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Flushing Procedures For Your Hydraulic System

By R Allen  –  Published 10/21/2008
Most hydraulic systems can be properly flushed by using the hydraulic pump(s) to circulate fluid through the fluid lines and returned through the filter(s) into the reservoir.

Connect all actuator and valving manifold hoses together, using flushing nipples.  You objective is to bypass the actuators and valving for proper flushing of the fluid lines.  Start the pump and circulate fluid through the fluid lines.  It is common to get surges of air from the fluid lines returning to the reservoir which may cause the pump(s) to be noisy as air bubble are drawn into the pump.  If the noise persists for a long period of time and the fluid is aerated or foamy, allow the fluid to settle out over night.  If the noise continues beyond a reasonable period of time, consult the manufacturer of the hydraulic system.

IMPORTANT:  Monitor the indicators on the system filter(s) during start up to assure that fluid does not bypass the filter elements.

Required flushing time will vary with the size and complexity of the entire hydraulic system and the degree of contamination resulting from installation.  Simple systems can usually be flushed within one to two hours.  Large system may require ten to twelve hours.  Careful monitoring of the filter condition indicators will dictate the necessary flushing time required.

It is necessary to flush all fabricated piping, tubing, and hoses without introducing contamination into the valuing manifold or actuators (cylinder and motors).  When this has been completed, reconnect the hoses to the proper ports and operate the system manually during the initial phase.  Carefully check for any mechanical interference, binds, non-lubricated machinery and fluid leaks.

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