What mistakes are often made when selecting and using desiccant breathers?
Episode 20 of the STAUFF Miniseries "Is Your Hydraulic System Breathing Properly?"
It is actually quite simple: Select the air breather dryer, order it, unpack it and install it on the hydraulic reservoir – and just like that, you can prevent the ingress of moisture into the hydraulic system and extend the service life of the oil. But, careful: There are potential mistakes that will make an air breather dryer ineffective. Our video shows what these are and how to avoid them:
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What are the common mistakes when selecting and using air breather dryers?
Selecting the correct air breather dryer is already half the battle. If it is too small, the desiccant has to be replaced frequently. And a “light” series will not achieve a long service life in a rough working environment, e.g. in mobile hydraulics. Vibrations are a key factor that has to be considered here. Additional aspects have to be taken into account if you want to be sure that the hydraulic system is optimally protected against moisture.
Installation: always at the very top
When it comes to installation, even some hydraulics experts are not sure about the best and only logical place for connecting an air breather dryer: at the highest point of the tank! And of course it has to be installed vertically and not at an angle.
A little advice: Placing a pipe section between the tank connection and the breather increases the service life of the desiccant. Why? Because less dirt and dust are sucked in from outside and because moisture coming from the inside condenses in the pipe and does not affect the desiccant.
Another error that we often see: a reservoir is fitted with two fittings and two breathers, but only one of them is an air breather dryer. That of course makes the latter pointless, because the other breather will act as a bypass.
During operation: don’t clean too thoroughly!
Air breather dryers are easy to maintain during operation. The service life of the desiccant, however, needs some attention. It often happens that the desiccant is saturated and not replaced in time. Then no more moisture will be removed from the air and the device can no longer function. That means: Servicing the system includes regularly checking the colour change of the desiccant.
Something else that is often overlooked: During cleaning of the hydraulic system, the nozzle of the pressure washer should come nowhere near the air breather dryer. Otherwise, the water spray will unnecessarily saturate the desiccant.
Overzealous cleaning can cause another problem: If the transparent polycarbonate housing is cleaned with solvent-based products, the plastic can become dull and brittle.
The good news at the end: There is not much more potential for errors. While air breather dryers are very important elements of hydraulic systems, they are actually quite easy to use and maintain.
Do you already use air breather dryers in hydraulic systems?
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