Troubleshooting Your Hydraulic Breaker for Weak or Slow Hits

Hydraulic breakers can be tricky sometimes. These are powerful earth-shattering tools and when they are hitting weak or slow, it can be a major delay for your project. It can be worrisome if your breaker isn’t running at its fullest potential, especially when you know what it is capable of. We’re going to go into some reasons why your hydraulic hammer might be hitting intermittently, weak or slow, and we’ll also let you know some common fixes and troubleshooting. Additionally, if you’re short on time you can call us and get in touch with one of our certified expert repair technicians that are available 24/7Click here to get in touch Our techs are the only people that answer our phones, so you will get the instant help that you need for your breaker.

Hydraulic breaker info graphic with ross hydraulic logo


Why is my Hydraulic Breaker Hitting Weak or Slow?

What can be causing this?

  1. The breaker doesn’t have enough oil pressure flowing to it.

Causes can range from a number of things but the most common issues are damaged hoses or pipes. Sometimes hydraulic breaker weak hits can be simple as your breaker needs more oil. This can be fixed by buying new hoses and fittings or repairing the pipeline, and filling up on oil. Adjust your hammers’ oil pressure to the OEMs’ recommendation.

  1. The breaker won’t strike but there is enough oil.

If you’ve checked all your hoses, fittings, and pipeline and it’s still not operating correctly, check the following,

  • Hoses are connected correctly to the inlet and outlet on both machinery and your hydraulic breaker.
  • If the PSI is too low to operate the breaker optimally (check owners manual).
  • If the piston is stuck or lodged. Check if you can move it by hand by pushing and pulling (Has it been greased correctly and often?)
  • If the stop valve is open.
  • Check if your oil temperature is running at optimal temperature (see owners manual again)
  1. Check your accumulator (nitrogen)

Check your accumulator for nitrogen pressure, and ensure it’s holding PSI at the correct measurement. It’s entirely possible that your breaker weak hits are due to a leaky accumulator, a damaged diaphragm, or it’s just in need of some nitrogen.

  1. Cracked piston, chisel bit, or body.

Remove the chisel from the hydraulic hammer, inspect your chisel for any cracks or significant wear and tear. While your chisel is out of the breaker, inspect the inside of your tool. Check the head, piston, sleeve, internal bore. Make sure there aren’t any cracks or pieces of chipped chisel located inside.

  1. Check your excavators, backhoes, or skid steers hydraulic pump.

It can be possible your demolition tools’ weak hits are from a faulty hydraulic pump on your heavy machinery. Get a visual on the pump, look for leaks or anything out of place. While your machine is running, listen to the pump, do you hear anything out of the ordinary? It can be a hiss, a scratch, a jangle, grinding, or it could sound like metal on metal contact, these would all be concerning issues for us on the pump.

Very large Furukawa hydraulic breaker troubleshooting


Other Troubleshooting Tips for Your Hydraulic Breaker

Hydraulic Breaker Tie Bolts Various Sizes

Check your tie bolts or side bolts.

Take a look at top of your demolition tool near the attachment bracket plate. You should see four bolt heads, these are your hydraulic hammers tie bolts, or they are also sometimes called side bolts. They hold the entire breaker together. It’s good practice to visually inspect these whenever you get the chance, at the bare minimum we suggest every other time the hammer is operated. Make sure whoever is operating the equipment is inspecting these regularly. Keep an eye out if any of these become loose or broken. A common issue people have sometimes is due to lack of maintenance the nut will completely come off. Also, make sure to check if you can see any threads on the bottom of the nut. This could be an indication that either something has failed (or is failing) or the tie bolt is very loose.

These are important visual inspections that should be done every time you begin to operate your hoe ram. These simple quick steps can ensure you don’t have any costly repairs, and you also avoid downtime by the attachment staying in service longer. Failure to check and inspect your tie bolts can result in very costly and time-consuming repairs. Loose tie bolts can cause the major components to misalign, shift, or go off balance. This will cause serious internal damages that might have to be repaired with CNC equipment or hard chrome plating. (which we do in house)   Our Machining Capabilities It will also cause leaks through the bit or body of your breaker.

Machined Hydraulic Breaker Bushing

Bushings Severely or Excessivley Out Of Clearance

We do inspection reports with included media on every hydraulic breaker that comes into our shop. We’ve been collecting this data and compiling it since 1997. Through our internal research, we have discovered that the number one leading cause for piston and cylinder damage is bushings being out of tolerance. These bushings keep your tool bit (moil point etc.) in alignment with the striking piston. If out of alignment serious internal issues will occur with your hydraulic breaker. When there is too much clearance or when the bushing is out of tolerance, your main seals and your hydraulic will fail to buffer the impact of your bit or piston. This will result in excessive leaks and metal-to-metal contact between your piston and cylinder. Metal-to-metal contact is the number one reason why we get pistons that would either (a.) have to be replaced or (b.) need to be hard chrome plated. Two hard metal surfaces rubbing together without lubrication and out of alignment can cause warping, deep scratches, scuffing, marks, nicks, bruises, and dents. Which will in turn either will seize the piston or destroy any internal seals. Additionally, it can cause cracks, valleys and sometimes we’ve even seen pistons and cylinders split into two.


How you should avoid costly repairs for your hydraulic hammer

  1. Ensure your using the OEM’s recommended specified grease for bushings.
  2. Lubricate regularly, make certain that it’s well lubricated and has a continual thick glob or film of grease.
  3. Make a habit of checking both tolerances the chisel or tool bit and your hydraulic breaker. At a minimum, we would check every other time you operate it.  Also, check the clearance in between them. Keep it within’ the OEM’s margin of specifications.
  4. Keep your oil at recommended operating temperature.
  5. Adjust your oil pressure to be within’ the OEM specifications.
  6. Keep your hydraulic demolition tool filled with hydraulic oil, don’t keep running it if its low or leaking.
  7. Make certain all hoses, fittings, and pipelines are free of leaks or damages.
  8. If you hear any uncertain sounds, like metal to metal, hissing, grinding, crushing, or anything out of the usual don’t keep running the breaker. Halt operations and visit a service center, or diagnose the issue.
  9. Check your nitrogen pressure to make sure it isn’t too low or too high.
  10. Check your accumulator for leaks, a faulty diaphragm is a leading cause for this.
  11. If your bit is stuck or seized do not try to continue to operate the hydraulic breaker
  12. Follow your owners manual for recommended preventative & regular maintenance intervals.
  13. Regular cleaning & inspection.

Hydraulic Breaker Repair Logo


We’re Your Expert Hydraulic Breaker Repair Shop in Houston, TX

Here at Hydraulic Breaker Repair, we’re dedicated to providing you with perfect repairs, at the quickest time, with excellent customer service and at a fair price. We’re the Nations’ #1 most trusted source for hydraulic hammer parts, repair & services on demolition equipment. Our expert team has over 35+ years of experience, and they’re well-equipped to handle any project with our state-of-the-art machine shop, and chrome plating abilities. We stand out from the competition with services, and amenities that no other shop can match such as,

  • Free estimates & quotes
  • Free pick-up & delivery
  • Our industry-leading 36-month warranty
  • Detailed inspection reports documents with media, including photos, videos, documents, and certified test results. Our reports will include root causes for damages to your tool, how we fixed it, and what you can do to prevent it from happening again. This is a free service that’s included in every project.
  • Quickest standard turnaround time in the industry
  • Urgent 24-hour turnaround service availability.
  • Team of certified expert repair technicians on call 24/7 for troubleshooting and help. They’re the only employees that answer our phones. So you can get instant help, skip the unnecessary, and at any time you need it.
  • Turnkey facility. (one-stop-shop)
  • Guaranteed cost savings for parts and repairs. We offer 10% off of any competitor’s invoice, and up to 70% of OEM’s cost of replacement or repairs.
  • Unmatched customer service.

You can start a free estimate by clicking here. > Start An Estimate Estimates are completely online and can be anonymous if you prefer. Our average response time is only 10 minutes. 



Most breakers are made to last if they’re maintained properly and if you follow OEM’s recommended specifications and tolerances. Take the extra steps and make certain your tie bolts are up to spec and tightened. Ensure your bushings are greased correctly with the right product. Also, make sure to take any preventative maintenance steps you can to help your breaker last its longest and avoid any costly repairs or downtime. Collectively, all of these seemingly small or insignificant steps will keep your hydraulic breaker rock breaking, busting, crushing, earthmoving, and pavement cracking at its utmost best performance.


We hope this post helps keep your breaker in pristine shape. If you have any feedback, or any questions at all feel free to reach us at, by giving us a call or commenting below.