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How to Maintain Seals During Periods of Non-Use

It is vital to check seals often whether machinery is being used or not, since seal failures can lead to equipment problems that may be detrimental to equipment and business. During periods of non-use is an especially good time to check seals for any signs of damage and wear that may need to be addressed.

Whether one deals with hydraulic or pneumatic seals such as wiper seals, they must be able to withstand a range of environments and practices such as extreme temperatures, high pressures, chemicals and contamination.

The following tips detail what to watch out for when looking for problems in seals and how to maintain seals when they are not in use.

Proper Storage

If a seal is in a period of no use, storing them properly can prevent future failure. Properly storing seals includes putting the seals and their hardware in a cool environment. One must also disassemble the seals and sort each part individually, making sure not to store seal faces together as they could end up losing their flatness.


Lubrication is a must in seals and most machinery since it can prolong the life of seals due to the motion they are usually under. When looking at the seals, check that lube is present. If there is none present or only a small amount, place some grease around the seal.


Just because the machinery is not in use does not mean that contaminates are not present in the seal. If the seal was not checked after its last use, then contamination may be present. Contamination may come from metallic shavings, powder, dirt, mud, grit and other solid particles. These may be picked up during operation and can damage the seal when passing through.

High Temperatures

If the seal has been stored somewhere that has a high temperature, the heat can cause the seal to harden and degrade quickly. The material of the seal can break off when hardened, which can then cause more contamination along the whole machinery or pipe network.


The pressure on a seal can cause the seal to fail, so check for pressure strikes. If there are any present, it may need to be replaced with one designed for higher pressure.

Chemical Deterioration

Corrosive fluids may cause a breakdown in the seal's material. Make sure that the seal is made of the correct material for the application. For example, connecting a seal to a hydraulic system using chemical fluid can create fractures in a material. The chemical deterioration can cause swelling or shrinking of the seal.

Authored by FPE Seals

For more information contact:

FPE Seals

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