How important is a pump in a hydraulic system? No doubt, when there is high-pressure fluid flow, then that hydraulic system will have a pump. Almost every large, medium or small hydraulic systems will pressurize the fluid stored in the reservoir with a hydraulic pump and pass it towards other hydraulic system components. That is, a hydraulic pump is important for converting mechanical energy to hydraulic energy. Small damage to these hydraulic pumps will inversely affect the performance and efficiency of the hydraulic system. So, proper maintenance is required for a hydraulic pump. Otherwise, it will cause costly and unrepairable damages to your hydraulic system.
Also under proper maintenance, there are chances for hydraulic pump failures. But, the severity of the damage can be minimized. If your hydraulic pump fails to provide the required performance and with your hydraulic industry experience you recognized it as minute damage. Then, hydraulic pump repair can be performed by yourself without depending on a technician (Only if you have enough experience and knowledge in hydraulic pumps).
There are different hydraulic pumps types available in the market that differs on its application and construction. Discussing hydraulic pump repair tips for all these types are not practical. So, some of the common hydraulic pump failures, causes, and hydraulic pump repairing tips are discussed below.
Before directly dismantling or repairing your pump, it is necessary to inspect the system and to understand the root cause of that failure. For inspection, you need to check the following.
- Pump type and its specifications.
- What are the symptoms the pump indicates before failure?
- When the oil was refilled for the last time?
- The type of oil refilled and whether it is compatible?
- Previous maintenance history, and more….
The common signs of hydraulic pump failure are loud noises, high oil temperature, and slow or inefficient pump. How to repair hydraulic pumps indicating these signs of failure? The causes and remedy for each of these hydraulic pump failure are listed below.
Also, Read: How Hydraulic Pump Work
Noisy Hydraulic Pump
One of the major benefits of the hydraulic system is its comparatively quieter operation. So, noise from the hydraulic pump or any other system component can be identified easily. The causes for the noisy hydraulic pump are cavitation, aeration, coupling misalignment, and worn/damaged pump. Cavitation is the formation of gas bubbles and this issue can be eliminated by cleaning/replacing the filtration components, or by replacing the hydraulic fluid. Similarly, aeration is air entrapped in the hydraulic fluid and its remedies include bleeding air from the system, tightening leaky connections, replacing seals, filling fluid to the required level, etc.. By properly aligning the seals, couplings and bearings, one can efficiently remove coupling misalignment issues. The only solution to worn/damaged pump is the replacement.
Excessive heat in the pump will affect the fluid viscosity and causes wear to system components. The causes of overheated pump include cavitation, aeration, excessive load, worn/damaged pump, etc.. We have already discussed the remedies for cavitation, aeration and worn/damaged pump in the above section. To overcome issues related to excessive load the operator needs to understand the working load capacity of that pump. Also, the excessive heat issue can be removed by installing a pressure gauge and by adjusting the pressure settings.
Also, Read: Understanding Variable Displacement Pumps
Hydraulic pump efficiency is important for every hydraulic system. The pump plays a key role in converting mechanical energy to hydraulic energy. Some important reasons other than what we mentioned above include low oil level, low oil viscosity, stuck inner components, etc.. The remedies to solve hydraulic fluid related issues are replacing hydraulic oil or filling it to the required level. Stuck internal components(pistons/valves) causes difficulty to move. It can be a result of corrosion, highly viscous fluids, contaminants, etc.. Most of the above-mentioned tips are applicable only after dismantling the hydraulic pump. Hydraulic pump rebuilding includes adding new components or reassembling existing components. Any fault in this hydraulic pump rebuild can make the system permanently inactive.