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Repairing A Hydraulic Cylinder? 4 Things To Keep In Mind

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If you have a manufacturing machine that contains a hydraulic cylinder, eventually, that cylinder will need to be repaired. You can take on the repairs on your own, instead of bringing in a professional to handle the repairs, if you want to.  

Thing #1: Avoid Metal 

When you are working with a hydraulic cylinder, you need to be very careful. The cylinder's shaft can easily get damaged and scratched up if you use the wrong tool. You shouldn't use any metal tool when you are working on your cylinder. A metal tool, even one as simple as a screwdriver, positioned incorrectly, can scratch the surface of the seal or the shaft and damage it. You will have to replace it when that happens instead of just repairing it. Avoid metal tools if possible, and if you use them, use them with care. 

Thing #2: Carefully Inspect All Parts 

When you are fixing a cylinder, you will want to inspect all the parts, even if you are changing out the seal. You will want to inspect the rod and ensure that it doesn't have any pitting, scoring, or cracks in it. If the rod isn't uniform, the rod may need to be replaced as well. You will want to inspect the shaft; if the shaft is bent, scratched, or damaged in any way, it will need to be replaced as well.  

Whenever you have to take your cylinder apart to inspect it, be sure to inspect all parts so that they can be replaced in one go instead of multiple rounds.  

Thing #3: Be Aware of Tension 

Next, it is important to be aware that hydraulic cylinders contain tension springs. If you are working on a larger hydraulic cylinder, the tension springs inside of the unit can be really powerful. You should exercise caution when working around them, as touching them wrong could damage the cylinder and damage yourself. If you don't know how to work around a tension spring, allow a professional to handle any repairs that require getting close to the tension spring inside of your cylinder.  

Thing #4: Pay Attention to the Seal Groves

When working with a hydraulic cylinder, the part that needs to be replaced the most often is the hydraulic cylinder seal. It is important not just to take out the old seal and measure it when it comes to replacing the seal. Seals tend to swell and shrink, depending on the circumstances they are exposed to, which will give you inaccurate readings. Instead, you will want to measure the seal grooves, which don't change, to know what size seal to order.  

A hydraulic cylinder repair requires care and caution, which is why you are going to want to consider having a professional take care of any repairs and maintenance for you. If you handle your repairs, work carefully around the tension springs, avoid metal tools if possible, check all components, and when replacing the seals, measure the grooves, not the seals, to get a correct replacement part.