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Knowledge Center Bearing Lubrication Procedures: Part 8 – Grease Change-Over Procedure

Part 8 of our 9-part series on bearing lubricating procedures on grease change-over procedures.

This procedure pertains to changing grease types or changing from one lubricant manufacturer to another. It explains how to relubricate bearings using a new grease and expel the previous grease.

Initial Requirements
(These conditions must be met.)

  • Verify that the bearing arrangement allows excess lubricant to be bled from the system. Bearing damage may result in sealed-for-life systems or systems with oil tight sealing arrangements.
  • Verify that the new lubricant and the previous lubricant are fully compatible. Mixing two incompatible products may result in chemical or physical changes which will lead to improper lubrication. Contact the lubricant manufacturers to verify compatibility.
  • Verify that the subject bearing is operating properly prior to switching products. Improper fits, clearances, bearing configurations or existing bearing damage cannot be corrected by changes in lubrication.
  • Verify that the bearing operating condition can accept a 100% fill condition. This procedure should not be applied to bearings which are designed to operate with limited grease quantities. Excessive bearing operating temperature may result in these cases.

Procedure

  1. While the bearing is running, slowly pump in the new grease until the excess grease being bled from the bearing changes in consistency or color. This waste grease should eventually look similar to the new product.
  2. Repeat step 1 after one to two hours of operation or after the bearing has reached a steady-state operating condition.
  3. Run the bearing for one week (only if the previous relubrication frequency was greater than one week) and relubricate using the normal relubrication procedure.
  4. Relubricate more frequently during the first two relubrication periods.
  5. Initiate testing (power consumption, amperage draw, relubrication frequency, etc.)

Tips
✓ Always clean grease fittings before relubrication.
✓ Always pump slowly.
✓ Always apply new grease to a bearing that is turning.
✓ When in doubt … contact Klüber Lubrication first!

Read Part 7 on sampling procedure for grease analysis.

Read Part 9 on how to extend lubricant shelf life.

What bearing lubrication challenges do you face? Let us know in the comments below.

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