How do Hydraulic Controls Work?

hydraulic controlsWe all use hydraulics far more often than we think.  Hydraulics are unbelievably useful and are commonplace in our vehicles and at work.  Hydraulic power is used to help move heavy loads in so many situations and do so reliably and inexpensively.  Did you know that the power steering system in your car is a hydraulic system? It doesn’t have hydraulic controls like a tractor or front end loader (thanks goodness!) but it is a system that use hydraulic pressure from a pump (the power steering pump) to move hydraulic rams (your steering rack) to help you turn your tires when your car is at a stop.  If you’re having problems with your power system, check out our article on fixing power steering issues.

Most systems have relatively simply hydraulic controls that don’t take much experience to operate.  For example, a hydraulic elevator is a simple as pushing the button for the floor you want and the elevator takes care of the rest using sensors setpoints to move the car.  If your equipment have hydraulic controls like this, then the buttons you use to control the equipment are actually controlling a computer or control module that remotely opens and closes hydraulic valves and starts and stops the hydraulic pump.  If you are having problems with your hydraulic system with electronic controls, it’s important to check the electronic components first before moving on the replacing hydraulic components. Many of these control systems are either very advanced or very specialized so it’s important to contact the manufacturer for diagnostic help.

Other hydraulic systems use that can be more complicated to operate, but are simpler and therefore more reliable.  Systems that have levers or pedals that you manually manipulate that actually control the flow of hydraulic fluid have one less point of failure and are often more reliable but take some practice for the operator to keep things moving smoothly.  If you have a manually controlled hydraulic system then there are two ways the hydraulic control system might fail. First, there could be an internal failure in the hydraulic controls allowing fluid to bypass the operating valve. This would allow the machinery to without an input from the operator and is extremely dangerous.  The other failure is an external leak in the control valve. An external leak is a waste of fluid and will make a mess, but not nearly as dangerous so replacing the hydraulic controls may not be necessary right away.

Before you replace your control valves, try using BlueDevil Hydraulic Stop Leak in your hydraulic fluid to restore the seals in the controls and stop the leak.  BlueDevil Hydraulic Stop Leak won’t clog or harm the rest of your hydraulic system in any way and may save you lots of money in repairs!
BlueDevil Hydraulic Stop Leak






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hydraulic_controls.jpg – By K-Paul – Licensed by Getty Images – Original Link