Hydraulic equipment has a lot of different moving parts, such as pistons, as well as stable parts, such as seals. When you operate this equipment on a regular basis, it helps to know the signs that your equipment may need a repair or a replacement. Wondering about the state of your cylinders in particular? Here is a closer look at what you need to know.

Locating the Hydraulic Cylinder

Before you can tell if your hydraulic equipment needs a repair, you need to understand the basics of that equipment. Basically, a pump makes a piston move, and that pushes oil through a cylinder. That process ultimately creates energy which allows the pump to perform a range of different functions.

The cylinder can be in a range of positions depending on the top of hydraulic equipment you are using, but for the most part, the cylinder tends to look like an oblong, cylindrical-shaped object.

Looking for Leaks

Once you know where the cylinder is located, you need to monitor it for leaks. For the hydraulics to work correctly, the cylinder has to hold its oil. If you see liquid dripping out of the cylinder or even just beading up on it, that could mean that it needs a repair.

If your hydraulic equipment moves around, make sure the ground underneath the equipment is dry before you park the equipment for the night. Then, when you move the equipment, you can see if there is a puddle underneath it.

In the case of beading liquid, make sure that it is not just condensation. To that end, wipe off the equipment. Lower the humidity in the space, and see if the droplets reappear.

Checking the Mountings

On a regular basis, you may want to check the mountings of your cylinder. Mountings refer to the manner in which the cylinder is connected to the rest of the hydraulic equipment. The mounting may be either fixed or pivoting.

To figure out if your cylinders have a fixed or pivoting mount, see if the equipment moves near the cylinder. If it moves, it's pivoting. If it's stationary, it's fixed.

With a fixed mount, you want to check the hardware. Tighten it as needed, and replace old hardware. For pivoting cylinders, make sure that the cylinder has the full range of movement that it needs. Ideally, you should get a sense of how everything moves when the hydraulic equipment is new and in perfect condition. Then, as you own the equipment, that makes it easier to monitor for aberrations.

Monitoring the Piston Rods

Finally, you need to check out the pistons that go in and out the cylinder. Pull the piston out of the cylinder. Look it over carefully for issues. If you see any bent parts, divots, or other issues, that may be disrupt the functioning of the cylinder. In this case, the cylinder itself may not need a repair, but the piston does.

If the piston doesn't get repaired, the damage could spread to the cylinder. For instance, a bent piston going repeatedly in and out of a cylinder could ultimately bend the cylinder. To avoid that, get the piston repaired as soon as possible.

A broken cylinder could prevent your entire hydraulic equipment from working properly. It could also lead to a malfunction that may cause an operator or a bystander to get injured. To avoid all those scenarios, contact a repair professional at the first sign of your cylinder or any other part needing a repair.

Alternatively, you may just want to have a service professional look over the equipment on a regular basis and perform hydraulic equipment repairs as needed.