hydraulic oil Archives - Hydra-Tech

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Which Hydraulic Oil Is Right For My Hydraulic Power Unit and Pump System?

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It shouldn’t shock you to read that hydraulic fluid is the lifeblood of the hydraulic pump, hydraulic reservoir, and perhaps most importantly the hydraulic motor on your Hydra-Tech submersible dewatering pump. Which hydraulic oil should you choose to fill the reservoir on your new hydraulic power unit? Whether you’re using a 6 horsepower or a 400 horsepower HPU, the choice of hydraulic oil is the same for both (but the volume required to fill it will vary significantly.

For Hydra-Tech’s smallest gas and diesel hydraulic power units of less than 15 horsepower, use Dexron ATF. This hydraulic oil offers a wide temperature range and excellent wear properties.

All hydraulic power units greater than 15 horsepower require AW46 hydraulic fluid in the reservoir and lines. This hydraulic oil has anti-wear additives (AW) and is designed for normal climates – it is 20 weight oil (ISO46). The number 46 is a viscosity value measured in centistokes. In colder climates, we recommend using 10 weight (ISO 32) or AW-32 hydraulic oil.

If you will be operating your HPU around lakes, streams or other environmentally sensitive areas you can fill the unit with environmentally friendly biodegradable hydraulic oil. Most manufacturers offer either a mineral based oil like Chevron CLARITY® or vegetable based oil like Mobil EAL224H.

Just like clean diesel is important for an engine, clean hydraulic oil is important to your hydraulic power unit. Simple steps such as wiping and cleaning quick disconnects with a clean rag can prevent dirt and debris from entering the hydraulic fluid system. Always follow the recommendations in the operator’s manual when it comes to service intervals related to the hydraulic system. In general:

  • Change the hydraulic return line filter every 250 hours.
  • Change the hydraulic oil every 600 hours (larger models can be 1000 hours).
  • Every hydraulic reservoir has a suction strainer with an integral magnet to catch any metal that might get into the system. Any time you are changing the hydraulic oil and the reservoir is empty the suction strainer should be removed, thoroughly cleaned (including removing any metal debris from the magnet), rinsed / cleaned with mineral spirits and properly reinstalled.


These are some general suggestions for our whole hydraulic power unit range – consult your operator’s manual for the exact recommended service intervals for these critical hydraulic system components. Dirt or debris in your hydraulic system can damage or destroy major components like the hydraulic pump on the HPU as well as the hydraulic motor on your submersible pump. Hydraulic oil is the lifeblood of your Hydra-Tech Pumps system – make sure to keep it clean for a long and reliable service life!