When it comes to hydraulic cylinder wear, your cylinders may be trying to tell you something. There are many different warning signs a cylinder might show when it’s starting to go bad or fail. Recognizing these signs can help you prevent a larger problem down the road. A planned hydraulic repair is much easier and less costly than waiting until it’s an emergency to fix the problem. Here are some signs that your hydraulic cylinders are not in the best shape.
Your Cylinder Is Exceeding its Operating Temperature
During normal operations, your cylinder shouldn’t reach anything beyond 80 degrees. While some cylinders very well can see an increase in temperature while they are operating, the temperature guidelines should be in the owner’s manual. Becoming familiar with the normal operating temperature of your cylinder can help you determine when your cylinder is running higher than its standard operating temperature. An abnormal running temperature could be an indication that something is wrong with your cylinder.
Your Cylinder Starts Making Noises
If your cylinder starts talking to you in the form of knocking or banging, this isn’t a good sign. Often those bothersome noises are caused by air in places where they shouldn’t be. If your system has air bubbles in it, this can lead to compression and decompression beyond the cylinder’s capabilities. When there’s not enough fluid reaching a certain part of the system, the pressure can drop so low that what fluid is there gets vaporized. The return of the pressure to that part of the system causes the fluid that is there to implode, creating that knocking noise. It’s important to stop the machine immediately if you hear this to avoid any further damage to your machine.
Your Electricity Bill Increases
If your energy bill has gone up, but your operations have remained steady, this can be a sure sign that your hydraulic cylinder efficiency is decreasing. If your system is leaking, for example, your pump will have to deliver more fluid to compensation. This can cause the motor to work harder, and your whole system becomes less efficient. This can be reflected in your electricity bill, costing you quite a bit of money.
Fortunately, hydraulic cylinders usually show warning signs before they fail completely. Knowing how to listen to your machine and read these clues will help you stay on top of your system’s maintenance. It’s better to use preventative measures at the first sign that something’s amiss than to wait until it’s too late.