Hydraulic lines are some of the most important parts of your entire system. Maintaining correct pressure within your hydraulic lines is critical to the overall performance and longevity of your hydraulic system.
Every once in a while, upkeep of your system may include bleeding a hydraulic line. This process does not have to be complex and can typically be performed on your own as part of a maintenance strategy for peak hydraulic system performance.
Why you may need to bleed a hydraulic line
“Bleeding” a hydraulic line refers to the process of pumping hydraulic fluid through the lines to remove any air pockets that may be trapped amidst the fluid. Air in your hydraulic lines can eventually cause damage to the entire system, so it’s a good idea to bleed the lines once in a while, or if you suspect air was caught.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take to bleed a hydraulic line in Minnesota.
First, obtain your necessary materials: plastic tubing, new hydraulic fluid and bottles or containers to store fluid from the system.
Then, set up your operation. Always work on a level surface. Working on a surface that is not level can cause problems with the bleeding process and even make it unsafe for you to work on the system.
Next, identify the bleed valves and ensure you have easy and direct access to them. This may require removing components of your system to make room for you to work with the valves more easily.
Unscrew the reservoir cap or drain plug to obtain access to the reservoir and place the cap somewhere safe. Get your clean bottles ready—these will catch your hydraulic fluid and will be used to put the fluid back into the hydraulic lines later.
You always want to work on hydraulic lines that are the furthest from the hydraulic pump first, working your way closer to the pump one line at a time.
Attached your plastic tubing over the bleeder outlet screw on the first hydraulic line, making sure that it’s tight enough to allow fluid to flow out without allowing air to enter back up the hydraulic line. Place the other end of the tube into your bottle.
Pump and bleed
With the tubing in place, begin pumping the hydraulic piston to move fluid through the line. Then, open the bleeder outlet screw while keeping pressure on the valve, allowing fluid to flow out and into the bottle.
Refill the reservoir with hydraulic fluid as you bleed, making sure no hydraulic line empties completely at any point. This helps you avoid adding more air into the lines.
Bleed the hydraulic line until the fluid comes out of the line looking as new as possible. Close the outlet screw when the valve level can be pressed down entirely and there is no pressure remaining.
Utilize a professional
Bleeding a hydraulic line in Minnesota incorrectly can result in damage to your system and personal injury to yourself.
If you aren’t confident in your ability to bleed hydraulic lines on your system, or if you accidentally damage a part while bleeding the lines, contact an expert like M & M Hydraulic Company. Our hydraulic repair shop serves a variety of hydraulic system needs, from parts replacement and repair to maintenance on equipment big and small.