Top 3 Reasons Why Hydraulic Hose Fails

Why did your hydraulic hose fail? One thing we know for sure is that it probably happened to you at the worst time, usually because it’s when you’ve come to use it that you realise it’s no longer fit for use which then has a detrimental impact on the job at hand.


Offering a while-you-wait hose repair and replacement service from our Trade Counter in Cirencester means we regularly have customers come in who need their failed hydraulic hose to be replaced, but what causes the hose failure?


We’ve outlined 3 key causes of hydraulic hose failure for you, it could be that you add visual checks into your maintenance schedule if you have one to avoid unexpected hose failures as much as possible or it could be you just want to answer that burning question…

Why did my hydraulic hose fail?

  1. Outer tube abrasion
    Hydraulic hoses are already operating in rugged environments and are expected to cope with the demands of the applications they are made for, but these have an impact over time. If you don’t have a regular maintenance schedule, all hydraulic hose will eventually suffer and perish because of abrasion to the outer tube from everyday use.
    Outer tube abrasion causes a hydraulic hose to fail when the hose is worn through to the inner tube, causing a split or burst hose. A regular inspection schedule can reduce the chances of a hose failure due to abrasion and can help to highlight other issues which need to be addressed.
    Many people choose to combat abrasion with shields, sleeves and covers, preferring to replace the hose each time it fails. If you are experiencing abrasion, even through your hose sleeves or covers, it’s almost definitely a sign of a bigger issue which needs addressing.
  2. Heat Aging
    Nothing lasts forever and your hydraulic hose is no different. You will usually have a good idea about how long it should last before needing to be replaced, monitoring the level of natural wear & tear so that you can schedule a replacement in good time and keep your operation at optimum levels of performance.
    But what if your hose has perished much sooner than expected?
    Even the best hydraulic hose will have a maximum threshold for factors like air & temperature. Heat aging occurs when the hose has been exposed to temperatures high enough to break down the elastomers in the hose material, which is what keeps the hose supple and flexible.
    First the inner tube will start to harden and crack and if the outer hose cover has hardened, has visible cracks and looks dried out, it’s very likely your hose has failed because of heat age. When it’s replaced it will sometimes even stay in the position it was in when it’s installed and if you flex the hose you will hear it cracking.
    Any combination of heat and oxygen can and will speed up the hardening of the inner tube, which means working with aerated liquids and liquids in a heated environment will need a suitable maintenance schedule to keep the risk of an incident at its minimum and performance at it’s optimum.
    If your hydraulic hose has been heat aged, review the temperatures you are working at to make sure you are within the working limits of the hose. Consider installing hose guards and reviewing the ambient temperature to see if it can be lowered. If your hose has failed completely due to heat age, during operation – it’s a good time to review your maintenance plan, scheduling to replace hydraulic hose before this can happen again.
  3. Inner tube erosion
    Much like outer tube abrasion, inner tube erosion often means an external leak from your hose. Hydraulic hose which has failed because of inner tube erosion you may be able to see what look like gauges along the inner tube of the hose, this is caused by liquid running through the hose at too high a velocity or by the liquid being too abrasive for the working capability of the hose.
    Make sure your hose is the right size based on the velocities you need to operate at, it’s good practice to make sure every component you are using is able to operate at this level comfortably. Check to make sure you are using a hose capable of handling the liquids you are using, if they are too abrasive, replace the hose. Other causes of inner tube erosion are exceeding the maximum bend radius, ensure you are working within the specifications for your hose and check these during assembly.

A little background knowledge goes a long way to reducing downtime and keeping your hydraulic hose in good working order, whatever your application. The ISO/TS 17165-2:2013 standard provides comprehensive guidelines on the installation, replacement, maintenance and storage of hose and hose assemblies for hydraulic fluid power systems. Remember assembling your own hydraulic hose is dangerous and should only be carried out by a trained professional or supplied by a reputable manufacturer, using the correct tools.

Still not sure why your hydraulic hose failed?
If you haven’t found what you’re looking for and you need to figure out why your hydraulic hose failed, call us on 01285 700480 or email sales@chf-ltd.com, we will do what we can to help diagnose the issue.