The Key to Preserving Hydraulic Pump Performance:

Understanding and Preventing Pump Contamination

Hydraulic pumps are the heart of hydraulic systems, providing the necessary force to transfer fluids and power various applications. However, these critical components are susceptible to contamination, which can lead to costly repairs and operational inefficiencies. In this comprehensive blog article, Allied Hydraulics will explore the topic of hydraulic pump contamination, shedding light on its causes and implications. Additionally, we will emphasize the significance of routine maintenance practices to prevent contamination and extend the lifespan of hydraulic pumps. From cleaning strainers to conducting oil analysis, we provide valuable insights that ensure our customers’ hydraulic systems operate at peak performance.

Understanding Hydraulic Pump Contamination

Hydraulic pump contamination refers to the presence of unwanted particles or substances within the pump and the hydraulic fluid it circulates. Contaminants can be broadly categorized into three main types:

  1. Solid Contaminants:
    • Dirt and Particulate Matter: Dust, sand, metal shavings, and other solid particles can enter the hydraulic system during assembly, operation, or maintenance procedures.
    • Wear Debris: Components within the pump may experience wear over time, generating tiny metallic particles that contaminate the hydraulic fluid.
  2. Liquid Contaminants:
    • Water: Moisture can infiltrate the hydraulic fluid, leading to potential oxidation, corrosion, and reduced fluid performance.
    • Hydraulic Fluid Contamination: Mixing incompatible or low-quality hydraulic fluids can introduce harmful substances into the system.
  3. Gaseous Contaminants:
    • Air: Excessive air ingress can cause aeration, leading to spongy system response and reduced pump efficiency. 

Routine Maintenance to Prevent Hydraulic Pump Contamination

  1. Cleaning
    • Strainers and Filters: Strainers and filters are the first line of defense against solid contaminants. Regularly inspect and clean these components to prevent particles from entering the hydraulic pump. Taking the lid off and cleaning the strainer thoroughly is a vital maintenance practice that Allied Hydraulics recommends to all its customers.
  2. Conducting
    • Oil Sample Analysis: Periodic oil analysis is a powerful diagnostic tool to identify the type and extent of contamination in the hydraulic system. Allied Hydraulics partners with MP Filtri, a
      trusted third-party expert, to perform comprehensive oil analysis. The analysis will reveal the presence of specific contaminants, such as aluminum or steel particles, helping determine which component within the hydraulic system is failing.
  3. Identifying
    • Component Failures: Oil sample analysis enables us to pinpoint the source of contamination and identify the failing component. For instance, the presence of brass particles in the hydraulic fluid indicates a pump failure, while aluminum particles suggest a cylinder problem. Timely identification of these issues can prevent further damage and reduce downtime.
  4. Understanding the Implications of Dirt Contamination:
    • Different types of dirt can impact the hydraulic pump and system in various ways. For instance, abrasive particles like sand and dust can accelerate wear, affecting pump
      performance and longevity. Understanding the implications of different
      dirt types is crucial for effective maintenance.
  5. Routine Filter Replacements:
    • Regular filter replacements are essential to maintaining a clean hydraulic system. Filters play a critical role in trapping contaminants and preventing them from circulating through the system.
      Allied Hydraulics recommends adhering to a scheduled filter replacement plan.
  6. Proper Size Filters for Proportional Valves:
    • Proportional valves are highly sensitive components that require finer filtration. Selecting filters specifically designed for proportional valves ensures optimal performance and prevents potential damage due to contamination.

Hydraulic pump contamination is a persistent threat to the performance and reliability of hydraulic systems. However, by implementing routine maintenance practices such as cleaning strainers, conducting oil analysis, and replacing filters as recommended, Allied Hydraulics empowers its customers to prevent pump contamination effectively. With proactive maintenance, hydraulic pumps can operate efficiently, minimizing downtime, extending the lifespan of components, and maximizing productivity across various industries. Trust Allied Hydraulics for expert guidance and support in safeguarding your hydraulic systems from contamination-related issues.





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