When you work on projects that require you to apply a certain amount of pressure to bolts to fasten them securely, such as on a car chassis or industrial equipment, you probably use a torque wrench to perform the task. Using pressure built up within its hydraulic pump, the wrench can be set to apply a specific amount of torque.
However, if the pump or gears are no longer calibrated correctly, the torque wrench will no longer function as it should. Below are a couple of signs that your hydraulic torque wrench needs to be recalibrated by a repair technician.
1. Ratchet Portion of the Wrench Moves Freely and Easily When Turned by Hand
One sign that your hydraulic torque wrench needs to be recalibrated is when you are able to move the ratchet portion freely and easily when turning it with your hand. Normally, you need to exert some effort to move the ratchet even when the tool is not plugged in or switched on.
Once the gears are no longer correctly calibrated, the teeth that normally grip each other will miss. If you continue to use the tool without having them recalibrated, you will not only be unable to precisely set the proper amount of torque you need but there will also be damage done to the gears as they hit and miss.
2. Bolt Heads Are Stripped Almost Every Time You Use the Torque Wrench
Another sign that your hydraulic torque wrench needs to be calibrated is when you start stripping bolt heads almost every time you use it. Normally, the wrench will grip firmly and rotate the socket at an even speed and pressure to tighten the bolt.
However, if it is no longer calibrated correctly, the loosened ratchet will slip periodically as it rotates the bolt. As a result, the socket will apply uneven pressure that will quickly wear down and strip areas of the bolt head.
When your hydraulic torque wrench's gears are out of alignment, the ratchet portion of the wrench will move easily whenever you turn it by hand. Because it is no longer calibrated correctly, the freewheeling ratchet will start stripping the bolt heads whenever you try to tighten them with a specific amount of torque. To restore the wrench's ability to precisely apply the correct amount of torque, take it to a business that offers Greenlee hydraulic tool repair services to have a professional recalibrate it.