Jack is a mechanical device that is used to lift heavy loads. One common type of jack is floor jack. Floor Jack is a type of hydraulic jack i.e. it uses pressurized fluid to lift the loads. Its common use is to lift off your vehicle while you are repairing it.
Sometimes the air enters the fluid of the jack, hindering the performance of the jack. If a lot of air enters the system, this can cause the jack to fail and you can imagine how disastrous this can be. So, the bleeding of the jack is quite necessary. The removal of air from a floor jack is termed as bleeding of the Floor Jack.
You can note the following step-wise procedure to bleed a floor jack.
- Remove any load from the jack.
- Place it on a flat surface and clean it.
- Pump the handle to push air through the system.
- Extend the lift arm.
- Release Pressure from the Pressure Valve.
- Open the filler valve.
- Close the Pressure Valve.
- Repeat the above steps until no air is left inside.
Now, I will explain each step, in detail and talk about the precautions while using a floor jack.
Step by Step Guide to Learn How To Bleed a Hydraulic Floor Jack:
Step 1: Remove any load from the jack
The first step is to make the jack ready for bleeding. For that, you have to make the jack load-free.
Step 2: Place it on a flat surface and clean it
The second step is to set the balance of the floor jack. For that, you need to place it on a flat surface, so that its base stays horizontal. In addition, clean the jack surface with a damp cloth. This is to make sure that no dirt or debris enters the system when you open the jack in the next steps.
Step 3: Pump handle to push air through the system
Some jack models have a cover plate on the top, you need to remove it. Without placing any weight on the Jack, first, turn the lowering valve counterclockwise one full turn to the open position. Then, rapidly pump the handle six to eight full strokes to push air through the system. Next, securely close the lowering valve by turning it clockwise until it is firmly tight
Step 4: Raise the Lift Arm
Next, you need to extend the lift arm. It is also called a ram piston. The lift arm is the part of the jack which lies directly under the object to be lifted. Pump the jack six to eight times, until this arm, which supports the saddle, reaches its highest point.
Step 5: Release Pressure from the Pressure Valve
Now, release the pressure by opening the pressure valve. The pressure valve operation is different depending on the type of jack you have. In modern and expensive jacks, the pressure valve is opened by turning the handle of the jack counterclockwise.
In old models, the valve is placed under the handle and for that, you will need to remove the handle. You can either refit the handle into the pressure valve or use a plier to turn the valve. As you release the pressure, the jack arm falls to its lowest point.
Step 6: Open the filler Plug
Now, as soon as you complete the previous step, you need to open the filler plug. The filler plug is usually under a cover plate on the top of the jack. Using a flat-head screw-driver turn the plug counterclockwise. Once the plug is opened you will hear a hissing sound. This shows the purge of air from the system.
Note that the filler plug is similar to check valves on the body. Don’t mix it with them. To be precise about the filler plug’s location, check the floor jack’s user manual.
Step 7: Close the pressure valve
When the whole air is purged, the hissing noise stops. Place the filler plug back to its position. Then, close the pressure release valve. You can do that by following the same procedure as in step 5. But this time, the handle needs to be turned clockwise.
Step 8: Repeat Steps 4 to 8
Since you cannot ensure that all air has bled out just in one go. To make sure, you have to repeat steps 4 to 8, twice or thrice until the air gets removed.
The bleeding process is now complete. But before you put a heavy load, check for proper pump and lift action.
How often do I need to Bleed a Floor Jack?
People often ask, after how much time I need to bleed the jack. Firstly, when the jack is new and then annually or biannually, depending on its usage.
Before using the First Time:
Before using your Jack for the very first time, it will need to have the air purged from the hydraulic system for proper lift operation.
In addition, you need to bleed the jack at regular intervals based on your usage. If you are professional, then you can perform the bleeding procedure after six months, else you can do it once annually. But if you notice any anomaly in the functionality, you can bleed the check or fill its fluid.
Precautions while using a Floor Jack
For using a floor jack, you need to follow the following precautions:
- Place the check on the plane surface.
- Check its load capacity. It is the maximum weight that it can safely lift. Never try to lift a weight beyond its capacity.
- Maintenance of the jack is quite important. And one of the aspects of its regular oil change.
- Don’t use a jack whose fluid is leaking.
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) while using jacks like impact-resistant goggles, gloves, etc.
- Only lift the weight using the jack point, lift the arm. Placing weight anywhere could cause an accident.
- Bleed the floor jack regularly.
Also Read: How to Jack Up a Lifted Truck
Knowing how to bleed a floor jack is very useful since it helps you ensure your safety and avoid unnecessary accidents. Bleeding after regular intervals enhances the life and efficiency of the floor jack. After bleeding, make sure to test the jack on light loads.