Hydraulic breaker troubleshooting guide

Use our hydraulic breaker troubleshooting guide for problem solving and to diagnose any problems that you're having with your hydraulic breaker. Our Frequently asked questions below is a logical, systematic approach to the most common hydraulic breaker problems. We have tried to determine the most likely causes of stress for the owners of hydraulic breakers.

If you cannot find an answer to your question or require further assistance, please call us on: 0121 445 6526.

Please keep in mind that the hydraulic breaker troubleshooting guide below is only a brief list of the most common problems (which should answer the majority of questions that most operators will have). It is impossible to list every problem that could arise with your hydraulic breaker here but we can diagnose for you via telephone or site visit or contact us here and tell us what problem you're experiencing.
1In the event of a hammer malfunction, what can I do to avoid high repair costs?
In the event of a catastrophic hammer malfunction, stop the hammer immediately to isolate the cause. If you find an oil leak, check the hose connectors first. If this is not the cause of the leak, take the hammer to RAW for servicing. Also, be sure to check the tool bushing condition regularly, if you can insert a pencil between the tool and the bushing, the bushing needs to be replaced - You might save the piston.
2Why do short impact cycles reduce operating costs?
Long impact cycles of more than 20 seconds can cause the impact head of the piston to heat up, causing damage or "mushrooming". The piston might also start to vibrate inside the cylinder, breaking the lubricating oil film and causing seizure between the piston and cylinder. In addition, the tool tip can heat up, causing more rapid wear. In extreme cases where the tool begins to glow red, it could become worn out in a single day!
3What can I do to the excavator to reduce operating costs?
The most important thing is ensuring the correct flow and free return line. Overflow will always reduce the lifetime of hammer. Do not install the hammer on a new excavator without first checking the flow. If your excavator has a hammer mode, make sure the programming is correct for your hammer and that your operator remembers to use the hammer mode. On large hammers, the return flow should always go directly to return filters. For more information contact RAW.
4Does periodical maintenance actually reduce operating costs; maintenance is also a cost?
During periodical maintenance, the seals and membrane will be replaced. There is also an inspection of all the parts, with wear items being replaced as necessary. By doing periodical maintenance regularly, you might be able to avoid major, unplanned breakdowns, ensuring that your hammer achieves the highest possible levels of availability and profitability.
5Does the application influence operating costs?
Yes it does. Inspections and maintenance periods will be shorter in certain applications. For further information, please contact RAW Plant Services
6What else can I do to reduce operating costs?
One of the biggest factors that will dictate the owning and operating costs and overall profitability of a hydraulic hammer is the skill and competence of the operator. Ask your dealer if they can arrange some operator training and ensure that your operators adhere to the operating and maintenance procedures detailed in the owner's manual.
7Does Raw Plant sell Hydraulic breakers?
Yes we do!!! Visit our online store by clicking here.

Understanding your new hydraulic hammer purchase should always be your first step, prior to speaking with any hydraulic hammer dealer. There are many manufactures and importers of hydraulic hammers. All hydraulic hammer manufacturers have specifications on their hammer product line. All hydraulic hammer dealers may tell you that their published specifications are calculated and honest. Mathematical calculations are used in every hydraulic hammer design whether, good or bad. All manufactures should agree that simple physics will be the final determinating factor for all hydraulic hammers true impact energy, oil flow and blows per minute. This rule will apply to the piston size, hydraulic pressure, blows per minute, hammers actual weight and the carrier weight.

It is quite important to understand that “energy in”, is proportional to “energy out” based on the principle that both hammers are working at the maximum oil flow and that both are equally efficient. Make an educated comparison. The “through oil” flow is proportional to power as it’s the oil that powers the hammer initially. Tools cannot be too small in diameter or they will break. The diameter of the tool may also be too big, than it will not penetrate. With a heavy hammer and small tool, you can be sure this is just a smaller power cell installed in a larger case. This would compare to a small engine in a large automobile. Therefore, the tool diameter MUST be in proportion to the hammer weight, piston, GPM and PSI of the hammer. If the “through oil” flow rate is also low than this will confirm these factors.

The oil ratio is calculated by multiplying the bar against GPM/ LPM to give the true through oil input. The tool oil ratio is the diameter in millimeters of the tool, times the through oil input. The higher the number will produce a greater final force (impact energy) at the point of the hammer. This is assuming that the piston size is the same as a comparable hammer. Through oil input to weight ratio, shows how much potential power the hammer has against its physical weight providing the piston is the correct piston for that hammer. The lower the number will mean the better power to weight ratio. Tool per weight ratio is calculated as kilograms/ tool diameter in millimeters. A lower number means more penetration. A higher number will mean a heavier hammer weight again, possibly pointing toward a big hammer with a small tool. This is what is termed a dead weight hammer.

It is imperative that your local sales person for any brand of hydraulic hammer understands exactly what he is offering. In most cases, the dealer will not have had the training required to understand exactly what he is offering to the buyer. Normally, the dealer only looks at a standard carrier comparison chart and offers you a new hydraulic hammer.
8Why do all hydraulic hammer manufactures ratings have certain impact energy numbers that are in the same range but, the tools are different diameters?
It is quite important to understand that “energy in”, is proportional to “energy out” based on the principle that both hammers are working at the maximum oil flow and that both are equally efficient. Make an educated comparison. The “through oil” flow is proportional to power as it’s the oil that powers the hammer initially. Tools cannot be too small in diameter or they will break. The diameter of the tool may also be too big, than it will not penetrate. With a heavy hammer and small tool, you can be sure this is just a smaller power cell installed in a larger case. This would compare to a small engine in a large automobile. Therefore, the tool diameter MUST be in proportion to the hammer weight, piston, GPM and PSI of the hammer. If the “through oil” flow rate is also low than this will confirm these factors.
9Is my breaker right for my machine?
Every effort should be made to ensure that an attachment is sized properly for both the work it will do and the carrier on which it will be mounted. Careful consideration of these factors will optimize safety, attachment life, and production rate.

The bigger the material and the longer the job, the larger an attachment needs to be, but it must not overpower the carrier on which it is mounted. A large attachment requires a large carrier and high capacity hydraulics.

On the other hand, a carrier should not be too large for the attachment. A light attachment at the end of a massive boom can easily be damaged and often bears more weight than it is designed to handle.

PRV Plant Services supplies hydraulic breakers in a wide range of sizes and capabilities. The product specifications in this manual indicate the recommended carrier weight for every attachment. If a carrier falls within the recommended weight range, it will have the lift capacity and stability required to safely carry that attachment. Carriers that fall outside the recommended range must be carefully evaluated to ensure the maximum lift capacity is never exceeded even in the worst case situation. In most cases, one attachment must do a wide variety of work. Therefore, PRV suggests that work can be broken into three broad categories: light, medium, and severe. Material hardness, material size, production requirements, and length and duration of the project, are items that determine the type of application.

If the work involves large and hard material, high production requirements, and a project that will last for several months, we recommend using the largest attachments appropriate for the available carrier size.

A carrier's hydraulic system capability must also be considered when sizing an attachment. Both pump flow and pressure must be sufficient. Some carriers come equipped with an attachment circuit that can combine the flow from two or more pumps, so that more capability can be added if necessary.

Some attachments require a second hydraulic circuit (to power a rotation motor, for example). If the required flow and pressure are not available from an existing circuit on the carrier, an auxiliary circuit may need to be installed.

At PRV Plant Services we think it is very important to carefully choose the correct attachment for each situation. To be effective, this process most importantly must involve our customers.

Customers have the best understanding of the extent and scope of their applications, and are ultimately responsible for the decisions that are made. Our heavy hydraulic equipment specialists are dedicated to providing expert advice and accurate information so that those decisions can be well informed. Ask yourself these questions - you may be expected by our specialists to answer them:
  • What type of work am I going to do?
  • What type and size of carrier will I install the attachment on?
  • Will I replace an older unit? Do I want to purchase a larger or smaller unit?
  • What type of production do I expect from this attachment?
  • How many shifts will be worked?
  • What is the budget - New or used unit?
  • When will the job start? Projected completion date?
  • What are the mounting requirements? Do I need Quick Couplers?
10Does my breaker need gasing?
If your breakers lacking power or/and your pipes are shaking violently your breaker may need gasing.
11How long will the gas last in my breaker?
There is no set time. It can depend on the make, the age, condition and machine flows and pressures.
12How often do I grease my breaker?
We recommend greasing the tool every 2 hours.
13Is a breaker a self destructive tool?
As you already realize, your hydraulic hammer, as self-destructive as it is, performs with a precision that is unmatched by most hydraulic products. Each time you use your hydraulic hammer you are slowly damaging it. Your hydraulic hammer is a hydraulic device that is purposely designed to direct a piece of precision hardened steel into another piece of hardened steel creating an opposing force several hundred times a minute. This would normally cease to work if it wasn't for the very special design. While the piston is striking the hardened chisel point with incredible impact energy, a series of changes are taking place inside the hydraulic hammer. Some of the changes that are taking place in your hydraulic hammer are
14My breakers has seals?
Your hydraulic hammer has many other moving parts that work with several special high pressure seals that help build pressure when required and seal against leaks. They also prevent contaminants from entering several locations of your hammer. The practices and methods for pre-treating and installing seals could be critical due to improper installation methods such as bending, prying, distorting, heating and contamination.
15Which breakers do you repair?
We repair every make and model of machine mounted breaker.
16What tolerances does my breaker work under?
it is very important to understand that your hydraulic hammer has a cylinder with an internal piston that has only .00025 clearances on both sides in the cylinder walls. With only two and one half tenths of a thousandth of an inch for clearance you must have the equipment, tools, measuring devices and the knowledge that is required to work with such small tolerances. You also must have the machinery and inspection instruments at your side to inspect and repair damaged parts.
17When matching a hammer to machine what is the 10 % rule?
So if a machine weighs 20 Tonne you would be looking to fit a hammer weighing around 2 Tonne. 30 Tonne excavator, 3 Tonne hammer. Just a rule of thumb.
18Tie rods or no tie rods
The main issue with tie rods breaking is having too small a hammer on the applicable excavator. We have seen it many many times. Hammer prices have come right down over the years which means the right size hammer is getting fitted more and more. An example is a Rammer E68 is 1800KG, 21-32 Ton. A very good hammer for a 20 Tonne excavator but a 30?.... If you don't want any head aches get the right size hammer on (10% rule)

Due to our expertise we offer our services for the following breakers.

PLUS many more.