What is a Grease Cup?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

A grease cup is a fitting which is used to supply lubrication to bearings and other moving parts in an engine. Grease cups are designed to provide a constant and steady supply of lubrication to moving parts, and can be found in a variety of engines and machines. Like other fittings, they need to be maintained with care to keep the overall system operating at optimal capacity, and to avoid maintenance problems which can become expensive to remedy.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

The grease cup is a small container which is filled with grease which can be released as needed. The lubricant used in the grease cup depends on the demands of the system, as well as environmental pressures such as extreme cold or heat which can interfere with the function of some lubricants. Over time, the lubricant will be used up, necessitating a refill of the grease cup to keep it functioning properly.

Several things can go wrong with a grease cup. When it empties, it will no longer provide lubrication, making it necessary to check the cups regularly to make sure that they do not need to be refilled. The device can also lose its seal, causing it to leak or lose lubricant, or interfering with the delivery of lubricant to a target area. This can cause a decline in function of the system even if the grease cup itself appears full.

Grease cups can also be damaged or knocked out of position. Wear and tear on a system over time can also lead to problems with lubrication. At a certain point, it may be necessary to replace worn parts to ensure that the system will operate smoothly. Pressurization in a grease cup can also lead to problems, as it can cause problems with lubrication and lead to failure of the seals or other issues.

Numerous companies make replacement grease cups which can be fitted onto a variety of devices when the original cups fail. It is also possible to salvage replacements from equipment which is no longer in use, a technique which may be necessary with odd sizes and other fitting peculiarities which make generic replacements hard to use. Checking the cups should be a routine part of inspection and maintenance for any devices which use this method of lubrication; staying on top of maintenance to keep machines operating well is definitely preferable to scrambling to fix problems caused by neglect.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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Discussion Comments


So how do you know when your grease cup goes bad? Are there certain signs that would tell you when it needs to be changed or if there's something wrong with it?

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