My Grease fitting will not take grease on my heavy equipment. What should I do?

Grease fitting is attached to the top of the grease gun and it delivers grease from grease gun under high pressure to inside of the sealed joints of heavy equipments. For the efficient functioning grease fittings should be free of dirt and not contain hardened grease. However, grease fittings get clogged and become ineffective in delivery of grease (malfunction).The following are some of the solutions to overcome this problem:

  1. Spraying petroleum based spray onto a grease fitting and cleaning it with a cloth will clean the grease fitting.
  2. Heat the clogged fittings with a propane torch or heat gun on a low flame. Following which the grease gun should be attached and flow of new grease will push soften old grease out and will clear the fitting.
  3. To attach commercial grease fitting cleaners such Zecker Zap, IPA, Powerfist and Performance tools to the clogged fitting. They are attached to one end of the grease fitting, injected with light viscosity oil and then stroked with a hammer. This will force the oil into fitting and will clear it of the hardened grease. Thus, these tools help to clear fitting without removing, replacing, digging or scraping. Applying this option has advantages that one does not have to pay for labour charges, reduces maintenance costs and downtime.
  4. When the above solutions do not work, then the grease fittings have to be taken apart to clean off the grease.
  5. After unscrewing the fitting, its passage is cleaned with a wire and filled with motor oil. The fitting is replaced and oil is pumped up, which will soften the grease and get it out.
  6. Sometimes there is a hydraulic lock at the zerk and which seals it. One has to loosen this component so that grease flows in.
  7. Sometimes the little ball in the tip of zerk gets friction stiffness or dirt gets collected over it and just needs to be loosened. A small sharp object can be used to dislodge the tip.
  8. Most the grease hardens on the zerk fitting. After taking the grease fitting taken apart, the zerk fitting is removed. A very small flat head screwdriver is used to remove all the grease out of the opening. The remaining can be cleaned using oil. A new zerk fitting is used and new grease is pumped till it comes out of the seals.
  9. If the above methods are not effective, then the fittings can be replaced with new ones as they are inexpensive.

Additional few things although minor, need to considered when grease does not flow into grease fittings. Sometimes there is lack of contact of the tip of the grease gun and zerk of fitting. There is also a possibility that the grease gun nozzle is worn out and leads to collection of grease around the zerk. Hence, replacing it with a new nozzle works for a long time. Also, one used use superior quality of grease. Finally, a daily scheduled servicing of the grease fitting is necessary for proper maintenance of the equipment.

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