How Do You Size a Hydraulic Tank Breather?

Hydraulic system maintenance is crucial to preventing machinery loss. Breathers are used in conjunction with hydraulic tanks and fluid reservoirs to allow the flow of clean air into and out of the tank, preventing lubricant contamination. Sizing a hydraulic tank breather is essential for optimum operations. At TTI, we are your source for hydraulic tank filtration products designed to protect your equipment from harmful contaminants and moisture, even in extreme environment applications.

Tank breathers are not always serviced as consistently as they should be. As the fluid levels in a reservoir increase and decrease, air from the atmosphere enters the system and is expelled. This air consists of moisture and solid particulates (like dirt particles) which can contaminate the fluid being contained by the reservoir. Contamination from dirt can damage system components, so a breather is often installed to prevent the entrance of these airborne contaminants into the hydraulic systems.

Sizing a Hydraulic Tank Breather

Selecting the proper size of a hydraulic tank breather is of the same importance as the sizing of other types of filters. A general guideline for sizing a tank breather is to take the pump rating and divide it by 7.5, giving you cubic feet per minute (cfm). As an example, if a system is operating at 120 gallons per minute (gpm), dividing that number by 7.5 gives you 16 cfm. The majority of small breathers have a rating of up to 35 CFM. Always choose a breather with a higher CFM capacity than the reservoir capacity requirements of your tank or reservoir.

However, a better solution is to use the hydraulic tank breather sizing tool we have available on our website to ensure you choose the ideal breather and breather size for your application.

Our TTI Hydraulic Tank Breather Sizing Tool

The TTI sizing tool we offer helps you obtain the ideal TTI PowerBreather™️for your specific application requirements. This tool also includes references to breather product pages as needed. Breathers may be sized according to the application, such as for a drum, box, tank, gearbox, tote, hydraulic reservoir, or kits and accessories for rebuilds. TTI’s PowerBreather™️utilize a container of silica gel desiccant (a hygroscopic substance) to remove ambient moisture. When the desiccant beads reach their maximum water capacity, the desiccant color changes, indicating it’s time for a breather change-out.

Desiccant breathers can be beneficial in all types of challenging applications. For information about the three-stage design desiccant breather models we offer to prevent the negative effects of the contamination of hydraulic fluids, or the wide variety of other products we offer at TTI like reservoir adapter kits, drum adapter kits, and filtration elements, call us today at 303-585-0132 or reach us through our contact form.