If you are new to attaching grease guns to zerk fittings on equipment and machinery, fear not, it’s really pretty easy, once you’ve tried it. The idea here is to help you avoid ending up with grease all over your hands and fingers.
The Zerk Grease Fitting
Most machinery and equipment such as tractors or lawnmowers are fitted with Zerks. This is because this equipment needs to be lubricated regularly to prevent friction and the wearing of your equipment’s mechanical parts.
Zerk fittings are also referred to as grease fittings, Alemite fittings, or as Grease Nipples. There are many so-called grease fittings currently in use on various kinds of equipment. To give you an idea among these fittings you’ll find:
- Air vent grease fittings
- AS grease fittings
- Double head grease fittings
- Drive grease fittings
- Metric grease fittings
- One-eighth inch PTF grease fittings
- One-fourth inch 28 taper grease fittings
- Pin grease fittings
- Pressure relief grease fittings
- Stainless Steel fittings
- Taper thread grease fittings
However, there are many more. Zerk fittings all utilize a similar method to function. Because they are not large in size, they may not be easy to handle.
Every Zerk has a small nipple that contains a small ball and a spring. When no grease gun coupler is attached and inserted into the Zerk, this tiny ball will stop the grease inside the equipment from running out as well as prevent contaminants from entering.
When a grease gun coupler attaches to a Zerk fitting, it will push the ball in a backward directionso that grease will be able to feed directly into your equipment through the Zerk fitting.
How to Attach Your Grease Gun to a Zerk Fitting
Step 1: Prepare the Grease Gun
Preparing your grease gun is necessary before attaching it to a Zerk fitting. Prepare the gun’s extension tube by attaching the coupler to the tip. Now attach the extension rod with the coupler onto the grease gun.
Step 2: identify the 4-jaw construction
Inside the coupler you have attached to the grease gun, there will be a kind of 4-jaw construction design inside. Look inside the coupler. There will be a space between the four-jaw design. This four-jaw mechanism is easily modified manually.
Initially, you should observe them in an open position.
Step 3: Screw the Coupler to Test the internal design
When you begin turning the coupler to screw it, the internal jaw design will begin to close. Reopen the 4-jaw mechanism.
Step 4: Position the Grease Gun Coupler
You need to position the coupler so that the Zerk fitting is inside it.
Step 5: Lock the Coupler in Place
Begin to turn the grease gun’s coupler until the internal jaw construction grasps the Zerk below where the ball bearing lies.
Step 6: Ready to Lubricate
Once the coupler’s 4-jaw mechanism clamps onto the Zerk fitting, you will be ready to lubricate.
Tips: it is vitally important that the grease gun coupler is screwed tightly onto the Zerk.
Should this not be the case, the Zerk fitting may detach itself from the grease gun due to the pressure from the gun’s grease flow and this will mean a lot of cleaning up to do should it happen.
Removing the Grease Gun from the Fitting
Reverse the process for attachment. Simply unscrew your grease gun’s coupler and your gun should pull free from the fitting.
The Amount of Grease to Pump into a Zerk Fitting
One of the most common questions received from newcomers to equipment lubrication is how much grease the right amount is when greasing a fitting. The professionals indicate that a Zerk fitting should be filled until a small of grease flows back out of the fitting.
In most cases, this will not require more than two pumps or at the most three pumps of your grease gun. When the grease begins to dribble back out of the fitting, stop pumping and wipe away all excess grease on the outside of the fitting.
Zerk Fitting Maintenance
It is advisable that your Zerk fitting be kept as clean as possible. This means to clean any dust, dirt, sand, or another type of particles from dirtying or remaining latched onto the Zerk fitting.
The cleaner you keep your fitting, the easier it will be to avoid contaminants from entering your grease, your grease gun, and the machine lubricant. This simple act will help extend the lifespan of your equipment and of your grease gun.
Zerk fittings can also be replaced with new fittings by unscrewing the fitting from its location on a piece of equipment and screwing on a new Zerk fitting in its place.
A common problem with greasing equipment is when the grease gun sticks to the Zerk fitting. This usually happens because the coupler’s internal jaws are experiencing a clog.
Regular maintenance and a good cleaning will help you to prevent this from happening. You can use a solvent with pressure to dissolve the clog inside, however, regular cleaning should prevent clogging from happening.
When working with any machinery for lubrication purposes, keep in mind the following suggestions:
- Always verify the compatibility of the grease with the type of equipment you are lubricating before beginning to grease. Generally speaking, the manufacturer of your equipment will indicate the type of lubricant recommended for use in greasing on the equipment they produce.
- Wear the quality Personal Protective Equipment before you begin any lubrication. This will most certainly include safety glasses or goggles to protect from squirts or splashes and a good pair of protective work gloves for your hands and skin. You may also prefer to wear a mechanic’s apron to protect your clothing.
- Verify the best temperature when greasing.
- Grease blowouts are not unheard of when lubricating fittings. If this happens, you will hear a very audible cracking sound. It also may indicate that the blowout is happening on the other end of your seal. Stop your greasing immediately, if you hear a crack.