What Are Tips To Handling Engine Room Pumps

What Are Tips To Handling Engine Room Pumps

About every main machinery and the operations on board ships are made possible by pumps. In fact there is none of the main machinery such as main engine or boiler that can run without the use of pumps. From providing fuel to the engine to discharging cargo to the ports, every single job is backed by a particular type of pump. If you are an engineer that works on ships, understanding pumps is unavoidable to performing your duties on board ships. Knowing common issues in pumps and their signs is extremely important for maritime professionals who intend their shipping operations to be very smooth and safe in the engine room.

Highlighted are 10 practical tips which would assist engineers to understand pumps on board ships and troubleshoot issues related to them.

  1. The temperature – While conducting engine room rounds; inspect the motor temperature (through thermal gun or by feeling the motor by your hand). Any abnormality or increase in temperature shows problem in the pump- motor assembly.
  2. Current – Check the pump motor amperage frequently. Any variation or abnormal variation in the current shows some kind of issues in the pumps.
  3. Vibration – Continuous monitoring of pump vibrations is equally very vital. Any sudden or gradual increase in the vibrations shows one or all of these – loose foundation, loose coupling, misalignment, shaft-bearing wear out etc.
  4. Sound – Frequent monitoring of the pump’s sound assist seafarers to know the normal operating sound of the pump and also assist to understand anissue from any change in the normal sound.
  • Pressure – The main duty of the pumps is to supply/transfer liquids or semi-liquids with prescribed pressure. Make sure that the rated pressure is kept at all times. If the pressure goes down,inspect the pump and operations of connected parts (filters, valves etc.).
  • Running Hours: Every mechanical components comes with limited running hours. Once the operating hour of the pump part is over, it will require a replacement. Preserve a proper note of the running hours of pump parts/components and replace them whenever need  be without fail.
  • Planned Maintenance: The Planned Maintenance System (PMS) of the pump is to be adhered to  and overhauling of the pumps is to be performed at regular intervals of time as noted.
  • Gland Packing and Seals: Be sure that the gland packing and mechanical seals of the pumps are in proper place. Any leakage in them is to be given attention immediately to ensure proper operations.
  • Motor/ Prime Mover Condition: A pump is always driven by either an electric motor or a prime mover engine. Be sure that the prime mover engine is in proper working order or the motor winding and its insulation etc. is in good condition all the times.
  1. Correct Working Procedure: There are many different types of pumps available in the ship’s engine room thatneed specific operating approach. Be sure you know the correct workingorder for different kinds of pumps.