5 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing Hydraulic Filters


Hydraulic systems are the backbone of many industrial processes, providing the power necessary to operate heavy machinery and equipment. To ensure the smooth and efficient operation of these systems, hydraulic filters play a critical role in removing contaminants that can cause damage and reduce performance. However, choosing the right hydraulic filter is not always straightforward, and many individuals and organizations make common mistakes that can lead to costly consequences. In this blog, we will discuss five common mistakes to avoid when selecting hydraulic filters, helping you make the best choice for your specific needs.

Neglecting Filter Micron Ratings

One of the most fundamental mistakes when choosing hydraulic filters is neglecting to consider the filter’s micron rating. The micron rating determines the size of particles that the filter can capture effectively. Different hydraulic systems require different levels of filtration, and using a filter with the wrong micron rating can result in inadequate contaminant removal or excessive pressure drop.

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to understand your hydraulic system’s requirements and select a filter with an appropriate micron rating. For example, a system that operates in a highly contaminated environment may require a filter with a lower micron rating, while a cleaner environment may allow for a higher micron rating. Failing to match the filter’s micron rating with the system’s needs can lead to reduced performance, increased wear and tear, and potentially catastrophic failures.

Overlooking Flow Rate Considerations

Another common mistake is overlooking the flow rate considerations when choosing hydraulic filters. The flow rate, often measured in gallons per minute (GPM), indicates the volume of fluid that can pass through the filter without causing excessive pressure drop. Selecting a filter with the wrong flow rate can lead to reduced efficiency and increased energy consumption.

To avoid this mistake, it’s crucial to calculate the required flow rate for your hydraulic system and choose a filter that can handle that flow rate comfortably. Installing a filter with a lower flow rate than needed will restrict fluid flow and cause pressure spikes, while a filter with a higher flow rate than required may not effectively remove contaminants. Properly matching the filter’s flow rate to your system’s needs ensures optimal performance and longevity.

Failing to Consider the Filtration Media

The filtration media is the heart of any hydraulic filter, responsible for capturing contaminants and preventing them from circulating through the system. Many individuals make the mistake of not considering the type of filtration media when selecting hydraulic filters. Different media types, such as cellulose, synthetic, or wire mesh, have distinct characteristics and are suited for different applications.

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to evaluate your hydraulic system’s operating conditions and the types of contaminants it is likely to encounter. For instance, if your system operates in extreme temperatures or experiences high levels of water contamination, you may need a specialized filtration media to handle these conditions effectively. Failing to choose the appropriate media can result in reduced filtration efficiency and increased maintenance costs.

Ignoring Filter Element Quality

The quality of the filter element is a critical factor in its performance and longevity. Some individuals make the mistake of prioritizing cost savings over filter element quality, opting for cheaper options that may not meet industry standards or provide the necessary durability.

To avoid this mistake, it’s essential to select hydraulic filters from reputable manufacturers known for their commitment to quality. High-quality filter elements are designed to withstand the rigors of hydraulic system operation, ensuring reliable contaminant removal and long service life. Investing in quality filter elements may have a higher initial cost but can save you money in the long run by reducing downtime and maintenance expenses.

Neglecting the Importance of Bypass Valves

Bypass valves are a crucial component of hydraulic filters, as they play a role in maintaining proper fluid flow and pressure within the system. Some individuals make the mistake of neglecting the importance of bypass valves when choosing hydraulic filters, assuming that all filters are equipped with them.

To avoid this mistake, it’s important to verify whether the selected filter includes a bypass valve and understand how it operates. Bypass valves are designed to open when the filter becomes clogged or reaches its maximum pressure drop, allowing unfiltered fluid to bypass the filter element temporarily. Without a functioning bypass valve, a clogged filter could lead to a sudden loss of fluid flow and system failure.


Selecting the right hydraulic filter is a crucial decision that can significantly impact the performance and longevity of your hydraulic system. By avoiding these common mistakes, including neglecting micron ratings, overlooking flow rate considerations, failing to consider filtration media, ignoring filter element quality, and neglecting the importance of bypass valves, you can make a more informed choice and ensure the reliability of your hydraulic equipment. Remember that consulting with experts and trusted manufacturers is always a wise approach when in doubt about the appropriate filter for your specific application. Investing in the right hydraulic filter now can save you time, money, and headaches in the future.

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