How to Bleed a Floor Jack

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Screwdriver, preferably a flathead
Instruction manual for your floor jack

Using a floor jack that has air in its system is ill-advised and extremely dangerous. Failure to regularly bleed your jack is liable to result in its sudden failure and inability to support massive loads. So while regular bleeding may seem cumbersome, it is absolutely necessary if you wish to keep your jack in working condition. Fortunately, bleeding a floor jack can be a fairly simple task that any household handyman is fully capable of handling. This article will walk you through the steps involved with bleeding a floor jack, thus simplifying what once seemed like a daunting and needlessly complex chore.

Step 1 - Extend the Ram Piston

Prop your jack up until its ram piston — the part of your jack that is located directly beneath the objects it is used to lift — is extended. When performing this step, it is very important that your jack's ram piston be completely extended before you move on.

Step 2 - Release the Jack's Pressure Valve

Now that your jack's ram piston has been extended, it is safe to release its pressure valve, thus allowing the jack to be lowered. The jack's pressure valve is generally found on its side and is released with the aid of a flathead screwdriver. Simply attach the screwdriver to the valve, then carefully begin to turn it in a counterclockwise fashion. Once the valve has been successfully released, you'll be ready to proceed with the next step.

Step 3 - Open up the Filler Plug

Now that you've released the jack's pressure valve, it is time to open up its filler plug, which can usually be found on the jack's main body. Be advised that your jack's filler plug is not to be confused with its check valves. Although they are similar in appearance to the filler plug, the check valves should be left alone, meaning that you should consult your jack's instruction manual to determine the filler plug's exact location. Once you've located the filler plug, attach your flathead screwdriver and, in a counterclockwise fashion, carefully begin to turn it. Once the filler plug has been successfully removed, you will hear a short hiss to confirm that the trapped air has made its escape. After the hiss has stopped, reattach the filler plug to the jack.

Step 4 - Repeat Until All Air Has Escaped

Once you've reattached the filler plug, continue to repeat these steps until no more air can be heard seeping out. If properly bled, your floor jack should once again be safe to use.

And there you have it. With the help of these four easy-to-follow steps, you'll find that bleeding a floor jack is neither time consuming nor complicated. Even if you only possess a cursory knowledge of tools and woodworking, rest assured, this is a task you can do yourself.