How to Bleed Air from Hydraulic Systems, and Why You Need to Do It

November 24, 2020 11:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Sometimes, when you’re changing a component, air gets into your hydraulic system, and you may need to bleed it out—but do you know how and why? Generally, any air that gets into your hydraulics will eventually work its way out, but before it does, it can damage your system and cause erratic operation. Bleeding air from hydraulics should be part of your forklift hydraulic system maintenance practices in Texas. Here’s why it’s important, and how to do it.

What kind of damage can air cause?

There is plenty of damage that air can do to your hydraulics. This includes damaging or abrading the system components from the inside, eroding the metal when air bubbles collapse under pressure and ignition of the compressed air and oil mixture, which can burn the seals and damage the cylinder. All of these issues are not just costly to repair, but can be dangerous to your forklift operators. It’s smart to train your workers to bleed air from the hydraulic systems before use, to ensure safe operation for everyone.

How to bleed air from your hydraulic system in Texas

Remember, bleeding air only works for air bubbles or pockets, where it hasn’t already mixed with the hydraulic fluid. Follow these easy steps to get the air out safely:

  • Gather your supplies: Gather any tools you may need for the following steps, as well as tubing and hydraulic fluid.
  • Find a level surface: Next, park your equipment on a flat, level, sturdy surface. This is not only safer, but will also help release the air.
  • Remove any parts or components in the way: If there are any parts or components in the way of your hydraulic cylinders and tubing, remove them and set aside so that you have a clear space in which to work.
  • Keep fluid in the lines or cylinders: Never drain the lines or cylinders of hydraulic fluid—you’ll just risk introducing more air, and will have to start all over again.
  • Allow the air to rise to the top: If you’re bleeding a cylinder, extend it fully and let it sit for a few minutes so the air rises to the top.
  • Release the air: If you’re bleeding a cylinder, partially close it, but open the bleed valve on top. When the valve starts leaking hydraulic fluid, the air has been bled from the cylinder.
  • Bleed the farthest lines or cylinders first: Whether you’re bleeding a cylinder or hydraulic lines, always bleed the farthest ones first and work forward. This allows you more space to work. Also, only bleed one cylinder or line at a time.

When you follow these steps to bleed air from your hydraulic equipment in Texas, you’ll reduce the risk of equipment failure or damage during operation. As always, consult your owner’s manual to see if there are any special precautions or practices you’ll need to take.

For forklift sales and service in Texas, let the team at V-Bar Equipment Company help you—call us today to arrange a consultation!

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