The most common causes of hydraulic hose failures

Hydraulic hoses are used in a wide variety of fields and for numerous applications. Factors such as the type of fluids used, temperature, product specifications, and the pressure exerted are some examples of what can cause failures.

These failures in hydraulic circuits can have significant consequences, impacting all sectors and equipment. A hose rupture can immobilize entire machines, causing unplanned shutdowns, costly repairs, and considerable economic losses. Moreover, the high pressure poses a serious risk of injury to personnel in the event of a rupture. In this article, we will discuss the main causes of hydraulic hose failures and strategies to prevent them.

What are the main causes of failure?


Hydraulic hoses are not immobile; they contract or extend in response to varying pressures. Friction against surfaces, especially other hoses or sharp metal edges, can lead to premature wear. This abrasion is one of the main culprits in hose degradation, damaging the protective layer and exposing the steel wires used for reinforcement, thus risking leaks. To counter this wear, some hoses incorporate a coating enriched with plasticizing agents. Where the risk of abrasion increases, specific plastic sheaths or nylon sleeves provide an additional defensive barrier, thus preserving the integrity and longevity of the hose.

Boyaux hydrauliques

Improper Positioning During Installation

Incorrect positioning is often the cause of malfunctions in hydraulic systems. To ensure maximum longevity for your hoses, it is crucial to avoid routing them through areas where they may be exposed to abrasion or excessively bent. Choose paths that avoid points of friction and extreme pivoting. It is also essential to keep them away from sources of intense heat, unless unavoidable. Always respect the minimum bending radius to prevent hoses from deforming or getting damaged.

For hoses that frequently move, consider installing a swivel device at their end.

Finally, it’s better to opt for alternative routes, longer hoses, or suitable fittings to minimize the risks of abrasion or unnecessary bending. Good planning of the route to follow is key to reducing stress on your hydraulic installations.

High Temperature (Aging Due to Heat)

Exposure of hoses to high temperatures can seriously compromise their flexibility, making them brittle over time. High temperatures degrade the plasticizers in the elastomer tubes inside, making them vulnerable to cracks that can extend to the outer surface.

A telltale sign of advanced thermal aging is an audible crack when you bend the hose or a permanent deformation after it has been bent. To protect your hoses from aging due to heat, it is essential to avoid installing them near sources of high temperatures as much as possible.

Always check that the hoses used correspond to the temperature levels for which they have been designed. In situations where heat is unavoidable, applying specific thermal protections to the hoses could safeguard their integrity and extend their durability.

Internal Erosion

Internal erosion of a hose is often the result of rapid and concentrated fluid flows, sometimes laden with particles, which gradually wear down the inner wall of the hose. This erosion process can eventually lead to external leaks.

To prevent this type of wear, it is crucial to choose a hose of adequate size to handle the anticipated high speeds of the fluids. Additionally, ensuring compatibility between the fluid’s abrasiveness and the hose material is important to reduce erosion risks.

Bent Hose and Failure at Connection Points

A critical point where hydraulic hoses tend to break is at the connections, at this crucial junction between the hose and the joint. Often, this results from excessive bending near the connection, caused by improper routing or the weight of the hose.

To address this issue, consider using a bend restrictor. This device, in the form of a plastic or rubber sleeve about fifteen centimeters long, offers greater bending resistance than the hose itself. It thus provides reinforced support to areas prone to failure.

Incompatible Fluid

Using the correct fluid is crucial for the health of your hydraulic hoses. Even a high-quality hose can be damaged and lose effectiveness if it comes into contact with an incompatible fluid, leading to swelling and internal delamination. This can cause disastrous leaks and contaminate your hydraulic system with foreign particles.

To ensure the longevity and proper functioning of your equipment, always opt for hydraulic hoses that have been tested and proven compatible with the fluids used.

Improper Assembly

Imprecise assembly can lead to malfunctions within your hydraulic hoses. It is crucial to proceed with precise cutting of the hoses and to clean them thoroughly, removing any traces of abrasive residues. The internal cleanliness of the hose is imperative to prevent contamination, and it is essential to ensure that the hose ends are securely fastened after tightening the connections.

Transportation of Hoses (or Dismantling of Circuit - Leaving Hoses Exposed)

Transporting hydraulic hoses is a more delicate affair than it appears; failing to protect them can lead to critical malfunctions. Without a cap or plastic seal, the fittings are vulnerable to debris, introducing particles that, although tiny, can seriously compromise the system’s performance. Always ensure to secure the ends of the hoses to preserve their integrity.


Preventive maintenance far outweighs reactive for hydraulic hoses and equipment in general. Adopting this strategy means preventing problems before they cause costly breakdowns, thus ensuring optimal and productive operation of your equipment.

Opting for a preventive approach also reduces costs on repairs. Neglecting this preventive maintenance will cost you much more in the long run. But rest assured, even in the event of a repair or replacement of a hydraulic hose, HP Hydraulique is here to support you.


Protective coatings applied to hydraulic hoses provide several notable benefits. First, they significantly reduce the risk of wear by abrasion, consequently increasing the hose’s lifespan. These coatings act as a shield against external mechanical stresses, reducing the frequency of necessary replacements and thus minimizing maintenance costs. Moreover, they protect against environmental influences, such as moisture, oils, and UV radiation, which might otherwise compromise the hose’s performance. In sum, applying these coatings, for certain applications, is a cost-effective preventive measure ensuring increased reliability of the hydraulic system.

In addition to taking precautions against exposure to heat, it is crucial to store and handle hoses carefully to preserve their condition. Ensure that the storage location is dry and shielded from direct sunlight or heat sources. It is also recommended to store the hoses by coiling them without twisting or bending them excessively to avoid the formation of permanent kinks. Gentle handling and proper storage are crucial to maintaining the elasticity and functionality of the hoses over the long term. Not to forget, protecting the ends of the fittings to prevent debris intrusion into the connections.

For precise cutting of your hydraulic hoses, using an appropriate cutting tool is imperative. Opt for a band saw or a specialized shear capable of ensuring a clean, straight cut that will facilitate flawless connection. Before proceeding with the cutting, measure carefully the necessary length and place a precise mark to guide your action. It is recommended to hold the hose firmly in place during the cutting to avoid slippages that could compromise the quality of the connection. Moreover, cleaning the interior of the hose after cutting is very important to ensure the removal of cutting debris.

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