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How to Tell If Your Hydraulic Hose Needs Replacing

How to Tell If Your Hydraulic Hose Needs Replacing

Hydraulic hoses play a key role in many industries, from agriculture to factory operations. With this in mind, it’s important to ensure they’re in correct working order and fully capable of withstanding the pressure being passed through them.

That’s why knowing when to replace hydraulic hoses is essential. But how can you spot when your hoses need replacing? Keep reading to learn more about the warning signs…

What are the signs a hydraulic hose needs replacing?

Like most things, hydraulic hoses have a “best before” date that marks how long the product can be used safely before it’ll eventually need replacing due to old age. However, sometimes you may find your hoses need changing early due to external factors. 

Below we’ve compiled some of the main warning signs to look out for to ensure your hydraulic hose system continues to work safely for as long as possible.


One of the first signs your hydraulic hoses need replacing is if there are abrasions on the outermost layer.

Abrasions are caused by your hose rubbing against another surface, and can lead to scrapes and cuts in the protective casing.

Whilst small scrapes can be expected from manual use, deeper or consistent damage is a sign that your hydraulic hose needs to be replaced - and you may need to look at your system to see if you can prevent unnecessary surface contact.

For example, you may want to consider using clamps to provide more support to your hydraulic systems.

A series B hose clamp

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These help to reduce the effects of vibration from the liquid passing through the pipes and provide extra stability to the system.

Tube erosion

The majority of hydraulic hoses are made of 3 layers:

  • The inner tube - this is what the pressurised liquid passes through.
  • The reinforced layer - this helps to keep the pressure steady, and tends to dictate how flexible the hose is.
  • The protective layer - as the name suggests, the outer layer acts as protection from the elements and outside world.

Tube erosion happens to the innermost layer, often because of the liquid or chemicals passing through. If you notice signs of wear, your hydraulic hose may need replacing to prevent leaks or contamination with other materials.

Exposed wire

As we explained above, hydraulic hoses are reinforced to withstand and maintain the pressure needed for a machine to function.

This is usually through the use of metal wires or braiding, as this provides a lot of stability to the construction of the hose.

If you can see the wire layer of your hydraulic hose, this means that the structural integrity is compromised and will need replacing as soon as possible to prevent future damages.

Kinks in the hose

Hydraulic systems work by using pressurised fluids to create energy. If the line is kinked, the liquid will be unable to flow properly, causing problems within the system. 

Hydraulic hoses can only bend so much because of the reinforcement layer and typical pressure they need to allow for, so it’s important to use an appropriate system design to prevent any issues.

Usually, a kinked hydraulic hose is caused by an installation problem, and if caught early you may be able to re-route the system rather than replace it entirely. 

For example, using swivel joints is a great way to accommodate for more complicated routing systems where you need some movement at the connection point.

A hydraulic swivel joint

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Swivel joints help to compensate for rotational movements, which can help to prevent kinks down the line.

Note that kinks can damage the inner tubes if left for long enough, and they will need replacing.

Fluid leaks

If you ever find oil or liquids on the outside of your hydraulic hoses or fittings, you should replace them as quickly as possible.

Leaking fluid is a sign of serious damage to the structural integrity of your hose, and can lead to dangerous consequences if not handled correctly.

Crushed hoses

Similarly to kinks in a hydraulic hose, crush damage prevents the fluid from flowing properly and can cause dangerous blockages in the system.

Crushed sections of your hydraulic hose are a clear sign of weakness in the product, and may highlight areas of your system design that cause unnecessary damage to the hoses. Fixing these issues quickly can help prevent future damages and costs.

If you find a crushed hydraulic hose, it’s important to get it replaced as soon as you can to prevent potential injuries or more expensive system fixes.

Damaged or rusty fittings

It’s essential to maintain the fittings between your hydraulic hoses and the rest of the machinery, as improperly connected hoses are incredibly dangerous. 

If you notice any red rust around your hydraulic hose or fittings, this is a sign they need replacing quickly. Rust is a type of corrosion which weakens the material and decreases its structural integrity, which could lead to explosive damages.

Damaged connective fittings are also a sign that the hose could come loose, which can have serious consequences considering the high pressure nature of hydraulic systems.

For safety reasons, never re-end your hydraulic hoses. This compromises the integrity of the product, and you can run the risk of structural damage and serious, or even fatal, injuries.

How long do hydraulic hoses last?

Unfortunately here, the answer is “it depends”. 

Whilst most of the time hydraulic hoses can last several years, there’s no exact timeline for when they’ll need replacing because the average lifespan of a hydraulic hose depends on the individual system and pressures it’s put through.

Regular maintenance checks allow you to maximise the lifespan of your hydraulic hoses as much as possible by spotting issues early and enabling you to fix them before they develop into a bigger problem.

They’re also essential for the overall safety of your hydraulic system by helping to lower the risks of serious injury or system failure.

Top tip: Keep track of how frequently you’re replacing individual hydraulic hoses, as this will give you a more accurate estimate of the average lifespan for your system.

Shop high-quality hydraulic equipment at The Hosemaster

Hopefully, this guide will help you know when to replace your hydraulic hoses - and how to spot early warning signs to keep your system running safely and smoothly.

At The Hosemaster, we’re passionate about ensuring you have the right products to suit your needs. So why not explore our range of hoses and hydraulic fittings today to find the supplies to complete your project?

For more guidance, news, and product advice, check out The Hosemaster blog

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