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Three Common Causes for Excessive Temperatures in Hydraulic Systems

When hydraulic oil is getting overheated, there could be several common causes that also cause the system to overheat. First, it is crucial to understand the type of hydraulic system you are using to begin troubleshooting why the system is overheating.

hydraulic pipes maintenance on heavy industry machine.Next, regular system maintenance is essential to help identify potential overheating issues before they become major problems. Regular maintenance ensures that the hydraulic fluid, parts, and components are operating optimally.
 

Troubleshooting Hydraulic Oil Overheating Problems

 

#1. The system parts and components are wearing out and need to be replaced.

The first cause of hydraulic oil overheating is when the hydraulic equipment system parts and components are nearing the end of their useful lifespans. As they degrade, due to increased internal leakage, they have to work harder to maintain the desired system pressure.

For example, your hydraulic pump is wearing out and needs to be replaced. Due to internal wear pressurised fluid escapes from the high pressure side to the low pressure side generating heat increasing the temperature of the hydraulic fluid and causing circuit overheating.
 

#2. You made system upgrades or changes not compatible with the hydraulic circuit.

It is understood that you may want to make system upgrades or changes to customize the system to reflect your specific needs.  However, when you do not consider the entire system, it can cause the system to work hard, give off more heat, and increase hydraulic oil temperatures, leading to circuit overheating.

For instance, you may want to increase the fluid flow rate through the system. However, you did not account for the size of hoses and tubing to accommodate the higher flow rates. As a result, the system has to work hard to force the increased flow rates through incompatible hoses and tubes, resulting in more heat generation and fluid overheating.
 

#3. You made adjustments to one part of the system, not the entire system.

Tweaking your hydraulic system is perfectly acceptable to optimize its performance. However, where many people go wrong is they only adjust one part of the system and fail to think about how the adjustment will impact other parts of the system.

For example, suppose you make an adjustment to the pump compensator and increase the pressure yet fail to also make a similar adjustment to the relief valve. In this instance the relief valve will blow off more frequently generating more heat and therefore increasing the circuit fluid temperature.
 

#4. The system pressure drop increases unexpectedly.

Every component in a hydraulic system imposes a load on the pump, this is referred to as the pressure drop across the particular component.   The figure will vary depending upon the flow rate and the energy lost from the fluid due to the pressure drop is converted into heat.   If the overall pressure drop across all the components in the circuit unexpectedly increases so the heat generated across the circuit will also increase.

If the fluid is not cooled to compensate for this the fluid temperature continues to increase as the other parts and components generate excessive heat.
 

#5. The hydraulic fluid is contaminated.

If there is dirt, sludge, debris, or water in the hydraulic fluid, the system will generate more heat as it attempts to compensate for the contaminants and push the fluid through the system. Therefore, it is always vital to check your fluid for contamination and change it and or improve fluid filtration when required.
 

Resolving Fluid Overheating Problems

After troubleshooting overheating problems, if you have determined it is not due to the four common causes mentioned above, then there are two general ways you can resolve fluid overheating problems.  You can either increase the reservoir capacity to dissipate heat or decrease the amount of heat being generated by the system.

Another way to increase the heat dissipation is to inspect the current heat exchangers, if they are being used, and make the appropriate adjustments.  In some cases, you may want to install additional heat exchangers to help reduce the fluid temperature.

Overheating problemsWhen it comes to decreasing the amount of heat being generated by the system, you need to inspect the fluid reservoir. First, you want to ensure the reservoir fluid level is filled to the maximum level. When there is too little hydraulic oil, the oil will heat up much faster and could cause overheating.

In addition, check the airflow around the reservoir as the higher the airflow the more efficiently the reservoir radiates the heat from the fluid held inside it.
 

Hydraulic Parts, Components, and Accessories to Resolve Overheating Problems

To find hydraulic parts, components, and accessories to help you resolve hydraulic oil overheating problems, or if you require assistance in troubleshooting system overheating, please feel free to contact White House Products, Ltd. at +44 (0) 1475 742500 today!

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