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#4525924 - 09/25/17 03:40 PM Water contamination in a hydraulic system
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Battle Creek, MI
One of my buddies has a Case 480D loader and a problem he has had is water in the hydraulic system. We've installed a water faucet instead of the drain plug to drain water off, but that doesn't fix the underlying problem. Researching it there is a lot of info, but most of the solutions are expensive (like vacuum dehydrators), or something that is impractical without a lot of modifications to the current system (like using an oil filter that can trap water, there is only one filter and apparently don't trap dirt as well.)

What the underlying problem is that it doesn't have a proper vent - it vents through the cap and the previous owners put silicone in it thinking that there were problems with water ingress. My initial idea with my buddy was to use a desiccant filter so that as the air flows through it dries out and only dry air can enter the hydraulic system. He doesn't run it long enough at one time to heat the oil to an appreciable amount to evaporate water that well.

So the question is: Are there products available that would help remove water as it runs like a centrifuge or bypass filtration?
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#4525982 - 09/25/17 04:57 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: SVTCobra]
JTK Online   content


Registered: 08/14/03
Posts: 10576
Loc: Buffalo, NY
How much hydraulic oil does the machine hold? The easiest method is to fix the breather system and just keep changing the oil.

I know we've run into this with the lube systems on big industrial compressors at work with sumps that hold 100's of gallons of oil. Very expensive oil changes.
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#4526061 - 09/25/17 06:16 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: SVTCobra]
bullwinkle Offline


Registered: 10/09/04
Posts: 7667
Loc: Cincinnati, OH, USA
I had this problem with my log splitter when I got it, it had sat uncovered for years with a bad vent on the tank. Several 5 gallon buckets of cheap hydraulic oil, use, & changes got almost all of the water out (along with a new vent).
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#4526142 - 09/25/17 07:46 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: SVTCobra]
csx7006 Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Posts: 135
Loc: Amarillo Texas
Its a case, what do you expect? just do alot of flushing and filter changes

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#4526186 - 09/25/17 08:39 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: SVTCobra]
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Battle Creek, MI
It's a 12 gallon system with synthetic oil, so hate to just drain it after a year.
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#4526188 - 09/25/17 08:40 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: csx7006]
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Battle Creek, MI
Originally Posted By: csx7006
Its a case, what do you expect? just do alot of flushing and filter changes


Doesn't really address how it got contaminated to begin with.
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#4526264 - 09/25/17 10:17 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: SVTCobra]
IndyIan Offline


Registered: 09/23/08
Posts: 9092
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: SVTCobra
Originally Posted By: csx7006
Its a case, what do you expect? just do alot of flushing and filter changes


Doesn't really address how it got contaminated to begin with.

That's what I would sort out first, and get the right vented cap. I would be tempted just to run it hard and get the fluid hot enough to evaporate the water but that could get expensive if there's too much water... Flash boiling probably isn't good for a hyd pump.
I guess you could drain it and evaporate the water, maybe an outdoor propane burner and a 10 gal steel pot would be pretty quick, just don't over do it.
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#4526728 - 09/26/17 01:12 PM Re: Water contamination in a hydraulic system [Re: IndyIan]
SVTCobra Offline


Registered: 12/11/09
Posts: 701
Loc: Battle Creek, MI
Originally Posted By: IndyIan
I guess you could drain it and evaporate the water, maybe an outdoor propane burner and a 10 gal steel pot would be pretty quick, just don't over do it.


I like that idea - cheap and already have an outdoor propane burner. Throw on a desiccant filter/breather and he parks it under a lean to so no other sources of water ingress.
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