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Engine Room Watchkeeping

Q) Explain the arrangements required for ensuring safe engineering watch when carrying dangerous cargo.

Ans:- Routine Work during watchkeeping:

  1. Soot Blowing – Soot deposits are un-burnt carbon particulates which accumulate on the gas side of the boiler. Unnecessary buildup of soot deposits impedes heat transfer and causes exhaust pipe uptake fires. Soot blowing a boiler is done once every 12 hours using pressured steam or air. Soot blowers are operated manually or driven by an electric or pneumatic motor.
  2. Pumping Out bilges through OWS – Water and oil leaking from the pump glands and other machinery are collected in the engine room bilge. The content of the bilges are passed to the OWS to separate the oil and to ensure that the water being pumped out does not content more than 15 ppm of oil. Each operation must be recorded and completed operation must be signed by the Engineer in charge and Chief Engineer.
  3. Turbocharger Blower washing – Depending on the maker’s instruction, the blower side of the turbocharger may be water washed daily to remove the deposits accumulated during operation.
  4. Transfer of Oil from Bunker Tank to Settling Tank – Fuel is transferred from the Bunker tanks to the settling tank and water and impurities are allowed to settle. This oil is then purified using purifier before transferring it to the Service tank. All line valves must be correctly opened /closed for a smooth operation.
  5. Draining of Air bottles – This is a very important routine operation. Water in the compressed air causes corrosion in the air bottles and the pneumatic control systems.
  6. De-sludging of Purifier – Usually the purifier will run in auto-mode. If they are run in manual mode, then de-sludging operation must be carried out manually once in a watch to remove the sludge deposits accumulated in the bowl.
  7. Boiler Blow down – Boiler is blown down atleast once in a day to get rid of the suspended and dissolved solids. This is done by using the upper scum valve and bottom blow-down valve.
  8. Boiler water tests – Boiler water is tested for alkalinity, chlorides and dissolved solids once in a day by following correct procedures. Treatment chemicals are added according to the test results.
  9. Other routine jobs include – draining of lube oil sumps off water, LO analysis, incineration, cleaning or changing of filters, etc.