How to Clean a Hydraulic Reservoir

Hydraulic Reservoir

How to Clean a Hydraulic Reservoir

Updated: December 22, 2023

When it comes to hydraulic reservoirs, manual cleaning and flushing are essential components of upkeep. To avoid operating problems and ensure a long equipment lifecycle, hydraulic reservoirs should be cleaned regularly as part of their preventive maintenance.

Below is a short guide on how to flush water out of a hydraulic system and how to clean your hydraulic reservoir for great performance and a long product life.

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1. Drain the System

When the fluid is still at operating temperature, carefully check the system and drain it until empty. As it drains, watch for any fluid accumulation or problems with the accumulators, cylinders, and filters.

If the fluid is cloudy, use desiccant air to flush water out of your hydraulic system. Replace the reservoir’s filters for the first time.

2. Clean the Reservoir

Choose a lint-free cloth for cleaning the inside of the reservoir and remove all loosened paint, dirt, and fluid deposits.

3. Flush With Low-Viscocity Fluid

Flush the hydraulic reservoir with a fluid of lower viscosity than the fluid you normally use. Hydraulic cleaning solvent may be used depending on the reservoir.

Then, flush the reservoir turbulently to shake loose any old particles that may be clinging to the inside. Drain the reservoir quickly and replace the filters a second time.

4. Bleed and Pump the Vent

While the pressure pump or bypass is open, fill the reservoir three-quarters of the way full and run the pump for 15 seconds before turning it off. Continue this process of turning the pump on for 15 seconds and turning it off for 45 seconds three times.

6. Test the Pump

Run the pump for one minute with the pressure pump open before letting it rest again. Continue this process a couple of times, never letting it run for more than five minutes. Lift the relief valve to check that it has flushed before letting the system rest for at least another five minutes.

7. Start the Pump

Operate the actuators one at a time while watching to ensure the fluid has returned to the reservoir. Shut down the system after operating each actuator and allow it to sit. Observe the fluid level continuously and fill the fluid level to 50%.

8. Refill and Test the Reservoir

Fill the reservoir to 75% and continue to run it in five-minute intervals, letting air out of the system after every time. Run the system for 30 minutes straight before replacing the filters again.

Look for signs of cross-contamination in the reservoir and replace the filters again if necessary.

10. Test for System Stability

The first time you run your hydraulic reservoir after cleaning it, run it for no more than six hours. This amount of time is long enough to test for system stability but not long enough to risk harm to the system. Replace the filters for a final time and test a fluid sample to confirm stability.

After performing this procedure a couple of times, you’ll be able to teach others how to clean a hydraulic system.

Reach Out to Finishing Systems About Your Hydraulic Reservoir

Finishing Systems is a top provider of finishing systems nationwide. We offer equipment solutions to large and small companies alike. Since the early 1970s, we’ve held a reputation for dedicated customer service and exceptional results. To learn more about hydraulic reservoirs,┬ácontact us┬átoday.

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