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When Should I Upgrade My Hydraulic Valves?

When a system functions properly, operators rarely think about hydraulic valves. When hydraulic valves give a reason to think about them, it usually means they need repair or replacement! Malfunctions, leaks and breakdowns can result in unexpected expenses and downtime.

Hydraulic valves work hard and do not last forever. More often than not, you can avoid most valve problems with a timely valve upgrade as part of your planned preventative maintenance (PPM) schedule.

Below are the reasons you may want to consider a hydraulic valve upgrade other than during regular servicing.

1) You See Efficiency Decrease

As your hydraulic solenoid valve gets older, you may start noticing a decrease in efficiency. Usually this loss is gradual and may not be immediately noticeable. However, by monitoring the overall function of the equipment over several weeks or months, it’s possible to notice a problem before it affects productivity.

If valve efficiency drops suddenly it needs your immediate attention. The most common cause is a leak. The second is wear and tear of the components.

You’ll need to visually inspect the valve, checking the parts for damages, and opt for an upgrade if necessary.

2) You Notice Safety Issues

If your hydraulic valve is malfunctioning, one of the most dangerous problems is a leak. A small leak may not affect the productivity of the valve noticeably, but it can endanger your employees and the environment in numerous ways:

  • Workers can slip on puddles
  • Fluids can cause abrasions
  • Fluids spraying from high-pressure systems may rupture skin and cause burns.

If you suspect a leak you should consider upgrading the valve in order for the problem not to escalate.

3) You Incur High Maintenance Expenses

Hydraulic systems need regular maintenance, and you probably have a certain budget allotted for it. Older valves, which require upgrades, usually need more maintenance than newer ones. Accordingly, your maintenance budget increases as your system components age.

While maintenance costs are going up so are repair expenses from unscheduled breakdowns. Upgrading a valve instead of waiting for an old one to fail can save you money. You need to compare maintenance costs with the price of an upgrade and decide which step is more financially appealing.

4) Your Hydraulic Valve Is Old

Each valve has a certain life expectancy, which you should check with your manufacturer. As the end of its life nears, you may need to start thinking about a scheduled upgrade. Even if it seems that the valve is working properly, it’s smart to get ready for a replacement.

Having a replacement valve at hand when the life expectancy of the old one runs out can prevent unexpected downtime.

5) New Valves Appear The Market

Valve technology changes over time. You may notice better and more durable hydraulic valves from your OEM or a third party. If these are likely to increase the efficiency of your system, it makes sense to consider an upgrade.

Find Out More

At Hydrastar, we stock the latest Festo solenoid valves, Atos valves, and many other hydraulic components. If you need advice on an upgrade please call 01353 721 704 today and speak with one of our technical sales team.

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