Can UEA Help with Replacing Hydraulic Seals?

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 in UEA Blog


DO IT YOURSELF!  I love those words.  It signifies not only an attitude but a method of problem solving.  Finding a good DIY project can be liberating and exciting, but it can also be frustrating and time consuming.  Not wanting to get in over your head sometimes means knowing when to limit your DIY spirit especially when it comes to hydraulic swivels.

Rotary Union sealsThe hydraulic swivels that United Equipment Accessories (UEA) designs and produces go to many industries: Forestry, construction, demolition and scrap, rail road, etc.  The companies which we sell our rotary unions and slip rings to absolutely have a DIY mentality that leads the way for technological advancement. Operators of the machinery that utilize UEA products have a very high tolerance for working around problems and can be very inventive in ways to keep the machine working.  This can be a double-edge sword.  Obviously, the companies like to keep their machinery working and producing, yet the equipment can sometimes fight back. 

Rotary unions have historically been a reoccurring headache for machinery that spins 360°.  The current state of hydraulic swivels is nothing at all like its primitive past.  Swivels now are much more dependable in a wide range of conditions and environments.  As good as they are now, their dark past still gives pause. 

Operators can sometimes be ‘trigger happy’ with placing blame on the rotary union.  Hydraulic system dysfunction can sometimes manifest itself and appear to be swivel related.  The conclusion of this misplaced blame is usually that the swivel is removed from the machine and taken apart.  This is where the DIY spirit can run afoul.

Seals within the hydraulic swivel can be difficult to install.  It takes a certain ‘feel’ for being able to install the seals without damaging them.  It would be a rare occurrence for someone to successfully replace the seals in a swivel the very first time they attempt it.  I am sure the DIY types reading this are rolling their eyes.  While it’s not rocket science, having a functioning rotary union is critical to the operation of the machine. 

Our recommendation is to send the swivel to us to replace seals. If you can’t afford the time to send back the swivel, order 2 seal kits if you have not previously installed seals into the housing of a rotary union.  Also, call the UEA engineering team to help you through the process of replacing the seals.  This can save you time, money and frustration. 

Brady Haugo
Hydraulic Engineering Supervisor

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