More Than Just the Basics About Hydraulics

In Hydraulics 101, you’d probably learn how this form of power works. A fluid pushed through the system transfers force from one area to another. In its simplest form, you’d find such a mechanism in a log cutter

But you’re not here for Hydraulics 101 — you want to know more. Indeed, there’s a lot to explore when it comes to the hydraulic system, its components, and its powerful potential. 

Here’s what you need to know: 

How Does Liquid Power a Hydraulic System? 

You might be wondering how liquid has so much power inside of a hydraulic system. Wouldn’t it be better off with a solid or gas component? 

A solid provides too much resistance. You know this if you’ve ever tried to mold or move material such as metal. It’s nearly impossible to shift and manipulate solids with your hands.

Then there’s gas, which gives way too quickly. Imagine having a balloon full of it — you can squeeze and push helium around. It doesn’t provide much resistance, thus generating little power. 

But liquid works perfectly when it comes to hydraulics. It moves much more easily than solids, but they don’t change shape like a gas.

So, if you push liquids with a piston, they will move, but their volume won’t contract and change. As such, they can fill the allotted space and push the hydraulic system to work. Interesting, right?

How Does a Hydraulic Pump Work?

Hydraulic pumps power everything from brakes to cranes to gasoline pumps to amusement park rides.

And the pump serves a specific purpose. It creates no pressure but instead creates a vacuum with its movement. Hydraulic fluid fills the void, then flows into the rest of the system.

The movement of the fluid is what creates pressure and power. And there are multiple types of hydraulic pumps that perform this function.

A rotary pump, for instance, carries the hydraulic liquid from its inlet to outlet in a circular motion, much like the gear of a rotary phone. 

What Are Some Common Hydraulic Problems? 

Hydraulics work well, but they’re not perfect systems. They come down with issues, many of which are easy to spot because of the symptoms.

Keep an ear — and eye — out for new noises, as well as increased temperatures. If your hydraulics slow down, that could be a sign of trouble, too. 

Most of the time, it’s heat or water contamination that alters the function of a hydraulic system. The earlier you catch this type of malfunction, the better. Otherwise, it could damage the pump, the most expensive component to replace. 

You can get ahead of hydraulic problems by maintaining your systems, as well. 


You already had the basics down. Now, you’ve explored hydraulics at a higher level. As such, you understand how the pumps push liquid to create power and how they can malfunction.

Need more information on hydraulics or other types of industrial equipment. Check out our blog for more.


Posted in Industrial Equipment.