Replacing Your Filters
Changing your filters can extend the life of your cylinder equipment and pumps
What are the benefits of replacing your filters?
Filters are a crucial component of your hydraulic system. They prevent contamination, which is one of the leading causes of system failure. Contaminants can get into your hydraulic system while it is running. They can come from outside sources or form inside the system itself. Contaminants can be dirt, rust, air, water, or other particles. All impair fluid functions in one way or another.
What are the types of hydraulic filters?
When choosing filters, consider where it goes in the system and what the pressure is at that location. The most common filters found in hydraulic systems are low-pressure filters, medium-pressure filters, high-pressure filters, in-tank filters, strainers, and breathers.
Industrial Hydraulics offers Donaldson filters that are of high quality and value to your hydraulic system. They protect your system from contamination and vary in type, media efficiencies, and applications.
The importance of pressure and efficiency ratings
Filters are designed to handle a certain level of pressure, depending on its location in the hydraulic circuit. For instance, a filter located between the tank and the pump would have a lower-pressure rating than one that is located after the pump.
Pressure isn't the only thing to take into consideration. Filtration efficiency also matters. With a higher efficiency filter comes more ability to catch contaminants. However, it can cause more restrictions in the flow of the fluid. On the other hand, a lower efficiency filter can’t catch as many contaminants; but, it restricts fluid flow less.
Finding the right balance between efficiency and restriction levels is key. Some filters have a filter bypass in place. This is an added protection to the system that occurs when the filter cannot hold anymore contaminants. In turn, fluid that hasn’t been filtered yet can seep through.
Wrong Filter Locations
Piston pump, motor case drain lines, and pump inlets are risky locations for filters to go. When installed at these locations, filters can cause restriction in the flow of fluid. This can decrease the service-life of your machine. It can also cause failure to these crucial parts, which are costly items to fix.
If you’re not sure if your filter is in a harmful location, check with the manufacturer of the pump or motor before removing the filter.
How often should you replace your filters?
Did you know that the timing of your filter change could determine the service-life of your cylinder equipment and pumps?
Monitoring the condition of your filter is important to its overall service-life. It can help you see signs of wear and tear or damage that has started in your hydraulic system. Changing your filter is also an important part of maintaining your system’s service-life.
However, timing is everything. Replacing your hydraulic filter too soon means that you’re not getting your money’s worth as the filter could still hold more dirt. It also means that you miss out on time your system could be in use. Changing your hydraulic filter too late means an increase in particles contaminating the fluid. This decreases the life of your hydraulic system and is a costly mistake.
So, how do you know when it’s time to change the filter? You should change your hydraulic filter once it has reached around 80% capacity to hold dirt. You should also change your filter before it goes on bypass. When a filter bypass occurs, contaminants can get into the system as the filter is no longer functioning properly.
Gauge when to change your filters
While clogging indicators signal a pressure drop, we recommend using a differential pressure gauge to monitor your filter’s condition. Differential pressure gauges indicate the difference of the pressure points in the system. This makes it easier as you don’t have to look at two gauges to determine the pressure difference.
Routinely check your gauges to spot signs of filter-bypass. Look out for sudden increases or decreases in pressure difference. These are warning signs of possible failures or ruptures in your hydraulic system.Changing filters on hours in service is a costly mistake, and one that a lot of hydraulic equipment users make.
Does your hydraulic system need repair or maintenance? Want to learn more about our services and product offerings? IHI is ready to keep your hydraulics system in tip-top shape and help you with all your hydraulic needs. Call us at 1-800-722-6792 to get started today.