There is no simple answer to the question, what is the service life of a hydraulic hose? It is very difficult to pin point the exact service life of a hydraulic hose. There are a number of factors at play that affect the service life of hydraulic hose but there is a way around. You can look for signs that can determine if your hose assembly needs replacement.
The signs that determine if your hydraulic hose assemblies need replacement.
- Old Hydraulic Hose Assemblies
- Oil Leaks Around the Hose or Fittings
- Abrasion – Exposed Wire
- Cracked/Damaged Outer Cover
- Kinks – Bend Radius Below Specified Minimum
We will discuss them in detail.
What we definitely know is that the shelf life of rubber hydraulic hoses is 6 years. If you use the hydraulic hose assemblies at the prescribed working pressure, then the hose assembly lasts for a longer time. Anything above or below the prescribed working pressure, affects hose life.
There are other factors too, like the environment, usage method etc which do affect the life of hydraulic hose assembly. You can surely increase the service life of your hydraulic hose assembly by effective hose maintenance. You can check out our detailed guide on hose maintenance.
1. Old Hydraulic Hose Assemblies
The shelf life of rubber is 6 years and therefore you should carefully check the date of manufacturing of the hydraulic hose. If it is close to that time, then it is a clearly indication that its time to replace the hose assembly.
2. Oil Leaks Around the Hose or Fittings
If by any chance you see oil leakages around your hose or from the fittings, then there is no other option but to replace the hydraulic hose assembly.
These oil leaks can happen due to a number reasons, if the pressure accumulates on one point in the hose and is not getting distributed, it can lead to cracking of hose or the fittings and therefore cause an oil leak. Another reason can be that the fitting was not installed correctly.
If the hose is leaking, then you will have to change the entire hydraulic hose assembly but if the fitting is only leaking, then just replacing the fitting can do the needful.
3. Abrasion – Exposed Wire
If any cracking or abrasion is visible on the hydraulic hose, then it is surely time for a replacement.
Abrasions can be caused due to a number of reasons but the reason that we say it is a complete call for replacement because the damage caused on outside has exposed the wire and thereby reduces pressure taking ability. It can lead to leakage or damage of equipment in future.
4. Cracked/Damaged Outer Cover
If you see damaged outer cover on your hydraulic hose assemblies, beyond scuffs small pricks, then it calls for replacement.
The outer cover damage is not necessarily due to the outer surroundings. In case of pressure build up on the inside, such signs appear on the hose outer surface. It is likely that the hose will not be able to take further continued pressure on that point and may result into leakage.
5. Kinks – Due to Bend Radius Below Specified Minimum
Kinks causes structural damage to the hose and thereby reducing its ability to withstand pressure in that particular region. If you see early signs of kinks appearing on the hose, immediately straighten it or remove the kink.
When your hose has developed kinks, it is time for a complete replacement.
Kinks start appearing on the hose when you bend it beyond the specified bend radius.