Hydraulic Hose Safety

Hydraulic hoses leak even though they are specifically designed not to.  When these leaks happen, they are an indication of a problem.  These leaks are not just messy, but also very dangerous.  They can create a slippery surface and falling hazard.  These leaks can even cause severe burns and dangerous cuts.  Hydraulic hose leaks usually come from two common issues.  They are either worn away over time or extensive use or they are improperly assembled.






Preventative steps to prevent hydraulic leaks is the best approach to avoiding a problem.  Be sure that the hoses are the correct length and diameter for the machine and hydraulic pressure required.  Also, be sure to keep your hoses run in the correct manner suggested by the manufacturer.  Keep in mind to use proper brackets and hangers.  Check and inspect all chaffing guards and replace if necessary.  Any damage to the outer jacket could also cause moisture to attack the exposed hose and possible lead to rusting of the hose.  If the hose has any abrasions or damage to the outer hose jackets, the potential for future hydraulic hose failure is most certainly going to happen.






What happens if you suspect a leak?  Don’t be tempted into the mindset that the hose just isn’t tight enough.  As much as you want to grab your wrench and give it another turn, don’t.  That extra turn could potentially cause a greater failure or cause the fitting to fail completely.  If you suspect a leak, do not run your hand or any other part of your body over the hose looking for the leak.  Use a spare piece of cardboard or even a piece of wood to glide along the hose to detect a leak.  A pinhole leak,under that amount of pressure could inject your body with fluid and in turn cause poisoning or infection and threaten your life or even limb.






If you know want to test for tightness of your hydraulic hose, be sure to first shut off your machine and bleed all hydraulic pressure in the hose.  The reason for bleeding the pressure first is the potential of a stripped thread in the fitting hose could cause complete failure of that hose.  Under that much pressure, the release of hydraulic fluid could cause injury or even fire.





Once you’re ready to inspect your hydraulic hose, be sure to check for 4 specific





  • First be sure both ends are clean. That means inside and out and that there is no physical damage.


  • Second, be sure new seals were used and that they have been cleaned and lubricated before installation.


  • Third, make sure the fittings are not over-tightened. This can distort the seals and ferrules, which causes metal fatigue or cracking.


  • Fourth, be sure the fittings are compatible. There are many different fitting ends that almost fit, but do not.  A compatible fitting is important to prevent hose failure.