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Recognising and Managing Hydraulic Hose Failure and Its Causes


Hydraulic hoses are utilised in just about every industry including the automotive, construction, aviation, agricultural, transport, waste, and manufacturing sectors. They are often overlooked but critical to the performance of your machinery and maintenance of its productivity.

The reliance on functioning hydraulics for efficiently operating machinery means that a hydraulic hose failure can be catastrophic.

What is Hydraulic Hose Failure?

Hydraulic hose failure marks the end of the lifespan of your hose or hoses. Signs include:

  • Loss of function of your heavy machinery
  • A torn, flattened or disrupted hose
  • A fitting that has been blown off the hose
  • A burst hose with failed wire-braid reinforcement
  • Seepage of hose fluid or bubbles near the hose fitting
  • Disconnection of the hose from other working parts
  • Piling of your hosing

Impact of Hydraulic Hose Failure

In most cases, routine maintenance and timely replacement of parts will prolong the life of your hose. An unexpected failure, however, will impact your operation and can be dangerous. The high pressures involved leads to a sudden loss of the normal, safe functioning of the machinery. There may be environmental contamination and hazards with fluid spillage or exhaust, and of course, the loss of productivity due to downtime is costly.

What Causes Failure?

Hose failure has a variety of causes. The most common reasons are improper usage, misapplication of the hose, and improper maintenance. Specific mechanisms by which failure occurs include:

  • Poor assembly: This has the potential to be very dangerous. Failure to connect fittings to the specified insertion depth or assembly that leaves debris and contaminants in the hydraulic hose system can cause blow-outs and corrosion of the inner tube.
  • Tube erosion: Over time, the interior tube of the hose can be damaged by fluid particulates and high-velocity flow, eventually leading to external fluid leakage.
  • Abrasion: The rigors of repetitive, intensive day-to-day use take their toll on hydraulic hoses. An inadequate inspection may overlook areas where a hose had excessively rubbed against an external part. Coverings and reinforcing layers are eventually worn away.
  • Poor routing of the hose: Not following specified hose lay-lines will lead to accelerated wear and tear.
  • Temperatures and heat aging: Extremes of temperature lead to a loss of flexibility in the hose and direct heat through friction, or another source will damage its protective external layers.
  • Pressure: Use exceeding the maximum working pressure of the hose will shorten its resilience and overall life span.

Strategies for Managing a Hydraulic Hose Failure

Prompt shut down of the machine in question should precede a closer examination of parts. Look for the signs of hose failure described above and make a thorough assessment for correction or replacement of affected parts.

Ensure that all personnel are safe and aware of the hazard. Personal Protective Equipment should be in place and workers should avoid contact of body parts with an area where a hydraulic leak is suspected.

For high-quality replacement of a damaged hose choose a reputable and experienced supplier, like Paca Industrial, for hydraulic hoses, hose couplings, and other hose accessories to source the required parts for repair.

Prevention of recurrence must not be overlooked. Risk management practices can be set in place to ensure the correct use of hydraulics. Use of preventative measures such as cleaning, lubricants, abrasion-resistant hoses, and hose guards will prolong your hose lifespan. 

Now is the perfect time to consider the expert services of Paca Industrial. For more information, please our website at www.paca.ca or call 1-877-998-6446 to speak to one of our sales representatives.

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