If your factory's hydraulic pump is losing pressure, you may suspect that the flanges connecting two of the pipes may be leaking hydraulic fluid. If so, use the following three tips to check the flanges of the pipes for signs of damage or misalignment.
Clean The Flanges Before Looking For Leaking Fluid
Before you start checking the flanges, you need to make sure that they really are leaking hydraulic fluid. However, since metal in a factory tends to get greasy and grimy, you may not be able to tell the difference between regular buildup and fresh fluid.
Before you check for a leak, clean the flanges thoroughly using an industrial-strength cleaner. If there is a lot of grime on the joints, you may need to cut it with a solvent. However, if you need to use the solvent, make sure you wipe the flanges completely afterward since it could break down the seals if any residue is left behind.
Once you have cleaned the area, check the flanges again at regular intervals to see if any fresh fluid appears. If so, the flanges are most likely the cause of the leak in the hydraulic system.
Inspect the Flanges for Damage
While the area is clean, inspect the flanges for any signs of damage. While conducting your inspection, also look carefully at the bolts to ensure they are not loose.
If you find that the metal around the flange joints has started to rust, the flanges or pipes may need to be replaced. However, if you find no damage to the flanges, there could be a gap causing the leak, as discussed in the next section.
Check the Alignment of the Flanges
After determining that the flanges themselves are not damaged, the next thing you should do is check their alignment. If they are askew or have started to come apart, the tight seal between the pipes is nonexistent.
If you do find that the flanges are out of alignment, they will need to be pulled apart with flange spreaders. Once you have separated them, you can then use alignment pins to bring the flanges back together so that there is no longer a gap which allows fluid to leak out.
After checking the flanges, you may find that they are out of alignment and need to be adjusted. If so, contact an industrial supplier about ordering hydraulic flange spreaders and flange alignment pins so you can separate the flanges at their joints and make the necessary adjustments.