How to Repair Hydraulic Hoses?- in 6 Easy Steps

Many vehicles, pieces of equipment, and industrial machines use hydraulic hoses. These hoses are generally very durable and reliable, but if you work or drive long enough they will eventually break. In this case, it is best to contact a certified professional who specializes in testing and repairing hydraulic hoses.

Types of Hydraulic Hose Damage

When it comes to industrial hoses, the types of damage fall into four basic categories:

  • Damage immediately behind the hose end: Anywhere you have a crimp, or banded connection naturally undergoes more stress when there’s any movement on the hose.
  • Local external damage: Such as a scratch, dent, or impact damage.
  • Overall external wear due to dragging: For example, in cleaning applications where the hose is regularly moved around and dragged on the ground or concrete. The other cause of external abrasion is simply the constant vibration of the hose in high-pressure applications. The vibrations from the pump cause it to rub on the ground and wear the outer coating. There’s not much that can be done to prevent this kind of damage, it’s the nature of this type of application.
  • Long-term use fatigue: When your hose fails because it’s gotten old with use, you know you’ve got the maximum life out of the hose.

Replacing the Crimp

It’s easy to swap out a hose-end – but there are two caveats. First, it shortens the hose length and is therefore only useful for installment payments where you can afford a slightly shorter hose.

Second, especially when attaching a hydraulic hose, it is necessary to have the correct crimp specification. The compression fitting conforms to SAE standards which guarantee the fit between the hose and the end so the hose can withstand the high pressures required. Even the slightest deviation in the connection between the hose and the end can result in performance degradation or worse, be dangerous.

Often, we have people in our shop who want us to crimp to a different type of tubing, but it just doesn’t work. Any decent repair tech will turn you away if they don’t have the right pair. Before you go to the workshop, make sure they have the manufacturer you need in stock.

Making a Break

Hoses are often damaged by impacts, e.g., when a tractor drives over the hose, a rockfall or other types of impact. The easiest way to deal with this type of damage is to cut and repair the hose. There are two ways to cut and repair a high-pressure or hydraulic hose.

The first way is to use a mender by sticking a physical piece into the tubing and crimping it on both ends. The other way to fix a hose is to put two threaded pieces on either side of the splice and put a couple in the middle. Sometimes people try to fix their hoses with duct tape. That might reduce splashing, but with 3000 PSI of pressurized fluid in your hose, the tape is obviously not a safe solution.

The second method is to splice and repair when the damage in a particular spot becomes too great. It’s possible to splice multiple times, although it’s not ideal. Each time you splice and attach a hydraulic hose or other hose, the hose is slightly affected, both in terms of length and the pressure drop of the fluid flowing through the hose.

For basic cleaning applications, that may be fine. But if you’re doing high-pressure splicing for hygiene purposes, you really don’t want to splice more than once. Why? When the function of the hose is reduced, the water pressure decreases and the cleaning time increases.

We’ve seen hoses with as many as six splice and repair connections, which might seem like a money saver, but probably more trouble than it’s worth when you’re doing some serious work.

Look for abrasions and exposed wires

If there is local external damage, a hose can be repaired with a cover repair if you catch the problem early enough. If you immediately take care of a scratch on the cover of a hydraulic or high-pressure hose, you can protect the reinforcement. All hoses have a protective sleeve which ensures that the internal reinforcement wire is not damaged.

However, if you ignore scratches or dents, they can corrode, resulting in either a full replacement, splicing, or repair. If you see abrasions or exposed wires and are trying to prevent a full replacement, you can add plastic coil protectors, metal coil protectors, or plastic abrasion-resistant sleeves to protect the damaged area. It is important that you protect the rebar wires from additional abrasion and corrosion.

Long shot saves

Situations, where you need to have your hose repaired immediately, are common. Maybe your equipment stopped mid-production or during harvest and you can’t wait for a new part to arrive. We understand. If it’s urgent, we’ll find a way.

For example, sometimes a hose and fitting are not the same sizes. If there’s a small jump, say from 1 inch to 1.5 inches, we can find an adjustment to reduce the size, but if it’s a big jump, like from 2 inches to half an inch, there is a big discrepancy.

In an emergency, we adopt a system with several jumps from larger to smaller or from smaller to larger. It’s not ideal, but if you’re really in a pinch, this is a fix that will work, at least temporarily, until the system could be reconfigured.

How To Repair Hydraulic Hose?- Step by Step

However, in a pinch, you may need to do an on-site repair until you can reach a professional. Temporarily attaching a hydraulic hose isn’t as daunting a job as you might think. Once the process is broken down into six steps, repairing it can be pretty straightforward.

1. Identify the Correct Hose

Most heavy equipment can perform multiple functions (i.e. lift, push, pull, or cut), and each of these functions may require a different minimum pressure tolerance. For this reason, there can also be different types of hydraulic hoses with different minimum pressures for a single device.

Therefore, it is always best to determine which specification the hose in need of repair must meet. In most cases, the tubing will be made to a specific length and you will need to insert a shorter assembly to make up for what will be cut away during the repair.

Be aware that it is extremely dangerous to replace the wrong hose, even temporarily. All hydraulic hoses must indicate the minimum operating pressure and maximum burst pressure on the hose. If in doubt, contact a trained professional.

2. Remove the Damaged Area

Once you have completed Step 1, you will need to cut out the damaged area of the tubing. Also, if the only problem is that the coupling at the end of the hose is leaking, you will have to cut off the broken end. Thoroughly clean the area around the cut end of the hose. Clean the area of dust, dirt, or other contaminants as these could contaminate the hydraulic fluid.

Even a tiny smudge of dirt can damage internal components and lead to costly failure. Therefore, it is important to ensure that both the fittings and the cut hose ends are clean before proceeding with the remainder of the repair.

3. Use an Adapter to Complete the Installation

In some cases, a hydraulic adapter is required to complete the installation of a repaired hose. Since it is not always possible to carry every type of hydraulic coupling, an acceptable solution is to have a kit with a variety of adapters. If necessary, install the adapters in the appropriate ports and ensure that a secure connection has been made.

Proper tightening (or tightening) of adapters and couplings is an essential part of the repair process. Over- and under-torques can have a detrimental effect on the hydraulic system. If you are unsure how much torque to apply, contact the system manufacturer or a trained professional before proceeding.

4. Confirm the Correct Length

Next, put the hose assembly in place, making sure it is long enough. An overstretched or poorly routed hose is subject to additional pressure and fatigue. Although it’s better to have too much tubing than too little.

It is ideal to have the right length that allows for proper laying in accordance with NAHAD and manufacturer guidelines. Hydraulic systems are constantly under pressure, and too short a hose is more prone to dangerous (and costly) failures.

Make sure the hose is properly routed once it is the correct length. This allows the rest of the hydraulic system to function normally. Many devices use angled fittings to route their hoses and allow the hydraulic oil to flow more freely.

If an angled adapter or coupling is required, install the angled fitting first to ensure correct positioning. Once the angled adapter is in place, the end of the hose assembly can be screwed onto the adapter or connector.

5. Ensure a Proper Seal

Thread the remaining end of the tubing onto or into the opposite opening, making sure that it is properly sealed. Even a small gap or imperfection in the seal can cause problems for the hydraulic system. Check the seal for leaks before continuing

Remember that the seal should be secure, but not too tight. Never twist or tighten the hose while attaching it. Tighten the fitting with a wrench, being careful not to overtighten the gasket.

6. Circulate Fluid at Low Pressure to Check for Leaks

Finally, turn on the hydraulic system and circulate the oil or hydraulic fluid at low pressure. This makes it easier to identify potential leaks and damaged connections. By circulating the hydraulic fluid under low pressure, the remaining air is also flushed. Air in the system can affect performance or damage pumps and other sensitive components.

Let the hydraulic system run for a few minutes and then check again for leaks. Never use your hand to check for leaks as this could result in injury from fluid injection. Use cardboard or a sheet of paper instead. It may take a few minutes for a leak to become visible. Therefore, always check the system before driving the vehicle or using the machine.

Simple repairs to your hydraulic hoses aren’t as difficult as you might think. However, it is recommended that you have your work checked by a professional. This will help ensure that no mistakes have been made and limit the occurrence of future problems.

If you suspect a hydraulic hose is leaking or otherwise damaged, act quickly and make any necessary repairs or replacements immediately. Leaving a leak unattended and not repaired can seriously damage the entire system and leave a large hole in your wallet.

Whether you are working with a farm tractor, delivery truck, or industrial machine, the integrity of the hydraulic system is only as good as the quality of the hose.

FAQs.

Can hydraulic hoses be repaired?

There are two ways to cut and mend a high-pressure or hydraulic hose. The first way is to use a mender by putting a physical piece inside the hose and crimping it on both ends. The other way to mend a hose is to put two threaded pieces on either side of the splice and put a coupler in the middle.

How do you fix a hole in a hydraulic hose?

How do I fix a leaky hydraulic line?

Can you fix a hydraulic hose with tape?

Why are hydraulic hoses so expensive?

The need for more frequent replacement drives the cost of owning the hose up. Every time the hose needs to be replaced, the business has to pay not only for the price of the hose itself, but also for someone to go get the replacement hose and to do the actual work.

How do you repair a cracked hydraulic hose?

There are two ways to cut and mend a high-pressure or hydraulic hose. The first way is to use a mender by putting a physical piece inside the hose and crimping it on both ends. The other way to mend a hose is to put two threaded pieces on either side of the splice and put a coupler in the middle.

How do you fix a leaking high-pressure hose?

What causes hydraulic hose failure?

Hydraulic hose failure is most commonly caused by abrasion, poor routing, high temperatures, tube erosion, bent hoses near fittings, fluid incompatibility, and improper assembly. These failures are serious matters, no matter what industry or type of equipment is involved.

How do you join a hydraulic hose?

Do you use thread sealant on hydraulic fittings?

Loctite 5452 thread sealant is for use on high-pressure hydraulic and pneumatic metal fittings. It cures four times faster than anaerobic sealants on stainless steel or inert metals. It works on any size NPT, O-ring boss, or JIC fitting, and prevents rotation and leakage.

How do you protect hydraulic hoses?

Here are some common ways to safeguard hose.

  • Shielding.
  • Spring guards.
  • Protective sleeving.
  • Protective wrap.
  • Plastic spiral guards.
  • Fire sleeve.
  • Point-of-contact sleeve.

Can you repair high-pressure hose?

A leak in a pressure washer hose can’t be fixed the way you would fix a garden hose. The patch won’t last; the high-pressure water will force the patch loose. Even a tiny patched leak can cause serious injury when it bursts open, and the high-pressure water hits your body.

Can you connect 2 pressure washer hoses together?

Two pressure washer hoses can be connected. A quick-connect kit is all you need. You can buy any kind of hose that matches your pressure washer, but you need to make sure that your quick connection is compatible with that hose.

How long should a hydraulic hose last?

Hydraulic hoses should last between one and two years with many lasting up to ten years, so if the hoses on your equipment are failing in less than two years, then there are external factors that are reducing their life.

How do I know if my hydraulic hose is bad?

The inner tube of hoses can develop numerous tiny cracks due to aged or dry air. This type of failure is sometimes hard to spot because the hose will remain flexible, however, there will be signs of external leakage. Typically, there are no signs of cracking on the hose under the fittings.

What causes bubbles on a hydraulic hose?

Air bubbles in hydraulic fluid first originate is in the reservoir. New oil is introduced into the reservoir can cause turbulent flow, stirring up the oil and introducing air into the fluid, which can lead to cavitation. A correctly designed reservoir tank will prevent this issue.

How tight should hydraulic fittings be?

Once aligned, tighten the nut until it is “firm” against the washer and O-ring, with the nut becoming snug with a feel of metal-on-metal in less than one revolution. Over-tightening causes as many leaks as under-tightening.

Do hydraulic lines need Teflon tape?

You don’t need or should use any Teflon tape or pipe dope on hydraulic fittings. Neither are designed for those kinds of pressures and using them could create a less than perfect mating between connection surfaces causing more harm than good.

How can we protect our hydraulic hoses from the sun?

Partek Defense can be applied in any hose application but is most valuable in industries such as mining, construction, and agriculture where operators work closely with a high-pressure hose. They are flexible and made with specially-coated fibers to protect against deterioration from sunlight, ozone, and other elements.

When should I replace the hydraulic hose?

As a general rule you should replace your hoses and fittings every 1-2 years, but don’t take that as gospel. Keep a logbook of all replacements and any equipment failures that occur. Over time, this should give you an accurate idea of the real lifespan of hydraulic hoses in your operation.

What is a hydraulic hose made of?

Hydraulic hoses are often constructed of multiple materials. The most common materials are fluoropolymers and silicone, elastomers, metal, and thermoplastics. Composite or laminated materials are also common. Rubber and elastomeric hydraulic hose are a strong choice when you need flexibility.

When should I replace my hose?

Most automakers and belt manufacturers recommend having your hoses replaced once every 4 years or so.

What happens when a hydraulic line breaks?

When a hydraulic fluid line breaks, the fuse detects this and closes blocking fluid from exiting through the break. This is a very general description. The detection is a sudden change in pressure or flow.

What happens when a hose deteriorates?

Hoses degrade from the inside out, which makes detecting their decay difficult. Hoses that continue to degrade develop tiny cracks and pinholes which can lead to ruptures from the pressure, contractions, and exposure to heat.