Important Things that Must be Checked While Starting Fuel Oil Purifier on Ships

Blog | January 8th, 2020

Just as a quick review, marine oil purifiers condition ship lubricants. They also clean fuel oils. Consequently, poorly operating purifiers cause machines to run roughly. The machine parts then age and fail faster, which is not an acceptable event, not in ships that are far from shore and the nearest spare parts. Likewise, tainted fuel oils equate to poorly operating engines, yet another situational snafu that cannot be allowed at sea.

Oil Purifiers: A Few Basic Maintenance Tips

Before worrying about tearing down the equipment, there’s a few fundamental actions to try out first. Is the oil level in the equipment’s gearcase above the recommended minimum? The maintenance crew must keep the oil at or above that level. Otherwise, an insufficient volume of lubricating fluid might just cause irreparable damage to a bearing or shaft assembly. Inadvertent inlet and outlet valve closures, purifier bowl misalignments, feed pump gremlins and more, all such blatantly prominent machine features should be checked and, if required, adjusted before a more drastic course of action is selected.

Applying the Full Range of A Technician’s Human Senses

Strange vibrations can signal an impending oil purifier failure. The touch of a finger, the contact of a flathead screwdriver to the equipment casing, these two methods are still used by seasoned marine engineers to detect abnormal machine vibrations. While carrying out these in-contact inspections, unusual temperature shifts can also be picked up by the tech’s skin. Be careful, however, for if the equipment really is unusually hot, then an incautious touch could cause a nasty burn. The best approach here is to check the temperature levels on the engine room control panel. A preconfigured minimum temperature threshold is normally used in modern oil purifiers to condition the fluid. Basically, the fuel oil temperature must be above a sensor-measured level, or the purifier will not function.

Centrifugal principles rely on spinning bowls, and the separation of sludge cannot proceed until a number of predetermined functions are met. Temperature levels must be accommodated, as must that minimum oil level. Solenoid valves and manually operated stopcocks also require attention. The hand-operated valves should be opened or closed, as dictated by the operator’s manual, and those solenoids must be tested regularly to make sure their coils are undamaged. True, these checks and rechecks all sound like laborious chores, but that’s the whole point; without a high-performance ship’s oil purifier, a machine that’s working night and day to clean machine lubricants and engine fuels, a vessel is essentially throwing reliability to the wind. That cannot be allowed, not when a boat is far from land.

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