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How Water Contamination Affects Oil Filters

by christie Callihoo - 05 Aug 2022, Friday 114 Views Like (0)
How Water Contamination Affects Oil Filters

The effects of water contamination on lubricants in the industry help to understand the importance of oil filtration system for industrial machinery. If improper oil filtration is done, the contaminants easily accumulate in the machinery. This accumulation can cause a disrupted flow of oil, resulting in damage to machinery. Therefore, you need to use proper oil filters to protect the machinery and allow the proper flow of oil through the machinery. In this article, we will discuss the effects of water contamination on oil filters.

Purpose Of Oil Filters

To know the importance of oil filters, it is necessary to know their purpose. The basic function of oil filters is to remove particles like carbon residue and any metal particles from the oil. If you keep using the oil after its recommended replacement date, you are prone to many difficulties. The oil becomes more viscous and clogs the filter. This can result in many engine and machinery problems.

Effects Of Water Contamination On Oil Filters

Water-Induced Filter Failures

While designing the oil filters, they are made capable of handling some contaminants and their effects. But, if the amount and type of contaminants they canít handle are induced, their workings may get affected.

Oil filters have a potential pressure guide that tells the exact time for the replacement of oil filters. Its readings give an accurate time for a replacement. If the replacement time is ignored, then the filters get damaged and premature induced water failure occurs.

If water gets added to the oil filters, the results can be very dangerous. Water contamination in filters and machinery will cause the system to fail miserably. Therefore, the contamination of water to oil filters needs to be strictly avoided. Moreover, the addition of water in lubricants results in corrosion and failure of the system resulting in irreversible damage and loss.

Effects Of A Large Amount Of Water

Oil filters are designed to tackle some amount of water contamination. If the limit exceeds, the oil filters may malfunction.

If the expected amount of water enters the filters, the system may work smoothly but its opposite can have negative effects. For instance, they get clogged if a large and unexpected amount of water enters the oil filters. It also produces a drastic effect on the potential pressure gauges and causes strain on oil filters.

If this process continues, water causes a bypass gap in the medium that gets damaged. The damage to the medium causes the oil to flow through oil filters unfiltered. As a result, machines get unfiltered and water-contaminated oil. Unfiltered and contaminated oil can damage the machinery to a great extent.

Oil filtration systems are designed to absorb certain amounts of water. If an unexpected and large amount keeps entering the filter for a long time and unchecked, it may affect the working of the oil filtration system. So, if you do not want to compromise the performance of your oil filtration system, check the amount f water entering the oil filter. If a large amount of water enters the oil filters, you should get them replaced to avoid malfunctioning o the entire system.


Another way water contamination may damage the oil filters is by oxidation. You cannot avoid the entrance of water in a dissolved state that enters in small amounts in oil filters. So, when water enters in small amounts, it does not affect the oil filters and, similarly, the filtration system.

But if water entrance is kept unchecked and water enters in large amounts, the consequences may be very dangerous. If a large amount of water enters filters and reaches saturation point, oxidation reaction may start. Oxidation reaction occurs and affects the lubricants of machines. Thus, resulting in the disturbance of the whole system.

Growth Of Microbial Organisms

Water contamination in oil filters gives birth to microbial organisms in lubricants. Bacterial growth can result in the formation of sulphuric acid in the oil system. Sulphuric acid becomes corrosive in oil filters and damages machine surfaces. If this growth of microbial organisms is left unchecked and uncontrolled, it can result in lubricant degradation, shorter life of filters, and corrosive wear and tear. Therefore, to increase the lifespan of your oil filters, you need to check the water flowing through the filters and check for the growth of any microbial organisms in oil filters.


Oil filters play an important role in keeping the whole filtration system in working condition. They provide filtered oil and lubricants for the machinery necessary for their functioning. If water is allowed to contaminate oil filters, their functionality may be affected. Water contamination can result in the oxidation process, malfunctioning of the system, and failure of the filtration system. 

So, it is necessary to check the amount of water entering water filters to ensure their perfect functioning. Therefore, you should never allow an unexpected amount of water to enter oil filters. If you notice such activity, immediately replace your filters to protect the whole system.