How to Repair Hydraulic Hoses?- in 6 Easy Steps

Learn how to repair a hydraulic hose in 5 simple steps. Hydraulic hoses are used in many different industries, such as forestry, mining, civil, and earthworks.

These hoses are made to be very durable, with thorough testing carried out before use. However, if you keep using them for a long time without proper preventative maintenance, the machines’ hose may inevitably break. This results in lower production efficiency, a higher cost of repairs, environmental harm, and workplace risk.

Types of Hydraulic Hose Damage

When it comes to industrial hoses, the types of damage fall into four basic categories:

  • Damage immediately behind the hose end: Anywhere you have a crimp, or banded connection naturally undergoes more stress when there’s any movement on the hose.
  • Local external damage: Such as a scratch, dent, or impact damage.
  • Overall external wear due to dragging: For example, in cleaning applications where the hose is regularly moved around and dragged on the ground or concrete. The other cause of external abrasion is simply the constant vibration of the hose in high-pressure applications. The vibrations from the pump cause it to rub on the ground and wear the outer coating. There’s not much that can be done to prevent this kind of damage, it’s the nature of this type of application.
  • Long-term use fatigue: When your hose fails because it’s gotten old with use, you know you’ve got the maximum life out of the hose.

How To Repair Hydraulic Hose?- Step by Step

However, in a pinch, you may need to do an on-site repair until you can reach a professional. Temporarily attaching a hydraulic hose isn’t as daunting a job as you might think. Once the process is broken down into six steps, repairing it can be pretty straightforward.

1. Identify the Correct Hose

Most heavy equipment can perform multiple functions (i.e. lift, push, pull, or cut), and each of these functions may require a different minimum pressure tolerance. For this reason, there can also be different types of hydraulic hoses with different minimum pressures for a single device.

Therefore, it is always best to determine which specification the hose in need of repair must meet. In most cases, the tubing will be made to a specific length and you will need to insert a shorter assembly to make up for what will be cut away during the repair.

Be aware that it is extremely dangerous to replace the wrong hose, even temporarily. All hydraulic hoses must indicate the minimum operating pressure and maximum burst pressure on the hose. If in doubt, contact a trained professional.

2. Remove the Damaged Area

Once you have completed Step 1, you will need to cut out the damaged area of the tubing. Also, if the only problem is that the coupling at the end of the hose is leaking, you will have to cut off the broken end. Thoroughly clean the area around the cut end of the hose. Clean the area of dust, dirt, or other contaminants as these could contaminate the hydraulic fluid.

Even a tiny smudge of dirt can damage internal components and lead to costly failure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that both the fittings and the cut hose ends are clean before proceeding with the remainder of the repair.

3. Use an Adapter to Complete the Installation

In some cases, a hydraulic adapter is required to complete the installation of a repaired hose. Since it is not always possible to carry every type of hydraulic coupling, an acceptable solution is to have a kit with a variety of adapters. If necessary, install the adapters in the appropriate ports and ensure that a secure connection has been made.

Proper tightening (or tightening) of adapters and couplings is an essential part of the repair process. Over- and under-torques can have a detrimental effect on the hydraulic system. If you are unsure how much torque to apply, contact the system manufacturer or a trained professional before proceeding.

4. Confirm the Correct Length

Make sure that you got the hose length correctly before installing it. A hose that is stretched too far or has an awkward routing is put under more strain. A hose that is too short increases the risk of dangerous and expensive failures in hydraulic systems since they are continually under pressure.

Make sure the hydraulic hose is routed properly once you’ve got the hose length right. Now, the rest of the hydraulic system can operate regularly.

Double-check the seal’s tightness before continuing because even a tiny crack or defect might cause issues for the hydraulic system. Keep in mind that the seal should be tight but not too tight. When installing the hose, never twist or torque it. Avoid overtightening the seal when tightening the fitting with a wrench.

5. Ensure a Proper Seal

Thread the remaining end of the tubing onto or into the opposite opening, making sure that it is properly sealed. Even a small gap or imperfection in the seal can cause problems for the hydraulic system. Check the seal for leaks before continuing

Remember that the seal should be secure, but not too tight. Never twist or tighten the hose while attaching it. Tighten the fitting with a wrench, being careful not to overtighten the gasket.

6. Circulate Fluid at Low Pressure to Check for Leaks

Finally, turn on the hydraulic system and circulate the oil or hydraulic fluid at low pressure. This makes it easier to identify potential leaks and damaged connections. By circulating the hydraulic fluid under low pressure, the remaining air is also flushed. Air in the system can affect performance or damage pumps and other sensitive components.

Let the hydraulic system run for a few minutes and then check again for leaks. Never use your hand to check for leaks as this could result in injury from fluid injection. Use cardboard or a sheet of paper instead. It may take a few minutes for a leak to become visible. Therefore, always check the system before driving the vehicle or using the machine.

Simple repairs to your hydraulic hoses aren’t as difficult as you might think. However, it is recommended that you have your work checked by a professional. This will help ensure that no mistakes have been made and limit the occurrence of future problems.

If you suspect a hydraulic hose is leaking or otherwise damaged, act quickly and make any necessary repairs or replacements immediately. Leaving a leak unattended and not repaired can seriously damage the entire system and leave a large hole in your wallet.

Whether you are working with a farm tractor, delivery truck, or industrial machine, the integrity of the hydraulic system is only as good as the quality of the hose.