Hydraulic Oil Flushing Procedure “How To”
Hydraulic systems rely on hydraulic fluid to keep parts lubricated and the system working correctly. It does become necessary to replace hydraulic fluid periodically. You simply drain part of the old fluid and replace it with new fluid.
Hydraulic flushing, on the other hand, is an entirely different process. There are several situations where you will need to do a full system flush. This process is where you drain the old fluid and flush the system to remove contaminants and sludge.
Why Is a Hydraulic Flush Needed?
The main reason you would want to flush your system is when you want to purge it of water, particulate matter, air, sludge, and old, degraded fluid. A full system flush is typically not required for a well-maintained hydraulic system. Instead, a double oil and filter change system flush would be fine.
When Is a Hydraulic Flush Needed?
A system flush is needed for the following situations:
- The system is new. A flush should be done after a set number of operating hours.
- The system was overhauled. You want to remove any contaminants from the system after replacing parts and components.
- The system has been sitting unused for an extended period of time. You want to flush the system when it has not been used in quite some time.
- There was a major system failure. After the system is repaired, hydraulic flushing removes any contaminants that may have caused the failure.
- There is sludge in the fluid reservoir. If you notice sludge forming in the fluid reservoir, you will want to flush the system to remove it.
- You are switching hydraulic fluids. A full hydraulic flush is needed whenever you switch fluids to ensure the old type of fluid is completely removed before adding the new type of fluid.
How to Flush the Hydraulic System
There are several different flushing methods you can use. The easiest is the double oil and filter change system flush.
- Step 1: Drain the oil and change the filter.
- Step 2: Install a new filter and the minimum fluid amount.
- Step 3: Turn on the system to circulate the fluid until it reaches and fully cycle through the system at least five times.
- Step 4: Drain the fluid, clean the reservoir, and change the filter.
- Step 5: Install a new filter and fill the reservoir to the maximum fluid level.
- Step 6: Turn on the system and allow the fluid t
- Step 7: Check the fluid level and add more fluid if necessary.
Other flushing methods include high-velocity hydraulic flushing, chemical system flushing, and power system flushing. These can require special equipment to perform. Additionally, there are more complex steps like bleeding the lines to remove air.
Hydraulic fluid will degrade, and contaminants do get into hydraulic systems that will degrade performance. A hydraulic oil flushing procedure, when needed, helps remove contaminants and restores system performance.
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