A hydraulic cylinder is an expensive item to have and you must make sure that you maintain it properly so as to extend its lifespan. Although maintenance on hydraulic cylinders is quite complicated, there are a number of reasonably easy things to do that will protect the machine as a whole. It is for this reason that the most important thing is to make sure your cylinder is clean. All you have to do is make sure that your cylinder stays clean, which will protect the entire machine. However, always remember that you cannot use a high pressure spray nozzle on these cylinders. If you do use high pressure, you could forge dirt into the bearing and cylinder.
You also need to maintain some of the individual parts besides just cleaning it regularly. First and foremost, maintain your piston rod. As a minimum, your piston rod should be retracted to its minimum position once a month; for pistons exposed to sea water, this should be bi-weekly at least. Check the rod’s oil to make sure that they aren’t damaged, which can happen easily. Regularly review your entire rod to see if there is any damage and cover the parts that do not get covered in oil with Denso-tape. You do also have to make sure the tape is in good condition. You also have to check the cylinder body. A cylinder body is always painted to make sure it is protected from the various possible environmental damages. Should you notice any bubbles or cracks in the paint, it needs repainting. If you don’t, it will corrode, decreasing the performance and lifespan of your cylinder. You also have to look into the silicone seal and make sure that it’s still in good condition. Repair any damage with water-resistant silicone. Now, you need to look into the rod eyes, which are on the bearings. Make sure you check and grease them every month. You can tell when grease is needed when the bearings are starting to make a noise. A hydraulic cylinder can be thrown away if any metal to metal contact takes place, particularly because of the heat that this would generate. The only exception is maintenance free bearings. These should never be greased, because they have protection flanges. Lastly, you also need to make sure your oil filters are clean and your oil is pure. You should take samples twice a year.
By doing this, your hydraulic cylinder should last much longer. Do make sure you don’t disassemble or open the system if it is still under pressure. Also, if you are not sure about what you are doing, ask a hydraulic cylinder repair expert to do it for you.