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Hydraulic Presses

Common Hydraulic Press Problems & How to Fix Them

Common Hydraulic Press Problems

There are many different forms of hydraulic presses but the most simple kind is the hand operated h-frame press. Even though these presses are extremely durable, there are a few common problems that come up with every day use. 

The table below lists the most common problems press operators experience, their causes and solutions. These solutions can be done right where the press sits without specialty tools, by following the instructions in your owner’s manual or with a simple walk through from a service department.

Note: If press leaks around the ram but holds pressure the reservoir has been overfilled.




Oil leaking from piston oil seal.

Reservoir is overfilled. *

Piston Packing is worn or damaged.

Drain excess oil.

 Replace Piston Packing.

Press will not hold pressure.


Press will not build rated tonnage.

Check Ball is contaminated.

Ball and Seat have poor contact.

Piston Packing is worn or damaged.


Pump Plunger Leather is worn or damaged.

See 1, 2, 3 Above.

Gauge is defective.

Remove and clean Check Balls and Seats.


Reseat Ball on Seat. 

Replace Piston Packing.


Replace Pump Plunger leather.

See 1, 2, 3 Above.

Replace Gauge.

Oil leaking from pump plunger

Packing Nut Loose.

Worn Packings.

Tighten Packing Nut.

Replace packings.

Oil leaking from release valve rod

Valve Rod Packing Nut is Loose

Packings are worn.

Tighten Packing Nut.

Replace Packings.

Pump handle drifts up.

Defective Check Ball or Check Ball Spring.

Clean Check Ball, Reseat.  Replace Spring.

Ram will not return.

Return Spring damaged.

Piston is bent or damaged.

Piston Packing is defective.

Replace Spring.

Replace Piston.

Replace Piston Packing.

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