What to Do If a Shaft Seal Fails on a Pressure Compensated Pump

 In AHE News

Hydraulic systems are safer and easier to control than traditional motors. However, any machine can have issues. For instance, what should you do if the shaft seal fails on a pressure compensated pump?

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What Is a Shaft Seal?

Often, machines need to have components that move (like a rotating shaft) next to parts that don’t move. Designers will put shaft seals around these shafts in order to prevent lubricant from getting out or other material from getting in.

What Is a Pressure Compensated Pump?

A pressure compensated pump is a complex type of pump. For simpler pumps, turning it 360° will always release the same amount of oil. With a pressure compensated pump, however, the flow is adjustable. Sometimes it will release a certain amount, sometimes a different amount.

A pressure compensator is a device built into some pumps. It automatically reduces (or stops) pump flow if system pressure rises above a preset maximum (sometimes called the “firing” pressure). The compensator prevents the pump from being overloaded.

How Pumps Fail

Most hydraulic industrial equipment is designed to work at about 2,000-3,000 PSI (pounds of pressure per square inch). There are two main ways a system can fail: having too little pressure or having too much.

When most pumps fail, pressure drops as fluid leaks out. But when pressure compensated pumps fail, they fail high. They build up too much pressure. This can cause many problems including shaft seal failures, where the shaft seal comes off and slings oil everywhere.

Such accidents are extremely rare, but it’s good to be prepared. A relief valve on your hydraulic system will prevent the pressure from building up too much. The valve will return liquid to the tank when there’s too much in the system. This will not only prevent your shaft seal from coming loose but will protect your whole system from a catastrophic failure.

When hydraulic industrial equipment fails, you can lose a lot of time and productivity waiting for repairs. Our certified team will come to you, performing on-site troubleshooting to minimize downtime and get your equipment running.

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