Inspection and cleaning
As with all other important machine components, rolling bearings must be cleaned and inspected frequently. The intervals between these inspections depend entirely on the operating conditions.
If it is possible to ascertain the condition of a bearing during service, by using condition monitoring equipment, listening to the bearing with a stethoscope, monitoring temperature or lubricant analysis, then it is usually sufficient to clean and inspect all components annually. Where loads are heavy, the frequency of inspection should be increased.
After the bearing components have been cleaned with a suitable solvent such as white mineral spirits, they should be oiled or greased immediately to prevent corrosion. This is particularly important for bearings in machines that are left to stand for extended periods.