Four Dangers of Old Hydraulic Fluid

July 11, 2019 4:00 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Hydraulic systems require maintenance, including the replacement of hydraulic fluid. When particles in the fluid exceed 3 microns, that becomes a danger to the whole system and could lead to equipment failure or leaks and exposure to the fluid. When exposure occurs, it can damage the environment, equipment and the health of people who come into contact with it. Here are four dangers that could result from failing to maintain hydraulic fluid and prevent leaks.

  • Corrosion: When hydraulic fluid quality is not maintained, it can corrode seals and leak out of your equipment. Hydraulic fluid is corrosive. It damages roads and creates hazardous traffic conditions if it leaks on streets. If it leaks within your shop near other equipment, it will corrode all it touches and give you multiple equipment failure issues, rather than just one. Damage tends to not be limited to the equipment with the leak; it can spread. Hydraulic system filtration in Houston, TX can prevent these issues and maintain safety on your worksites.
  • Environmental damage: Hydraulic fluid is toxic. It can infiltrate groundwater and soil. Sandy soil and rain spread it more quickly. Most of the ingredients take up to a year to completely break down in the environment, and that process produces more toxins, which can damage all living things. Besides placing the health of communities at risk, hydraulic fluid is linked to erosion, which makes property maintenance more difficult and pushes debris into roads and walkways.
  • Nervous system problems: As indicated above, hydraulic fluid is toxic. Those who are around it frequently take precautions because it can enter the body through skin. When exposed, people often sustain burns before they notice other symptoms. If hydraulic fluid enters the water supply, it can be swallowed, and those who are around can also develop symptoms by breathing in its fumes. Nervous system symptoms of exposure include weakness in the arms and legs, and even paralysis. Symptoms may not arise until weeks after exposure and are often difficult to treat.
  • Other symptoms: Nervous system symptoms are often the most serious, but hydraulic fluid can cause other forms of discomfort. Tremors, difficulty breathing and diarrhea are also common. Animals exposed to hydraulic fluid often have swollen eyes and skin rashes. However, there have been no links to birth defects or cancer. If you suspect exposure to hydraulic fluid, you can be tested in any hospital laboratory.

Old hydraulic fluid is found in hazardous waste sites across the nation. It is important to filter systems and maintain equipment to keep it from leaking into the environment or where people can be exposed to it. When it is time to replace or clean hydraulic fluid, it must be done by a competent professional so its toxic properties do not cause damage to the environment, equipment or human health.

Texford Battery Co. offers assistance with hydraulic system filtration in Houston, TX. We can filter water down to 1 micron so your equipment runs well and failure becomes impossible. Visit or contact us today for assistance.

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