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Roller chain troubleshooting

ProblemsPossible CausesCorrections
  1. Poor lubrication or no lubrication
  2. Sprockets are misaligned
  3. Excessive wear on chain or sprocket
  4. Chain size it too large
  1. Lubricate properly
  2. Check sprocket alignment and realign
  3. Inspect and replace the chain or sprocket
  4. Check recommended chain size
Chain climbs sprocket
  1. Too much slack
  2. Worn out teeth on sprocket
  3. Excessive overloading
  1. Adjust or add idler
  2. Inspect and replace worn out sprockets
  3. Replace with high strength chain
Excessive wear on inner link or sprocket tooth
  1. Misaligned sprockets
  1. Realign sprockets
Broken Pins
  1. High shock loads or overloading
  2. Poor lubrication
  1. Lighten load or install heavy or super premium chain
  2. Increase lubrication
 Cracked or deformed rollers and/or bushings
  1. Build up between chain and sprocket
  2. High shock loads or overloading
  3. Poor lubrication
  4. Corrosion
  1. Remove buildup
  2. Lighten load or install heavy or super premium chain
  3. Increase lubrication
  4. Replace with corrosive resistant chain
Stiff chain joints
  1. Misaligned sprockets
  2. Poor lubrication
  3. Corrosion
  4. Build up in chain joints
  5. Damage to link plates
  1. Realign sprockets
  2. Increase lubrication
  3. Replace with corrosive resistant chain
  4. Shield chain to protect from buildup
  5. Replace chain and protect from any interference
Broken/cracked link plates
  1. High shock loads
  2. Vibration
  3. Corrosion
  4. Hydrogen embrittlement
  1. Use larger pitch chain or reduce shock load
  2. Use idler or tensioner to reduce vibration
  3. Replace with corrosion resistant chain
  4. Protect from chemical agents
Chain is winding up on the sprocket
  1. Sprocket distance is too far / Too much slack
  1. Add a idler or reduce the center to center distance
Pins are turning or coming out
  1. High shock load with poor lubrication
  1. Replace chain & lighten shock load / Lubricate properly

Examples of potential problems