By Mahendra Singh
Continued from Newsletter Issue 42
Pay special attention to sea water pumps, boiler feed and circulating
pumps. Study the main and auxiliary feed line.
Ejector pump, condensate pump, sewage discharge pumps are typical
and so pay more attention to them. Bilge and ballast pumps. Keep
pump filters clean. At times casing gets damaged by bottom nut of shaft
assembly getting loose so study the construction of pumps on your ship.
Gear oil and screw pumps run well if only you keep filters clean and never
run dry a pump having rubber stator.
On ships having T/G keep vacuum pumps in good condition.
In steering gear hot areas, keep air supply fan running. This can be
stopped if ambient temp is less than 10degC. Keep portable pumps in
good condition because they are useful in time of need.
On bulk carriers the Wilden pumps are very useful. Make an
inventory of pump shaft seals and keep spares. Do not forget hot
water circulating pump.
Do not over grease pump motors. Check the couplings and bushes.
Identify which pump motors are interchangeable. It is important to
mention here to periodically check below the floor plates. You can find
out weeping pipes, feel bottom bushes of pumps and soundness of bilge
lines and content of the bilge wells etc. during this tour but tell someone
so that he can keep an eye on you.
This machinery runs silently and nobody bothers until we have some
problem. Carryout weekly, leak tests from various connections.
On older ships you can have pin hole leakages at return manifold.
Wherever there is oil there usually is a leak. So keep area below the
compressors clean to detect leakage. Keep shaft seal as spare.
Normally fish and meat room have heaters for defrosting so there is no
problem but vegetable room does not have heater. So manually defrost
the vegetable room unit cooler once a month by using water. Specially
pay attention after supply of provisions.
With the A/C, keep air filters clean and make provision for effective
draining of water (condensate). Pay attention to blower bearings and
V belts. When system is running, liquid level in receiver should be
about one quarter. Check the loading and unloading mechanism. Keep
condenser clean especially if using sea water as the cooling medium.
If control room A/C is cooled by sea water, check that pipes are not
blocked (especially after running through river passage). Do not allow air
to enter refrigeration systems. This results in blocking of valves especially
on return line and then you will have to resort to hot gas defrosting. My
third engineer tells me that last time in an EU port, the inspector told
him to keep Meat and Fish room cut off at minus 21.5 deg C. So please
bear this in mind.
On reefer containers, check for any pipe breakage and rubbing of pipe
against clamping. Usually a leak develops at such places especially if fin
type condenser coil is rubbing against its support. If leakage develops
here it is difficult to repair (plug the tube) because normally fin type
condensers are not carried as spare.
Regarding fridge systems, familiarize with defrost timers and how to
use them manually and similarly the room temperature cut in/off device
(how to use it). At times after taking provisions, a room will run long
and in such cases you can adjust the cut off at a higher temp and get
back to usual setting after 1-2 days. It is mandatory to keep a record of
all coolant/gas systems (only approved gas/coolants – non HCFCs) with
their normal content and whenever any leak is rectified or coolant/
gas added to system because the Pic inspector may inspect this log.
These days all ships are preparing a list
of all equipment such as AC and Fridge compressors showing what currently
allowed refrigerants they are using and details of leaks, their testing and
venting, if any, and in this manner the legislation is taken good care of.
These details are being regularly checked by PSC. Dedicated recovery
units are also being carried by all ships and these are checked by PSC.
From this year, 2015 it is illegal to use hydrochloroflourocarbons (HCFCs), including the ozone-depleting refrigerant gas R22 in refrigeration, heat pump and air conditioning (AC) systems. R22 is commonly used in AC systems pre-dating 2004.(Source: Out-law.com)
Familiarize with the functioning of these equipment and use them.
Evaporate water from waste oil tank and then burn the sludge. If you find convenient shore reception facility, use it to discharge sludge and keep receipt. Enter same in oil record book.
Minimize leakage into bilges and clean bilge tank if it gets dirty. Don’t
let any oil go into bilge tank. Use primary tank. Keep bilge wells clean
and test their alarms. Don’t keep sludge and bilge contents more than
25% when making a port. In some ports in Europe, the limit is even lower
which please check before arrival such ports (like Malmo). Keep burning
sludge regularly, say, 0.4M3 every alternate day. Keep waste oil tanks
heating coils clean so that good evaporation can be achieved (at times
1.5M3 per day). Write this evaporation also in oil record book(c-12.4). On
ships where Aux boiler is used to burn sludge, clean boiler smoke side as
required (check by opening one door).
It is important to check all small tanks in engine room such as scavenge
drain tank, F.O. and L.O. sludge tanks and F.O. and L.O. drain tanks. Check
what lines are going into them and how to empty them and where. How
much is the normal rise each day in these tanks. Try steering room bilges
and bow thruster room bilges also. Test bilge high level alarms where
provided. Do not be ashamed at going below the floor plates and tracing
lines. On older ships, bilge lines get holed below floor plate. Check IOPP
Certificate and ensure all tanks are accounted for in ORB. Check where
the condensate from main engine air cooler goes. These days you also
need to keep a list of equipment using Freon -22 and write the ROB
of same at month end in ORB and also in a separate file (check your
company instruction on this).
Exhaust Gas Economiser
Check for water flow by keeping circulating pump pressure gauge good.
You can close the root valve after checking pressure. But if you keep
it open, check the connecting pipe properly for no breakage. Same is
for Main L.O. pump pressure gauge. Water wash economizer once in
2 months and blow soot every watch (follow company instructions).
Keep soot tank clean and its pipes in good condition (not blocked or
corroded). Can add caustic soda to tank before using soot tank to
prevent corrosion. On ships having T/G, pay attention that all headers
are getting water by operating header vents. Keep a good control on
hotwell temperature and level. If hot well temp is high, feed pump will
give trouble. Keep feed pump filters or filters in hotwell clean because
small clearances in feed pump impeller will block them and there will
be problem in delivering water. Normally we finish at the economizer
and do not see upward. Check the funnel top for drain pipe to be clear
and uptakes not corroded at some suitable anchorage. On car carriers,
be more careful and in some private berths in Japan you will need to put
the mesh on uptakes whilst alongside private berths.
To be continued….