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Moisture in 45 Loader hydraulics

948 Views 5 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  RodRocket
It appears that some moisture got into the hydraulics of my 45 loader for my X585. When I was putting it on for the first time this season today, the loader hydraulics were under pressure and would not connect (I know, seasonal temp changes). So, I had to manipulate the nipple on one of the lifter arms connections. What came out was milky indicating moisture likely is in the lines. I can't imagine there is a lot as I did not see any of this when I took it off last season.

I never operated it in wet weather and it was in a dry shed all winter. All seems kind of odd. Do I need to drain loader or should I just work it through the tractor hydraulics and do a hydraulic fluid and filter change? As I say, I just can't imagine there is much moisture in those lines. By the way, just 30 minutes earlier, I had removed my 47" snow blower and there hydraulic fluid that dripped out of the connections was normal.

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Thanks, Tudor. I went back and checked the line in question at the same connector and the oil was clear today. I suspect as you suggest it was just the small amount accumulated at the connector that I encountered yesterday. Thanks for your assistance.
There are many things to know about oil, and particularly hydraulic oil. One is, water can only enter a hydraulic system when there is minimum oil pressure to keep it out. The most common way is via the reservoir breather or filler cap. This occurs when oil is being pumped out as normal and air is drawn into the reservoir to take up the void by the drop of oil level. If the air drawn in has a high humidity, water droplets can condense on the inside of the reservoir and may gradually sink to the bottom. This is most prevalent with relatively large single acting cylinders using a large amount of the reservoir's capacity each stroke.
Consider also, after a big workday and a hydraulic system is very hot, most of the space in the reservoir, other than oil, is mostly hot air and oil vapour. Now imagine at the end of the day, the system shuts down and the oil cools down to cold, and now also so does the air and the oil vapour condenses back to a liquid. So what then happens. Air pressure in the reservoir drops below the outside air pressure, and so cold, moist air is drawn in (technically forced in) and condenses on the inside of the reservoir.
But the good news is, once the oil in the system gets very hot again the next day, (assuming it does), the water held in the oil is heated up and boils off as a vapour.
Some systems do have good quality breathers that not only keep out dust etc. but also moisture.
Always check the breather as part of your maintenance regime.
Note also, it is emulsifiers and additives, if and when added, in the hydraulic oil that allow oil and water to mix, which is seen as white or milky. So that clear water does not necessarily sit on or go to the bottom, unless there is heaps.
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