confirm the accuracy of the system thermometer.
4. Accumulator dump valve: If the tank line is not near ambient temperature, the valve may be stuck.
5. Cooling loop check valve: If the tank line is not near ambient temperature, there may be debris in the cooler tubes.
6. Relief valve: If the tank line is not near ambient temperature, there could be an issue with the pump compensator or the valve itself.
7. Air bleed valve: If the area around the valve is unusually hot, the valve may not have opened correctly.
8. Drain lines: Excessive heat in the case and suction drains may indicate pump wear.
9. Oil filter: If the temperature of the filter housing is lower than that of its base, the element could be clogged.
10. Any other leakage: Any anomalous excessive heat readings at other locations may be indicative of either internal or external leakage under pressure.
11. Seal and fluid health: Watch for any readings over 80 ° C / 180° F. Systems running at this temperature for long periods risk damaging seals and hydraulic fluid.

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