Learn New Things and Change Your View: Heavy Construction Equipment

4 Signs It Is Time to Change the Seals on Your Hydraulic Cylinder

by Nisanur Kronenberg

Without seals, it is impossible for a hydraulic cylinder to work correctly, and it is important to change the seals on your hydraulic cylinder as needed. Wondering if it is time to change your seals? Here are a few signs that now is the time:

1. The seals are visibly worn.

If you notice that a seal is broken or has ripped, worn edges, it needs to be replaced. Similarly, if it is thinning, it also needs to be replaced before friction completely effaces it.

Unfortunately, with most hydraulic cylinders, the only seal you can see without disassembling the cylinder is the seal at the top of the rod where the piston enters the barrel. To check the other seals, you need to take the cylinder apart or look for other symptoms.

2. The cylinder isn't working correctly.

If your hydraulic cylinder isn't functioning correctly, there could be a range of culprits, from a bent piston to a scratched tube barrel. However, the easiest issue to fix on your own is a broken or missing seal.

In the event of a malfunction, carefully take apart the cylinder and look at the seals. You can buy seal kits for most hydraulic cylinders, and they come with all the seals and o-rings you need to replace the old ones. To replace seals, you need to pull off the old ones one by one, and put on the new ones. The replacement seals should be the same color and size of the ones you are replacing.

If you see other damage during disassembly, you may need to turn to a professional who provides hydraulic cylinder services.

3. Hydraulic fluid is shooting out of the cylinder.

The seals keep fluid in place so that your equipment can run seamlessly. If hydraulic fluid is shooting out of your cylinders or even just slowly seeping out of it, the seals are usually the problem. Discontinue using the equipment immediately. Continuing to use it may damage the equipment.

4. Your cylinder has the wrong seals.

There are many different types of seals that are used on hydraulic cylinders. If you notice that your hydraulic seal has the wrong seals, you need to replace them. If you suspect that your equipment has the wrong seals but you aren't sure, talk with a professional. They can help you assess the situation and find the right seals for your needs.