The hydraulic systems on many machines and pieces of equipment run day in and day out, so maintaining things like the seals on these systems is critical. If a seal starts leaking, replacing it quickly is the best way to avoid damage in the rest of the system.
The hydraulic pump that pressurizes the hydraulic cylinders and other parts of the system has several kinds of seals on it. Check the pump frequently, looking for leaks anywhere that there is a seal. Seals can be where a shaft passes through the case, where components meet or join, or where hose fittings are connected to the pump.
If you see oil leaking from any of these areas, shut the equipment down and inspect the area for damage or a bad seal. If you are not sure what to look for, have your mechanic take a look at it and identify where the leaks are coming from. The leek may be minor but left without repair, the leak will get worse, and the seal could eventually fail.
Hydraulic cylinders have a seal on the body of the cylinder where the ram or shaft comes out of the cylinder, The seal on the cylinder may allow an extremely light coating of oil to be left on the ram. Still, if the oil is dripping or running off the ram, too much oil is passing the seal.
Check the seals on the cylinders regularly for leaks and for cracks or damage to the rubber. If the seal is torn, the deal needs replacing as soon as possible. A torn seal can not hold pressure, and eventually, it will fail, causing an oil leak and potentially causing a loss of pressure in the system, which could cause a hazardous situation for workers or yourself.
Buying Hydraulic Seals
If you have some seals leaking, you will need to find the right seals for the pump or cylinders that you are using. The best place to start is with an industrial supply house. Often the industrial supplier will have seals for common hydraulic systems and parts. If they do not have the parts, the supply house may be able to locate and order the seals for you.
Take the part numbers off the seals, the models numbers off the pump and cylinders, and any other information that you have about the equipment with you when you go to the supply house. The employee there will be able to use the numbers and information to ensure you get the correct parts for your equipment.